Jay Lombardo said when he was in college at the University of North Texas, instead of waiting tables like many college kids, he chose an unconventional path. “I love clothes,” he said. “So, I went down to the apparel mart and got my way into Calvin Klein’s showroom and sold on consignment. I sold clothes to all my friends and fraternity brothers.”

He gives credit to his mother, Patricia Lombardo, for his lifelong love of fashion.

“My mom was a fashion model in the late ‘50s [and] early ‘60s in New York,” he said. “I have to say fashion was in my blood.”

Lombardo said he had a difficult time buying clothes off the rack that fit him because he was “really in shape.”

He started researching and found tailors who knew how to make custom suits, but they knew nothing about fashion.

“I said, ‘If you can ever combine those, and do a custom suit with fashion and in a timely manner, you’d have a real business,’” Lombardo said.

He opened Lombardo Custom Apparel in 1989 in a small office space at 777 Central Expressway, Richardson. From there, he opened different retail locations in Addison and Arlington. In January 2021, he opened his current location. When customers come in for the first time, they meet with Lombardo as well as a master tailor and a designer, who have both been with him for over 30 years.

“We do our homework with our customers to learn what their real needs are and to get their personality,” Lombardo said. “It’s not just wearing a suit; it’s creating an image.”

He said his customers include businessmen, grooms, professional athletes and more.

First-time customers are often surprised by the variety of options available and how attractive some of the pricing is, Lombardo said.

“Clothes are all about how you feel,” Lombardo said. “You walk into a room and know you look your best—that’s what we try to do.”

Lombardo Custom Apparel

3613 Shire Blvd., Richardson



Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. by appointment only

Customer Appreciation Night is held every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. and features complimentary drinks and cigars.