The new classics

Style

June 1, 2020



Ole Mason Jar brings its custom and curated menswear to South End.

by Cathy Martin

South End just keeps getting hotter, as local boutiques and coveted national retailers alike open up shop in the district. Among the latest is Charlotte menswear brand Ole Mason Jar, which last month debuted its flagship store at Design Center of the Carolinas.

Founded in 2013 by college friends and North Carolina natives Bradley Rhyne and Filipe Ho, Ole Mason Jar is best known for its custom and off-the-rack button-downs, sport coats, suits and ties. Now it’s looking to expand with OMJ, a new line of ready-to-wear basics such as supersoft T-shirts, ball caps, and eventually, shirts, jackets and accessories. 

“We wanted things that are a little more like weekend wear,” says Rhyne, who is quite familiar with the classic banker-bro style, having worked in finance until 2016. “I think guys care now, more than ever, about how they dress,” he says. “There’s also a need for guys who like to dress down but still look put together.” 

At 1,800 square feet, the store is more than quadruple the size of Ole Mason Jar’s previous uptown location at Brevard Court. Grab a seat at the counter — future plans call for an in-house coffee bar — and get to know the staff before you browse. Lining the walls you’ll find sport coats ($550-$650) and button-downs ($125) in fabrics ranging from seersucker to chambray, brushed cotton to crisp poplin. The traditional color palette leans toward blues, reds and grays, and shirts come in a variety of solids and patterns, including stripes, plaids, gingham and houndstooth. Ties, belts, shoes (crafted in Spain) and other accessories round out the line. Ole Mason Jar also sells wedding suits starting at $595.

Many of its button-down oxfords are still made in North Carolina, though Rhyne says producing garments domestically is getting harder as more plants shut down. 

Eventually, Ole Mason Jar plans to carry other brands at the store, including a denim line and, possibly, collaborations with other labels.

What sets Ole Mason Jar apart, Rhyne says, is the fit (not too blousy, but not super-slim), high-quality fabrics (“You’ve got to touch it and feel it”) and the ability to offer made-to-order shirts, sport coats and accessories with short turnaround times.  

“When we started, we spent so much time building relationships with the factories that we worked with,” Rhyne says. “Our U.S. factory normally would only work with us if we were buying like 1,000 shirts. We did not buy 1,000 shirts,” he laughs.

Rhyne and Ho developed similar relationships with their producers overseas.

“I think that’s what has allowed us to pivot like we have done,” Rhyne says. “And I think that has been a differentiator for us.” 

While Ole Mason Jar expects to sell more off-the-rack clothing at its new larger location, Rhyne says there are no plans to scale back on custom apparel.

“Guys want something that not everybody else has so they can make it their own.” SP

OMJ is located at 1930 Camden Rd., Ste. 125. olemasonjar.com

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