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Daily Camera: Dad, sons on mission to make Boulder County men more stylish

Ron, Ryan & Brett Wagner
By Aimee Heckel
Camera Staff Writer

POSTED:   06/14/2014 11:00:00 AM MDT
Original article:

Fashion tips for men

A few pointers from The Bespoke Edge:

• A parachuting back side of a shirt indicates it is too big for you. Your shirt should properly fit your back and stomach.

• Skinny ties (about 2½ inches thick) arein, and your lapel should match the width of your tie.

• Pick-stitching adds a subtle, handmade feeling to a suit. Contrast stitching will make the shirt pop.

• Look for working buttonholes, which allow you to roll up your suit sleeves.

• The perfect summer suit: an unstructured herringbone jacket with accented button hole and slim lapel, accented cuff stitching and a custom, short length. Choose an unlined jacket to stay cooler in the summer and wear a lightweight, subdued-tone, cotton tie instead of a heavy silk tie.

• For a more casual button-down, pick a colorful shirt unbuttoned at the collar with the sleeves rolled up. If you want to wear it untucked, make sure the shirt tails don’t fall below your back pockets.

• Pick a shirt collar that flatters your body type. If your face is round and you have a shorter neck, pick a point collar, to elongate your neck and make your face look slimmer. Pair this with the “Four In Hand” slim necktie knot.

• Thin, vertical stripes or small, gingham or tattersall patterns are slimming. Plaids and big checks can make you look heavier.

Brett Wagner got his first suit at age 5. Not long thereafter, his father taught Brett and his brother, Ryan, how to perfectly tie a necktie and fold a pocket square.

Their father, Ron Wagner, had worked in menswear sales for more than three decades, so there were no ratty, ill-fitting T-shirts and grungy shoes in that household. As children, the boys understood more about men’s style than perhaps the sum knowledge of the entire state of Colorado.

“The details make the man,” was a family motto.

Today, Brett Wagner knows how to wear a suit better than Barney Stinson of “How I Met Your Mother” fame, so it’s no surprise the Wagners run a custom suit company, The Bespoke Edge.

It is surprising, however, that Brett Wagner lives in Boulder, the state’s greatest style offender.

Many local guys simply hate shopping, or they don’t know how to dress themselves, or they don’t think it matters, he says.

It does.

“People don’t really dress the way they used to,” Brett Wagner says. “It’s pretty refreshing and nice to have been brought up in the way that you should look nice and presentable. You are your own brand, and how you dress is the first thing people see about you.”

The Wagners decided to launch The Bespoke Edge on Father’s Day two years ago, after the clothing company where their father worked went out of business.

The goal: Offer custom suits, shirts, vests, pants and jackets for reasonable prices. We’re not talking the sales rack at Sears; a made-in-America-to-order suit starts around $800.

Sign up for a free, in-your-home consultation, where you will be measured (on more than 20 different points). You can pick your fabrics (hundreds to choose from) and details (stitching, buttons, collar shape, cuffs). A custom suit will arrive in five to six weeks.

“The fit is everything,” Brett Wagner says. “You can have the nicest fabrics in the world and if it’s a sloppy fit, it’ll come off looking that way. You can walk down and see the difference between the 1990s-style suit with big, broad shoulders and a baggy fit, compared to how David Beckham or Brad Pitt look these days.”

The Bespoke Edge makes custom suits for reasonable prices.
The Bespoke Edge makes custom suits for reasonable prices. (The Bespoke Edge / Courtesy photo)

The Bespoke Edge is especially popular among nontraditional body types, like the big who are not tall, and the tall who are not big. Brett Wagner is slender with broad shoulders, which means he would otherwise resort to going up a size for a shirt.

“Since being in business, we have come to realize that many Colorado guys want to dress better and show some style, but they need some help getting started. After all, we all know guys don’t like asking for directions,” Brett Wagner says. “We set out to become a leading source of information and guidance and to bring back the human element with regards to how men shop for clothes.”

The Bespoke Edge is actively marketing to areas around Boulder, too, such as Longmont, but it’s challenging without a storefront, Brett Wagner says. He says they’ve been searching Longmont for fashion-minded shops to potentially partner with for an event.

The Bespoke Edge does have current clients who work in Longmont.

“There are definitely guys in Longmont (who) wear suits and have a penchant for dressing sharp,” he says.

Oliver Dilivio, formerly of Longmont, has a custom shirt from the Bespoke Edge.

Dilvio, who recently moved to Texas for graduate school, says his girlfriend gave him a gift certificate for a shirt for Christmas. As first, he says, he was unsure what to expect and a little apprehensive. But he says the process went smoothly.

In fact, he says, it was one of the best gifts he’s ever received.

“It’s hand’s down the best shirt I own. Hand’s down,” Dilivio says. “It’s cool to create something no one else has.”

BE Press: Denver Post Business Q&A – The Bespoke Edge Denver

Originally posted in the Denver Post.

Read more: Business Q&A: The Bespoke Edge, Denver – The Denver Post

Ron Wagner, left, of The Bespoke Edge, takes measurements of Vince Edgerton at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop in Denver on April 29. (Seth McConnell, YourHub)

Interview with Ron Wagner, founder

Q: How did you get involved in this business?

A: I spent the better part of my career in a traditional men’s shop with off-the-rack clothing. But in the past five years or so, men have really been shopping differently. There is a clear trend toward men wearing custom shirts and bespoke suits, and guys want to have more control over the fit and style of their clothes than ever before. So, my two sons and I decided to adapt and better serve how the modern man is shopping.

Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?

The Bespoke Edge, a custom men’s clothing business, will make house calls for custom fittings. (THE DENVER POST | Seth McConnell)

A: My experience. I’ve been helping men look great in their clothes for 37 years now, and what has kept my interest all these years is that I’m always working with a diverse group of men. We have younger Denver guys in their 20s and 30s who are looking for an affordable, slim suit and want to design a dress shirt with a unique contrast collar. On the other hand, I have seasoned customers who are looking for a very distinguished suit made of the finest fabrics available — something to match their confidence and style. Regardless, when my customers put their trust in me, I can act as a mentor to help guide them. That’s what I’ve learned: What men are really looking for today, is that they want someone to introduce them to custom clothes and show them the ropes. It’s really been fun to show guys that custom is now moving into the mainstream.

Q: What do you like best about your line of work?

A: The grin. Really, it’s a big smile, but it begins as a grin. That’s when a new customer puts on his custom shirt or bespoke suit for the very first time and realizes that fit is the single most important thing in menswear. Knowing this, guys can make educated decisions, whether they shop with me or someone else in the future, they’re going to be OK.

Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?

A: Since we don’t have a physical store, we operate by appointment in a customer’s home or office. We’re set up this way because it’s the best way we can respect our customers’ time and make the Bespoke Edge process convenient for them. However, it does present a challenge because without a storefront, it’s tough for men to find us. But when they do learn of our services, we’ve had several people tell us how happy they are to have finally found someone who can guide them in their search for clothes.

Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business:

A: We are a family business. My older son, Ryan, is formerly trained as an aerospace engineer and my younger, Brett, is a web designer. As you may imagine, we have three very different opinions on men’s style, but this has really given us a unique perspective on our business. I think this is why we are so well-prepared to serve such a range of customers. Also, men are always surprised to learn that yes, they can design their clothes. Guys don’t really realize that our affordable custom clothing is just that: custom.


Business: The Bespoke Edge

Address: Your home or office

Hours: By appointment

Founded: 2012

Contact: 970-231-4588

Employees: 3

Custom clothing with an edge – Windsor Beacon

Windsor-based company is one of its kind among traditional shops.

Written by Erin Udell

Read original article here.

What do you get when you combine 35 years of experience in the men’s clothing business, an unmistakable passion for it and the support of close-knit family?

If you’re Windsor resident Ron Wagner, you get The Bespoke Edge, Wagner’s unique custom clothing business and second chance.

Wagner and his sons Ryan and Brett launched The Bespoke Edge in October 2012, months after they hatched the idea on Father’s Day of that year.

Ron Wagner had worked at The Regiment Shops men’s clothing store in Fort Collins since the 1970s until it closed in 2009. Since then, he had been looking for a way to possibly get back in the game.

“My sons had been bugging me for years saying, ‘This is what you do best,’ and, ‘There’s no custom men’s shop in Northern Colorado,’ ” Wagner said. “They hounded me a bit, and we decided as a family to create The Bespoke Edge. And at that point in time, it became Northern Colorado’s only custom men’s clothing company that had a locally-based background.”

Unlike a usual men’s clothing shop, Wagner doesn’t have a storefront or inventory. Instead, working on a leaner business model, he runs The Bespoke Edge out of his Windsor home and is often on the road traveling to his clients’ offices or homes for appointments.

His business necessities include a measuring tape, books and books of fabric samples, the knowledge of someone who knows everything imaginable about men’s clothing and, most importantly, his sons Ryan and Brett.

Ryan, an engineer, is mostly responsible for the company’s web presence and marketing endeavors. Brett, a web designer, has been in charge of the website’s ( look and feel, helping with its appearance, branding, logos and imagery.

“We’re really savvy online and that’s helped us a lot, but it’s really tough to not have a store,” Ryan Wagner said.

“The silver lining is that it helps us focus on our main goal — to cure the man-child epidemic in Colorado,” he added with a laugh.

Echoing his son’s thoughts, Ron Wagner said he helps his clients not only build custom shirts and suits, but also helps them build their personal brand.

“We’re in the business of educating and helping people develop their wardrobe to where, in my opinion, it’s kind of a successful tool for that customer,” Ron Wagner said. “Clothing can and should be a successful tool and it becomes your silent spokesman.”

For nearly the past year and a half, Wagner and his sons have been building up the business and spreading the word about it. Now, Ron Wagner can be found trekking to Fort Collins, Denver, Boulder or even Colorado Springs, where he’s built up customer bases.

On a typical appointment, Wagner collects measurements and goes through what fabric, cut and personal details his client would like to see in the custom garment. He then sends the order out to one of his tailor houses in Rochester, N.Y., or Newark, N.J. and follows the process through from inception to completion, making sure everything is perfect down to the stitching on the button holes.

“And what’s fun about it is no one in Fort Collins, let alone Northern Colorado, is going to have a shirt that looks like that,” Ron Wagner said, flipping through books of fabric samples with every color or pattern you could imagine. “That’s why people sometimes are willing to pay a little more, because it’s a unique styling and unique fabric that fits specifically them.”

As far as pricing, Wagner said his lean business model also allows him to offer his clients custom clothing at more affordable prices than ever before. Shirts start at around $135 and custom suits can be done for under $1,000, he said.

“Personally, I’m convinced that this is where menswear is going — to custom,” Ryan Wagner said. “There are other national companies catching on because it gives you control to pick out details and make you look your best.”

“And it’s not as expensive as it once was,” he added.

Ultimately, Ron Wagner said he might like to have a small storefront in downtown Windsor someday, but understands that the reason why The Bespoke Edge is doing well is because he doesn’t. By not having a shop and the challenges that come with it, he said he is free to spoil his customers by making the process easy and convenient for them.

He also said he and his sons are hoping to launch an online store for shirts through the company website.

“Obviously, to reinvent myself in the business that I spent 35 years in already, you know, can be kind of challenging, but it wasn’t,” Wagner added. “How creative and unique the process is; it’s just really been a lot of fun.”



Denver Post: Goorin Bros. hosts hot Repeal of Prohibition Day party on a cold, cold night

The Denver Post

On January 17, 1920, a nationwide, alcohol prohibition was mandated (otherwise known as the Eighteenth Amendment).

On December 5, 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment was ratified, officially repealing the prohibition of alcohol.

And on December 5, 2013, with a temperature of 7 degrees F. outside, The Goorin Bros. Hat Shop on Larimer Square hosted a hot Repeal of Prohibition Day party.

Bow ties from Nineteen Forty at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

Bow ties from Nineteen Forty at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

Don’t you like to walk into a party where the men are dapper, the women are wearing fringe, the roaring 1920s band up front is playingLa Vie En Rose, and the bar has turned into a speakeasy? I certainly like to.

And so does the San Francisco-based hat retailer, which celebrated the right to drink, and the right to drink in style on Thursday night at its Larimer Square store in Denver.

The shop turned out to be quite the classy venue for a small gathering – having enough space for merchandise, a bar, snacks from The Green Russell, a couple men’s pop-up shops, and even live jazz music fromGypsySwingRevue.

A stack of hats at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

A stack of hats at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

The 118 year-old heritage Goorin Bros. brand specializes in re-creating classic hats with a modern twist, and the speakeasy soiree helped to showcase a few looks from their newly launched holiday hat collections in honor of the 80th anniversary of the repeal – with the similar look and feel of hats from the 1920′s and 1930′s.

There was the the Repeal of Prohibition Collection, and theEscape Artist Collection – both of which include various styles of fine knit flat caps and wider-brimmed fedoras. Hats begin at around $110, and are actually quite the dashing holiday gift for the modern gentleman.

The hats were all well and good, but there were a couple man pop-up shops that caught my eye at the party as well.

The first was Nineteen Forty, a custom bow tie company based in Boulder that makes an awesome affordable ($50-$140) collection of bow ties in vintage cottons, silks, wools and even cashmere.

Classy hats at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

Classy hats at the Goorin Bros. Repeal of Prohibition Day Party. Photo by Francie Swidler, The Denver Post

I also came across The Bespoke Edge, based out of Windsor near Fort Collins, that creates handcrafted clothing for men – think shirts, sport coats and dress pants, even pocket squares and neckties.

Men of Denver looking to buy some dress clothes this season should give The Bespoke Edge a shot. Their custom garments – that you help design – aren’t much more expensive than the shirts you’re buying at Macy’s. Dress shirts begin at $135, and suits at $795.

If you’re afraid of looking like Don Draper – although, I don’t know why you would be – Goorin Bros also has hats and accessories to keep your head toasty, so you can still look fly while staying warm. Win-win.

Hats off to them.

(You can read the original article here)