Generations of customers have come through the double dutch doors of the Ascot Shop on Girard Avenue since its opening in 1950; though the times have changed, the store’s undeniable fashion sense and dedication to its clients have not.
With 65 years of business under its belt and hundreds of fashionable brands to choose from, The Ascot Shop remains La Jolla’s “it” place to purchase that new suit, crisp new dress shirt, or a comfortable pair of slacks. What you may not have known, however, are these ten things that make this a truly unique men’s apparel store.
1. The Ascot Shop opened in 1950 under the watchful eye of a man named Jack Matzinger. Bill White, who now runs the shop with his three children, began working there while attending San Diego State University – Jack liked him so much that he began grooming Bill to eventually take over the store, which he did after Jack retired.
2. The Shop is actually named after the Ascot Thoroughbred horse races in England, which take place every year over the course of 26 days at the Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, England. It’s one of the leading racecourses in all of the UK and is closely associated with the British Royal Family- it’s just six miles from Windsor Castle.
3. The shop carries everything from full suit sets to dress shirts, polo shirts, and accessories – they offer men’s watches and even underwear.
4. A custom tailoring session comes totally free with every Ascot Shop purchase.
5. The Ascot Shop is all about customization – to the extreme! You can literally customize everything: the buttons (mother of pearl is an option), cuffs, stitching and liners (both inside and out; you can even write something on the back of your shirt collar), and pockets (tickets or pocket watches anyone?). You can get a slim fit, a regular fit, or anything in between that fits your body type; you can custom embroider your dress shirts and they only take about 4-6 weeks for delivery.
6. The Shop is home to a freshly remodeled Robert Talbott shop-within-a-shop, stocked exclusively with one-of-a-kind pieces from his collection. They’ve always had a special relationship with Talbott – the company started in Carmel the same year Ascot Shop opened. Back then, Robert’s wife would hand-sew ties for their friends, and he would travel to Europe searching for the best fabrics. When he came back, he drove along the west coast in search of seven stores to sell their wares at; the Ascot Shop was one of the original seven, and is the only one of those seven still selling their items today.
7. The Talbott Room was built as a tribute to their 65 years of partnership and friendship with the company. The room is furnished with the original yellow Carmel stone that can be found everywhere in the northern California town for which it’s named. The mini collection boasts nearly everything the original Talbott store has to offer – shirts, coats, pants, etc.
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8. Notice that wine fridge in the back of the room? That houses the specialty Robert Talbott line of wines- the family owns their own vineyard and the wines are all named after his children. Ask for a glass the next time you come in to try on a suit!
9. Some of their most unique specialty items include limited release Robert Graham shirts, 7-fold ties (which are unlined and folded into themselves seven times – a true collector’s item).
10. The store hosts trunk shows at least once every month, complete with live music, drinks, and catered cuisine. The show generally focuses on one of their main brands; their next one will be on Saturday, March 28 and will feature the Robert Graham collection.
If you’re a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of so many options, check out their Wardrobe Package. It includes two suits, two dress shirts, and two ties all for just $1495. The price includes basic alterations and their brand new selection of slim fit suits – it retails at more than $2,000!
The Ascot Shop is located at 7750 Girard Avenue in La Jolla. Their hours are Monday-Saturday from 10am-6pm.
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