Wearing the Pants
Emmi Sorokin will make a (stylish) man out of you.
WALKING INTO A NEWBURY STREET store to meet with menâ€™s image consultant Emmi Sorokin, I expect to rehash the same old arguments about my retail anxiety.
Like many Boston guys, Iâ€™m urbane, self-assured, a little stubborn, and clueless when it comes to fashion. Plus, my gender prevents me from ever admitting that Iâ€™m less than absolutely, positively sure about whatever it is Iâ€™m doing, ever. Shopping amplifies these traits, leaving me feeling paralyzed and cranky by the time Iâ€™ve tried on two shirts. My closet, consequently, is full of safe khakis and button-downs. Can Sorokin change my sartorially challenged ways?
She recognizes me immediately (as part of her over-the-phone intake, she asked for a recent photo) and escorts me to a dressing room stocked with outfits selected for cocktail parties and the casual workplace. Sorokin doesnâ€™t lecture me or condescend â€” she knows all too well that men have baggage. â€śI just help them upgrade their bags to something everybody wants to look at,â€ť she says, giggling.
For the next 90 minutes, I try on a series of ensembles while she briefs me on how to dress for different occasions, peppering her spiel with sarcasm and a few off-color jokes. The slim charcoal pants, white checkered shirt, skinny tie, and body-hugging cardigan sheâ€™s picked out for my new â€śnight outâ€ť getup resemble nothing I own, but I look and feel like a rock star. This is way outside my comfort zone (hey, no one wants to be labeled a hipster), but I dig it anyway.
Sorokin tells me that her clients have scored both jobs and dates with their spiffed-up appearance and newfound swagger. I buy only a shirt â€” this newly stylinâ€™ dude is unfortunately on a budget â€” but after today, Iâ€™ll think twice before I leave the house looking sloppy. Who knows when my outfit might net me a promotion?
Services starting at $250, 339-933-0785, amansworldco.com.Â Â
Illustration by Kirsten Ulve
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/03/test-wearing-the-pants/