Story: Jeff Loring

Every life is formed by the people that surround us, care for us, love us, and shape us; our mentors.

They changed my life profoundly. They were the torch bearers.

Growing up I experienced a wonderful life with great mentors. Perhaps the people that had the most impact on my life were my aunt Mattie and uncle Herschel and my in-laws, Louise and Marshall Cothran Jr. They were people of great strength as they supported one another and their families unconditionally. I watched my aunt (affectionately known as Sister) perform her daily duties as a farmer’s wife. I watched my mother-in-law (affectionately known as Moanie) live out her life as a mother, wife, and school teacher, with more grace and love then I had ever seen. Sister and Monie taught me more about life and faith than anyone. They changed my life profoundly. They were homemakers and cooks-extraordinaire. They created beautiful dishes of food, and crafted many beautiful things by hand. Quilts, dresses, shirts, hand-knitted sweaters, cross-stitched bedspreads and pillows. They were the torch bearers.

Uncle Herschel, a farmer and self-made man, was a true man of dedication and faith. My father-in-law Marshall Cothran Jr. was a kind, gentle man of faith and inspiration. I suppose the best term for all the heroes of mine would be "salt of the earth." While M. C.’s job was band director in the public school system, he always dressed "to the nines." He loved good quality clothing and was always immaculate even in his farm clothes. He too was a farmer, albeit, on the weekends. Uncle Herschel too was always well dressed. He was a full time farmer so for his daily farm chores he wore a khaki shirt, khaki pants, a straw hat, and brown cotton work gloves. If we needed to go to town for supplies, he would change into a fresh new pair of khakis and his best straw hat. On Sundays for church, he would don these beautiful suits with matching ties and shirts and of course the perfect hat and cap toe oxfords shined to a mirror like finish.

While it is true that clothing does not make the man, what we wear and how we look refines our character.

They would tell me of the times when they became a men and their fathers took them to buy a "suit of clothes" when Marshall went to college and Herschel when he went out into the world on his own. This was a rite of passage; a sign that they were now men. I remember as a boy longing for the day when I too could take that rite of passage; a beautiful idea that seems to get lost in our culture today.

Just as our forbearers formed us with traditions, we at Stitch-It / Loring & Co. want to carry the torch passed to us by previous generations. To create a place to provide a special experience, an experience with emphasis on personal design, attention to detail, exceptional quality and value.  An experience based not on the products we make but the relationships we build.

While it is true that clothing does not make the man, what we wear and how we look refines our character.


Start the process to make your own "suit of clothes" with Jeff. Learn more about our custom menswear below.