LA PETIT GENTLEMEN'S DESIGNER DE BEVERLY HILLS
Written by: Doug Haley
As a stylish gentleman who is 5'7, and under 120 pounds, who has by the way never felt short or dis proportioned, yet I can say that finding clothes to fit suitably is never an easy task. I do believe that fit is everything but I don't have the budget to be buying high end apparel all of the time and then sending it to a tailor for even more alterations. Occasionally I find myself buying suit jackets and dress shirts inside the kids department of Brooks Brothers on Rodeo Drive (where I can buy a jacket that STILL needs to be tailored but they provide that service in house.) Of course, as with any kids purchase, the quality will never be comparable to a men's pieces. The gap between the quality is enormous, and noticeable.
Luck may have it, the Stylist Handbook introduced me to a store in Beverly Hills, called Jimmy Au's For Men 5'8 And Under... yes! that is the name of the store. This men's shop specializes in finer clothing for the not so standard American male. In the land of actors, where a large amount of on-screen heartthrobs stand around 5'5-5'7, its a perfect store for Hollywood.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Jimmy Au, and his son, Alan Au, who were gracious enough to give me a tour and walk me through their store. I was most impressed with the variety of fine jackets they had in house. Even though everything is obviously off the rack, there were many jackets I could pull off a hanger and be happy to walk out of the store with, which trust me I tried too. That never happens!
Alan explained to me that they completely reconstruct a jacket to fit the body of a man 5'8 and under. Everything about the jacket has been reformatted and reconstructed. They are not chopping a garment up, rather they are modifying the dimensions on which the garment is made. This means that everything from the width of the shoulders to the length of the sleeve, to where the front breast pocket is placed, these are all re-configured onto a body type similar to my own. This allows everything to be in perfect proportion and allows you to grab a jacket off the rack and walk onto the street looking like a million bucks.
A stand out to me was the gorgeous wall of silk ties-it was equally as impressive as visiting a Barney's or Neiman Marcus. I've never before encountered a boutique with such a stunning and diverse plethora of ties. The Wall of Ties alone is worth checking out.
And yes, for all of you stylists out there...they do allow merchandise pulls. They constantly loan and sell to ever studio and tv show you can think of. The next time you are walking around Rodeo Drive, I encourage you to head 1 block east onto Brighten, and discover a world of handsome mens wear.