Suddenly, as if by magic.


The shopkeeper appeared.

Words: Paul Chapman

Images: Ingmans


The radio is on, there’s a smell of glue and Andy Ingman is talking passionately about beards and three-piece suits. I’m back at Ingmans Gentlemen's Outfitters, catching up with Andy and Abbey for part two of our discussion about the business.


“It’s a personal bespoke outfitting service. You can try a great range of quality shirts, ties, suits with a selection of shoes that match, all with a coffee whilst you see what you need to look your best for your special event.”

I love a job where you can have the radio on, something you can’t do in a ‘real job’ as I used to call mine, it creates an environment that’s a bit more human, and through the door in the cobblers area where Andy is most at home.


I start with a chat with Abbey Proctor, assistant manager. Abbey has been at Ingmans since opening at Burlington Street. “I love to offer a personal approach to what we do”, says Abbey. “The smaller brands are more exclusive but come without the massive designer price tag, something an independent business can offer, and something our customers love from the fantastic feedback we receive.”


Always working towards something new, I’m taken upstairs to check out progress on the ‘dressing room’.



“We’ve created a personal wardrobe,” explains Abbey. “Got a wedding coming? Ingman’s can lay out a room of products that match your requirements, brown brogues and grey three piece, no problem. We’ll dress the room and you can spend some time selecting your outfit.

“It’s a personal bespoke outfitting service. You can try a great range of quality shirts, ties, suits with a selection of shoes that match, all with a coffee whilst you see what you need to look your best for your special event.”


The new service was launched on Friday 8 November with a small party and I can’t help comparing it to Mr Benn, which, for those who don’t know, was a cartoon dating from the 1970s where Mr Benn selects an outfit to try, and is whisked away on a related adventure. Go check out youtube… I never realised how little animation there was in this!


“It was a great move, a small range of quality brands, some UK, some European but all quality and small enough to be different.”

Ingman’s have been stocking a range of gentlemen's clothing alongside their shoes since 2004, 15 years ago. Andrew explains that “at first it was a small range, but we’ve expanded over the years to include products from Baileys, Gibson London, Giordano, Guide London, John Victor, Knightsbridge Neckwear, Leonard Silver, Mac Jeans, Olymp Shirts, Peregrine, Tootal, Trapper, Tresanti & Viyella.


“I was originally inspired to add the clothing range after reading ‘Gentlemen: A Timeless Fashion' by Bernhard Roetzel. It tells of a time when gentlemen wore beards and dressed in three-piece suits and I decided it was time we started doing attire.


“It was a great move, a small range of quality brands, some UK, some European but all quality and small enough to be different.”


The clothing is traditional gent, stylish and sophisticated. The range covers all ages, from young to senior years - you might describe it as Peaky Blinders meets country gent.

The success of the introduction of clothing has been supported by Ingmans being selected as finalist in the Chesterfield Retail Awards.


Abbey adds “We have a quality feel to what we do but our prices aren’t what you’d expect either. Our suits start from £200, high street prices for something that will be more unique and of a much higher quality.


“It’s great to see things having an extended life, something destined for the back of the cupboard brought back to life, ‘reloved’ you might say.”

“For instance, the wax jacket from Peregrine as featured in last month’s advert in S40 Local, is £205. A UK brand made in Bristol, with Tom Hardy as their ambassador, set yourself apart from the high street.”


The footwear range at Ingmans includes Loake, Joseph Cheaney, Barker, Trickers, Duca del Cosma and La Chapeau.


The footwear repair side of the business is flourishing. People of Chesterfield have been using Andy’s services for years and there’s a resurgence in people wanting to avoid waste, so they’re buying better quality and getting things repaired.


What gets me whenever I call in is Andy’s attention to detail. He takes time over each job, every one gets the attention it deserves. “What comes in as a simple job might well develop into something that takes time,” he enthuses. “It’s great to see things having an extended life, something destined for the back of the cupboard brought back to life, ‘reloved’ you might say.”


“I think my business is the best thing since sliced bread, and I love a bit of banter with the customers.”

The news about the quality of the repairs being done is spreading. “Ingmans is well known outside of Chesterfield,” Andy beams. “We’ve created a niche product that meets demands, we offer consistency and a quality found in very few places today. This has been rewarded by Joseph Cheaney using us for their repairs and we are the only official Barker repairer in the country.”


Check out the google reviews for Ingman’s, it’s testament to the hard work the team put in, and Ingman’s offers some fantastic options for those looking for the perfect Christmas gift.

Andrew’s passion for his business is summed up in his last comment, “I think my business is the best thing since sliced bread, and I love a bit of banter with the customers.”

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