You're playing backyard baseball with your best friends. As you slide into home plate to score the winning run, you hear a tell-tale ripping sound. Oh no! Your favorite pair of jeans is now torn beyond repair.

It's a sad, sad day, but you know what has to be done. Those jeans have to be retired. Perhaps they will be turned into shorts with a couple snips of the scissors. Or maybe someone will recycle the material to make a purse or a craft.

Regardless of what happens to your old jeans, one thing's for sure: you need new jeans. So what do you do? Today, you probably head to the mall or a department store. If you lived a long time ago, you might head somewhere else instead. Where? A haberdashery, of course!

Haberdashery is just a word that refers to a haberdasher's shop. Plus, it's fun to say, isn't it? A haberdasher is a merchant who sells all sorts of things used to make men's clothing. These items could include fabric, buttons, zippers and various other notions.

In days past, a gentleman would visit his local haberdashery to pick out all the items he would need to have an outfit custom made by hand. Of course, haberdasheries still exist today. You can find them in larger cities.

Most clothing today, though, isn't made by hand. Instead, it's machine-made and sold in large retail outlets. Where do you get most of your clothes? Do you have anything that's been made by hand?

Long, long ago, haberdashers were also known as merchants who sold hats. The most common use for the term, though, is for merchants who sell a variety of clothing and sewing supplies. Although the exact origin of the term is unclear, some believe it comes from an Icelandic term for “peddler."

Today, modern haberdasheries in the United States are men's specialty stores that sell clothing, as well as accessories, such as gloves, hats, ties, scarves and watches. Are there any haberdasheries near where you live? Of course, they might not use the term haberdashery in the name of the store, since it's a fairly old word. Ask your friends and family members where they'd go to find these types of men's specialty items…and you just might find yourself a haberdashery!

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