Kim Hamather said her father, Pete Corbett, was always in the tuxedo business, and she’s never seen someone love their job more than he did.
“My parents moved up to Carmel in 1977,” Hamather said. “They opened a bridal and tux shop.”
In the 1980s, Hamather’s brother, Don Corbett, who owned a company called DC Designers Tux Shop, partnered with their father, Pete Corbett, to go into business with DC Tux. In 2000, the Corbetts sold the bridal shop but kept DC Tux open.
The shop was originally at 116th Street and Keystone Ave., and a second location opened at 136th Street and Meridian Street in 1992. When the bridal shop closed, the Corbetts closed the 136th Street store and remained at 116th Street until 2012, when they moved to 2780 E. 146th St., Carmel. They also have had stores in Broad Ripple and Castleton through the years.
“What’s different with us than any other formal wear (shop) is, we own our inventory,” said Hamather, a Carmel resident. “My dad’s brother had a tuxedo wholesale business, and so my dad saw the value in having his own inventory. So, he started buying his own inventory, and we have more than 2,000 tuxes in our store. It takes all the stress out.”
Pete Corbett died in August 2020.
“We tried to get him to retire at 65, but I’ve never seen anybody love their job as much as he did. He loved being there, loved the customers and the interactions with people,” Hamather said. “My mom (Mary Helen Corbett) and dad both taught us to be a very service-oriented business.”
Hamather, her two brothers, Don Corbett and Bill Corbett, her father and mother worked at DC Tux. Her sister, Leslie Jones, worked with the bridal shop until it sold and now Jones has her own bridal consultancy business called Leslie Jones Weddings & Events.
“We are family owned and it’s our livelihood,” Hamather said. “We are all family. We don’t have any employees except for my best friend from eighth grade (Michelle Palamara) and our seamstress (Charlene Haas), who ran our Castleton store when it was open.”
Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the only business DC Tux saw were weddings. Now, there are weddings and some proms, but Hamather said one type of event that hasn’t returned is black-tie affairs.
For more, visit dctux.com.