Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sherbet Tones for Manly Men

Kind readers, are you having a colorful moment? Do you yearn to transform that moment into a fashion statement? I suggest Jantzen 100s. Janzten's collection of shirts and slacks in sherbet tones--solids and prints--are crisp and colorful. They're made of 100% polyester, perfect for muggy summer days. Stop by Mellencamp's and peruse them for yourself.

Where's that, you ask? Why, it's the old C. S. Wortley clothing store, founded in 1876 at 122 Michigan on the north side. A 1973 Ypsi Press article by Charles Slat, published in a series of sesquicentennial articles, gives the history of this centennial clothing store beloved by many longtime residents. Excerpted below; read the whole article [minus one tiny snipped bit] at bottom (click on any image to enlarge).

"Nestled among the small shops and businesses that line Michigan Avenue is Mellencamp's clothing store. The store was founded in 1876 by a man named C. S. Wortley and grew to be one of the city's most ambitious enterprises.

"C. S. Wortley's became known in the city as the "Style Store for Men" and at one tie prior to the turn of the century competed with some of the more prestigious Detroit clothing stores.

"One of the early employees of the store was a man named Edgar A. Mellencamp, who took an avid interest in the affairs of the business.

"Mellencamp's interest grew until the year 1919 when the eager employee realized one of his fondest wishes--he bought the store from Wortley . . .

"In October of 1948 Edgar Mellencamp died and his interest in the store was [bought by partners William Stevens and Collin Bonner] . . . the name was so well established in the outlying areas [that the duo did not change it] . . .

"Stevens said the success of the store can be attributed to the good customer relations which it has cultivated.

"'The store has always been operated under the same idea of personalized service,' Stevens said. 'We were the first in the Ypsilanti area to feature the now common revolving charge account.'"

Mellencamp's closed in the 1980s.

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