Archives: bespoke

Why men don’t like buying suits

Buying a suit, whether it’s custom, made to measure, or off-the-rack, can be rather intimidating. After all, it’s not something that happens very often. Even those of us that own more than one suit aren’t buying one every month – certainly not when the Colorado cycling season is upon us!

As you may expect, I’ve spent some time thinking about this topic. And, no surprise here :), but I’ve managed to come up with a number of theories. Really, I think it boils down to two reasons.

1. Guys don’t know what they’re doing.

The first reason is a little tough for us to admit. After all, as all guys know, we never need to ask for directions because we always know exactly where we are, it just may not be as obvious to others.

That being said, a lot of guys looking to buy a new suit may feel as though they have no clue what’s going on. But we think that knowing how to shop for and wear a suit is something that we SHOULD know all about.

But don’t be too hard on yourself. Soft skills like knowing how a suit should fit and when you can pull off a velvet blazer aren’t the hard skills coded onto the Y chromosome of every man – ones like knowing how to grill a T-bone and understanding exactly how much you can tie to the roof of your car.

No point is more central than this:

Knowing how to dress well is something you have to learn.

(I’m sure even James Bond had a mentor that showed him the ropes at one point.)

In the old days, most guys did have a tailor. Just like they had a trusted barber and a butcher that knew them by name.

When you buy a custom shirt or suit, you aren’t just buying the product, you are also buying the service. This should be true no matter where you do your shopping.

If you have questions, you should be able to ask them. Are you curious what Super 110s are? Ask! Have you heard that there is a special way to fold a pocket square? Ask you tailor about it. By the way, there is no ‘right’ way to fold a pocket square, just better ways :).

In any case, your tailor should be your mentor and your source for education. If they can’t provide personalized service and teach you something each time you work with them, then you better find yourself another tailor.

And as you start to learn more about suits and dressing like a real man, you begin to realize that this sort of thing is nothing new at all. Men have had working relationships with their tailors for hundreds of years, so why stop now?

If education is one roadblock for the modern man when it comes to shopping for a suit, that can’t be the only reason, right? This leads us to my number two reason men don’t like buying suits:

2. I don’t have the right physique for a custom suit!

Now, us guys are going to feel one of two things. Either we think we will look awesome in a custom tailored suit, or, well, maybe not so awesome. In the case of the latter, guys may be a little concerned that maybe their less than perfect features will be brought into focus (beer belly, not-so-athletic butt, etc).

This is completely understandable. After all, what’s the point of buying a nice suit if you aren’t going to feel confident wearing it?

Here’s what you need to know:

A custom suit can show off your best assets AND hide those that aren’t.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you are currently working on building a nice solid pair of shoulders. You’re busy putting in the requisite time in the gym, but it’s going to take some time. In the interim, your suit can help out. Investing in a full canvas suit with a peaked lapel style will help to create the image that your shoulders are wider than they really are.

Or, say you are looking to add a few virtual inches to your height. You can choose a suit with a subtle pinstripe pattern to help elongate your figure. The stripes help to create the perception of length and slimness.

The takeaway

Buying a suit can seem like an intimidating task. You may feel that as a man you are supposed to understand all the nuances of menswear and style. But the truth is that you just need to start somewhere. And finding a trusted tailor that can help guide you is key.

The right menswear expert can be someone that can answer your questions, help to guide you and most importantly, give you a great looking set of clothes that will help you to define your own personal brand.

Wearing a nicely tailored suit is just one of the perks of being a guy. It’s right up there with being able to write your name in the snow and the privilege to recline in your chair and thoughtfully stroke your beard.

If you chose to read this blog then I’m guessing your closet is devoid of a suit that you are proud to call your own. Perhaps now is the time to join the ranks of men around the world and see how easy it is to be the best dressed guy around.

By Ryan Wagner

Do you find tailored suits intimidating for a different reason? Let us know what we’re missing.

Did you find this post useful? Please consider sharing it with your stylish, will-never-ask-for-directions, gentleman friends.

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 (www.bespokeedge.com) 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.”

 

 

The three essential shirts every man should have

So there are a lot of different shirt fabrics out there. If you’ve seen the BE fabric book you know there are literally hundreds to choose from. Where to begin? Well, if you’re building a wardrobe or perhaps starting all over again from scratch, there are just three essential shirts that you’ll want to have in your closet.

The following three shirt fabrics are the most versatile choices you have available. You can dress them up or down and wear them all over town. Dinners out, formal occasions, work, pleasure, and everything in between, these three shirts will provide you a solid foundation from which to build. Without a doubt, these are the three essential shirts every man should have.

1. White – but with some panache!

Face it, you need a white shirt. Whether it’s for an interview where you want something relatively conservative or plan to wear a dark suit for a formal occasion, white is the obvious choice. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. For instance, BE offers 40 white fabrics of varying textures to set you apart from the crowd.

Just about any tie will work with a white shirt. And any suit for that matter.

One of the best combos with a white shirt is this: A dark blazer, dark jeans, white shirt and white pocket square. Just like that, you’re instantly dressed up and ready for anything.

white shirt 1Traveling? Put on your tie when you get your rental car before heading to the meeting. Dressing down? Unbutton the top button and you’re ready for happy hour. Speaking of a dark blazer, in future posts, I’ll tell you exactly what the one suit is that you need to have if you’re buying your first suit.

2. French blue – The most friendly of all fabrics

Believe it or not, studies have shown that wearing blue is often the best choice because it conveys trust and calmness and helps people to perceive you as reliable. Plus, blue is downright friendly. Why do you think so many companies use blue in their logos? 

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It’s also very versatile with a myriad of neckties and suits. “Blue can be a strong background when choosing ties, but so long as you choose a necktie with a little blue in it, it’ll match with a blue shirt just fine,” says Ron. 

3. Striped – When you want to show a little style

Pick your favorite color and make it a striped shirt. Simple as that. In some ways, a striped shirt is pure business. It’ll look great with your bespoke suits and carry you through any meeting or business lunch under the sun. However, loosen the collar and throw on some nice jeans and it’ll have a whole new look. Suddenly, you’re ready to hit the streets of downtown Denver and won’t feel overdressed in a pub. Remember our last post on matching neckties to your bespoke shirts? If you missed it, you can read it here – one of the topics of discussion was to match a paisley or print tie to your striped shirts. See, now you can wear paisley ties!

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If you’re only in the market for one striped shirt, then go with a lighter background and a less bold stripe. Imagine you drew on the stripes using a pen or pencil, not a marker. This will keep the shirt more casual so that you can still wear the shirt outside the office.

Wrap up

There you have it, the three shirts you need to own: White, blue and striped.

Combined with only one bespoke suit and a pair of jeans, you’ll be prepared for any situation. Now if you could only choose two more shirts, what would they be, hmmm….

 

The Coloradoan: On The Move

On The Move
March 16, 2013  |  The Coloradoan

The manager of the former The Regiment Shops, a men’s clothing store in Old Town that closed in 2008, has started The Bespoke Edge, a custom men’s tailoring businesses.

Ron Wagner will come to your home, take measurements, help you select fabrics and designs, then send your order off to Singapore where it will be hand cut and crafted. Two to three weeks later, your custom suit, shirt or trousers will be delivered to your door.

“We are offering a tailored fit that people can’t match off the rack,” Wagner said. “Shirts start at $125, suits at $695 and trousers, $195.”

The Regiment Shops closed amid a sour economy and Wagner said he has retooled with a smaller and far leaner venture selling custom clothes. “I have taught myself bookkeeping and am now owner, founder and CEO all in one. Above all else, I operate Fort Collins’ first custom shop — a much-needed addition to the social fabric of our town.”

Information: (970) 231-4588 or Bespokeedge.com.