Originally published 2/21/2012
#1. A good, friendly tailor
Number one with a bullet. A good tailor is the key to taking affordable (or downright cheap) off the rack clothes and making them look terrific. Give me a well tailored $50 cotton sport coat over an ill-fitting $500 wool blazer any day. Your tailor, male or female, has to listen to what you want. That said, if you’re heading off the deep end towards a bad alterations decision, they need to be able to express their opinion, but with some tact. You’re paying them to do what you want them to do. Your’e not paying them to inflict their personal style upon your clothes.
#2. The consistent Barber / Stylist
Your hair is the one thing you “wear” every day. Like your tailor, you want someone who is going to listen. Heading into some mega-cuts type of place where you get a different stylist each time isn’t a great idea. Not only is it a risk that you’ll get a tool, but you forfeit any type of consistency. Practice makes perfect, and you two are a team.
#3. A great bartender
They’ll introduce you to new spirits and beers. They’ll know food pairings for your drink. They’ll be a friendly face when you’re dropping in on your own before heading out on a date. Be polite, respect their territory and talent, and tip well for their good service. A great bartender is better than gold. Au can’t pour you a beer, let alone come up with a Boulevardier after you tell them you’re on a rye kick lately, and they already know you like Campari.
#4. Your local cobbler
It’s a dying profession, and plenty of guys actually like shining and taking care of their own shoes, but when you need serious work done on footwear, an honest-to-goodness cobbler can perform miracles.
#5. The rare, low pressure, genuine, jewelry salesperson
There are two retail fields that seem to be filled with more bad than good salespeople. Cars, and jewelry. The thing that sets apart the good from the bad in each? The salesperson helps you make the smartest decision for you. Even if that means less commission for them in the process.
#6. The floor manager at your favorite clothing store
They’ll be more willing to strip the last jacket in your size off the mannequin. They know all about the upcoming sales. Get on their good side and they might share some inside information with you (but don’t expect them to.) They’ll also let you know if they think they’re getting more of an item in, or, if they’re sure that’s the last of the lot. Shopping can be a complete drag. A non-snotty, friendly yet non invasive salesperson can make all the difference.
#7. A solid florist
Or at the very least, know which grocery store has the best flowers. It’s bad news when you order a bouquet over the phone, and when it shows up it looks measly. Then dies within a day. Try a smaller shop. Walk in and say hi to the owner. They’ll help you out.
#8. Your UPS man / Mailman / FED Ex delivery driver
Get a lot of packages? We’re in the same boat. Helps when the guy or gal stepping off the truck has a smile on their face instead of a scowl. They’ll also be better about tucking the packages somewhere safe if you’re not around. Throw a coffee shop gift card their way every so often if they’re awesome.
#9. A trustworthy mechanic
This isn’t about having a high performance machine with tons of curb appeal. This is about not getting ripped off. If that grinding noise coming from the front driver’s side is nothing more than a rock in the wheel, you want a mechanic that’ll tell you that’s all it was. Unnecessary car repairs will destroy your budget.
#10. Your Doctor
Because looking your best isn’t worth a damn unless you’re feeling your best. Especially if you’re dead.
What, or more accurately, who else? Leave your additions in the comments. Top Photo Credit: superwebdeveloper