Slideshow: Punctuation by Tarboo

Small-batch men’s shirting, made in Seattle, built to last.

December 9, 2010

Slideshow: Inside Punctuation’s shop-in-shop with Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes and Matt Noren

If you’re under 40 and have never lived in some attic apartment on Saville Row — or in a luxe townhouse nearby — or traveled to Vietnam with an expressed goal of having your favorite suit knocked off in cream linen, you’ve probably never put on a custom-made shirt. Chances are decent, actually, that you’ve never slipped into a piece-by-piece, handmade shirt at all. It’s just not how we live anymore. Or, I should say, it hasn’t been how we’ve lived lately.

At Punctuation, Style Counselor Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes and local designer Matt Noren of Tarboo are changing that. The tag on their relaunched website reads, "Northwest Fashion: Not an oxymoron."

The Capitol Hill mixed-use gallery space just launched a pocket-sized shop-in-shop in the westernmost corner of their storefront that takes objects that have stood the test of fifty years or so and puts them alongside small batch shirts that are built to be around for another half century or more.

Alley-Barnes and Noren, who have been friends since attending the Northwest School together some years ago, (edited: the two met at Punctuation) make about a shirt a day (actually, two or three a day). The images in this slideshow get you close enough to see the careful corners and rich materials, but you need to hold one in your hand to gauge the impeccable construction, ultra-clean lines, and subtle (very subtle) details. One thing you won’t see: The extremely reasonable price tag. Tarboo shirts are about a hundred dollars. Both men want their friends and community to be able wear these shirts, and the price points reflect that.

Watch the slideshow here to learn more about the shop and preview the new and old apparel you’ll find there this weekend, Saturday and Sunday December 11 & 12, when Punctuation stays open from 12 to 8 and offers sale prices during the Pike and Pine Holiday Shopping Weekend.

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