Groom of the Month and wedding suits
The first groom of the month competition held by Tom Murphy Menswear in 2011 has commenced recently.After the tremendous success of the groom of the months held in 2010 we have bee inundated with requests to hold another competition this year.So far we have recieved 8 entries and all are giving it a fair old go.The format for the competition has changed slightly this year as facebook have brought out a lot of rules and regulations concerning the hosting of competions on the facebook page.Unfortunately it is not posssible for the public to see the daily vote count on our facebook albums page so we will be giving daily updates on our wall and via this blog.Please remember to tell weveryone that voted to go back and like our facebook page or otherwise the votes will not count.
As for the early pacesetters in the current competition it is Geard Murphy in the lead so far with 145 votes.In second place it is Kevin Crowley on 48 votes,Giuliano Mastromarino on 47 and Joe O Leary on 45 votes.The rest are lagging behind at the moment although one of the pre-tournament favourites John McCarthy is starting to climb up the rankings.A word of warning lest the early leaders get too comfortable-the competition has never been won before by the person that led in the first week.


Wedding Couple

Today’s blog features a video clip from our wedding suits department. The little enthusiastic guy with the black hair is our Suit Hire extraordinaire Dermot Fagan. The other tall good looking guy with the ginger hair is eh me! We had great fun filming these videos and I would like to thank Caoimhe Ni Mhuirthe who so generously gave up her time to help us with the filming.

Caoimhe and Sonia (our social network guru) helped us to set up our own youtube channel which features a number of videos about our store and the people who work in it.

The idea behind these videos was to give people an idea of what goes on behind the scene in our store. We also wanted to share some of the rich history about the shop with you all.


Visit Tom Murphy’s Menswear YouTube Channel

The new range of wedding suit hire for the 2010/2011 has just arrived in our store and get ready grooms because there are some really exciting piece’s in the collection.

First and foremost we will be offering some of our designer wedding suit range by Wilvorst for hire. There is a stunning three piece suit in a high end black striped fabric and a 100% wool suit slim fit now available to rent. We have also added a lightweight grey suit (also in 100% wool ) .

Some of the new waist coats which we have recieved from our supplier Anthony formal wear , our supplier of designer wedding wear are simply stunning. You can expect scrumtious new pattern’s in ivory, white and silver.

As usual our team of buyers have gone to extra lengths to choose the perfect neck wear to match these waistcoats and there are some imaginative colour combinations to behold.

Tom Murphy's in the 1920s

Tom Murphy’s in the 1920s

If you ever pay a visit to our store on Patrick street, you will see that we have a lot of memorabilia hanging on our walls. It all helps describe the history of our store’s colourful past, and how it evolved into what it is today. There’s all sorts of pictures from times past adorning the walls of the shop. The pictures alone can tell the story about the growth of Tom Murphys.

Tom Murphys over 100 years ago

Tom Murphys over 100 years ago

There was a  fashion related shop at number 58, Patrick Street as far back as 1857 (excluding a decade of a Music Warehouse phase). Originally wwned by Chabrel and called The French House. It was the place to go for, “best fashionable hats”, as well as the clerical kind.

In 1883, John O’Brien & Co. took over number 58 and it became the Cork Woollen & Hat Warehouse. It was then the place to go for, “West of England black and blue cloths”, and, “silk, felt and tweed hats”.

Then in 1907, the business went to one D Mullane, who sold ladies corsets and baby clothes until 1921, when the Rosehill family moved in and opened a music warehouse. Back in 1938, when the Rosehills sold up and moved on, Tom Murphy from North Main Street and his wife to be, Anne Welsh from Aherla, got engaged and bought the lease to the shop on the same day. Tom, roughly 30 at the time, had served his apprenticeship, in Heagarty on Castle Street, as a draper’s assistant had set himself up to sell menswear.

Michael, son of Tom, took over completely in 1960/61 and the next decade saw him selling, “Cheesecloth shirts and mohair suits”.  It was the 60s that saw the introduction of the dress hire side of the business, while the later 60’s school wear was also added. The popularity of Levis and Wranglers jeans, in the 70’s, caused Tom Murphys to focus most of thier attention to this latest trend, however in the 80’s they moved more into the suit, jacket and trouser industry.


When I asked Michael to reflect on some of his memories, he told me, “We had a great hat business and every Saturday morning you’d have to go to Lyon & Co on the South Main Street to collect them. You’d sell 2 or 3 dozen hats, either the ‘Set Shape’ or the ‘Fur Felt'”. One of Tom Murphy’s constant suppliers has been Magees. Michael remembers his father having, “hard times in the shop in the early 1950s when the polio epidemic hit and children were evacuated from the city and schools were shut down. Magees of Donegal were very good to us at the time and I still buy from them”.

He also recalls Jack Lynch as a Cork TD in the early 60s coming to buy Forest Hill shirts and Christy Ring buying suits and dress suits. Ring and Lynch were, “Great friends of my father’s, who used to play with Glen Roveers. They’d gather in the shop on Monday mornings to discuss sporting outcomes and results”.

Our Groom of the month competition began in mid April and ended in mid May. The idea is simple, get your photo taken with you in your wedding suit from Tom Murphy’s and then get your friends to vote for it on our Facebook page. Who ever garners the most votes wins a €500 voucher off their suit hire from us. We decided to run the competition to generate a fan base, so that the name Tom Murphy’s would be associated with generosity and leave a positive image in customer’s minds. We expected/hoped to gain a few hundred fans to add to our fanbase which was modest at the time. The majority (damn near all) of our fans were following us because they were either friends of Tom’s or mine. I had suggested the page to all of my friends……. and not even all accepted. What we weren’t expecting was the PR work of the fans of Paul O’Connor and Dave Dunton, who were the original contestants of the April/May Groom of the Month. With just over 600 votes each, our fans grew to over 2000.

Special mention has to be made of Valerie O’Mahony who was assisting Paul. As I was running the competition, the efforts of Val were outstanding. I was shocked to hear that Val O’Mahony was not the fiancée. I’d imagine she was rewarded all the same though. Her relentlessness went as far as hassling the postmen to vote. The competition was neck and neck right up until the final few days where Paul O’Connor finally stole it and was the eventual winner by a slim 3 votes. Enough to claim the €500 voucher. We were delighted with the efforts of Dave and his fans as well so we decided to reward him with a consolation of €250.

The popularity of the competition spilled over into the June Groom of the Month Competition. Cobh’s nice guy of the year, Adrian Curtis, achieved success in earning the voucher. He almost doubled 2nd place PJ’s votes. With the 2 competitions over, our fan base has grown to 2,778. The success of the previous months has been phenomenal. I didn’t know how many fans we were going to get at the start of the competition but if you had said it was going to reach this figure, I would have found it hard to believe. It seems as though we can’t get away from it. Current owner Michael was leaving the store to go for a wander when a woman approached him asking him was this the store that ran the Groom of the Month Competition. Michael wasn’t sure, as he isn’t a fan of technology, so he politely said yes and listened to the rambles of how this woman and all her friends had been voting. Even Tom was hassled as he was having an innocent pint in Killeagh. He let slip that he ran Tom Murphy’s Online Store when a woman over heard. She said that the whole of Killeagh had been aware of the Groom of the Month competition. People have already inquired about next month’s competition and the contestants we have lined up are chomping at the bit to get the voting under way. So be sure to follow us on Facebook and get your votes/entries in for the July Groom of the month.

Classics Cut

After Six 2013

Tom Murphys Wedding

Tom Murphys Wedding Party in Riva Del Garda

OK, so you have decided to get married and you need something to wear for you and for your mates for your wedding. Where to start?How does the whole wedding suits for men thing work?

Generally when it comes to wedding suits for men people hire suits for the groom, best-man, groomsman or groomsmen (up to 3 are permitted), father of the bride and father of the groom. Sometimes, if a parent is not alive, a brother or relative may stand in for the parent. Most wedding parties would have between 4 and 7 in the group and may also include a pageboy.

The wedding party does not just consist of the men, but alas it also includes the women, and as you know lads, we are once again dutifully bound to play second fiddle to their requirements.

“Does that mean that what we wear is determined by what they wear?”

I hear you ask this rational question.Absolutely! Once again in the battle of the sexes, we loose out guys.
If the bride wears white, you wear white my man! If she wears ivory, you wear ivory. If the bridesmaids wear lilac, your comrades in the wedding party will be wearing that colour.
To distinguish the groom from the rest of the party, you can also opt for a self-tie cravat for him, and the rest of the lads could have the same colour but in ties. Usually the groom will have the same suit and waistcoat as the rest of the party. It is nice to have a small difference between him and the rest of the guys, and this is why a different coloured neck piece can work well.

If you imagine the day of the wedding, you will have the groom standing next to the bride, so their colours must be in harmony and the groomsmen next to the bridesmaids so their colours must also be cordinated.
Remember one thing, there are no rules as to what people can wear. It is your day and it is your choice as to what to wear.

A recent trend in Ireland that has taken a leaf out of the continental book, has been for the groom to buy his own wedding suit and the rest of the party to hire. These suits allow the groom to be in a different suit completely to the rest of the lads. It can work well also as long as there is some colour co-ordination present.A beige,white or tan suit can look really well on the groom even if the rest of the party is in more conventional black,navy or grey.

Wedding suits have become a bit de-formalised in recent times and this has seen a decrease in the popularity of the traditional three quarters and morning tails styles.The favoured lenght of the coat at the moment is short and slightly cropped.If you are going for a more “normal suit” look just be careful as this style can be a bit rigid and lacking in the cermonial pomp that the classic styles offer.Spice it up with a nice paisley ivory waistcoat and tie and do not forget the mandatory pocket square.Sometimes the little trimmingsand accessories are what set a wedding suit apart from a normal day or office suit.