Beach Reporter 2

“Where are they now?” comes back for another round in Manhattan Beach

  • The Beach Reporter
  • Genie Davis
  • Mar 31, 2016

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Andy Gilchrist (at left), community development intern for the City of Manhattan Beach (back in 1977), discusses a city permit application for a residential addition with local designer Dan Richardson.How has the permitting process changed over the years? How has city hall changed over the years? What do you think of the extended hours at Manhattan Beach city offices and city yard beginning March 27? Will having city hall closed every other Friday impact you?

This is how the story looked in the paper.  Note I’m wearing a necktie!

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And then a week later the follow up story and answer!

From Intern to Men’s Clothing Expert.

Back in 1977, Andy Gilchrist was an intern for the city’s community development department in Manhattan Beach.

In one of The Beach Reporter’s “Where are they now?” photos, he’s discussing a city permit application for a residential addition with local designer Dan Richardson. While Richardson is clad in an ultra-casual polo shirt, even then, Gilchrist was well dressed in a crisp looking dress shirt and tie. And that was the 70s, at the height of an era known for blue jeans and ripped T-shirts.

Gilchrist, who lived in Manhattan Beach until 2011, went from city intern to expert on men’s fashion. He’s the author of The Encyclopedia of Men’s Clothes and runs the website AskAndyAboutClothes.com, which he says has some 1.3 million visitors daily.

Gilchrist says his interest in attire came from his dad while growing up in Kansas.

“He was very fashion oriented and even subscribed to Esquire magazine for the styles when it was then considered a risqué publication. We hid the magazine when the minister would visit,” Gilchrist laughs.

His life in the beach cities led him—and his fashion-sense—down the path to his current success.


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“The beach cities were a wonderful, magical place,” said Gilchrist. “We met fantastic people there, including lifetime friends made playing tennis at the Manhattan Country Club. I had spent time in an advertising career which was a very tough although challenging experience, and wanted to change careers. Tom Corley, director of community development, gave me an entry level chance to work for the City of Manhattan Beach and it rescued me from the life of advertising and gave me a whole different orientation.”

While the beach lifestyle tends to promote flip-flops and board shorts as attire, Gilchrist never bought into that surfer look. He put what was then a fashion hobby to the test working part time, nights and weekends, at a Polo store in the South Bay Galleria for six years. He calls it the best job he ever had.

“I filled an educational need by producing handouts for customers on all aspects of men’s clothing,” he said.

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It may be thanks to Gilchrist that men in the South Bay know their pants should be long enough to cover their socks, and socks should cover shins, even when their legs are crossed. This type of advice formed the basis of what would eventually become Gilchrist’s popular book, The Encyclopedia of M­en’s Clothes. He created his website in 2001.

Today, that website just keeps growing, taking Gilchrist and his AskAndy Events to Hong Kong, fashion shows in Italy, New York, and Dubai, as well as throughout Southern California. A consultant to J.C. Penney for menswear sales training, he’s thrilled to be quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, a variety of online men’s fashion sites, and even the Farmer’s Almanac.

He’s also come full circle from his and his father’s original inspiration: Gilchrist is also a contributor to Esquire magazine.

And this is what the article looked like published:

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