"One visit… My Sons and I repeatedly hear comments such as, ‘Wow, I didn’t expect
to find a store of this caliber in Winchester.’ Many of these same explorers have
developed into regular clients. While most of our clients live within an hour driving
radius, we are proud to call residents from as far as Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine,
Oklahoma, Colorado, California, Washington DC…..and Winchester as clients. I hope
you will pay us a visit so that you too can witness our creativity. Our goal is
to be the best Men’s and Ladies' Specialty Store, period.”
Irvin Shendow – President
2nd Generation Clothier
The Beginnings of Bell’s
When Sam Shendow stepped out of the Hotel Jack onto the streets of Winchester, Virginia,
he smelled opportunity. Big opportunity. The year was 1929, and despite the Depression
that was slowing the nation’s economy, this small town showed promise.
The quintessential entrepreneur, Shendow had toted his pinstripe and houndstooth
fabric swatches from Bell’s, a fine clothing store in Washington, D.C., to this
hospitable Southern town. It would be the first of many visits.
Each time the resourceful Shendow arrived in Winchester, he cleverly slipped the
postman 50 cents to spread the word that the clothier from the District was in town
to take orders for custom-made suits. His plan? To invigorate his store’s sluggish
sales by building a client base away from the capitol.
The plan worked.
Soon Shendow had a loyal following of gentlemen in Winchester who anxiously awaited
his arrival. Shendow, known as “Mr. Bell,” offered the area’s hard-to-fit customer
– the short, the extra long, the portly – the opportunity to own a perfectly tailored
suit without ever leaving town. At his makeshift shop in the hotel, he consulted
on styles and fabric selection and took precise measurements, which he carried back
to the D.C. store. There, fine suits were carefully constructed and soon returned
to the purchasers in Winchester. It was the ultimate in customer service.
By 1931, Shendow’s Winchester business had become so successful, he decided to set
up shop permanently in town. He adopted the name of the District’s store for his
Over the years, Bell’s thrived, eventually adding women’s
apparel and expanding to several locations. Sam Shendow built the business on quality
merchandise and unparalleled customer service.
Today, three generations later, Shendow’s son Irvin, daughter-in-law
Sarah, and grandsons Scott and Stephen
keep alive the founder’s entrepreneurial spirit. They fill the store with superior
quality, hand-picked clothing and accessories purchased on regular trips to New
York’s fashion district. They get to know their customers personally, continuing
the legacy of first-rate customer service.
In 2006, Bell’s celebrated its 75th anniversary. While many of the faces have changed,
the traditions of style, quality, and service still stand.
History of Men’s Clothing