My husband and I are not good clothing shoppers — especially when it comes to trying to outfit him. Frankly, we’d rather be doing just about anything else — work in the yard, go biking, watch a movie, cook for the family — than shop for clothes. It might be because we live in a rural part of Colorado and don’t have a ton of shopping options (Gap or Gucci in Aspen; Target in Glenwood Springs). Or perhaps it’s because we tend to spend our hard-earned money on vacations with the kids than on latest clothing trends.
That all said, when Men’s Wearhouse offered us $750 to spend at its Grand Junction location (about 90 minutes from our house), in exchange for writing about the experience, we both jumped at the opportunity. We need all the help we can get in selecting what looks good on my husband, and what best suits (pun!) our lifestyle. After perusing the Men’s Wearhouse website and learning more about the company, I figured we’d get excellent customer service from the store’s on-site Wardrobe Consultants.
Indeed, the nearly three (!) hours we spent at Men’s Wearhouse was one of the most pleasurable shopping experiences I’ve ever had. Here’s how it all went down:
Men’s Wearhouse Sells Formal Suits to Business Casual Outfits to “Going Out” Clothes
We walked into Men’s Wearhouse anticipating that we’d buy my husband a new suit. After all, Men’s Wearhouse has traditionally been known as a “suit store.” Founded as a single retail store in Texas in 1973, Men’s Wearhouse built its reputation selling sport coats and “leisure suits.” (Ack! Thank goodness those went the way of the 1980 padded shoulders in women’s “blazers.”) Today there are more than 1,000 Men’s Wearhouse retail locations in North America.
While I would have been pleased to select a new suit for my husband — he actually had a reason to dress up during our fancy dinner at The Broadmoor this summer and during formal nights on our cruise to Alaska — as soon as I walked passed the mannequins wearing more casual jeans, shirts and sport coats in the store window, I knew those were exactly the kind of outfits I wanted to bring home for Quent.
Quent wears T-shirts and jeans to work in the winter, and T-shirts and shorts to work in the summer (he co-owns two outdoor-industry magazines). He’s got the uber-sporty, casual look down pat; after all, we live in a particularly laid-back area of our state and we lead a very active lifestyle. Quent also has loads of preppy oxford style shirts and khakis when I need him to look a bit more dressed up for a dinner out, and his aforementioned suit, dress shirt and ties are appropriate for fancier holiday parties and weddings.
What we really needed help with was the “dressed up in jeans” look that could take him out to dinner in Aspen (or any city on our travels) or to a friend’s cocktail party. We needed something a bit more current and trendier than his boring oxford shirts, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to put an entire look together.
Top-Notch Service from Knowledgeable Wardrobe Consultants
No less than five employees staffed the small Men’s Wearhouse store within the Mesa Mall in Grand Junction when we dropped in on a Saturday morning. Though Operations Manager Olga Mortimer was our main point of contact and “helper” throughout the whole shopping process, the others, namely Manager Ron Garcia (who’s been with the company for 11 years) and friendly Wardrobe Consultant Castillo Zamora, chimed in a lot as Quent tried on different clothing combinations.
We truly appreciated all of their advice — none of which was ever overbearing. When I’d ask for an opinion from any of the staff, I’d often hear in return, “Well, I tend to like this particular look, but really it’s up to your personal preference…”
At Men’s Wearhouse, staff is there to help outfit customers — not “sell suits.” They truly take the time to learn the customer’s needs, taste and budget. Once we made clear that we wanted a more casual look than a business suit, Olga was off grabbing jeans, shirts, sweaters and jackets off of hangers and spreading them out on a large table, so we could look at all the options.
We were presented with (and Quent tried on) some dressier “business casual” looks that included a tie and some dress pants. Olga pulled a bunch of sweaters, but Quent just isn’t a sweater guy, so we nixed those. We giggled at one choice of shoes Olga suggested for him — not his style at all — and one casual cotton jacket just looked too boxy on his thin waist and broad shoulders.
None of the staff ever seemed to get tired pulling different sizes and options, in fact, they all appeared to be having as much fun as we were, checking out all the different clothing combinations. (I loved it because I didn’t have to fold or hang anything back up!) My husband, the most patient man in the world, didn’t mind when I’d say, “Now go back and try that shirt with those jeans” or “Let me see the coat with those shoes.”
Another fun highlight of shopping at Men’s Wearhouse: They don’t mind when you bring in items you own, to see what might go with things you already like and wear. Indeed, we did that, and determined that Quent probably didn’t need that pair of dress pants that looked oh-so-good on him; his suit pants that he owns already are similar. He also has a bunch of ties that would look great with the taupe dress shirt we decided to buy.
In the end, for $900 total, we came home with two pairs of leather shoes (one brown, one black), two pairs of Lucky jeans (one dark wash, one medium wash), three casual shirts he can wear untucked with his new jeans, a fitted dress shirt, and the most versatile brown jacket in the world, which he can pair with dress pants or jeans.
Versatile Men’s Wearhouse Outfits for all Occasions
I’m so pleased to have learned more about Men’s Wearhouse, namely because I’ll now feel comfortable walking into the store, whether Quent needs a new pair of shoes, a tie or an overcoat. That’s what struck me the most about Men’s Wearhouse: this store truly does outfit a man from head to toe, for any occasion.
Though it didn’t always in its 37-year history, this specialty store now runs the gamut when it comes to men’s apparel, from casual to formal. I learned that the store carries not only brand-name designers, like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Jones New York, but also its own private label, including the Pronto Uomo shirt Quent has on in the photo at the right.
While we were outfitting Quent, I saw a young couple come in to order tuxedos for their wedding — tuxedo rentals for proms, formal events and weddings are a big part of Men’s Wearhouse business. A couple of other wedding parties were in the store getting fitted with their rented attire (including a young ring bearer), and a couple of other men were having pants hemmed (Men’s Wearhouse will tailor clothing — even women’s — that wasn’t bought at the store). We also watched a man from Aspen get fitted for a suit; he’d come in for just one dress shirt, but when he learned of a promotion — buy one suit, get the second for $100 — he actually bought two suits.
In fact, because Men’s Wearhouse employs an on-site tailor who works whenever the shop is open, customers can go home with a new suit — tailored to fit them perfectly — in just two hours (which is what that customer from Aspen did). It’s not unusual, Manager Ron Garcia told me, for customers to visit Men’s Wearhouse store while on the road: if the airline loses a man’s luggage and he needs a suit pronto, Men’s Wearhouse can deliver. Same goes if you need a suit quickly for a wedding — last-minute date! — or for a less happy occasion like a funeral.
Another important customer-service point for frequent travelers: Men’s Wearhouse will press any of their clothing items for free at any location worldwide. Finally, if you gain or lose a few pounds, Men’s Wearhouse will re-alter any previously altered seam free of charge, for the life of the garment.
Again, our experience at Men’s Wearhouse was excellent. Because the enthusiastic staff made us feel so comfortable inside the store, listened to our needs, offered advice without quashing our personal tastes, and were all-around helpful and fun, we’ll absolutely return to Men’s Wearhouse for Quent’s future clothing needs.