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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Betsy Bancroft has a keen eye for what’s in style.
She has shopped at The Cambridge Shop in Vestavia Hills for decades. Current owner Terry Tant bought his first high school homecoming suit here.
To him, The Cambridge Shop has always been so much more than a men’s clothing store.
“We’d have a bunch of people come in and watch Alabama games because we’d be working on Saturdays,” Tant said. “It was a unique place where people just hung out because they’ve been good friends and customers and clients for years.”
The passing years and changing styles have taken their toll on business. Wool driving caps and seersucker suits just aren’t what they used to be.
“Now there’s casual Fridays and even casual Mondays,” Tant said.
The numbers aren’t adding up anymore. A few customers trickle in, some of them to call dibs on the clothing racks after the last hanger is removed. Those, too, have to go.
The friendships and extended families created here are not going away.
“I would always come here because Joyce would wrap my presents, and I’d get a couple of hugs,” Bancroft said.
But young men better be dressed to the nines when they take their girlfriends out to dinner. They’ll have Betsy Barber Bancroft to answer to.
“I’ll just say, ‘Son, this darling girl has dressed herself up, and here you are looking like you’re going out for a beer with the guys. Why is this?'” Bancroft said.
The Cambridge Shop will close its doors at the end of the month. Until then, Tant tends to every detail of clothing displays.
The Cambridge Shop is going out in style.