Customers may walk into Top Hat & Tails as mere men, wearing jeans that sag off the waistline or scuff against the floor. But they leave as gentlemen, sporting fine men’s clothing and formalwear tailored to a T. Co-owners Brian Berry and Horace Kinard—who has been haberdashering for 20 years—take measurements onsite and alter in-house to drape dapper gents in fine suits, ties, tuxes, custom shirts, and shoes. A seasonally rotating catalog of styles from Calvin Klein, Joseph Abboud, and Oscar de la Renta elevates the elegance of invitees to weddings, dances, or black-tie balls. As Berry told Maplewood Patch last year, “We’ve had everything from Sweet Sixteens to every other formal event you can think of,” including musicians from the Philharmonic, who presumably came in to replace their glockenspiel's torn cummerbund.
In Orange Garden Center's expansive nursery and store, cherry-bomb barberries and japanese maple trees keep watch over purple, yellow, and red flowers, all clad in leafy outfits. More than 800 varieties of perennials lend years of color to lawns, and friendly staffers assist more modest makeovers with stone accents, topsoil, and mulches in hardwood or cedar. After running curious palms over Orange Garden Center's stock of ornamental grasses, patrons can retreat inside to peruse gardening tools and specialty items, such as deer repellent and books on tape, to keep plants entertained while their owners are at work. Orange Garden Center also offers a selection of pottery and window boxes, and customers who purchase pottery can take advantage of the custom flower potting area, where staff is available to plant new purchases at no extra cost.
Diamond Designs inspirits limbs by providing high-quality watches, rings, and other dazzling body ornaments for both men and women. Garnish wrists with a Wenger Black Battalion Diver watch ($225), which comes equipped with water-resistant coating and the ability to fast-forward through Thursdays. Akoya black-cultured-pearl earrings ($75.26) lend lobes timeless class, and a sterling silver fleur-de-lis ring ($60.10) encircles hand branches with odorless alternatives to Funyun finger-wear. Consult the guidance of Diamond Designs' platoon of keen-eyed professionals to ensure a knowledgeable purchase, or employ the pinpoint precision of gemologists to restore broken bling. Battery installments resuscitate lagging watches ($10–$15), allowing wearers to experience time in real time and shiny bands get in shape during ring sizing sessions ($30–$40).
The Hartford Advocate named Consignment Originals the Third-Best Consignment Store of 2010. While there aren't many online reviews for the Rocky Hill and Orange locations, five Insider Pagers give the Cheshire location a four-star average: