Jimmy and Alan Au amidst a sea of suits at their Beverly Hills store
In Los Angeles, finding clothing for any size shouldn’t be a problem. Jimmy Au was smart enough to see that there was a void in the market for shorter men.
Founded in 1961 as a custom-suit business operating out of a trunk of a car in Hawaii, Jimmy Au’s has now evolved into the largest short men’s clothing stored in the nation. Jimmy Au’s is the first, and still the only, designer-clothing store exclusively for short men.
Au is a premier clothing designer with a passion to construct fashionable clothing for shorter men. In the 1960s, he traveled the world to different racetracks fitting jockeys. In 1970s, he opened his first store catering to short and regular sizes, appropriately named Jimmy Au’s Tailors and Fashions. In 1975, he opened up a store that was designed only for shorter men.
For the next 20 years, Au spent part of his career working with manufacturers to develop better fitting clothes for short men. In a struggle to do this, most manufacturers were unwilling to help out with the process to create the clothing. So Au developed his own specifications for manufacturers to make his clothes rather than try to change what they currently had.
Being an ever-so-smart businessman, Au changed the name of his store, along with the help of his son Alan and his marketing project for one of his classes at USC. Alan determined that men didn’t like to be called “short” or “small,” so with his experiment in full effect and with the permission of his father, he attempted a name change. Alan changed the name on all the eye-level signage in and out of the store to ‘Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8″ and Under’ to see if this would improve foot traffic into the store. Over the course of a one month study, foot traffic quadrupled. With sales booming, they decided to permanently keep the name.
The store is unlike any other men’s store. It is specifically designed with the shorter client in mind with lowered fixtures, shelves and racks along with lowered custom furniture for a more enjoyable and comfortable shopping experience. Even the mannequins are custom made to keep their clientele in mind.
Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8″ and Under is divided into three sections: Tailored clothing, where you will find suits, sport coats, tuxedoes, dress pants and overcoats; Sportswear, where you will find leather jackets, casual jackets, casual pants, premium denim jeans, camp shirts and sport shoes; Furnishings and knitwear, where you will find dress shirts, neckties, sport shirts, sweaters, cardigans, polos, mocks, belts and dress shoes.
The selection is so jaw-dropping you may not know where to begin. I recently read about Jimmy Au’s store and thought that it was a genius idea that probably no one in the L.A. area had thought about previously.
“The store features a full service tailor shop including the ability to alter leather jackets. Their wardrobe consultants and tailors have been with them for over 20 years and understand your needs. They carry the largest range of sizes in the nation in tailored clothing and sportswear for short men. Sizes for suits and sport coats begin at a 34 short/extra short and go all the way up to 50 short/extra short with odd sizes to 43. Short rise dress pants, jeans and casual pants begin at a 28 waist and go up to a 46 waist with odd sizes up to 35. Neck sizes on shirts begin at a 14 neck and go up to a 19 neck in 31/32/33 sleeves. Sportswear sizes begin at an extra small and go up to a double extra large (some triple) in short sizes. They also carry dress and sport shoes starting at a 5 D/E and go up to a size 8 D/E. Even dress socks in a true small or medium. They carry sizes exclusively for men under 5’5″ and for men up to 5’8″. No regular or long sizes here.” (Details were taken from jimmyaus.com.)
The stores selection of items have endless possibilities, you probably won’t know where to start. If you have a man in your life whose sizes are in line with the Jimmy Au man, they are located in the heart of Beverly Hills at 9408 Brighton Way. This store is a great way to celebrate Dads, even after Father’s Day, as well as other special men in your life. If you’re in the area drop by and see Jimmy Au and his genius idea for a store.
For more information, visit jimmyaus.com.