Own Your Sense of Style

In the late eighties, Cupid’s arrow pierced Mr. UnHollywood’s silk tie and sleek business suit, which he wore while power-lunching and negotiating his way through million-dollar deals. Meanwhile, I sported a jeans/blazer combo bought used at Aardvarks while manning phones and brewing coffee with a lunch break at the salad bar.

Cupid hit his mark and we soon spent every weekend together. Away from the office, Mr. UnHollywood wore jeans that hung nicely below his hips, bold graphic tee-shirts and jackets that were equally at home in dive bars or Trader Vic’s in Beverly Hills.

A year later, we tied the knot.  Sometime after the honeymoon, I noticed my husband hadn’t bought clothes in a while. He shrugged, “My haberdasher left town.” I consulted Webster’s Dictionary and learned in the 14th century, a haberdasher sold various small articles like buttons and in the late 1800’s he was a “dealer in men’s wares.” In either case, haberdasher is fun to say out loud. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

As a new wife, I respected Mr. UnHollywood’s need to unwind on weekends. Besides, he dreaded dressing rooms and I thought adding to his wardrobe might be fun.

The fun ended quicker than you can say balderdash.  I’ll save you the trip to Webster’s; it means nonsense. I nearly went mad wandering through men’s departments like Jack Nicholson wandered the maze in The Shining. A torturous routine unfolded: Mr. UnHollywood tried on clothes, apologized for disliking them and then I had to return them. All work and no play makes Cynthia a dull girl…

“Women buy clothes from a place of emotion. Men buy on trust,” proclaimed Randy Reisman, our new haberdasher. How do you get men to trust you, I wondered.

“I walk into the client’s home in a nice suit. Sometimes the way a guy will look me over, I feel like a chick in a mini-skirt!”

He assured me his clients from Beverly Hills and beyond are regular guys. When he started in 1977, men wore suits to work.  Today’s workplace is more casual – and fashionably speaking, more complex – so men’s sense of style is lost. “I help them create their image for today,” Reisman said.

Mr. UnHollywood doesn’t wrestle with his image. My High School guy, like every teenager, does. Finding him a suit posed a challenge; they were too pricey for a teenager or too dorky. Reisman rang our bell, brought my kid several chic suits to try that fit my budget and my kid’s fashion sense. He also listened better than most three-hundred-dollar shrinks in town.

After the suit had been tailored, my son modeled it for us. He looked youthful and fun, but dressy enough for a formal event. Still, High School guy looked uncertain.

Reisman rubbed his chin and said, “Own your sense of style.”

And if High School guy actually remembers that, he could save his future wife a big headache.

For fashion emergencies call Reisman at 213-248-5569 or RandyReisman@gmail.com. Tell him BH Mom sent you.



Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 4 comments. Add yours

  1. 6th June 2012 | Carpool Goddess says: Reply
    High School Guy looks adorable! BTW, we used to go to Trader Vic's too! I have fond memories of their Tiki Punch.
    • 6th June 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Thanks...and I have some foggy memories of their mai tais...good memories.
  2. 6th June 2012 | Ellie may says: Reply
    Love reading your stories- even when I'm traveling.
    • 6th June 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Miss my chic BH neighbor. When you're done globe-trotting, send a smoke signal!

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