Tailor Made To Suit Your Style

Despos Tailoring has earned a reputation for being the go-to authority for all things related to men’s and women’s tailoring, alterations and general fashion advice.
Sep 1, 2016
Lauren Caggiano
Steve Vorderman

Located next to The Fresh Market in Covington Plaza in Fort Wayne, Despos Tailoring is now one of several locally-owned businesses in the shopping center on Jefferson Boulevard. It relocated about three years ago from its previous location at Jefferson Pointe—a move which has served it well. Significantly larger than the former store, the space has an additional 1,100 square feet to enhance the experience for customers as well as employees.

The business continues to serve the needs of many longtime clients while attracting new ones. In fact, Despos has grown to be the largest tailor shop in the area over the past 76 years—and it’s easy to see why. Owner David Heltzel has extensive industry knowledge and is backed by talented staff, like Dominic Wardell, store manager and men’s clothier. Simply put, it’s easy to walk out of the store feeling like a million bucks, whether the original garment cost $150 or $1,500.

According to Heltzel, he’s basically in the business of helping people look and feel their best through fashion.“It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it,” he says. His team can custom tailor everything from formalwear to jeans—and everything in between. And that extends to brand new or wardrobe favorites--and men’s and women’s items alike. In fact about 70 percent of Despos’ customers are women. Heltzel, who is also the owner of Wendy’s Bridal, does a considerable amount of bridal business. An experienced seamstress is on staff and on site to cater to the needs of brides and prom goers.

Regardless of the occasion, tailoring is really the icing on the proverbial cake for anyone wishing to take their look to the next level. Well-fitting clothes can elevate a person’s appearance and potentially his or her stature in the workplace and beyond.  Perception is reality, as they say. 

“A well-dressed gentleman buys clothes off the rack, but takes the extra time to get them tailored,” Wardell says. 

Discerning, fashion conscious men understand this and make it a priority. Despos also caters to individuals looking for a more bespoke look. Custom topcoats start at about $800, an investment that lasts for years because they are a fashion staple. Custom suits start at about $500 and have an equally long shelf life. Speaking of time, a custom suit can be made in as little as four weeks’ time. And day-to-day jobs, like hemming, are affordable. While the shop has a high-end feel you’d find in a bigger city, that doesn’t mean the customer pays more for that image.  

“People expect that when they come in, we’re going to be pricey, but that’s not the case,” he says. “They are usually pleasantly surprised.”

Along with reasonable pricing, they are adamant about maintaining the utmost level of quality. “We do things the correct way the first time around, not the shortcut way,” he says. 

It all comes back to attention to detail---a point which Heltzel takes seriously. He’s quick to offer a fashion tip here and there. For example, dressing well for men can be as simple as knowing how to pull together the right pieces. He recommends getting a well-fitted blazer and dress shirt, paired with a nice pair of shoes.  This is an easy way to go from a corporate office environment to a casual dinner date in no time at all. His rule of thumb: It’s easier to dress down. It’s harder to dress up. And when in doubt, have a garment custom-fitted by an expert craftsman.

Despos Tailoring

Owner(s): David Heltzel

Address: 6338 West Jefferson Blvd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804

Phone: (260) 434-1377

Website: despostailoring.net

Email: david@despostailoring.net

Years in Business: 76

IMG Insurance Management Group

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