Saturday, I was shopping at Brooks and bought myself a shirt in the boys’ department.  Actually, the shirt was a birthday gift from Brooks!  That’s right:  Brooks sent me a $20 discount card to be used the month of my birthday.  I’m not dropping names
here, as I’m sure they do it for all their credit card customers. I love Brooks Brothers.  I love their customer service—no self-service here.  I love the fact that their clothes are not scarily expensive and you get quality for your money. I also enjoy shopping in the same store where President Lincoln bought his capes and President Roosevelt his canes.  The continuity appeals to me. The art of service is still alive and well at Brooks.  Two examples:  Without thinking, I took a shirt marked “small” into the dressing room.  I undid the pins, unbuttoned it, and removed the celluloid holding the collar in place only to realize that while I wear a “small’ in women’s clothes, in the boys department I need a larger size. I went back out for a “medium,” and when I gave the one I had to the salesman, I apologized for needlessly opening the size “small” and giving him more work.  He couldn’t have been nicer.  I can’t help but think I would have gotten a dirty look in another store. The second example of good service:  While waiting to hand the salesman my shirt and pay with my credit card, I saw that he was wrapping a pile of clothes a man was buying.  Suddenly the customer walked off and reappeared holding a white shirt. “I’ve changed my mind,” he said.  “Instead of the blue shirt you just wrapped, I want the white one.” With a smile, the salesman removed the blue shirt from the pile and wrapped the white instead. Every time I’ve shopped at Brooks, I’ve received excellent service.  It’s too bad more stores don’ have their attitude.
As I’ve said in previous columns, any woman who is small and likes the classics would do well to shop in the boys’ department.  The prices are a fraction of what you’d pay for women’s clothes.  And a pair of chinos and a button-down shirt are the same no
matter where you buy them.
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Miriam Silverberg is  a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates,
a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan. She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com.