Legendary Tupelo clothier Jimmy Long leaves legacy of excellence

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Aug. 4—TUPELO — Jimmy Long, a longtime fixture at one of Mississippi's most highly regarded men's clothing retailers, has died.

Jimmy Long, who's father, Charles Long, co-founded MLM Clothiers in the 1940s, died late Wednesday in Oxford. He was 79 years old.

Long helped run the downtown Tupelo clothing store for five decades before retiring in November 2017. Friends and family say the store — the oldest men's specialty store in the state — has Long's fingerprints all over it.

Even after more than 50 years in the business, men's clothing was his passion.

"He was a jewel and he's going to be missed," said Joe Yarber, who joined MLM in 1980 and who became sole owner of MLM in early 2017. "He was first-class guy. He loved clothes; it was his passion. He was great to work with, and we were good friends and had a good working relationship."

Always insisting that one should "dress better than you have to," Long was most often the best dressed person in the room.

"What I've enjoyed the most are the relationships, with the people in the community and people in the business," he said in 2017.

Dubbed the "general" by his colleagues, Long commanded attention and took charge. Many of his contacts over the years have called Yarber to share their stories and their grief.

"He was an iconic figure in the industry and people knew him from New York to California," Yarber said. "He helped a lot of businesses and people along the way, and he'll be missed."