You’ve probably heard your friends or co-workers talk about their new custom suit. Seems everyone and their mother “knows a guy.” The days of the one-percenters enjoying exclusivity in the bespoke world are over, thanks to modernized, and affordable, options. However, tread carefully – just because something is “custom” does not guarantee high quality. Here, we give you three options at various price-points, all FreshNeck-approved.
BLACK LAPEL ($) (www.blacklapel.com)
Who would have ever dreamed you could get a personalized, custom suit for under $450 (or shirt under $100)? How does the company even afford to pay its rent? Well, the answer is in the question – there’s no store or showroom, and the savings get passed on to you. They make you work for it, however, as you have to measure yourself (they provide a video guide, and with a friend’s help, 15 minutes is all it takes). With your measurements uploaded to the system, you can design your suit online, where they offer 18 different suit fabrics and styles, plus 2 tux options. Three weeks later and your one-of-a-kind suit arrives at your door. And just in case your measuring skills weren’t up to par, they offer a complimentary $75 alterations credit. Once you nail the process down, re-ordering new styles from your couch is the real value-add.
Bonus Tip: If you are in New York, make an appointment to go to their office and get fitted by the pros.
ALABASTER & CHESS ($) (www.alabasterchess.com)
So maybe you’ve dabbled in the bespoke world. Perhaps you met a Hong-Kong tailor that rented out a Sheraton for a week, took your measurements, and mailed you a suit. It was certainly better than going to JoS. A. Bank for a “Buy one suit get 6 free plus an ice cream cone.” Now you’re ready for the real deal, but still don’t want to break the bank. Make an appointment with Eli over at A&C. See him either at his uptown office, his Union Square Tailor, or he’ll come to your home or office. Every detail, from fabric, to stitching, to a contrasting inside cuff, is made to your specs. Your co-worker will think you dropped two grand, when in reality, suits start at $399 and shirts at $89. They make a mean shirt as well.
Bonus Tip: Tell ‘em FreshNeck sent you, and get 10% off your first order.
MICHAEL ANDREWS BESPOKE ($$$) (www.michaelandrewsbespoke.com)
First off, this is their showroom on Great Jones Street. Yeah, that’s a 12-foot Oak Bar, serving your favorite single malts, gratis. It looks like the type of joint you’d expect to run into Frank Sinatra (you probably won’t). The place oozes with inspiration, from the mannequins, to the gq-worthy Senior Stylists. And having a seemingly never-ending supply of gorgeous (and helpful) ladies on hand never hurts.
You’ll sit down at one of the marble high-tops with your personal style consultant. Don’t fret if you’re ill-prepared, and don’t know your peak lapels from your shawl collars. The staff is beyond knowledgeable, and will guide you in making your vision a reality. As if impeccable service was not enough, the quality of the fabrics, as well as the craftsmanship, is second-to-none. While this will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500, depending on fabric, that’s not too bad when amortized over the next ten years that it will be the go-to-suit in your closet.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 next week, on how to prepare for your trip to the Custom Tailor.
In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up at freshneck.com, to get some fresh ties and accessories to pair with your fresh new suit.