Classic Styles with Personal Flair at KUHLMAN

Shopping the Indies on 1st took Amy from Sassafras and I to six independent shops in the historic neighborhood of Belltown in Seattle. I wrote previously about the Federal Army & Navy SurplusSell Your Sole Consignment, and Endless Knot. Today is all about KUHLMAN. Before the week is out, I’ll have even more details about Reclaim Decor and Sassafras, the final two places we visited.

Maggie from Blue Hour Photography hung out with us that day and captured all the fun. All the photos in my posts about the Indies on 1st are her work.


Scott Kuhlman opened KUHLMAN in 1999 to offer Seattle’s men and women a place to find classic styles with that extra something special. KUHLMAN exudes a kind of sophisticated coolness embodied by people like George Clooney and Frank Sinatra. Just being there makes me feel a little bit taller, more with it, clever.

The bright, neon “K,” which sits atop tall shelves of fabric, reigns over the scenes below. It is the essence of cool to have a giant, glowing K in a store devoted to sharp, tailored fashion.

Holiday Gifts for the Guys

This coolness, and the sense of masculinity it conveys, makes KUHLMAN an excellent place to shop for gifts for the guys.

They provide almost anything a man could want when it comes to clothes and accessories. Alongside their suits and tailored pieces, they offer more casual sportswear, sweaters, and jeans.

Clothing for men available at KUHLMAN in Seattle.
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

In addition, there are accessories galore–hats, ties, watches, sunglasses, and socks, not to mention cold-weather gear like gloves and scarves. They also have a line of gorgeous plaid weekend and overnight bags.

Accessories at KUHLMAN in Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

If you’re unable to get to the store but need ideas for your special guy, nearly all of these items are available on their website. This also goes for the items from their women’s section that I feature below.

If you do live nearby but can’t find the right size, you can always go bespoke. What guy wouldn’t want something tailor-made just for him?

For the Ladies

Of course, being who we are, Amy and I were as interested in what KUHLMAN has for women as we were in finding gifts for our hubbies. I suspect if you’re reading this article, you’re interested in what we found for women as well.

When we arrived, there was a stack of outfits chosen by the team at KUHLMAN for us to try. As you can see from the photo below, it was quite a haul–and that wasn’t everything they had to offer.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

I go a little crazy for the kind of tailored, timeless looks KUHLMAN is known for. That might explain why I grabbed up all the outfits Scott’s team had pulled for us to try on and made a mad dash for the dressing room. It wasn’t until I was writing this article that I realized Amy had not participated in this. (I’m sorry, Amy!!)

Sweaters to Love and Live In

She did, however, find a sweater on her own that she fell in love with. She loved it so much that she bought it and wore it out of the shop.

High-quality sweaters at KUHLMAN in Seattle.
You can see me off to the side feeling the fabric of the sweater. It is SO SOFT. Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

That sweater was made for Amy, don’t you think? A perfect fit. And, true to KUHLMAN’s style, it has little details that take the sweater to the next level of fabulous. Apart from the color and the soft fabric, the splits along the waistband and the seaming on the shoulders and sides make this sweater unique.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Sadly, I did not have the same success when I tried on the sweater in the photo below. It was just a little too big for my frame. Still, it has such distinctive style, I had to share it anyway.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Like everything else we found at KUHLMAN, this sweater had a detail that made it special. In this case it was the silver metallic laminating along the bottom half. It is one of those pieces that can be dressed and accessorized for any kind of outing, casual or dressy.

Here’s how it’s meant to fit as seen on the mannequin. The staff at KUHLMAN styled it with a cute neck scarf and the tuxedo capris I feature next. (And check out that awesome blazer on the male mannequin in the background!)

Mannequin at KUHLMAN in Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Tartan Plaid with Tuxedo Capris

The metallic ivory sweater might not have fit “just right” but the short-sleeve blue-and-green tartan button-down sure did. I thought it looked pretty spiffy with the tuxedo pant capris.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

It’s fun to mix casual with fancy sometimes. I enjoy the interaction between the two. I found mixing those two style notions easy with KUHLMAN’s offerings.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Timeless Dresses with Flair

Another example of fun combined with “serious” is this navy fit-and-flare sweater dress I tried. A first glance reveals its classic nature. A second look shows the flare at the waist and the bows at the sleeves which make the whole look just a little bit fun. Add a fedora and you’re ready for anything.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

The dress and hat were two of my personal favorite pieces at KUHLMAN. The dress was warm enough to keep out the Seattle dampness and, with that first-glance classic styling, it’ll never go out of fashion.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Next up is another outfit that paired refinement with play. The dress is a crepe cranberry number with three-quarter sleeves. The fabric is lux with an elegant drape. The drop-waist gives it a playful feel without losing any of its sophistication.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Add the 1950s-inspired coat and I really start to get my Hollywood vibe on. In the photo above, if you look closely, you can see the detail on the coat that makes it even more special–a blue-and-white plaid lining. The whole outfit made me feel a little bit classic Hollywood, especially after Amy handed me a pair of sunglasses to try.

Make It Your Own

While I slipped into different outfits, I listened while Scott and Amy discussed all the fabrics he has stacked against the back wall. Scott and his team can make almost anything from scratch. In fact, I learned in talking with him myself that Scott has a knack for coming up with his own designs as well.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

Having something made bespoke–just for you–is a truly special thing. In my mind, it is the height of splendor. But more often what I need are the alteration of things I bought off the rack. Being petite, that is true for hems, especially.

Scott and his crew offer repair and alteration services for garments of all stripes–whether they were purchased at KUHLMAN or not. While we were there, Scott was taking measurements to alter some things for another customer. Alteration services include hemming/cuffing pants and jeans, taking in/letting out waists, relining dresses and jackets, and patching denim.

Now that I know this, I have a coat I’ll be taking to KUHLMAN to have it resized.

KUHLMAN of Seattle
Photo by Blue Hour Photography.

KUHLMAN is a real treasure in Seattle. They provide classic styles that have those extra-special details. Even the services they offer follow this idea. We were once a culture who looked to our tailor for everything involved in fashion. What Scott and his team provide is a path to classic service with that extra-special touch.

Giving Back Through Belltown Unites

As mentioned in my previous posts about the Indies on 1st, all six of these shops, along with a few others, have formed a partnership called Belltown Unites. Their goal is to play a vital role in the improvement of Seattle’s landscape. Scott and his team at KUHLMAN have joined up with Belltown Unites. This means they are participating in the donation campaign with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission to provide hats and scarves to the 6000 people living in Seattle without a home.

From November 25 through January 25, customers can visit KUHLMAN and participate in this campaign. For more information about how you can contribute, contact the team via email or phone. Information listed below.

Kuhlman is located at 2419 1st Avenue in Seattle. They have an online store with quite a bit of their inventory. If you need to reach them by phone, their number is 206-441-1999.

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Store Hours:
Monday through Saturday: 11am to 7pm
Sunday: Noon to 6pm

Affiliate Link Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this article. Nor will I receive compensation from KUHLMAN if you shop there. There are, however, advertising links embedded in my blog that could garner me commission if you purchase something from those advertisers. The money I make from these commissions helps me do what I do here at Petite Over 40. If you make such a purchase, thank you for your support!

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  • You did all of this in one day??? With the other shops?? If so you must have been exhausted!!!
    But you’re so right, that those little details make such a difference on the sweaters!!
    And that dress?? It’s so perfect!! I can imagine it with your red tights!!!!

  • I’m just loving this personal tour of the unique and socially responsible vendors of the Belltown neighborhood. Kuhlman reminds me of some of the stores I remember shopping in with my parents when I was a child. They were small and large but it was NOT a time of fast fashion and these were all shops that offered tailoring and other nice amenities like lovely restful ladies rooms and in store cafes or coffee shoppes.
    Amy was clearly smitten (like you were at Endless Knot) with the loden green sweater. It looked lovely on her. I loved you in the tarten top and and ankle cropped trousers.

  • I see this shop and think luxury – the fabrics, the tailoring. So very good. I love that fit-and-flare on you! Seriously, I’m weak for great fabrics. I’m glad you’ve found a new tailoring shop too. Sometimes that’s all it takes to bring that WOW back.
    I’ve loved your series, Sherry.