After a Fashion
Happy birthday to me!
THE POWER OF THE PRESS Little did I know that I would create a veritable firestorm of controversy with my remarks about Men's Wearhouse. It started before the remarks were even published, when I received e-mail from a proofreader, saying, "I just finished proofing your critique of Men's Wearhouse. I thought it was funny, because I consider that store to be the perfect clothing store. You see, it's aimed at us straight men, not you. Unlike you, we despise shopping -- personally, the only thing I'd rather do less than shop is ... well, actually, I can't think of anything. I love that place because I go in, tell them what I need, they hand it to me, and I walk out. Done in a matter of minutes. No 'Would you be interested in this?' or 'We have a special on this.' In. Out. Done. And of course, we need fashion consultants. We've been dressed by our mothers, girlfriends, and wives, and any interludes in between that find us woman-less are always the worst-dressed years of our lives. Just thought you might like a different perspective, Lee Nichols."
Well! I guess I've been told, haven't I? Another response also pointed out, "Nobody could help you, you're so picky." Picky? If picky means you like selecting your own clothes, then I am guilty, but that's hardly a crime. But, taking a look at the sheer size of this chain, the Men's Wearhouse has lots and lots of happy customers, although, as the illustrious Mr. Nichols heterophiliacly points out, "It's aimed at us straight men, not you." Well, we're not going to follow that train of thought any further. But, then, a week after publication, I get a call from Mal Foley, regional manager of Men's Wearhouse, apologizing for the bad service. "It wasn't bad service," I told him, "it's just not how I want to shop." But I was mightily impressed that this man was taking time to call me. "How can we get you back into our store?" he asked me. "I have no problem with your store, you have good merchandise at good prices. I'll just do what I did last time and say, 'I can find what I need, and I'll let you know when I need help with anything.'" He was so diplomatic and service-oriented and such a pleasure to speak with; that's excellent service in my book. And any regular reader of this column knows that I am just as quick to mention good service as I am to mention bad. Mr. Foley, you should be pleased to know your stores have such a loyal and vocal following.
Write to our Style Avatar with your related events, news, and hautey bits: email@example.com or PO Box 49066, Austin, 78765 or 458-6910 (fax).