Way more fun than buying a suit at Moores

Posted: August 15, 2007 in Blog

The last thing I had to do before leaving on the trip was to attend a wedding I’d been invited to by a friend here at the paper.

“I’d love to go,” I told him. “Just one catch…”

“What’s that?” he said.

“I don’t have a suit.”

No problem, I was told. He asked for my pants and jacket size, and disappeared. A few minutes later he came back. We were to meet a guy he knew later on that afternoon. “He’s finding a suit for you right now,” my friend said.

I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Did he send a friend of his into menswear stores around the city with my measurements, looking for a suit? I’d find out soon enough.

We hopped a taxi to our agreed meeting spot: the street outside a fish and chips store.

“This is where I’m getting my suit?”

“Yep, he’ll be here.”

All around us there were men on the streets hawking shoes, blazers, pants, ties and belts. Sure enough, a few minutes later, a guy came along carrying a suit in his arms.

“Follow me,” he said.

We followed him through a dark alley, under a fire escape and into another alley that ran behind the buildings. Dirty water was running down open gutters. A few people were back there, busying themselves preparing food and otherwise just hanging out.

In this setting, I tried on the suit jacket. It fit perfectly. The pants were the exact right length and the exact right size.

How much? I asked.

100,000 shillings. Or about $60. I gladly paid that to be able to say I bought a hand-picked suit in a back alley.


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