June 29, 2022 5 min read
It is my pleasure to introduce featured Cool Summer, Haberdasher and Executive Clothier, Chuck Alf.
For over 20 years Chuck has been addressing the sartorial needs of CEO’s, senior partners, professional athletes, business owners, wedding parties and everyday people who want their clothing to look, feel and fit perfectly. Chuck's colorful personality and understanding of personal colors makes him unique in the bespoke industry.
We met several years ago when he was referred to me by an executive in athletics at a local university. Chuck and I immediately realized the blending of our services would be invaluable for the professional looking to invest in high quality suits and accessories. My male clients most frequent questions are about the combinations of suit, shirt and tie. Understanding flattering colors is important and also incorporating the appropriate patterns, textures and combinations is necessary to create a pulled together look.
Learn more about Chuck’s evolution in the custom men’s clothing business, some of his unique clients like the Buffalo Bills and how understanding his colors has influenced his business.
What prompted you to have a color analysis?
My color analysis done was prompted by a recommendation from a client in the college athletic. Selling custom clothing and helping people coordinate colors and patterns and styles seemed like a natural “fit” with connecting clients to their natural color story. If I could help people recognize what their best colors were first with the help of Kerry at Indigo Tones, it would make my services the most valuable and more professional than any other options in the Buffalo area. It made so much sense!
How has it changed your life?
Thinking more deeply about being a Cool Summer has impacted my life. Rather than the traditional combination of dark navy or black suit with a red tie like I used to wear, I started to opt for lighter gray suits and lavender shirts and ties in softer patterns with an overall summer feel. I’ve always enjoyed purple as an accent color for shirts and ties and really felt good while wearing them. But now I understand that a soft, cool purple is a go to color rather than an accent and that I shouldn’t do “accents” as they can be overpowering on me. Instead, I need to focus on a monochromatic, less contrasting overall look. While the “red power tie” makes some of my clients look powerful, on me it would overpower me. Who wants that? Thanks Kerry!!
One of the coolest things I’ve had the pleasure of participating in since was the design and production of the Buffalo Bills “Wall of Fame” jackets. We used Buffalo head nickels for buttons, red buttonholes and commemorative logos to signify the greatest Bills of All Time!! (Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Steve Tasker, Jack Kemp, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Bob Kalsu, Marv Levy and Kent Hall). I was on the field to present the coats during halftime of a sold-out game. What an incredible rush!
In what ways has it changed the way you approach your business?
I carry fabrics that will rival the finest men’s stores in Buffalo to the finest men’s stores in the world. My business approach has changed and added layers to how I make smart recommendations to my clients with regard to color choices for their clothing. Men’s clothing choices can be structured based off of professions and situations but accessorizing with best personal colors can add flair, excitement and enjoyment to how someone looks without looking overdone.
My clients feel more confident in taking risks when they know it’s right for them. I have taken a deeper role in helping my clients to explore their unique style and coloring than I did when first getting started years ago when the focus was more on trends. This allows me to stay up to date but trend proof!
“I really enjoy clothing and the unending options I have with contributing to the design and choices that I can have a hand in for my suits and shirts. Thread colors, functional buttons, linings, pic stitching, button colors, buttonhole colors. Chuck lets me run with ideas and we both get inspired by the possibilities. I think I’ve taught Chuck a few things and I know he is appreciative.” Scott L. Of Counsel, Private Firm
What has been the biggest challenge?
At first, my biggest challenges was opening up men to the idea that this isn’t just something that women do. Once they see the results of the analysis, they are interested in the science behind it and get on board. Knowing why certain colors “work” is empowering and confidence building. This knowledge makes me a better clothier and my clients better at making choices for themselves and confidently investing in their wardrobe.
In today’s business climate, men are wearing suits less often, but when they do, it’s a big deal. Job interviews, speaking engagements, weddings, business presentations. More than 50% of a first impression is nonverbal, do you want to risk that the chance?
“I enjoy my meetings with Chuck because he’s entertaining and insightful. He’s not vanilla. I’ve had him speak to my advisers about “dressing for success” on multiple occasions.” James H. Financial Director
Any interesting things happen while you were wearing your colors?
I’ve had countless encounters where people have complimented me on my clothing and appearance and it has led them to becoming clients! As a haberdasher, I’m completely aware that my image is on display and I’m modeling for my business. I always to feel my best and get the most compliments when I’m sporting “cool summer.”
What was the biggest surprise?
I’m constantly surprised at how people “snap to” based off of your appearance. 55% of a first impression is nonverbal and that never gets old nor does it stop amazing me. Why dismiss how you look when you can control it?
Tell me about your favorite color in your palette.
Lavender/ purple has always been one of my favorite colors for years. I’ve always felt especially good while wearing it and the color analysis clarified why!
Tell me about your closet.
My closet is largely based off of the clients that I call on. Attorneys and financial professionals are the bulk of my business. For this reason, my suits tend to be navy and gray. I work with clients who are trying to convey power, credibility, trustworthiness, being established, etc. I think of their wardrobe as foundational and structured inspired by archetypal or historical images like:
George Washington crossing the Delaware in a navy coat…
CEOs addressing their stockholders…
Attorneys talking to a jury…
I try to mirror them so they have confidence in my ability to help them convey that look. Getting my colors done has opened my eyes to how I can add one’s personal colors to enhance the staples but I bring more style and personality along with it.
“I’ve done business with Chuck for 20 years I’ve trusted his recommendations and he’s taking me to areas with my wardrobe that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to take myself. I trust him and I consider my friend.” Robert S.Senior Partner
I’ve got a cool business!! Thanks to Indigo Tones, it’s just simply better! As a haberdasher and executive clothier, I come to you! Meeting your apparel needs in your office or home. I save you time, offer you convenience and provide more selection than you can imagine.
Contact Chuck Alf: (585)750-5550
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 07, 2023 6 min read
It’s a treat to introduce you to this month's colorful lives feature, Soft Autumn Tim Stich who is also my son!! Tim’s experience with shopping for clothing and wearing color is unique as I become a color analyst when he was quite young. When he and his sister Clare were little, I tried dressing them in bright colors with strong patterns as was the style then.....but even before learning about personal color harmony, I started to sense that the clothes overwhelmed them and began dressing them in softer colors and solids. I was even shocked the other day to discover when I pulled out his school photos that every single photo (even before I learned of his color palette) was taken in a Soft Autumn color. You can see how his life has evolved wearing the soft, earthy colors that suit his ruddy hair, freckles and soft blue/green eyes.
Over the years, he has mostly been very eager to wear what suits him and looked to me to help him distinguish soft autumn colors from the two seasons nearby - warm autumn and soft summer. We enjoy shopping together, especially now that he lives in Manhattan and the shopping is abundant. It can be a challenge to find his colors in sizes and style that fit but when its perfect, it feels great and he knows it. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a guy whose mom is a color consultant!
August 01, 2023 7 min read
I am so excited to introduce you the “entertainingly irreverent” (Associated Press) Soft Summer, Valerie Peterson. Valerie is an extraordinary storyteller in a variety of media including scriptwriting, screenplays, fiction, non-fiction and book publishing/consulting. I analyzed her colors years ago in Rhode Island at a girls weekend hosted by a mutual friend (color analysis and girls weekends make a great combo!). In the years since, Valerie has embraced her Soft Summer colors in spite of living and working in New York City where black is a standard and practical.
It was a thrill when her publisher chose a photo of my family for her wonderfully spirited book, Peterson’s Happy Hour. On page 46, you can find me with my family - brothers, Mike and Tim and my parents Marcia and J. Michael Jones circa 1970. The book features many more photographic gems and recipes for a fabulous social gathering!
In this month’s colorful lives blog, Valerie shares her journey with her color palette. As with all her writing projects, she is humorous, colorful and entertaining! She has kept in great condition and still uses the Sci Art swatch book that I provided back in those days!! Be sure to check out her large body of work on valeriepeterson.net and read more in the blog:
July 25, 2023 4 min read
While doing color analysis in Boston in June, I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle Burton and giving her a 12-Season Color Analysis. Danielle had recently experienced a 4-Season Color Analysis with a House of Colour consultant and was told she was a Winter. I was skeptical that she was any type of Winter (in the 12 season system, there are actually 3 Winters - Dark Winter, Cool Winter and Bright Winter). Her light eyes, natural lighter and soft brownish hair and skin tone were much more consistent with my clients who fall into the lighter seasons, especially Summer.
Since her hair had been highlighted, we covered it with a neutral gray cap to do the testing portion of the analysis, ensuring that the lighter color did not sway the results of the analysis. It was clear from the beginning that Danielle was responding more harmoniously to the cool tones even some of the lighter cool winter drapes which was consistent with her 4 season color analysis.
But, while she contrasted with any drapes that were dark and bright, she was softened and balanced by the lighter cool tones, particularly Summer. The dark colors brought out shadows under her eyes and the brighter colors overwhelmed her and brought attention to themselves. In the end, she looked lovely and perfectly balanced and harmonious in the Cool Summer colors!
"While I had a great experience at House of Colour, I do think they are missing out on a ton of research and color science by not including the 12 seasons and variants. The added layer of cool vs bright vs dark was a huge difference for me and really solidified which category I best fit”.
Enjoy reading more about Danielle’s experience with both systems and her reaction to her diagnosis as a Cool Summer:
Would you like to receive updates about Indigo Tones products, services, travel schedule and interesting features on color? Subscribe today!
You have successfully joined our subscriber list.