"Where do you get your pants?"
September 16, 2007 5:11 PM   Subscribe

How to ask a co-worker where he buys his clothes?

As discussed in a previous thread, I'm a smaller guy who has trouble finding clothes that fit well. I appreciate the advice I got in that thread, and I've put some of it to use, but I still find it very hard to find a variety of clothes that fit my frame.

But there's a dude at work who's actually a bit smaller than me, and who dresses really well. I don't know him at all really, but I'd like to just ask him where he gets his gear. It would be a very simple solution to my problem, but I want to do it in the smoothest possible way, without being weird.

What's a good way to approach him on this? Exact phrases would be especially helpful.

posted by mpls2 to Human Relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Hey, nice jacket! Where'd you get it?"
posted by hydrophonic at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2007

"You dress really well. Where do you get your clothes?"
posted by macadamiaranch at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2007

"Hey, that's a great _____, where did get that?"
posted by R. Mutt at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2007

'Hi! I've been meaning to talk to you for a while. I've noticed that you're always really well dressed. I've been meaning to ask you, where do you buy your clothes?'
posted by stoneegg21 at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2007

Can you muster up the courage to just say "Hey, you always seem to dress really well, d'you mind if I ask you where you shop? It's so hard finding clothes that fit, for me, etc.."

Most people would probably find this more flattering than creepy or weird.
posted by Phire at 5:13 PM on September 16, 2007

The way I imagined it, I'd mention something about him and I being "smaller guys", and that could be weird. Cuz it's really advice on finding clothes for smaller guys that I want, rather than finding out where he got a specific jacket, etc.
posted by mpls2 at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2007

I think throwing in the phrase "well-tailored" also signals that it's the size problem that you're trying to solve without bringing up your relative sizes. i.e.
"That's a really well-tailored jacket, can I ask where you got it from?"
posted by saffry at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2007

I don't think you need to worry about coming across as a creep. It's really not too personal a question. And most men aren't going to be afraid you're going to start copying their look the way a woman might. Just use Phire's suggested wording rather than anything along the lines of, "I've been admiring the way those pants define your tight ass and muscular shoulders...."
posted by orange swan at 5:22 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

Just ask the guy "Hey, I was just wondering where you got that jacket/shirt/whatever". I wouldn't find it weird if someone asked me that, I would probably take it as a compliment.
posted by knapah at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2007

I have to admit that I'm now incredibly tempted to ask someone orange swan's example, "I've been admiring the way those pants define your tight ass and muscular shoulders...."

Although of course I would say trousers rather than pants, it would be a bit too weird otherwise.
posted by knapah at 5:28 PM on September 16, 2007

When you find out, can you follow up? My boyfriend has the same problems with clothes as you do.
posted by Amanda B at 5:38 PM on September 16, 2007

i don't think it would be weird at all. you might want to narrow down the question to one item, though--like his coat. then if a conversation develops about the general difficulty of finding stuff that fits, offer a suggestion of where you've found particular success, and he'll probably reply with one or two.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:09 PM on September 16, 2007

If you don't want to mention smallness directly, you could try a phrase like "well-proportioned" (as long as you're talking about a garment, not him). Or you could say something like, "You always seem so well put-together. Where do you find clothes cut/proportioned for guys like us?"
posted by bassjump at 6:16 PM on September 16, 2007

In my experience, drones are most relaxed away from their desks. So follow him into the men's room, take the stall next to his, and tap out your question in Morse code ....

Nah, I think the least creepy approach is to remark on a single piece of clothing. Admiring his entire wardrobe or the fit of an item could be viewed as approaching the outskirts of Stalkertown.
posted by rob511 at 6:22 PM on September 16, 2007

"Hey I was wondering where you get your clothes, I can never find my size any where and you dress so well and we're similar builds."
posted by sid at 6:25 PM on September 16, 2007

I feel like some men might interpret "You dress really well" as an indirect come-on, and might not like other people even mentioning their small build (depends a lot on the guy in question). I think it's much better to comment on a specific article of clothing.

Funny that you ask this because I've been meaning to ask a coworker where she shops for some time now - we are both small women and it's just as hard to find professional-looking clothes as it is for small men. I solved the problem by going shopping with her after work on Friday. Since you barely know this guy, not quite as straightforward...
posted by crinklebat at 7:09 PM on September 16, 2007

No compliments, to avoid weirdness. Complain on behalf of yourself, it's easier.

"Hey, [name], I got a question for you. I've been looking for pants like the ones you're wearing. Where'd you get them? I can never find stuff like that in my size."
posted by tk at 7:36 PM on September 16, 2007

If you want, just start with something slightly self-deprecating to indicate that yeah, you feel a little silly asking him where he shops, since you don't know him very well. This sounds less lame if you're in fact telling the truth. Don't, for instance, make up an imaginary girlfriend who wants you to dress great as a means of confirming to well-dressed-guy that you're not coming on to him. Leave that sort of ham-fistedness to the sitcoms.
posted by desuetude at 8:33 PM on September 16, 2007

When you find out, can you follow up? My boyfriend has the same problems with clothes as you do.

I haven't had a chance to ask this guy, but I've started putting together a really nice wardrobe.

- J.Crew has XS shirts and sweaters that fit me perfectly.
- Zappos.com sells 28/30 Diesel jeans. They're actually a little big in the waist, so I'm gonna have them tailored.
- Gap XS sweaters fit me very well, and they're pretty nice.
posted by mpls2 at 7:12 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

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