Northern Colorado Business Report – Living on the Bespoke Edge

Featured from The Eye, on the  Northern Colorado Business Report

(http://www.ncbr.com/article/20130308/EDITION01/130309926?pagenumber=2)

 

 

You know that old college sweatshirt that wears so comfortably? Now imagine that same feeling in your suit Monday morning.

That’s the difference bespoke can make, according to Ron Wagner, owner of Windsor-based The Bespoke Edge.

The clothing company sells shirts, trousers, suits and coats, all made to order by a Singapore-based custom-clothing manufacturer.

Wagner worked in men’s clothing in Northern Colorado from 1977 to 2008, and then after a few years away from the industry, returned to open the Bespoke Edge in the fall.

Rather than maintaining a storefront, he comes to his clients’ homes or offices and takes the measurements himself. He then offers his expertise in choosing from hundreds of fabrics and designs, allowing the shopper to customize everything from tuck length to collar shape.

But in a region where even business professionals choose function over fashion, who exactly are the Bespoke Edge’s customers?

While Wagner believes in dressing for success, he also understands that Fort Collins isn’t New York. Which is why he offers shirt options that look good with jeans or left un-tucked and pants that can handle the bike commute without blowout. Of course, none of this stuff comes cheaply. Shirts start at $125, suits at $695. But, hey, you’ll look great!

Bespoke versus made to measure clothing

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As a custom clothing provider we are often asked about bespoke versus made to measure (MTM). And while they may seem to be synonymous, nothing could be farther from the truth.

If a suit is considered made-to-measure it means that a customer’s measurements have been taken and that the garment will be cut from a pre-existing, standard pattern that is then altered to roughly fit those measurements. The key term here is pre-existing, which simply implies that a pattern is not fashioned from scratch for an individual customer.

Generally, more machine work is involved in made-to-measure garments with a limited amount of hand work. Regarding the construction of a suit, machine sewing usually makes a relatively lifeless coat. Hand sewn jackets look and feel better, moving as if they are part of the wearer. Remember the suits that James Bond wore? Yup, those were certainly custom.

Bespoke, or custom garments, are a different story altogether. The customer’s measurements are taken and then a pattern is fashioned from scratch – these garments tend to be made mostly by hand. The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak or to “speak for something”. From a fashion perspective, the term bespoke is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing. When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have been spoken for. Therefore, a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called “bespoke”. Using your pattern, the cloth is cut and trimmed and the specific parts of the garment are sewn together.

shirt-and-vest

Bespoke clothing offers a man full control over the tailoring process. At The Bespoke Edge we are proud to offer the following benchmark standards:

  • Hand work used almost entirely on all garments
  • The individual cut of your personal pattern
  • Tremendous selection of the finest fabrics available
  • Your measurement profile stays with BE
  • Unparalleled personal service and consultation
  • 30 years of menswear experience

In most cases, when a man has full control over the creation of his custom clothing the cost will be higher – not the case with BE. We are able to keep costs down and offer our customers an affordable priced garment because there is no middle man.

Men who try bespoke tailoring often become lifetime advocates, simply because no off-the-rack garment or made to measure garment can compare. Let us show you the bespoke experience!

BE Supports CSU Ram Good Time Auction

We are proud to support the CSU Ram Good Time Auction and the athletic department at Colorado State University. Even though our new clothing business is only a few months old, we wanted to be one of the first in line to offer a prize for the auction. This is a great opportunity for that lucky bidder to receive a custom shirt valued at $145 made specifically for you. So enjoy the event and support the RAMS!

My Father’s Cufflinks

cufflinks-and-ticket

My many years in the men’s clothing industry has certainly given me lots of opportunities to “dress up” in distinctive, fashionable outfits.  Learning the details about fashion and then being able to educate others on the importance of dressing well has been rewarding.  In my opinion, attention to detail when developing your wardrobe will always be the key. Of course, the basis of that sophisticated wardrobe from BE is the perfect fit and comfort of your handmade clothing.  But choosing the right accessories to give you that competitive edge is just as important.  When considering men’s jewelry, the old rule of “keep it simple” is still true today.  Besides a watch and ring, there are few articles of jewelry that a man should wear.  However, one acceptable and mostly overlooked piece of jewelry are cufflinks.

tie-bars

I have been wearing cufflinks on and off for years, but recently my interest has sparked again.  Seeing photos from the 1940’s and 50’s of my Father dressed up in double breasted suits and dress hats, I wondered if he had worn cufflinks.  He told me that he had a nice collection and he was happy to give them to me.  So when my wife and I celebrated Christmas with my folks, we all marveled at the great detail and classic designs of his cufflinks that he wore during those early years.  I am looking forward to sharpening up my suit and shirt combinations with these timeless accessories in the coming weeks. After some research I was quite surprised to discover that cufflinks have been a part of a man’s wardrobe since the Middle Ages.  By the 13th Century tailors began using buttons as fasteners and this trend gained popularity during the Renaissance.  Of course, cufflink designs and the materials to create them have certainly changed since my Father began wearing them in the late 40’s. But it is noteworthy that the distinctive detail and craftsmanship of these older cufflinks are still perfect for any man’s wardrobe today!

Contact us with questions about which cufflinks to purchase first or where to get them.  In the coming month we are offering a small collection of  quality cufflinks for purchase, check back soon!

bow-ties