We came to Vail Valley almost thirty years ago in search of a place that exemplifies the qualities we value—color and texture, work and play, elegance and ruggedness. We offer clothing that reflects this way of living and the beauty of our chosen home, and we hope you will be as comfortable wearing it in this mountain valley as in the place you call home.

We like a look that is relaxed and graceful, sophisticated and robust—equally ready for mountain casual and city dress. Axel’s generally carries shirts in two different finishes, Sport and Dress, perfectly suited for this lifestyle.

Sport Shirts

Sport shirts are an opportunity to reflect a more casual look, but we don’t ignore the elegance and attractiveness of a classic, high quality cut. The key is balance. Easygoing enough for a relaxed, confident, playful look, but not so much as to seem immature or out of place.

Our sport shirts come in a somewhat wider variety of styles than our dress shirts, ranging from linen oxfords to half-button, long-sleeve polo shirts. They are all classically inspired, tastefully designed, and uniquely executed. This is a truly versatile look that fits naturally with jeans, yet can easily form the basis for a more formal wardrobe.

This versatility is a great appeal of the sport shirt: worn with today’s popular deconstructed jackets, a presentable but edgy, slightly bohemian look emerges; worn by itself with sleeves rolled up, a more recreational feel takes over. Personally, I use long sleeve polos under a sport jacket on a year-round basis when I want a slightly relaxed look. The Finamore Adolfo, a half-buttoned, long sleeved polo shirt with cutaway collar, is quickly becoming one of my favorite shirts for this purpose.

Part of the sport shirt’s casual feel comes from its material. Our sport collections feature fabrics suited for all situations—we aim for the most luxurious sensation possible. Most of our sport shirts come pre-washed to ensure softness and comfort from day one.

A number of our sport shirts are 100% linen, making them particularly desirable for the warmer months. Linen fabric is among the oldest textiles known to man and has always been valued for its exceptional coolness in hot weather. Putting it on, one immediately realizes why it became such a prized fabric in southern climates. Personally, I have never understood the wrinkle-phobia that some feel about linen. Yes, even linen blends wrinkle, but this is what summer is about—not taking life too seriously!

In a sport shirt the collar is less emphasized than for a dress shirt, but we still use the cutaway a lot. Most of our sport shirts come with softer collars and no stays. These features lend an easygoing elegance that works for every look from mountain casual to urban dress.

Dress Shirts

With dress shirts, I look for items that reflect a more formal elegance. Traditional style dominates the workplace and formal social occasions, rightfully so. For these instances, I appreciate the timeless, dignified style of traditional tailoring and prefer subtlety when it comes to making a mark. Time and again, quality craftsmanship has proven the best way to achieve this. A well-made shirt fits better, feels more comfortable, and naturally complements the wearer in such a way that simply looks better. Tasteful selection of fabrics, patterns, and colors create a sense of edge and individuality without being too conspicuous. To put it plainly, quality speaks for itself. For dress shirts, I prefer the cutaway collar. It dates back at least to the middle part of the last century and was, and still is, often worn by the British aristocracy. They were the style icons at the time, and their lasting influence is significant. For the way that it adds poise and confidence to the frame of any face, we have not found another collar that comes close. Personally, I don't care for too much stiffness in the collar either. A softer collar with the option of using stays feels less rigorous and gives an appearance of confidence without "trying too hard". But that’s just my taste.
Stirling Thomas