Tailor brings style to Burlington
REAL PEOPLE with Mike Wilder
This Article Property of Times News Burlington
Charlie Green enjoys helping people look good in what they wear. That’s really what his business, L&J Fashions & Tailoring , is all about.
He’s been in business in Burlington since January 1997. Green has been at his current location, at 629 Hill Road, since 2002.
The business allows Green to use his varied skills: He does alterations, creates custom-made clothing and sells men’s and women’s fashions.
Traveling to places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York to find clothing he wants to sell is one of the best parts of his job, Green said.
"My work allows me to be diverse," Green said. He said he loves the excitement of traveling to pick out clothes and staying connected to the fashion industry that way.
He describes the clothing he sells as moderately priced to higher-end clothing. While he has more women customers than men, he displays plenty of suits and sports coats in his business, as well as more casual items such as khakis and jeans.
One mistake people make helps Green’s business: They buy something because they like the way it looks, without giving much thought to whether it fits them well.
Having garments that fit as well as possible can make a big difference in how a person looks, Green said. His regular customers trust his judgment as to whether they look good in something.
"That’s the art of tailoring ," he said.
"Part of being human, it seems, is an eternal dissatisfaction with our bodies," Green wrote to introduce a list of tips for making clothing more flattering. "Most of us have some feature that makes us cringe when we look in a dressing-room mirror."
However, Green said, "You don’t need a fabulous body to look good. The secret is knowing how to hide the parts you dislike and highlight the parts you love."
One tip from Green: Don’t wear clothing that is too baggy or too tight. Either will make the wearer look bigger than actual size.
Green said it’s a worthwhile investment to have a high-quality wardrobe item, such as a jacket, altered to fit the wearer’s body perfectly. Then the person will want to wear the item for years.
The business’ name is a tribute to two family members who passed away: Green’s brother, Larry, and his mother, Janie.
Green’s wife, Merle, helps with the financial side of the business.
"The Greens lived in Burlington until moving to Greensboro in 2005.
Because he only has part-time employees, Green’s days are long and busy. He’s open every day except Sunday. Many days, he’ll start work at 5 a.m. to get his alteration work done before the store opens at 9 a.m.
"Every day is a busy day," he said. "This type of retail work is a huge responsibility for a sole proprietor."
Green has 27 years of experience in his line of work. He’s a native of Georgetown, S.C. who began looking for a good career while he was still in high school.
"Through prayer, I came up with tailoring ," he said. He took Home Economics and Industrial Sewing classes and learned to create custom made garments for men and women. He studied Tailoring at Denmark Technical College in Denmark, S.C.
Green said he advertises in local publications, but "probably 80 percent of my business comes from word-of-mouth." With regular customers traveling from as far away as Raleigh and even Norfolk Virginia to patronize Green, it appears that this region has truly found a jewel.