Archives: Suits

BE is proud to offer men’s clothing in Scottsdale

We have a big announcement for you…Beginning in September, we will be regularly offering our men’s clothing in Scottsdale. That’s right, the full Bespoke Edge experience is coming to Arizona. And for the area in general, we are pleased to be another option for custom suits in Phoenix.

First, some background: Part of the extended BE family resides in Scottsdale and has quite a long heritage in the area. As you can imagine, Ron and Brett and I have all been spending more time in Arizona lately.

Brett and Ron have found their favorite watering hole and I have found my hands-down favorite coffee shop. But most importantly, we have discovered a wonderful city. One with great food, beautiful golf courses, and great people that are looking for authentic bespoke suits.

How will we do it?

Beginning on September 17th, we will begin regular trips to the Scottsdale area. You can learn about these trips in two ways.

  1. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.
  2. Send us a direct email at questions@bespokeedge.com and let us know you’re interested. We won’t put you on our newsletter list, but we will send you a direct email when we have an event coming up.

Regardless of how you learn about our fitting events, just send us an email, click “make an appointment“, or give us a call at 970-231-4588.

At some point, we’ll have a quick conversation on the phone to not only learn more about what you’re looking for, but also to tell you more about our process and offerings.

men's clothing in scottsdale

Our events will be held at one of Scottsdale’s most prestigious hotels. We’ll take you through the entire Bespoke Edge process. In other words, you’ll have access to all the same fabrics and options that our Denver clients do. It’s very important to us that we bring you the true bespoke experience. There are already some options for men’s clothing in Scottsdale, but we are confident that our process will set us apart, just as it did in Colorado.

At your appointment, you’ll have an opportunity to look over all of our fabrics, choose your customizations, select buttons, etc. Long story short, you can have a lot of control on the design, including custom monogramming or finding a personal suit lining. We’ll guide you through the process and let you decide as much or as little as you like.
Then, we’ll take upwards of 20 measurements and have a conversation with you about how you want your suit to fit. Much of what we do is an art form, it’s why no one else can do what we do. And based on the look and feel that you’re going for, we’ll make sure that we provide the appropriate allowances and get you that perfect fit. You’ll want to budget around 2 hours for your fitting.
Around 6 weeks later, the suit will be ready. We’ll deliver it to you at our next Scottsdale event and ensure the fit. In the rare case that we need to make some adjustments, we’ll work with our local tailor and have everything ready for you in about a week.

And remember, should you decide to come visit us, you are by no means under any obligation to purchase. And it’s perfectly OK to just drop by and say hello.

Our promise

We want to make it very clear that what’s most important to us, is building positive, lasting relationships with our clients.

We believe that it shouldn’t be difficult for you to look your best, that your personal style is a reflection of who you are as a man. And your bespoke clothes are in some ways the modern day equivalent of your suit of armor. The way that you dress is an important part of your personal brand – and that’s what we want to help you find.

We realize that custom clothing may be a big step for you. If you put your trust in us, we will do whatever it takes to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase. Your clothing isn’t right until you say it is.

It’s not only our pleasure, but our privilege to be expanding into Arizona. We are very excited to offer the best custom suits in Scottsdale and Phoenix.

We look forward to meeting you!

By Ryan Wagner 

 

Summer suit guide: What you need to know to stay cool and look great

summer-pocketsquare

Summer presents a unique sartorial opportunity when it comes to suits. It’s easier than ever to stand apart from the crowd and look sharp in a summer suit. Why? Because most men either ditch the suit altogether or sweat up a storm. In this summer suit guide, we’re going to explain how to build a great looking summer-weight suit or sport coat.

Remember, summer suits can be a lot of fun. They tend to look a bit more casual, but they don’t have to. The fabric can be made of cotton, but it can also be linen, or a blend of the two. Even the right wool can be breathable and ventilated. But even with all these benefits, very few men have a “summer suit.” And I think that a big part of the problem is that most men don’t know how to go about building one.

So, I’m going to lead by example.

I just built what I think is an excellent specimen of a summer suit. The fabric, the hue, the details – everything just makes me think of summer.

I’m going to take you through my design process. I’m going to example what I did and why so when it comes time for you to build a suit, or shop for one, you’ll have a better idea of what you want.

Step 1 – Fabric Selection

The first topic of this summer suit guide is that you need to select a fabric, but it needs to be one that will breath.

For summer, you are going to want either linen, cotton, or some wool blend. Otherwise, you will invariably end up with a heavier coat. That won’t necessarily be a bad thing, because it will still be a great pick for the fall, you’ll just be sweating bullets for all the wrong reasons and find yourself waiting for the cooler weather to return.

Briefly, here’s what you need to know about summer suit fabrics:

Cotton: A cotton jacket, or a cotton suit for that matter, is a great pick for summer. As you are probably well aware, cotton breathes like a pro and is easy to clean. It will be a little thicker than a linen or wool blend (maybe), but it’s a solid pick.

Linen: I know what you’re thinking – “But linen wrinkles!” Yes, it does wrinkle, get over it. It won’t be that bad. After all, you can always steam it real quick before you put it on and you’ll look and feel like a million bucks because linen breathes better than any other fabric, in my opinion. You will definitely stay well ventilated in a linen jacket so it should come as no surprise that it’s a summer staple for most men.

Blends: Some fabrics will be a blend of linen and wool. This will cut down on the wrinkle factor and give the jacket a more “suit-like” look. This will make your jacket a little more versatile for say, evening events or cooler weather.

Ryan’s pick: I chose something in a “coastal grey” so that I could wear it with virtually anything. Regarding fabric, I went with a linen/wool blend. I got the versatility of a wool blend and the great textured look of a linen jacket. This was a good pick for me because I wanted a jacket that I could wear into the cooler months. Yes, it may be a little warmer in the summer than a pure linen would have been, but I had a plan for that…

summer-suit-pants

 

Step 2 – Construction

Something that not everyone knows is that suits have varying levels of construction. And by that I don’t mean quality (although indeed they do!), but that the canvas and lining can vary in their coverage of the jacket fabric.

Regarding summer jackets, you’re going to want to go with something that is “unconstructed.” What this means is that the canvas that usually covers much of a suit is now gone; you’re going to stay a lot cooler, after all, it’s one less layer that you’re wearing.

However, this doesn’t mean that the shoulder is completely unpadded. There will still be padding there, but it will be noticeably thinner than what you may be used to wearing. Again, this reduction in material will help to keep you cool.

Which brings us to the lining discussion as part of this summer suit guide.

With most unconstructed jackets, the lining goes away entirely. However, here at BE, we use what’s called a “1/8 lining” or “butterfly” lining. This means that the lining is only around the upper back and around the arm hole because we want our jackets to still have a little protection from sweat, and also for aesthetic reasons. The resulting shape resembles a butterfly, hence the name.

Ryan’s pick: Unconstructed and with a butterfly lining (matched to the suit fabric, of course). I wanted to eliminate as much fabric as possible so that I would be comfortable sitting on a coffee shop patio in 80 degrees.

lining

Step 3 – Style

Here’s the key thing to remember about the style of any summer suit: It’s going to be inherently casual. For instance, with a fabric like linen or cotton, that means silk ties are out because the fabrics will clash in texture. Consequently, you’re going to want to carefully choose your style details. You’ll need to be mindful that the jacket is somewhat casual by default, but also realize that you can bend the rules a little.

Notched lapel versus peaked lapel

An important part of this summer suit guide is understanding what type of lapel will work best for your needs.

If you need a refresher on the differences between notched lapels and peaked lapels, take a look at one of my older articles on the topic, here. In summation of that article, notched lapels were versatile and commonplace, whereas peaked lapels were reserved for formal and/or bold occasions.

So what should you choose for your summer jacket? Well, a notched lapel is the obvious choice. It’s going to be casual and versatile. But what about peaked lapels? Is that to say that you can never wear a peaked lapel in a summer coat? No, of course not. But you just need to be mindful that it’s going to look a little flashier and be more challenging to pull off.

Ryan’s pick: Notched lapel. A peaked lapel was just too formal for me. If I had a cocktail perpetually in my hand, OK, peaked lapel it is. But for the occasions that I saw myself wearing this jacket in, a notched lapel just made much more sense.

summer suit guide and denvers best custom clothier

 

2 button versus 1

Similar to the lapel choice you need to make, the number of buttons on your jacket will reflect its level of formality.

1 button: A single button jacket is more or less a cocktail jacket. It’s cool and sophisticated in all the right ways. And because of this, it’s also less versatile. Many of my meetings are at coffee shops and folks’ places of business and so I think a single button jacket may look a little out of place.

2 button: Your more versatile pick.

Ryan’s pick: 2 button for its versatility. And remember, never button the bottom button!

Vents

I suppose there is some truth behind having better ventilation with 2 side vents versus 1 center vent. But I usually err on the Italian side, and so I opted for the single center vent on this jacket. Just go with what feels comfortable to you.

How many cuff buttons?

Admittedly, this is a minor thought for some people. But for those of you that really want to take advantage of the power of bespoke, I encourage you to give some thought to how many buttons you have on your cuff. Four is standard, whereas anything less shows that you put some thought into your clothes. 

I opted for 3.

working button holes in our summer suit guide

Step 4 – Details

Now is the time to have some fun. In my opinion, the best way to bring out a coastal, or pool-side style, is to use some blues and whites. And one of the best ways to do that is with the button holes.

Button hole accents

You’ll notice that I opted for a light blue accent on both the lapel button hole and the cuff button holes.

Regarding the cuff button holes, I was originally kicking around the idea of making each button hole a different color. If memory serves, I was going to go with one blue and the other in a sort of cream shade. But after thinking about it more, I couldn’t help but think that the multiple colors would end up being distracting, so I settled on just the coastal blue.

And on the topic of button hole accents in general – when building a jacket, be sure that the jacket can stand alone without any of the colorful accents. In other words, a great looking jacket should look awesome without anything else and it should look even better with the accents. It’s sometimes easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you “need a pop of color,” and then you end up with something that is downright distracting.

Also, bear in mind that colored accents should always refer to your wardrobe. What this means with the subject summer suit, is that I choose a light blue color to refer to the likely shade of shirt fabric that I would wear under the suit. And also knowing that I was likely going to wear a blue pocket square with this jacket more than any other color. Therefore, the accent stitching helps to integrate the whole look.

Flap pockets

I chose flap pockets for their slightly casual look. As opposed to besom pockets which have a very sophisticated presence. However, I still wanted my pockets made at an angle – a hallmark of a fine suit (it’s less expensive to manufacture pockets straight across than it is at an angle). I should note that you could still insert the flap into the pocket itself if you wanted to “fake a besom pocket” for an evening.

And remember, you have tons of pockets on the inside of your jacket. With the obvious exception of your chest pocket (hello, pocket squares!), your inside pockets are where you should be storing your things.

Summer suit guide — Wrap up

So, that’s what you need to know about choosing a summer sport coat. As you can see, there are some smart things you can do to ensure that your coat becomes your seasonal favorite. Just so long as you stick with a breathable fabric and you request the unconstructed option, you’ll stay nice and cool.

One note on how you wear these suits: Because it’s summertime and it’s hot outside, don’t forget that you wear your clothes, not the other way around. For instance, it’s perfectly acceptable these days to scrunch up your jacket sleeves for a short time. And when the thermometer climbs into the red, loosen up the buttons on your cuff to promote ventilation.

I hope this article helps to shed some light on how you can create your own summer suit. And if you’re still wearing the same suit year round and sweating your way through the summer, then hopefully now you are enlightened!

By Ryan Wagner

summer suit guide by bespoke edge

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What is a full canvas suit? How is it different from fused?

fused construction sport coat

There’s a horse in your suit jacket, did you know that? Well, if your suit jacket is constructed with what’s called canvas, then the statement above is true to an extent. So, what is a full canvas suit?

This week, we’re talking suit construction. More specifically, we’re talking about what I would call the very foundation of a suit jacket – whether the suit has a fused or canvas-style construction.

This is important because the drape and “hang” of your suit will be directly impacted by its construction technique. This includes how the suit conforms to your body over time and how it will stand up to dry cleaning.

Is one method inherently better than the other? Well, it really depends on what your needs are.

Canvas construction

On our suits webpage you may have noticed that we offer what is called canvas horse hair construction. So, what exactly is that?

Horse hair canvas is springy, but strong and resilient, and is used to develop that “soft roll” when shaping garments. This is in stark contrast to a crease – something that is common in off-the-rack suits.

It’s actually made from horse hair that has been fused together to create a thin sheet. Much like your suit fabric, it’s cut to the appropriate pattern and then stitched with the fabric. Since we are a Colorado company, allow me to explain this further in terms of cold weather coats. When you buy a warm ski jacket, you’re generally going to have two parts – the outer shell (water and tear resistant) and the inner layer that is more about keeping you warm via insulation. Similarly, men’s suits typically have two layers – the outer wool fabric and the inner canvas. The job of the canvas is to keep the shape of the suit.

what is a full canvas suit

The takeaway is that horsehair canvas has some integrity. That it stands up on its own (say, when folded over) and will help give your suit jacket some life.

And at BE, our canvas construction is always treated with cold water to keep the canvas from shrinking.

Fused construction

Many manufacturers have gone the way of fused construction. This method involves fusing an interlining to the woolen shell. Early industry attempts at fused construction have led to mixed results. Critics like to point to “bubbling” in jackets – a phenomenon that occurs after repeated dry-cleaning where the fused material will delaminate (the glue losing its adhesion) resulting in an unsightly rippling of the fabric.

But like so many things in life, a fused jacket is not just a fused jacket. That is, some manufacturers have developed very adequate techniques for manufacturing fused jackets.

At BE, we are very pleased to say that our fused jackets have never shown any signs of bubbling. They have shown excellent shape and contour.

The difference

So, what does all of this really mean? If you’re in the market for a suit, you’re going to need to make a decision. If you’re on a budget, then a fused construction will save you some money and still serve as a great introduction to bespoke suiting.

However, to get the real experience of what a fine suit can be, we recommend opting for a full-canvas construction. The coat will have life, hold its shape superbly, and best of all, it will conform to your body after repeated wearings.

Wrap up, what is a full canvas suit?

If you’re looking for the best looking suit available, one that will conform to your body and last a very long time, then there’s no doubt that a full canvas suit is the best pick. There’s a lot of history behind horse hair canvas construction, and the fact that industry is still manufacturing men’s suits in this way, is a testament to the inherent quality behind a canvassed suit jacket.

Have more questions on this topic? Here’s how to get in touch with us.

Further information

Fused vs. canvas suits – The Art of Manliness

Trend report: The new suit culture

working buttons on bespoke suit

“I didn’t sell a single suit all last week.”

That’s what I overhead at a department store last month from the menswear salesman. Apparently, no one bought a new suit that week.

Just reading that quote, you’re probably thinking one of two things:

  1. Can that be true? Can a big department store with luxury items really not move a single men’s suit in a week?
  2. And what was Ryan doing there in the first place?!

In reference to the first item, I can’t say for sure. Two salespeople were gossiping and I happened to hear the banter. So take that quote with a grain of salt.

And in reference to what I was doing there, well, I happen to have a need to buy underpants from time to time, just like any other guy.

Regardless of the accuracy of this quote, the takeaway is that business wasn’t good on the men’s side for this popular department store.

So then, where are guys buying suits these days? How has suit culture changed in recent years?

And don’t tell me that nobody wears suits anymore, because lots of men still do.

In the years since BE has been in business, we have seen many competitors come and go. Some local, but many national. Some bootstrapped, some VC-funded. I think that the simple existence of so many businesses geared towards offering custom suits is strong evidence for the growing market and the trend.

The simple truth is that men are shopping differently. They don’t want to go to a store.

They want to buy clothes that have a story behind them.

Now, I know what you’re saying, “Of course Ryan would write about this, it’s his business!” And that’s completely true, custom suiting is my business and I have a bias on this subject. However, I encourage you to take a look around and perform an informal survey.

Ask your friends and colleagues where they purchased their suit or shirt. Was it from one of the big national brands? An online provider? Local place?

Regardless of their answer, follow up by asking where they will purchase their next suit or shirt.

I think you’ll begin to paint a picture similar to what I’ve written above and see that there really is a change in our suit culture.

Wrap up

As department stores become more and more quiet in the men’s section, where will you shop? Are you ready to work one-on-one with an expert and build a sartorial relationship? Obviously, we’d be honored if it was with us, but above all else, we want you to look your best. Find someone you trust, choose fabrics based on your instinct, and have fun.

By Ryan Wagner

Thoughts? Did I hit the nail on the head? What’s the suit culture like in your community, or better yet, how have you seen it change over the past 5 – 10 years? Sound off in the comment s below.

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