Gentleman's Closet offers high-end clothes for less - DatelineCarolina

Gentleman's Closet offers high-end clothes for less in ‘barbershop' atmosphere

Owner Dean Ellison’s dog, Cotton, is The Gentleman’s Closet’s unofficial mascot and spends every day at the store. R. Darren Price / The Carolina Reporter Owner Dean Ellison’s dog, Cotton, is The Gentleman’s Closet’s unofficial mascot and spends every day at the store. R. Darren Price / The Carolina Reporter
A sale sign sits over a clothing rack at The Gentleman’s Closet on Saluda Street in Five Points.  The store offers name brand men’s clothes on consignment from local retailers as well as gently used garments. R. Darren Price / The Carolina Reporter A sale sign sits over a clothing rack at The Gentleman’s Closet on Saluda Street in Five Points. The store offers name brand men’s clothes on consignment from local retailers as well as gently used garments. R. Darren Price / The Carolina Reporter

Gentleman's Closet offers high-end clothes for less in ‘barbershop' atmosphere

By Hank DeHart
Edited by Liz Segrist

Posted Feb. 24

Making the transition into the business world can be tough for young men and women when the time comes to graduate to  wearing quality business attire for the professional world. 

Fortunately, for men in the Columbia area, the Gentleman's Closet at 717 Saluda Ave. offers high-end consignment clothing from local retailers and gently used menswear from private consigners, as well as a forum for rich conversation with fellow Columbia residents.

Beyond the clothing racks, the Gentleman's Closet exists as a place for barbershop style gab surrounding local and national politics and culture.

"This is just a great place to hang out," Bernie Baum said, long-time patron and former member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

Owner Dean Ellison shares the workspace with his 14-year-old yellow lab Cotton, who Ellison claims is a local celebrity. 

Ellison may play the role of a hard-nosed curmudgeon of a small business owner, but spend more than 10 minutes in the Gentleman's Closet and it becomes clear that while patrons may first visit the store for cheap alternatives to luxury brand clothes, they will return for Ellison's charm and the laid back atmosphere.

Although Ellison admits times are tough and department stores are doing the bulk of the clothing business, he continues to offer help to young people and provide a place to catch up on local affairs.

Ellison offers a jovial and light-hearted attitude about the nature of the store. 

"It's a crummy store, and we know it, but every neighborhood needs a crummy store," Ellison joked.

The Gentleman's Closet offers a range of suits, button-downs, polo's, ties, and trousers, and Ellison said the store is the bowtie capital of South Carolina.

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