The Power of New in Shirt Fabrics.

Top Shelf is honored to be one of a small handful of accounts in the United States selected by Gladson, LTD. to introduce a refreshing concept that’s long overdue. Even though suit use is down, men still like to look good. The woolen mills of Italy and England have responded with sport coat materials that incorporate lush designs and mouth-watering colors. Fresh colors like burgundy, teal, brown and green are used as both backgrounds and accents.
Now it’s time for the shirt fabric industry to catch up. Putting patterned shirts on top of patterned coats can be a challenge. Most men opt for basic solid colors in white, blue, yellow and lavender, rather than risk making a “mistake”.
Gladson, Ltd. has designed an initial collection of over 70 fabrics with micro designs in an assortment of hues that can totally change how coats look by flattering out the mélange of colors in sophisticated sport coats. These shirts function like solids but morph depending on how they get matched to different coats and suits.
The quality of the material is an important part of the offering. These shirtings are woven in Italy in 120/2 ply yarn, in poplin and twill constructions in a year round weight for incredible comfort.
Our custom shirts are sewed in America with all the many benefits of having shirts custom made. That includes shirts that fit, along with details of co-ordinating buttons, thread colors, flattering collar and cuff design, and longevity.
Top Shelf is offering these shirts at introductory pricing. We often explain to our clients that in material’s cost there is a good, better, best story. Our goal is to deliver best for the price of better to get these shirts in the hands of our customers and gauge response. Call for pricing.  John will be happy to help you.
Even in the era of Zoom, it helps to look and feel good!

One of the ways we try and stay in touch with customers is with Mailchimp newsletters with a few topics to keep our clients in the loop of what’s been going on during the pandemic lock down, and the reality is that only about 40% open them. The majority of the others get lost in either spam, or promotional filters that accumulate by the thousands and never get opened. It’s just the way the world works. So here in my blog posts I try and feature the most important elements in case you’re looking at our website and hit the blog button to see what’s happening. Here’s the link to the newsletter in case you’re interested:

February 2021 Newsletter

For anyone who wants to take a peak at our February Mailchimp/Newsletter, here’s the link:

The highlights include a heart felt thank you for the customers who have helped us stay afloat, and  a few images of wedding suits, suits just made for fun, and one of several one of a kind topcoats we’ve made this year during pandemic. The other featured blurbs are around the Return of Wedding Plans, as well as our use of Zoom during the pandemic, and the announcement of new Spring fabrics from Cloth by Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Carlo Barbera, United Silk and Woolens, Scabal, Holland & Sherry and many other fine mills.

Image courtesy Gladson, LTD. His jacket Bamboo collection


Thanks to Pee Wee’s Playhouse, making my Zoom calls a little less serious.

Updated Dry Cleaning Recommendations

Our cleaner of record, Hiawatha Cleaners has closed. In business since 1939, the Covid crisis has taken them down. We could not be more sad. We referred hundreds of customers to them over the last 20 years. They were like family to us and our clients, with excellent staff and owners who had pride in the quality of the work. Small enough to have the time to get to know their customers, inspect the work, and stand behind it. No delivery service but definitely worth the trip. The owners of Hiawatha have been kind enough to bring the owner of the cleaners they think will be able to deliver similar quality.  We have been sending work to them and other cleaners and below is a list of cleaners we have tested and recommend.

Jim Fingerman is the owner of 5 locations listed below. His e-mail address is  Jim has come in and introduced himself to Top Shelf and has been willing to try and fill the shoes left by Hiawatha.  His Pilgrim Cleaners is NOT a part of the 31 store chain of Pilgrim stores, so don’t assume all Pilgrim Cleaners are being recommended. This Pilgrim Cleaners is the main facility for all the shirt laundry and most of the dry cleaning done at his group of stores.

Pilgrim Cleaners    2901 W. 66th St., Richfield, 55423

Edina Cleaners  4530 France Ave S. Suite 100, 55410

Hallmark Cleaners-3 locations Edina, Bloomington and Minneapolis

Here are other cleaners we can recommend in the metro area:

All Season Cleaners delivery and locations in North Loop and suburbs

Uptown Cleaners/Prestige Cleaning Center    1614 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612) 822-6855


Best Cleaners (offers delivery, multiple locations)

Wayzata Home Laundry 820 Wayzata Blvd E, Wayzata, MN 55391 (952) 473-9511

Woodbury Cleaners (offers delivery)

St. Paul recommended:

Skyline Cleaners  718 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116  (651) 340-2452

Midway Cleaners  1802 St Clair (@ Fairview)  St. Paul, MN 55105  651.699.2445


Opened with Covid Preparedness

Tuesday May 19th marks the return to work for Top Shelf. We have many customers to contact for appointments for fittings on work in progress, and new and existing clients already have appointments for this week. Our biggest concern is the safety of both staff and clients. Our Covid plan for the foreseeable future includes masks when unable to social distance, hand washing upon entry, temperature checks, and constant sanitation and disinfectant of all the touchable surfaces. We’ve connected through webinars with other custom clothiers around the US and shared many good ideas adaptable to different businesses. We are very fortunate to have a large showroom area, and a spacious workroom to be able to bring back our crew. Even so, staff will work different days and hours to cut down on contact with one another.

An interesting topic has been discussed on how the virus might linger on clothing. One good thing is that our clients will only be trying clothing on that is made for them.  We will be protecting all our garments in plastic until ready to be tried on, and will hang for 48 hours after being worked on. Evidence suggests that it’s much harder to catch the virus from a soft surface like fabric, although it might linger on hard surfaces like buttons and zippers. We like to have customers be able to touch and feel fabric swatches, and we’ll be leaving any samples out in the open exposed to sunlight as much as possible for natural disinfecting.


Tina Schlieske rocking at Top Shelf

Top Shelf has been honored to have many local musicians as clients, like Paul Peterson, The New Standards and Jeremy Messersmith wearing our tailored outfits in front of thousands of people.  This year just before the Covid crisis took off, we were proud to add another veteran of the Minneapolis music scene Tina Schlieske (  She had seen Wesley Snipes wearing a beautiful burgundy tuxedo for the Golden Globes and wanted a similar one. She also had a favorite coat, in red velvet and requested another in green velvet.

Tina is most well known in the Twin Cities for over 2 decades of performing with Tina and the B-Sides, and recently for several Dakota shows of Frank Sinatra tributes, and as special guest with the New Standards laying them in the aisles with her rendition of James Brown’s “This is a Man’s World”. She now calls Santa Barbara home with her partner and two children.