The Jewish people have always had an interest in Schmutter. 30 years ago, ‘working in Schmutter’ was pretty much the only Jewish job anyone ever had in North London and East London. Working with suits, uniforms, fabrics, Jews seemed to fall naturally into the “Schmutter Business,” which one could attribute to their attention to detail or if you ask me, its just because they like to say the word “Schmutter.” (hehe)
But on a recent day trip with one of my girlfriends, I found myself galavanting across North West London to no other than Hatch End, to pick up some suits and waistcoats ahead of her son’s wedding next month. Fair enough, I rarely venture out this way (even though they recently got a Delisserie so its an excuse to go back) but picking up the Schmutter from the store Impeccable was quite an experience, I’ll have you know.
(By the way, Impeccable have no idea that I am writing this and this is all based on a random visit and me taking pictures without them knowing – sorry guys!)
Impeccable is the go-to place for men buying suits, ties and other formal wear for a Barmitzvah, wedding or any other occasion. The remarkable thing, in this small store, is the feeling of Jewish warmth that you get on arrival, which can only be compared to coming home for a Friday Night Shabbos.
The place has been run for over 20 years by power couple Karen and Gerry Bratt (who I believe have their daughter’s wedding coming up soon so a big mazel tov!). Not only can I barely agree what takeaway to get with my husband, but the idea of working with him? Forget it.
Yet, Karen and Gerry seem to have a natural partnership meaning that you feel at ease, regardless of how stressful buying formal wear can be (very, by the way) and no matter how busy they are – you still feel you are getting their attention. But despite the Jewish feeling, there is no indication that this is a Jewish store or exclusive in any way. The customers seem to come from all walks of life and all religions and they have attracted attention from celebrities (they kitted out Eamonn Holmes for his wedding to Ruth). Karen and Gerry have got it right.
Its all about the wall … The walls are covered with photos of different customers from over the years wearing the Impeccable Schmutter from all kinds of anniversaries, weddings and Barmitzvahs and even someone receiving a knighthood from the Queen (look closely in the middle).
You will never believe it but there is a picture of my friend’s son at his Barmitzvah, still on the wall! He is now 27 by the way, but the wall means that he and his awkward years will be immortalised forever …
There are several staff members, not just Karen and Gerry and they are all lovely and as helpful as the next – each with years and years of experience under their belt. My favourite was probably this one (although I’m sorry that I don’t know her name!) but she reminds me of the character from The Incredibles, known as Edna Mode, who was also in fashion and notoriously anti-cape.
The entire process of walking into the store and buying your Schmutter from Impeccable feels like a big part of the Simcha experience and almost a coming of age, so probably ideal if you’re having a Barmitzvah!
On behalf of my friend and her son getting married next month, thank you Impeccable for all your work and for helping everyone over the years with their Simcha!
G-d Bless you my boobalahs,
The Jewish Mother
Speaking of Schmutter, I recently came across Chicken Soup who make gorgeous bags, t-shirts and sweatshirts with popular Jewish or Yiddish phrases. I think these are hilarious! Maybe you know someone who is a Mensch or needs to Keep Schtum, they have very generously offered to give away 5 prizes to our lucky winners! You will have your choice of either a bag or t-shirt worth up to £15.00 each.
ENTER THE COMPETITION HERE ON FACEBOOK and Winners will be announced next Friday 4th November on my facebook page!
You can shop for yours at ChickenSoup.London