A Better Deal Tuxedo: High fashion and timeless style
By Marti Gacioch
For 16 years, the family- owned and operated A Better Deal Tuxedo store at 369 Bird Rock Ave. and La Jolla Blvd., has provided the best in high fashion suits, tuxedos and accessories for every occasion.
“We fit customers ages 4 and up for everything from weddings to proms to special events, school dances, fundraisers and more,” said owner Jerry Klein. “Our customers include the musicians’ union, the San Diego Youth Symphony, the wait staff and bartenders at many of the city’s better restaurants and some of the city’s top athletes and media people.”
In a way, Klein joked that he had to return to Earth to enter the formalwear business. “In the late 1960s, I was working as an ironworker 20 stories up, in the Chicago wintertime, when I saw an ad to work in the formalwear business,” Klein said. “I applied with Gingiss Formal International; they hired me, and I loved the work.”
Klein said he began managing the company’s different stores and helping set up new franchises across the country. He learned every facet of the formalwear business and advanced rapidly. He was promoted to vice-president of the company within 10 years. By then he and his wife, Janet, had three daughters, and his frequent traveling limited family time, so he resigned and moved to California.
Retirement proved brief for Klein, who said he really enjoyed and missed the formalwear business. He opened his current location, offering both tuxedo and suit sales and rentals, and specialized in personal service.
In 2011, the International Formalwear Association voted A Better Deal Tuxedo the best store in the country.
The entire inventory is on location, and over the years, the company expanded the store into adjoining storefronts to accommodate its increasing volume. Among the designer styles in stock are suits by Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Perry Ellis.
“We have something for everybody’s budget, and since we have everything on-site, it makes it easier for people to choose our store because we have control over the quality of our products,” Klein said. “Our customers don’t have to wait for something to be delivered and hope it fits.”
Klein said weddings make up about 70 percent of his business, and July and August are the biggest wedding months.
A Better Deal Tuxedo plans an August sale of rental formalwear. Check with the store for details.
A Better Deal Tuxedo
• Address: 369 Birdrock Ave., La Jolla
• Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
• Phone: (858) 551-6044
• Website: abetterdealtuxedo.com
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