Featured Supplier : Duncan James Menswear

Time for Duncan James Menswear to take to the stage in an interview with owner James Bednall. As an experienced menswear supplier for over 60 years, Duncan James menswear is the go-to company for menswear and formal hire, and always top of my recommendations list!

Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

In Conversation with Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James of Walsall

When a company has been established for over 60 years in one location, you know they’re seriously doing something right!

Duncan James menswear has been on Mountrath Street in Walsall since 1956, with the company shifting and changing through the generations. Known as the destination for both premium menswear and also for special-occasion hire, they thoroughly deserve their excellent reputation.

Working within the wedding industry, you get to know who the companies are to recommend – those who get it right! For far longer than I have been a photographer, Duncan James Menswear has been that business!

Always at the top of my recommendations list, I have complete confidence the suits for every wedding will be perfect – from fit to quality. You cannot go wrong!

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Duncan James Menswear Walsall

While I’ve known James for many years, the interview a few days ago was the first opportunity I’d had to find out the full story about Duncan James Menswear.

As a family run business started by James’ Grandfather over 60 years ago, the background of the company was manufacturing made-to-measure suits. With a workforce of 40 people producing bespoke outfits from the same building that the company still occupies.

It was also interesting hearing how the company has evolved:

“Through the ages and times, it’s changed quite a lot. The trade has now altered now as we are a high-class medium class retail business, with a formal hire department. At this present time, Tweed is a significant part of our business.”

When you follow Duncan James menswear online you will see straight away – their range and quality sees people from all over the country visiting Duncan James for their apparel.

A lot of the success of Duncan James doesn’t just come down to the quality of the product and the service, but also from the constant investment the company has made – even if it means they “never have any money”:

“We’ve always invested a lot of money into our retail and our hire, and we’ve always felt the importance of a quality garment and never gone down the cheap route. I think that’s part of our success. People come back because they know they’re going to get the quality and the service they want today because that’s very important. It doesn’t matter who on the team they see, they’re going to get looked after entirely, and that’s the big thing as well.
We try to train our staff how to look after people correctly, and that counts for a lot today.”

Service and quality once again – it really does go a long way!

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Walsall Menswear Hire

Always moving with, or even slightly ahead of the times, has kept Duncan James menswear as the top destination in the area for men’s formal hire:

“We’ve never got any money because we’re always invested it into new stock and new products because that’s what we want to do. We want to create the right style and make it perfect for the wedding of each couple.”

Staying on top of the day’s styles is essential, something echoed by James: “that’s the most important thing for us, and that’s all it’s about. We believe in garments that fit properly, so it’s imperative how people are fitted and looked after and the way the guys come out at the end. It’s critical to us.”

You are only as distinguished as your last happy client – knowing that the whole team at Duncan James have such high regard for the service of all of their guys!

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Receiving help and guidance while choosing the right suit for your wedding is so valuable – after all, where do you even begin?

“We start off by asking them what sort of garments they want, what sort of image they want for their wedding, it is certainly going a little more relaxed than the formal event now hence the Tweed era which we’re into now. We start off by finding out what colour they want. What type of garment, and then we take them through the range that we’re doing. It’s a quite a simple process for people, once they’ve decided on the colour suit they want, then we go through colour bridesmaids, image, everything else that is needed, and it’s a matter of trying garments on to make sure they’re happy with that choice.”

I also found it refreshing to hear how it’s far from a rush service:

“It may take two or three visits to our premises to find what they’re looking for; they’re not going to come in straight away and know precisely what they want. So we don’t put pressure on people. We’d rather than come in and over time and decide what they want, and to make sure they’re happy the end of the day.”

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Tweed Wedding Suits Hire from Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Whether it be tweed, tails, Edwards or a more standard cut of suit you are looking for to compliment your wedding, knowing that Duncan James has the range of size, cuts and finishes to suit all of your groomsmen and family, is fabulous.

“We cover from small boys from Age 4 to 5 up to 60″ chest for guys, and we get all set shapes and sizes. We do extra long, extra short fittings so that we can cater for pretty much 99% of people now.”

With Duncan James carrying all of their stock, having availability on-site is vast too – this isn’t a company that brings in suits after you’ve ordered!!

I’ve found it interesting talking to all of my suppliers about where their couples find them. From wedding fayres to websites, to personal referrals, it all changes with each company. James still believe in the power of wedding fayres; which I guess is why you can find them at so many!

“We still believe in wedding fairs to physically get out to people and show them what we do. We believe in our quality products, and you can’t always promote that on the Internet or any other way. 
Today of course, the internet is very important. We have an excellent webpage, and our Facebook page is operated by the two lads that work here, and they’re excellent, and they keep everybody updated with new products and the way we’re going.”

I can certainly testify to that, and from the excitement around their new announcements online, they are indeed hitting the mark!!

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

Top Advice from Wedding Menswear Specialists

Throughout this series, I have wanted to ‘pick the brains’ of the suppliers I’m talking to, to gain gems of advice to help you when planning your wedding.

Despite James’ initial reply of “I don’t have any brains”, I thought the tips he gave were fabulous!

Firstly thinking about time-frame: when should you book your menswear hire?

“You want to start looking at this about six months before the wedding, at which time we can give a quote, and they’ll have some idea what it’s going to cost. Once they decide that they’re happy we take a deposit.
We like all the measurements at least eight weeks before the wedding, to make sure that we have everything in place that they need if there are any strange sizes we need to know earlier rather than later, so we can get everything prepared and ready for them.”

Secondly, thinking about collecting your suits! I always recommend my grooms try EVERYTHING on when they receive their menswear, and I love the timeframe that Duncan James works to:

“Everything from us is ready on the Wednesday before the wedding. We always believe that they should have extra time to try things on to make sure everything’s okay. They’ve still got time to come back if there are any little problems and then we have everything back on the Monday after the wedding.”

Thirdly and a vital bit of advice here from James:

“Investigate different products ranges at other suppliers, and have a look around first. We wouldn’t say come to us because we’re the be all and end all – we believe we are, but I think they need to look at other products first. Always come in and try on as I think it’s important you try and garment to make sure that they fit and they look the part. That’s probably the most important thing to do.

 

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

You can find Duncan James Menswear online at:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

To see the full interview with James, please hit play on the video below:

If you want to visit the team at Duncan James menswear, to can find them on Mountrath Street in Walsall.

It’s definitely worth making an appointment if you want to talk in detail, but the door is always open, except for lunch between one and two! ;-)

The premier hire specialists for menswear in Walsall, the West Midlands and Staffordshire, Walsall Menswear Hire Specialists Duncan James

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