Menlo Park resident Trish Mitchell has had a lifelong interest in “doing little businesses” — she even started a beading business with a classmate when she was a student at Hillview School.
Today, one of her businesses is selling the J Hilburn line of men’s clothing, which she has been doing for the past two and a half years. Along the way, she’s learned a few things about men and their fashion likes and dislikes — and why a lot of men find shopping difficult.
“When men have free time, shopping is not one of the things that springs to mind,” she said in the living room of her home, with husband Mark serving as model and booster. “Plus, most men don’t really understand what a good fit is because they’ve never been given an opportunity to learn.”
That said, Trish believes that a lot of men are interested in how they look. “They have opinions but, unlike women, they spend less time mulling over clothing selection.”
Trish thinks part of the problem is that men go shopping once or twice a year. They find a shirt at a department store that fits their neck size and don’t consider how big and sloppy it may be through the torso.
The J Hilburn line Trish represents has answers to men’s clothing needs (minus underwear and shoes). Husband Mark suggests that his wife’s business helps men stay out of a rut. “In my observation, men tend to go to one place for khakis and another for jeans and yet another for shirts. Yet, we’re often limited by the fashion industry shoehorning us into four sizes — small, medium, large and extra large.”
Adds Trish: “I tell my clients it’s all about making their lives easier. And my hope is that over time, they’ll weed out all of the ill-fitting clothes in their wardrobe.”
Photo by Irene Searles