The Austin Chronicle

After a Fashion

By Stephen MacMillan Moser, December 2, 2011, Columns

Dandy's Is Candy

At last, a men's store after my own heart. With clothes for the fop in all of us, Dandy's – The Gentleman's Store ( is an online haberdashery that sets up camp in the lot by Vespiao every First Thursday, specializing in sharp, stylish, and beautifully accessorized ensembles that would look great on any man with a taste for the timeless. Inspired by the elegant styles worn by men from 1870 to 1930, Dandy's offers both ready-to-wear and custom-fit suits, shirts, and pants. You may order online or visit its tent store on South Congress every first Thursday of the month. Appointments can be made using its website. Handmade bow ties, suspenders, suits, vests, shoes, boots, pocket watches, and bowlers ... let your inner dandy shine!

The Update

It takes a village to take care of me these days. And not the kind of village with mud huts and cholera, either. Never one to play helpless, I've learned that getting in and out of my Craftmatic Adjustable Bed always takes a clear plan: whether I'll roll this way or that way and exactly when to start sitting up. If I'm nauseated or feeling poopy (that word describes my feelings most of the time), I'm never sure quite what to do. It's like being a baby. Sometimes I need help bathing, but unfortunately, I've outgrown a dishpan in the kitchen sink. And now my bath has a bench in it, plus rails and a handheld showerhead to make it easier to wash. I have grown immodest these last few weeks after being poked and prodded inside and out by doctors, nurses, physician's assistants, and benefits providers. I recall a hazy memory of the cashier at the coffee shop examining me as well, but that may have been a hallucination (I've been having those lately). I apologize to my mother and sister for making them look at things they haven't had to look at since I was an infant ... but that's what families do, right? Or more correctly, it's what families will do, but hope it won't be necessary. These are the little indignities that chip away at the person I was but with no hint as to what I'll be. Confession: I committed a truly disturbing incident, one that made me realize that I was deeply medicated or had simply crossed over to the other side. I wore pajamas and bedroom slippers to a restaurant. And it wasn't Luby's, either. I'd spent the night at Mark Erwin and Stephen Rice's house, playing cards and accepting all the love and warmth they had to offer me. We were hungry, so I took Stephen to a new little Mexican place, Mi Ranchito in Manchaca. I realized I was wearing black-and-red plaid pajama pants, a T-shirt, a hoodie (yes, I do own a hoodie), a beret, and slip-ons. How could I possibly leave the car like that? I threw caution to the wind, hoping none of my really pissy friends would see me dressed like this in Bug Tussle. With Stephen's strength behind me, we entered. We love Mi Ranchito, and my mom, sister, and I have been there many times now, watching it expand and prosper. It got a great write-up in the Chronicle, and business is booming. Nonetheless, I was ill-dressed for a public outing. If the paparazzi had been there, my career would be ovah. Getting ready to go out is a mammoth undertaking. If I'm going out that night, it means getting ready when I wake up. Snug jeans and high-heels are out. Hours are spent finding something to wear that is comfortable but attractive. My stylist (or whoever is hanging around) gets the brunt of it. "No, I do not want to wear that. I can't even imagine owning it ..." (even if it came from my own closet). But with all the help I have, I'm incredibly grateful, especially to my mom and sister who have radically altered their own lives to help me live mine. The cards, letters, emails, texts, posts, and calls from so many of my friends have moved me deeply. And it reinforces my resolve to do something better with the rest of my life. I'll get to that as soon as I can walk without being bowlegged.

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