I was recently featured on Robert Gruler’s podcast, Gruler Nation.  I love doing podcasts and sharing my story.  Rob is a local attorney here in Scottsdale and it was fun learning about his style and clothing questions.  Thank you, Rob, for featuring me and listen for yourself!!

This is episode 79 of the griller nation podcast. My name is Robert Gruler, joined today by Mary Zarob, who is a New York train designer and stylist. Somebody who helps people look good in particular men, which I’m very excited to talk about. But I want to, I want to dive into a lot with you, but I know you’ve got a lot of experience in this. You are a trained at the fashion Institute of technology in New York city. You’ve worked with some major name brands. You have studied everything from color fabrics, textures, patterns, designs, prints, all of the stuff that I know nothing about. You’re an expert in, which is why I’m so grateful to have you here. So thanks for coming on, Mary.

So, let’s start at the top. So how did you get into this space? I mean, did you know as a young girl that you were interested in fashion and looking good, or did that evolve organically? How’d that, how’d that happen?

It kind of evolved. So, as a kid, my mom taught me how to sew, right. Projects, Halloween costumes, all that fun stuff. Yeah. And then when I went to high school, one of my best friends, she would always go to New York every summer and I was always intrigued by the shoes and the clothes and she showed me the stores in the city and I was like, Oh my gosh, I want to go to New York. And a guy just started loving fashion magazines and makeup and clothing and style. And I had friends that were models. And looking at like what they were doing, I just got, I loved it. And there was a community college in my town because I paid for college and my high school was like an all-girls college prep school. So there was zero art classes. So, I went to this community college and I took their fashion design program and I loved it and I end up taking a tailoring class and I took it twice because I love making suits and jackets. Um, I got a job with a local tailor doing alterations and helping grooms and black tight guys go up to like weddings or events, et cetera. And so training with this tailor, I was like, Oh my gosh, I loved it. When, I did apply to New York at FIT, I applied for menswear because I love tailoring and I got in and then it just kind of went from there.

Yeah. And, and how long have you been operating Q. Contrary?

Oh, so I’ve had my store will be a year and a couple of days. Yeah, a year.

Congratulations.

Thank you. And my own business about two and a half years.

Okay. So, so you were working, I know you, you, you know, you’ve worked for some really big name brands and, and then so you decided after I think 15 years of kind of studying that and working in that space to just kind of venture off. How has that journey been?

It’s been awesome. It’s hard. Yeah. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. Um, people have been super supportive. I learned something new every day. Um, and I do think my training, my background has helped me kind of understand the customer and the trends and how clothes fit and products and style and kind of the evolution of men and where their styles going and the purpose of stuff. And you know, it’s working six days a week at a store is hard, but the customer comes in and they appreciate what you do and the service and the knowledge and the alterations are the new trends and fabrics like guys love it.

So are you predominantlyworking with men? Okay. So, so who is kind of your target client? Your ideal person? Is it somebody who comes in and says, you know, I’ve got a specific event I need help with? Is it the person who says I have like me, I have no idea what the heck I’m doing when it comes to addressing, well, it was everybody?

Um, it’s mostly professional men, Cause I make more suits and jackets and dress shirts and slacks. Yeah. They buy two or three times a year. Um, the either one, travel a ton, they work all the time. The last thing they want to do is go to the mall on their days off. Um, sometimes they have an interesting body shape or they’re super specific. Um, but a lot of my clients can, I have a work uniform that we build and develop themselves and so get to know them. If it’s real estate law, if it’s accountants, doctors, sales gentlemen, just business professionals that kind of live in Phoenix here. I do have some clients outside the state, but most of them are here. Um, sometimes I do work with their wives, girlfriends or partners. Once we build like their file on, you know, and all their measurements on file and gotten to know what they like, but they usually just call her email or stop in, need a couple of suits. Me a couple sportcoats Hey Mary got these events coming up and we just kind of grow and add to it.

Are you starting kind of from a blank slate with a lot of people? Are you, you know, they coming in and they’re saying, uh, you know, I need to just refresh all of my stuff. I mean, how does that process work? So they come in and you say, you know, what are you looking for? And you know, I just need to, I need to level up my wardrobe. Are you looking at what they have existing? Are you looking, are you matching them to an idea that they have or people clueless about what looks good and they’re just relying on your expertise?

It’s a combination of all that, but usually with men, they kind of, when they need something, they needed it yesterday, you know, they’re not going into the Moloch women in shopping 20 stores and browsing. They call me and say, Hey Mary, I need jeans now. My jeans fit. I lost my favorite jeans. I need help. Or Hey Mary, my shirts, I lost a bunch of weight. My shirts don’t fit. My collar bugs me or Mary, I’m getting married in four or five months. I need a suit. Or I got a job interview and, or it’s like, Hey, I got this new job. I noticed the guys in my office are wearing this. And so I don’t, I don’t sell them 10 suits or 20 shirts. We start with a couple and I have them wear it because sometimes men aren’t used to wearing clothes that actually fit them correctly.

Or I hear a lot that my is like, Oh, I went to this department store, I dropped a ton of money. I don’t wear any of those clothes. I hate them. I’m like, you know what, let’s start with a couple pairs of jeans or with one suit, a couple shirts, wear it. You can always call me, can add as many more as you want, but I don’t, I’m not in the business of selling, selling, selling. I’m the business of getting to know you, your lifestyle, and help you build a wardrobe that when you open your closet, you’re so excited to wear. Um, and yeah, it’s, it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.

Yeah. Yeah. And, and you know, I looked at some of your pictures on the website and on your Instagram and it looks like you’re excellent at what you do. What I loved about what you just said is that you really, you really kind of start from the right and you make sure that they’ve got sort of the essentials that they need and then you can start adding, adding and getting a little bit more expressive.

Right. And I have a lot of customers that take pictures of their closet and say, Hey Mary, these are all the shirts I have. This is the style that I wear. And then I can slowly help them evolve them. You know, push ’em out five 10% out of their comfort zone, depending on kind of their business or their lifestyle and where they’re going. And, or a lot of guys go on a date, I’m like, let’s get you a couple of date outfits that you get compliments. Do you feel good in it? You know, like you like that. Okay, let’s add a couple more. So it’s slowly evolving pieces and asking him, what do you wear? A lot of, what do you usually gravitate towards? Okay, so you always wearing Brown shoes and blue slacks. Let’s get a couple of tops here. Or spring is coming, coming, let’s add up like a little pop color, just one pink shirt. It’s not crazy, but sometimes to them it’s, it’s a big step, but it’s kind of helping them understand and push them a little bit.

Right. And, and the, the idea of pushing people out of their comfort zone, because I’m super guilty of it, and I think a lot of men are right. They, you have something that you’re comfortable with and you’re just, you’re just, it’s just part of your routine and your habit. And to change it up to say you’re going to, you’re going to know we’re gonna not doing that anymore. We’re gonna, right. It’s like a big deal.

It’s a big deal. And it’s like, I have a lot of my customers, we have a uniform, so they always buy the same white, blue, purple shirts, the same sort of pattern pants or solid pants and, and they have the Go to solid, you know, suits. But then it’s like, okay, here, I always send them some ideas hastened, here’s some jacket ideas, here’s this. Or they see something in my social media. They’re like, okay, Hey, I saw Taj jacket. I want something like that. All right. You know, when they’re ready and you start planting little seeds and they understand cause it’s, it’s a relationship. It’s that trust. You know, they’re dropping, you know, a good chunk of change on what I’m making for them and it’s worth it. And they love it cause they feel good. They get tons of compliments. But I also want them to like be excited to wear it and want to wear their clothes.

Right. Yeah. And there’s, it’s a super general statement, but this idea that men should look good, I think is counterintuitive for a lot of men. Right? It’s, it’s kind of remember when that, that metro-sexual term was thrown around a lot. We don’t hear that much anymore. But you know, 10 years ago that was the thing and it was these, it was these men who looked really good. You know, they, they, they, they were crisp, they wore the vests, they, you know, they were really done up and there was kind of a backlash against that. You know, it was kind of from other, you know, well that’s not really manly, you know, and it’s sort of, um, kind of feminine in a way that was kind of the critique of it and that real men don’t do that. You know, real men were worn out, beat up shirts for 20 years until their rags and they don’t care about their shoes matching and all of that stuff. Um, why do you think, why do you think it’s important to, to maybe look good or to not, um, not be too concerned about, about that idea?

Well, we all, we want to make a for a good first impression wherever you’re going, right? If you’re going into a client meeting, into the office, just out with friends, people notice what you wear. They might not always say something, but they notice it. And unfortunately, we all judge people based on it. Right? And so simple things you can do, it doesn’t mean you have to go to Nordstrom and get a brand new, you know, Armani, you know, outfit, but get your clothes tailored, tuck your shirts in, put a belt on, you know, like brush your hair. Simple little things you can do to how you look and present yourself doesn’t need a three-piece suit. But people notice and you, you get smiles and people not say treat you differently, but they kind of do. And if you want to go out and impress people and but also like value yourself. I mean I think today with so many men in general being put down so much with so many things are happening in society. I mean, I don’t know one good TV show on TV right now that has a good lead male character,right? That’s not a buffoon kind of bumbling around and being an idiot.

Correct. And so men today I think have it harder to Gil a bit more respect but also value themselves because they’re put down so much. So simple thing as to kind of putting an outfit that you like, that you feel good in, can change your attitude. Um, and just kind of, I mean, yeah, you can still look good in your Chicago bears, your Cardinals Jersey, you know, but just put a little effort in to get a tailor to get it to fit right. You’ll feel good about yourself.

Yeah. Yeah. I think maybe a lot of guys look, so I, I don’t notice a lot of that stuff. Or maybe I do, but I don’t internalize it. I know, I know I don’t go into a meeting or sit down with somebody and say, man, I like that tie. Like I just don’t, I don’t verbalize that in my mind. And because I don’t, I don’t notice those things. I don’t follow the trends. I don’t put a lot of effort on how I dress and how I look. I don’t, I don’t care a whole lot about it and I, the reason being is because I think other people think the way I do and that they don’t notice it either. And you know, having a conversation with somebody like you, you say, Oh yeah, we noticed that, right? Everybody notices that and so to, to maybe pause and say, maybe there’s a, there’s some room for kind of improving that outward appearance because it is so important. People do. People apparently do notice that and it can make a big difference on your interaction,but even how you’re dressed today, I mean, your shirt fits, your hair is done right? You could tell you put effort into what you’re wearing jeans and a polo shirt, but your shoes are a little dressier. You can tell you pick those versus chunky Reeboks. Right, right. You definitely made an effort in how you look and it doesn’t mean as to take 45 minutes in the morning and you got to put on, you know, a tie and a suit, but just simple things of brush your hair, make sure it looks nice. You have some lotion on your face, put deodorant on, brushed your teeth, nails aren’t dirty, have your shirt tucked in, like add a belt like it’s fits. It’s little things that you can just do fine tuning in. People like will smile at you. Yeah. You’ll, you’ll get compliments. You like people notice,right?

Yeah. And was it was curious before we hopped on, you knew we were talking about, about dates and about working with guys and uh, I think, I think you had told the story about there was somebody else that you worked with who was sets, sets the dates up and she would look at guys who would just show up and say, no, try, try again. Send them over to you and then you’d correct them.

Yes. And just help them guys. Yeah. This is what I do. I don’t know how to fix my car. I don’t know how to cut grass. I don’t know how to, you know, like there’s certain things I’m not good at and everyone, there’s certain things people are good at. And so with men with dating, a lot of it is first impression in what you’re wearing. And so, if men who want to attract a beautiful woman, a nicely dressed, smart, educated, gorgeous woman, you can’t be looking like a schlump. Right. You know, because she wants a guy on the same level as her. Right. So with a lot of these men, cause they don’t, it’s not their job to look good or to shop and this and that and they need the help. So they come see me and yeah we make them a couple of pieces.I take them shopping, I help tailor what’s in their wardrobe but then I show them, okay these jeans with this shirt, you can add this jacket or you can throw this sweater on top or you can, you know where this linen shirt or just different looks or add these shoes and just help them and show them how to put looks together. If you’re going to go to like a cocktail data dinner date, if you’re going to the park, if you have brunch like Hey here’s our ideas. This is what you wear. And then it actually kind of helps them cause they don’t, you know, they don’t worry about it and they feel good about it cause it fits in there. They ended up loving it.

Right. Yeah. Why do you think guys are so oblivious to this stuff?

I don’t think all guys are, no. I think some guys who care about or want to do it, some guys don’t have the time or energy, um, or they’re embarrassed or they just don’t want to do on their free time. Um, but guys want to look good. I mean, when I make clothes for a lot of my clients, their wives or girlfriends will call me, or their partners will say, he’s never gotten more compliments in that shirt. Like, I’ve never seen more people in the first five minutes of this conference. We went to, complemented his jacket and I’m like, awesome. You don’t really know.

That’s fascinating. It’s awesome. Yeah. And I would imagine that guys, after they have that experience, that they, they want more of that, right. Then they start wanting to see, okay, now how about this outfit and that outfit and just get him plugged in.

Yeah. Or it’s something where they’re making a promotion or they’re going for a job interview or they’re, you know, presenting a deal, a big deal. They’re like, Mary, I wear that suit when I’m meeting these clients, I’m going to court. I’m presenting this multimillion-dollar deal because I feel good about myself. It’s my power suit. I’m ready for it. I wore that sport coat or you know, they just feel more confident and then they just, their chest is up, they’re walking down the street, they go into the office, they just, they’ve got it right. And I noticed that with what I wear. And I see women too, like when you put your heels on or a great new jacket, even new handbag or whatever it is. Like you just feel, you feel great.

Yeah. It’s there. There’s absolute truth to that. It’s just that I think it’s, it’s not as obvious to a lot of men that just how important it is. It’s just more of, you know, it’s a routine. I mean it’s, it’s more utilitarian in a lot of ways. We just say, yeah, I need to put clothes on so we put my clothes on. And then, and then the idea that, that you have to go, you know, go shopping. Right. Or you’re just overwhelmed with, with choices, you know, you go into, you walk into Nordstrom’s and not even know where to go. Right. I’ve really, I mean, I, I hate going into those stores and so the idea that I got to go pick out a suit is like, I’m just not going to do it. Right. And so I’m sure that’s a big roadblock for a lot of guys. That’s where you come in,right? And a lot of guys, if you go to a store like Nordstrom, they’re gonna sell you what’s there? They’re going to say, no, this is what you have to have. Oh, this is okay, you got to wear this and here, put this together. And, and I don’t know necessarily training a lot of the associates there if they’re just salespeople and Nordstrom, especially here in fashion square, it’s so small and they’re pushing a lot more to the younger, slimmer, where a lot of my clients are forties to sixties and there’s not a lot of great brands out there, especially at that store to accommodate them. Or then they all look the same. Right. And so, and I don’t, customers will come see me and I’ll tell them, Hey, go get the shoe here. Go get these jeans there. I don’t have that look, go here and I’ll educate them, Hey, jump here, but this is what I can do for you at my store. Um, and it’s showing them okay at a black polo shirt or add, you know, your golf pants here. I can go with this and just put looks together.

What about costs and stuff like that? I mean the idea that somebody has got to go and replace their wardrobe cause they’ve been doing it wrong for the last 20 years, you know, they’ve acquired clothes for the last 20 years. Now maybe I should, I should change some of that. You know, it sounds like a very expensive proposition. How do, how do people, um, transition with you?

So well I would start, we go through their closet. We’d sit and see what they have. Cause there’s a lot of actually good stuff in your closet that just doesn’t fit right or that you just forgot about. So pull stuff out, categorize things, tailor what’s in there. So if you lost some weight, we can take the waste in. We can shorten hems, we can take the sides and insurance, get things to fit a little better. Cause alterations takes about a couple of weeks to get done week to 10 days, depending on how much. And then you’ll have clothes to wear and you already invested time and money in this. So like in with the whole reuse, reuse, recycle, like don’t just toss everything out, just tailor it, right. Um, and then see kind of what’s missing and say, okay, what’s the image you want to present to the world and how do you want to address?And then try start with a couple of pieces. Say, okay, let’s add some jeans. Or you need a good sport coat, couple of dress shirts or casual shirts, polo shirts. You know, maybe you have stuff in your closet, let’s tailor it. Maybe you’ve worn that for the last 10 years. Then it just has to go right, right. But it’s gonna take a little time and effort. I mean you’re not going to drop, drop a ton of money, but to invest yourself to look good, it costs a little bit of money. Um, but again, like I said before, like I like to start little bits at a couple pieces where it, I educate my guys, these are the brands that fit you, so when you need more, go back to the store, look for that brand or come see me. I can just make you some, you know, gray slacks,right? Yeah. And the idea, I mean also you’re, you’re probably getting a lot more bang for your dollar when you’re, I mean, I can’t tell you how many, how many items of clothing that I have that I never wear for some reason either doesn’t match. I didn’t think through it when I, when I bought that at the store, there was no intentionality behind it. I just needed it. And you know, I made an impulse buy an impulse decision. There was no, it wasn’t thought out. And that’s just money that’s just gone. Right. It’s just, I’ll never see it again. So if I wanted to be more intentional, more focused, have more of a plan where this on these occasions, where that on those, then you’re getting a lot more value out of, out of your money.

Right. And maybe sometimes, maybe it’s also showing you you can wear that shirt and this is how you can wear it and where you can wear it. Right. And pull it back out and let’s try it on and okay, just fit it a little better or no, that was a bad buy. Right. You know, let’s donate it to somebody who could really wear it. Right. And then say, okay, this is what you’re used to wearing. Why do you wear these? Okay. Cause they all fit the same, or the quality of the fabric or the brand or the look. Okay. And here it’s springtime coming up. Let’s add a couple of, you know, pieces like this, but nothing that’s totally far out that you’d be like, Ugh.

Right, right. Yeah. And I would imagine the quality is much better than whatever you order off Amazon. Yes. Yeah. I would just imagine just guessing. I could be wrong on that. Well, how do you stay on top of the, the different trends and the different styles and, and I mean it’s, it’s a complicated world out there. Maybe not for you, but for me it is, you know, when I’m, when I see the different, you know, the different trends guys are now doing the stubble beard face thing, then you know, then it’s not, then it’s the, the fohawk then it’s, you know, it’s so it’s a, it’s, it’s complicated. How do you stay plugged in?

Uh, so there’s a website called WGSN, a trend forecasting website that I go to regularly. Um, it’s not, you have to have a special sign in password for it. It’s kind of what, what I, when I was at Macy’s and Calvin Klein jeans, we looked at that all the time. So you can kind of see what people around the world are wearing, what the fabric mills are making with the trends. Like the high, high top.

I’m kidding. So you’re, you’re, it’s like predicting what’s going to be coming.

Yes, but it, but it’s in different ways. So it’s like home or women’s fashion and men’s fashion in all parts of the world and art and just things happening in the world. And then I’ve learned to translate it to my customer, right? So colors that are happening. Okay. I’ve seen green around for the last three seasons in the fall, you know, and how it’s evolved and then okay, it’s adding it to a plaid in just a small Stripe or now it’s every, all of our plans. Right. Um, and it’s just kind of studying this and just understanding it then more something you can do is I read a lot of GQ magazines and the, the Robb report, um, I, I personally love sports. And so I think the anchors are the gentlemen and women that go on stage. If it’s, you know, sports center or just the pregames.

And I watched what they were in their suits, their tie combinations and the colors. Cause I think a lot of guys should be looking to them just to get some ideas. I think you should also look to, celebrities are more athletes. Um, and if you like get the same body type and same frame and same build, um, and hair, skin color, et cetera, kind of watch what they wear and say, okay, I like that gray suit. Or Oh, I liked how he put the orange tie with it. Or just little tricks and just looking to them. Um, cause they’re, back in the day it was like, you know, Calvin Klein or Dior or these high end fashion people were, now it’s actual, you know, athletes and bloggers or it’s certain celebrities but not celebrities like Hollywood stars that just have great style and just kind of find a couple of those that you like and follow them.

And then a lot of it is look at what’s your friends wear or look at what’s kind of in the stores. Um, but I, I just read a lot and look at a lot of blogs and what the kids are wearing in Europe and the streets and this is cool kid stuff and then evolve it. I evolve it for my clientele. But then I also, in my store I work with fabric mills. Okay. So the fabric mill is where the designers all go to the fabric houses mostly to pick the fabrics and make the clothes. So the fabric mills kind of dictate what the trends are and the colors and the patterns because you can’t make a garment without the fabric. And sometimes the designers will design their own fabric, which is so exciting. It’s so much fun. This is what I used to do.

But it’s because then you can decide, okay, I want that print in that exact color, um, for the season and make it super trend. Right. And you just pick the fabrics and you see what’s kinda coming ahead. And then you like show your customers like, I show my guys here, here’s a cool idea. And they’re like, Oh no. And a season later, Hey, do you think about this like the same green plaid done? I did a little way different way. And they’re like, okay, I get it now Mary. Sure I’ll wear that. Like it’s just planting little seeds and seeing things and seeing things and be like, okay, I’m ready for that. That’s interesting. So when you, when you go to school for something like this, what are you, what are the courses? What are you, what are you learning? So, so my program was a two year program, which was great cause you learned a lot in the classroom, but then you’re only gonna really get real experience on the job cause each design house does everything so differently.

So I took pattern making classes to understand how garments are made. I took tailoring classes to actually make and so the garments I did computer classes, so design, CAD, work on the computer, weaving classes, textile classes. So you understand the actual fabrics and fibers and how things are woven and how to take care of garments and characteristics of things. Um, life drawing, you know, illustration, which I wasn’t that good at and that’s okay. Um, what else did I take? That’s a lot. It’s a lot. And just design classes, portfolio classes, just emit really artistic, creative teachers that would just take you like art history. You go to the museums and you see exhibits and just kinda talk about and just get your eyes open about different trends in art movements and things that are happening in the world. Right? Cause it’s not, it’s not like algebra where there’s one way to do it. It’s, it’s very creative and there’s so many different styles and people are um, you know, responsive to some things and not

to others. So I guess what people, when they’re, when they’re coming to you for your services, they’re not just buying a piece of clothing. They’re, they’re kind of trying to have you help them model their kind of entire lives and persona. And you want the clothing to fit their personality and their career and their wife’s style. And you know what she wants to see on the guy. So it’s, it’s a complicated thing you’re doing. There it is. And it’s fun and it’s, and I keep track of like what my clients buy. So if like, like you’re a business partner Ryan, he’s like, Hey Mary, need some blue suits and then you come in, I’m not going to make you the same blue suit as him cause I don’t want you guys being twins. But at the same time it’s like, okay, and you kind of know what he’s wears this look good, this color look great on you. Um, but then it’s also like, Hey, you’re going to this event, here’s a good idea, or here’s a cool plaid or here’s some things I’m seeing. And when you come to me and say, Hey Mary, I saw this great magazine article on GQ, I love that jacket. I’m like, okay, but this is that version for you. So it’s just studying fabrics and patterns and just keeping an eye open for it and then just picking the right guy to wear it.

Right? Yeah. Yeah. And you’re, it’s funny you came in and you saw all the polo shirts that I have hanging on my wall because I switched them out when I make the videos. And you’re that yellows and no right there. And so, which, which, you know, to be honest, I did know that, but I wanted, I wanted something of noxious and then I put it on and I’m like, I can’t do it. So I think you hit the nail on the head on that one.

Well we’ll take the color off and maybe we’ll sell it on the white shirt or even do color blocking or something or sleeves off. We can adjust it. But yeah, yellow you can, you can donate that one or just keep it there.

Yeah, it’s, it’s super obnoxious. It’s like a year in yellow color. It’s dehydrated. You’re in color. It’s terrible. What are some common mistakes that you think a lot of guys are making? Is it just not putting any effort into it or a caring?

No, cause I think guys do care about how they look. Um, the gym, I mean guys are working out regularly, they’re playing sports, but I just wearing, I think guys are like, like you said, your mom always buys you an extra large. So I think men have this, Oh, I was always a 34 waist. And I’m like, well, you’re actually a 32 or Hey, you’re really 35 right? And they just have this mindset that I have to buy this size or they just buy for convenience. So like I go to Costco and Costco’s got great stuff, but someone does buy the Costco jeans or this and then I hear from their wife, Oh his butt looks terrible or this or that, or the jeans don’t last. And it’s just put a little effort into it.

Yeah. So I think I, yeah, I think I definitely do care. I think the better word would be like apathy. Like they, they just kind of get disconnected from, from the effort that’s required to maintain a good look. Cause you know, we’re the same thing for 10 years. Well, styles change a lot in 10 years, right? So if you’re not up to date on that, you’re going to be wearing a decade old style that just doesn’t work anymore. Right.

But then I have younger clients who are working with older people, older men and women. So they dress a little older, which I think is appropriate. Or I have the older guy who wants to look like he’s 22, which is like, okay, maybe we’ll push you up to more 35 or 40 but dressing young or dressing older in the right way. Right. So not, or some younger guys always listen to what their father says. Like, Oh my dad always wore this. My dad worked that like, okay, but for you in your business and where you’re going, that’s a good blue, but let’s not put the gold buttons on the check, you know, and let’s tailor it. A little trimmer and you know, it’s, and with men’s clothing, like lot of jackets and suits, you can let stuff in or out so you can gain or lose up to 30 pounds and just alter your clothing to fit. Um, and with men’s clothing it is a lot about to fit ladies too. But with bands it’s, it’s the fit and you can, you can gain smell BS. That’s okay. You know, like all of my clients gain weight and lose weight all the time. We just adjust to fit and then we build more on, you know, when they need something new. But it’s also just invest in yourself a little bit.

Yeah. Yeah. Do you think there’s, there, there’s a lot of these of these kinds of companies that are popping up where they outsource a lot of the stuff. So I, we, you know, as you know, I’m an attorney and so we get hit up all the time from these people who want to come in and measure us and then ship the clothes off to Taiwan and stuff and then, and then send that stuff back. And, uh, and I actually, we actually did that one time and we got, I got a bunch of suits back that don’t fit right in my opinion. And, uh, I feel like I wasted a ton of money on suits that don’t fit. Yeah. Is a huge problem.

Yeah. It’s frustrating. Yeah. And I, I have, I’ve never worked with those companies. I have clients who have, the advantage to those companies is, it’s inexpensive. Right? Right. Or many people go overseas to like Thailand or Vietnam and they get measured and they keep them on file and sure they can make a decent suit or pants and it’s super inexpensive. Um, I’ve also heard sometimes it takes up to six months to get things, um, where my clients, like they want things in two, three weeks or four weeks and six months down the road. Right. Yeah. Um, and it’s also knowledge. So I don’t know, I’ve never worked with them. So someone like me, cause I’ve studied and I went to school for it and I kind of listened to what you are looking for in your style and I kind of try to try to cater to you versus just selling you a Navy suit. Oh, I hear you don’t measure done. Um, so if are people who have worked with them have great experiences, um, I, I’ve made a couple of suits that didn’t fit my clients and had to remake it. I’m not gonna lie, you know, I’m not perfect. Um, but it’s, it happens, but it is frustrating. That’s why I only make one at a time.

Yeah, it is frustrating. And really anytime that that happens, it kind of sours you on the whole thing, you know, then you, then you, you kind of step outside your comfort zone. You say, this sucks, you go right back in your comfort zone and you just kind of give up on the whole process. Or you need somebody to come in and smack you in the head and say, Hey, you’re not doing that anymore. I’ve had a number of people in my life, most, uh, ex-girlfriends who said, you can’t, you can’t wear that anymore. It’s going in the, you know, and

had they not, uh, stepped up and said something, I’d probably still be wearing it. I’ve told plenty of customers that come in and I’m like, what’s the purpose of this suit? Like, you’re a young guy, you’re not worried three buttons. It’s a huge in the shoulders like this. It’s not for you. Like, no, keep it. But yeah, it’s, you’re very delicate about it. You didn’t come in and blast me, so I appreciate that. No, you’re a good-looking guy. You’ve got great style and your, your business wardrobe and yeah. Yeah, well it’s casual Friday, so, well, all right. So walk me through the process then. So if somebody wants to come meet with you, what does that look like? Do they book an appointment? Do they just stop by your store? Sure. They can book an appointment and that they can stop by anytime I’m there six days a week.

Um, I’m usually the only one there. So if I’m with other customers, just be patient when they come in and kind of decide kind of what they’re looking for to kind of chat a little bit, learn about their style or their career or their clientele, you know, et cetera. Um, and the wardrobe goals they are, what issues they’ve had in the past. So if it’s like a can get shirts to fit or I tend to only wear these colors or you know, like I’m going to an event, it’s kind of just understand the purpose of the clothing. Yeah. And then I take a dozen measurements ourselves mentally, a little bit more. Try have you try on some garments, depending what you’re buying. And we pick fabrics and we designed something. So I got a handful of samples in the store. Some sometimes guys like to see it actually on a full piece.

I can’t have every fabric made up, but to kind of have an idea, um, and we kind of look through books and understand their budget and kind of what they want and a lot of fun. Yeah. So when I see something, Whoa, I want a blue plaid. And then it kind of showed me the other gray ones or other highlights here. And then I show how to put it together. Say, okay, if you make this jacket, here’s a bunch of pant options, this is what you can wear, this is what I wouldn’t wear with it. And just kind of help him and show him. And yeah, it’s a lot of fun. So, so I’m getting the vision of, of like suits and formal wear, but you also do, you know, casual first date type of, you know, we’re going on a walk type of thing.

Yep. So I make a lot of short sleeve shirts or casual shirts with contrast details, linen shirts, a lot of linen shirts in the summer. And then in my store I sell fidelity jeans, which is a great denim company. They have about four or five different fits because some of my guys, a lot of my guys are all different shapes and sizes, so I don’t make custom jeans just cause the wash. It just is going to a lot of work. Um, and so they’re super soft. So I’ll pull jeans that can have him, try them on and then tailor them and then show them how to put looks together. Um, I sell polos. I sell a brand called Grayson. It’s a golf brand. Um, they’re kind of the young, cooler, modern version of Peter Millar. Um, great cool stuff. I saw them in Chicago at the Collective.

I love what they’re doing. Um, so show how to put polos under their jackets or sport coaches say, Hey, here’s a look. I don’t have to make you something. Pull those in jeans. You’re ready for dinner, you’re ready for a date, you’re ready for brunch, et cetera. I felt Travis Matthew, which I know a lot of guys in town are familiar with great golf brand. Um, little more casual, but that again, some of the stuff is a little dressier to show how to merchandise it with suits or jackets. Just kind of, you know, put that together. It’s a lot of fun.

Yeah, that does sound fun. It sounds, sounds sorely needed. Sounds. I was thinking about all of the help that I need and I was just like, I was what I was doing as I was going back through like all the events, I was like, I was just at that event and I had no idea what to wear. So that’s what I wore. I just threw all that stuff together and you know, and uh, I guess we can, we can, we can visit that offline. What about, so you know, when guys come in, you know, we’re sensitive to, right? We’re, we’re delicate objects and when, when, when we come in and we have to, you know, hear somebody say, uh, no anymore. Like, no, you’re not doing that anymore. Let’s cut that out, throw that close, you know, that clothed out. How do you, how do you have that conversation with somebody?

I just tell him, yeah, I will. I asked him like, okay, what’s the purpose of this pant? Like why, if nobody has an answer for that, like, Oh, I just had it. I’m like, I’m going to charge you X amount of money, but I don’t think you should ever wear it. Like the pleats, the pleats need to go. They’re making you look a lot bigger. And I say like, and I’ll say to him, you’re a young guy or you’re a handsome man. Are you dealing with guys who are 85 if you are, then you should wear these pleated pants. If you’re not, then I partner with dress for success. It’s a men’s company in downtown Phoenix. Donate the pants to them for men who need clothing to go on interviews. Um, or I’m just like the, your, your shirt sets so many holes in it.

Like I’m not patching up another one. You know, like, we’re not going to make it a short sleeve shirt to get rid of that. No, we just got to, I’m sorry, like I could patch it up, but you’re still going to see the rip. Yeah. Um, or I just say, you’ve, you’ve used it, you’ve worn it, had a good life, you know, like it’s okay, it’s done. Let it go. You know, like, Hey, I get if it’s your grandfather’s or a family heirloom, you know, I won’t say a word, but I’m just going to say you’re not, might not get laid and that, and that jacket,that’s all we need to know. Yeah. And then that, that changes everything.

Yeah. You know, and some guys like, thank you, I just needed to hear that. You know? Or sometimes I’m sorry ladies, they’ll come in and like, I hate my husband’s pants. I’m like, they’re actually not that bad, but let’s, let’s just taper them. Let’s clean the leg up a little bit. And then she’s like, yeah, you’re right Mary. Okay. I like him now. Okay. Like learning what they don’t like about it. So it’s, there’s, sometimes it’s just trim the pants up or turn the shirt up, but that color does not look good. And then I show them colors. I do look good and I explain why again.

Yeah. So, yeah, it’s not, it’s, it’s tough. Love is all it is. And you’re giving them a solution and they’re gonna feel better. They’re gonna look better. Life’s going to improve. That deal’s going to close. Yes. Wife’s going to be happy. Yes. Solving problems.

Exactly. And then they feel good about the, a couple of compliments, you know? And it’s funny how many people walk in my store and they’re like, Oh, I’m going to lose some weight. And I’m like, it doesn’t say Jenny Craig love my store. Like I like all my guys. Exactly. And gals. Exactly how they are. You know, I’m not gonna make you lose or gain any weight. That’s up to you. I’ll, I’m going to get the clothes to fit you. Yeah. Excellent. Allright, well we’re good. Where can people connect? I mean it does. It does sound fun. It sounds like it’s a, it’s a great, it’s a great thing that a lot of guys need to do, myself included. So I know how to connect with you, but the audience doesn’t. So where are some places that they can go to schedule an appointment to follow you on Instagram to give you a call? And actually what I want to know where your store is too.

Sure. So my store is 3188 East Indian school. It’s in Phoenix. It’s basically at the Northwest corner of Indian school and 32nd street with Maroney’s, Los taquitos, The bar in that shopping center.

Website qcontrary.com

Instagram:Qcontrary.Mary.

I’m on Facebook. My phone number to my store is (602) 301-6987. You can shoot me an email if you have any questions. My clients text me pictures of clothes or outfits or trying to put together if they have a question. So reach out, let me know how it can help in any way.

That’s awesome. And the store is Q Contrary? Yes. Okay. So when they go to 32nd street and Indian school, that’s what they’re looking for. Yeah.

There’s no sign above my door because that’s expensive. And that takes a little bit of time. It’s a goal. Only been there a year working on stuff. Um, but I’m just kind of basically my head behind the chase bank.

Yeah. Okay. Awesome. Well, I would love to make it over there. I appreciate you coming by Mary, and uh, I look forward to following along and leveling up my dress.

Thanks, Rob. It was so nice to meet you. I appreciate this. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Mary. The ruler nation podcast is brought to you by the RNRLaw group, Arizona’s premier criminal defense and personal injury law firm availablewww.rrlawaz.com or give us a call.