In our increasingly casual society-where most interactions seem to be via computer screens-the idea of buying a custom suit may sound outdated. But our casual, mass-production society is what makes the craftsmanship of experienced tailors so attractive. Like any handmade product, truly customized suits are not as easy to find as they used to be, but gentlemen do not need to travel to the legendary Savile Street in London to fit them properly.
In the tailoring world, “custom-made” may mean “made-to-measure”, which means a certain degree of customization, but a process involving a large amount of standardization, as well as tailor-made clothing, is usually sold away from supervision during the manufacturing process Their clothing dealers. “Customization” is the highest level of customization, which implies the agreement of personalized accessories, unique pattern construction and internal hand-cutting. Arthur van de Laak, editor of MenStyleFashion, said: “In a world that is increasingly inclined to fast and low-quality fashion, nothing is more eye-catching than carefully tailored tailored suits.”
In Chicago, Nicholas Joseph (Nicholas Joseph) has been serving gentlemen looking for customized suits for 15 years. In Windy City, this usually includes high-priced lawyers, top management, plastic surgeons and famous restaurant owners. “Whether it is in terms of fit or lifestyle, there is nothing in your closet that suits you better than you,” said Nicholas Hansen, the founder of true custom suits.
Upon arrival at Nicholas Joseph, customers will be told what suits his body shape best, and can choose from thousands of fabrics from Zegna, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico and even vicuña (an exotic South American wool). After several installations, the customer can receive the finished product within one month, which is an exceptionally fast turnaround in industries that require patience.
Hansen explained that even before the pandemic, the company was already adapting to social trends. “Since Goldman Sachs announced casually two years ago, we have begun to position ourselves more in the wedding market,” Hansen said, pointing out that a client might ask for three pieces of custom-made clothes-something for rehearsal dinners, important days Suit or tuxedo, and a brunch jacket.
Nicholas Joseph’s custom suits start at US$795, which can compete with high-end department stores, while custom suits start at US$2,795. Hansen reports that the custom suits in his store are made of Zegna fabric and cost $3,745, which is cheaper than the custom suits in the Zegna boutique on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In addition, Nicholas Joseph customers will have more fabric choices, as well as choices about linings, buttons, extra pockets or inscriptions.
Men looking for custom suits in New York will be attracted by Michael Andrews Bespoke. The Greenwich Village showroom is elegant and masculine, with striking 20-foot ceilings, modern chandeliers, and a well-stocked 12-foot bar and antique cash register. The company hosted a fashion show in Atlanta, the hometown of the luxury hotel and founder/CEO Michael Andrews in Abu Dhabi, Washington, DC.
Former lawyer Andrews recalled: “I joined a conservative law firm and asked to wear formal attire five days a week, and since I came from a technology startup, I worked there too much work clothes and flip-flops. It’s to criticize the policy.” Andrews quickly developed a passion for exquisite clothing, but unfortunately, the only tailor-made suits that young lawyers can afford are tailor-made overseas.
“Here, our suits are of the best quality in the world, but the price is half that of Zegna or Tom Ford,” said Andrews, who reported that his custom suits start at about $2,000 but can be much higher . “If you want it to be stained with gold, we will do it for you,” Andrews quipped, following the guidelines set by Savile Street in London.
For fabrics, Andrews prefers blends to 100% wool or silk, comparing the resulting nuances with high-quality Bordeaux. The former lawyer regards his personal role as a consultant and said: “Our job is to understand what the client wants and needs, and transform it into what is best for him.” After initial consultation and three subsequent trials The customer’s suit will be ready in eight to ten weeks.
Through cooperation with Broadway productions, opera companies and television studios, Michael Andrews has customized a series of celebrities, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Bono. However, most clients are lawyers and bankers, corporate executives, professional athletes or anyone who seriously invests in their appearance. As compensation for Wall Street’s relaxed dress code, Michael Andrews now designs clothing for women, as well as jeans and shoes made through the same custom process—even masks.
In leisurely Los Angeles, Johnathan Behr Bespoke Clothiers hosts lawyers, Fortune 500 CEOs, and even tech entrepreneurs who occasionally like black T-shirts. “The reason for the promotion of suit sales in the 1980s was the demand for designer brands, but the most coveted thing in suits today is custom craftsmanship,” Bell reports.
The Los Angeles clothing dealer designed suits for musicians Mick Fleetwood and Bob Dylan, and Hollywood turned to Bell to design costumes for the actors in “Mad Men” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Before the pandemic, there was a strong demand for tailored suits. Behr insisted that, “In the blogosphere, tailored suits have become a bucket list for men.” There are many expensive boutiques in Los Angeles that are happy to tailor suits for gentlemen. Suits (usually made thousands of miles away), but Bell reports that he is the only true manufacturer of custom suits in the city.
Behr recommends that first-time customers should budget approximately US$3,500 and require patience. “Bespoke is not for impatient people who want to do it quickly, but for people who want to do something perfectly,” he said, adding, “I will do as many fittings as possible. Come and do it well.” Unlike some custom clothing vendors, even during the pandemic, Behr was reluctant to compromise his standards with virtual fittings.
Behr said that some customers tend to be too conservative. “You can order solid colors, but because customization provides you with unlimited options, your choice should be more interesting,” said the Southern California native. Noting that the level of collaboration varies, he reports that some clients have an accurate idea of what they want, while others rely on his expertise. Bell explained that by assessing a gentleman’s weight, height, skin tone and hair color, he can determine what works best and obtain more information about the client’s lifestyle through brief interviews. “Recommending the right fabric is something you have to do, because if you choose the wrong fabric, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the cut is.”
This article originally appeared in Houses and estates magazine.