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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I recently learned a great deal about the men's clothing business. I have been wearing a suit and tie to work for the last 50 years and didn't realize how much business apparel has changed in that time.

I met Dave Ferguson of Adrian's, a very fine men's clothing and tuxedo rental store in the Red Cliffs Mall in St. George. Dave's father Adrian started the store back in 1972 in Clearfield. Then, he expanded to St. George in 1984. The store was originally located on Main Street in St. George but later moved to the Red Cliffs Mall in 1991 and began specializing in fine men's wear and tuxedo rentals.

In talking with Dave, I mentioned how I remembered very clearly the many top, high-fashion men's clothing stores there were in Salt Lake City not many years ago and how none were still around. I told him how I remembered Hibbs, Mullett-Kelly, Fife's, Collins, Maurice Anderson, Chas. Felt, Bud's Duds, and many others. Now, with the exception of Mr. Mac's and Utah Woolen Mills, the local, high fashion men's wear retailer seems to have disappeared.

Dave told me I was right. In 1970, 48 million suits were sold each season. Twenty years later, only half that many were sold. ìWhy?î I asked. He told me men have begun to be much more casual in their dress. ìDress-down daysî have become common.

But Dave said for most men, suits are still a necessity, particularly for occasional wear. For example, religious missionaries provide a great opportunity for suit sales and other articles of men's wear. He said tuxedo rentals have been good with the number of young men attending high school dances. In fact, that's when many of his younger customers walk in to the store for the first time. After that, they return to buy suits for the work world and perhaps rent another tuxedo later to wear to their wedding.

I enjoy fine clothing and I really enjoyed my visit with Dave Ferguson at Adrian's in St. George.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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