Longtime tuxedo shop in Berks preparing to close its doors

Jack O'Reilly Tuxedos set to close September 29

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - It's more than just a tux.

"Dad started this on Ninth Street, and we moved out on the highway in the 70s," Jim O'Reilly said of the tuxedo rental business that was started by his father, Jack. "We came next door, and then we moved to this location probably 35 years ago."

There's different styles, there's different colors," he said. "It changes all the time, white, grays, blacks, slim fit, trim fit. Now, the new phase is the slim fit. Everyone wants everything tight."

Trends change over time, but for more than six decades, people found them at Jack O'Reilly Tuxedos on the Fifth Street Highway in Muhlenberg Township.

"When the parents come in and I see them, they go, 'Oh, we got your prom tux here,'" O'Reilly recalled."I'm going, 'Oh, thanks. You just made me feel a lot older now.'"

With hundreds of tuxes lining the walls, many look similar, but each one comes with a special story that's had an impact on customers throughout the region.

"Probably for the prom and the holiday ball and all that back then," remembered long-time customer Kathy Zweizig. "I think I actually used it when I got married a long time ago."

"I was kind of surprised. I live like three blocks from there and it was very surprising to me," Bob Sullivan said. "When I got married, I got my tux there."

It's just hard to believe it won't be there anymore," Sullivan said.  

Owner Jack O'Reilly had some last words for his loyal customers.

"Well, I'd like to thank all of Reading and Berks County and all my friends and people that came over here through the years and supported us and are still supporting me towards the last, final days," he said. "We'll miss you, too."

The store's final day will be September 29.

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