Kirby’s Men’s Wear owner Martin Shine. Kirby’s is a multi-generational family business that has been open for more than 50 years. Photos by David R. Wheeler.
By Madison Irwin, AliveTampaBay correspondent
As ZZ Top once said, “Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp-dressed man.” Here in Florida, no one is judged for wearing shorts and flip flops; however, in the working world (as well as the fashion world), it’s not going to fly. When it comes to women’s fashion, there are numerous clothing stores that offer a variety of formal wear options, but I’ve noticed that there aren’t as many choices for men. Men like to dress nice, too; and they should.
At Kirby’s Men’s Wear, there’s no need to worry about what to wear because they offer so many choices. More specifically, they cater to men who appreciate and yearn for a fine taste in style. Not only do they offer a great selection of top brands, but they can also custom-fit clothing, all to ensure you walk out looking like a million bucks. With a five-star rating on Yelp, it’s easy to see why they pride themselves in excellent quality and customer service.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression,” said owner Martin Shine. “I’ll see people eating at a nice restaurant and the wife or girlfriend is dressed nice, but the man is wearing a sweatshirt. Most of my customers are professionals, like top salesmen and attorneys, and it’s important for them to look and feel their best in the work environment, as well as in public.”
Located on South Dale Mabry Highway, Kirby’s Men’s Wear is a multi-generational family business that has been open for more than 50 years. Born and raised in Tampa, Martin Shine grew up in the retail business. His father, Mark Shine, opened up Kirby’s in 1959, after his father (Martin’s grandfather) closed his store in Ybor City. The store, which was called The Palacia, sold various items, such as jewelry, clothing, and appliances.
As a young boy, Martin helped his father out in the store as much as he could. After graduating college with a business degree, he decided to take over the family business; that’s when he bought Kirby’s from his dad in 1985.
When I asked Shine why they went with the name “Kirby,” I was expecting some funny or complicated back story (after all, the first thought that I had involved a video game). Instead, he chuckled and said, “My dad picked up a phone book, looked at a few names, and stumbled on Kirby. He wanted a name that was easy to remember.”
Kirby’s Men’s Wear strives to be Tampa’s most elite menswear store. To that end, Shine recently came back from a trip to Sweden, where he was personally invited by ETON, a global dress shirt company, to attend a factory visit and exclusive brand program called ETON College.
Kirby’s offers an entire collection of modern tailored clothing, dress furnishings, and sportswear, all with the convenience of having their own in-house tailor shop, as well as in-home or office wardrobe consulting. From denim to high-end Italian suits, this store has you covered. Most of their formal wear is made in Italy and Canada. Some of their most sought-after suits include Canali, Corneliani, and Samuelsohn (ranging from $1,800 to $2,500).
They’ve even adapted to the Florida weather in which lighter fabrics and casual options are available, as well. In addition to formal wear, some other items include polo shirts, socks, shoes, sport coats, umbrellas, and cologne. Now, I’m not a man; but if I were, there’s no doubt I would be shopping at this store. You might even say I could go crazy for a Kirby’s-dressed man.