As planned, Chaco and I went out for a little clothing makeover adventure. He asked, and Magnum and I agreed that he needed a decent suit for interviews for jobs that call for a decent suit.
He and I headed on over to Men's Wearhouse. Other than renting a tux for prom, I've never been to such a store. Wall-to-wall suits and separates. How to choose?!
Luckily, a very dapperly dressed young man employee approached and let us know someone would be with us shortly. That someone turned out to be Rick, suit man.
Rick measured, inquired, figured out that I was the wielder of the credit card, then started whipping out jackets. I was pleasantly surprised to find that suit prices haven't changed a whole lot since the days I was in Chaco's position. Either that or I paid to much for my Brooks Brothers. Yeah, prolly.
We settled on an appropriate style/brand/color/price. Enter Hilda, alterations woman.
Hilda, all 5 foot nothing of her, walked up with her chalk and took charge. While she did so, Rick informed me that the store had 20 tailors and Hilda was about 90% of them. I had no doubt.
Then I asked, "Is Hilda Filipino?"
"Yes, she is", Rick confirmed.
Hilda and I bonded a bit over our Filipinoness - where's my mom from, etc. Unfortunately, I don't understand a word of tagalog other than a few choice body parts, so we had to stick to boring English.
Chaco chose some shoes, then Rick picked some shirt/tie combos for us to mull over. We figured two shirts, two ties.
While Rick fiddled with the ties he'd chosen, Chaco and I looked at the shirts he'd chosen. We didn't think much of a couple of them, but we'd let him go through is spiel.
Then he started tucking the ties around their respective shirt mates. Then he tucked the shirts with their ties under the jacket. Dang, they ALL looked great! How did he do that?!
As he fiddled the ties and shuffled the shirts, he explained that he also teaches "Dress for Success" classes at a couple of local military bases, for guys making the re-entry to civilian life. It's amazing what a difference seemingly subtle adjustments can make. I'm impressed that choosing a tie to go with a shirt to go with a suit is a real art.
So it was fun AND educational, as well as being productively consumptive.