Archives: handcrafted

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.

Featured Company, Knotty Tie Co.

ties

At The Bespoke Edge, we are always on the lookout for great new companies. Recently, we stumbled across Knotty Tie Co. – a great small business specializing in custom neck ties. Knotty’s CEO, Jeremy, took a moment to answer some questions…

1.) Jeremy, thanks for taking the time to tell us about Knotty Tie. Let’s begin with an obvious question: how did your custom tie business begin?

[Jeremy] Knotty Tie Co. was born to make neckties meaningful and to give people the ability to participate in the design process. We started doing research on fabric printing, deconstructed our favorite ties, began building templates and prototypes, and finally, after three months of development, hand-made our first tie. When we told others what we were doing, people were blown away by the idea of completely custom ties. So much so, that in March ’13, we decided to see whether people were willing to support what we do. We launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding project, and in 30 days, raised over $23,000 to start building our customizer and begin sourcing high quality tie components. We completed the platform in October ’13 and have since expanded our business to include custom ties for weddings and organizations.

more ties

2.) What’s the process like to order a Knotty Tie?

[Jeremy] The process of ordering a tie starts on our website, knottytie.com. You can customize your own tie, browse our favorite designs, check out other user created designs, as well as designs from some of Denver’s best local artists. We also have design services if you have an idea but don’t have the graphic design skills to create images. If you don’t see what you are looking for, send us an email to team@knottytie.com and we can figure out the best way to get it done.

3.) What’s the most creative tie a customer has designed?

[Jeremy] We are inspired every week when we talk to our clients about what they want to create, and more importantly, what it means to them. For this past Father’s Day, we did individual designs for dozens of clients, but one tie in particular struck a cord with all of us here at Knotty. The father created a paper template from the dimensions we sent him, and then had his son, who is autistic, create a design with words that characterize his father. When we finished making the tie and were ready to send it, it was obvious how meaningful the tie would be to the father, and what a great idea it was to include his son in the design process.

dino tie

4.) Unfortunately, Denver (and Colorado in general) has earned a reputation as being very casually dressed. How is Knotty Tie helping to dress guys up?

One of my favorite quotes is from Yves Saint-Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” In this more casual world, especially here in Colorado, people don’t wear neckties because they have to, they wear them because they want to…because they know that neckties are an opportunity to express themselves, and they know the value of paying attention to details in their wardrobes and in their lives. Nothing says style more than clothing that fits you physically and also fits your personality, not to mention that it is also made in an ethical fashion; with the utmost care for people and the environment.

5.) Thoughts on the future? Silk ties? Bow ties perhaps?

We started with ties, but aren’t stopping there. Bowties are almost finished prototyping, pocket squares are next, and then we’ll work on creating ties, bowties etc. in kids sizes. We are also focusing on expanding to include silk and wool fabrics to our current fabric selection of certified 100% organic cotton sateen.

Jeremy and the rest of the team may be reached at team@knottytie.com. Or, at their website, knottytie.com.

A New Partnership: BE & Burke Cleaners

Burke Cleaners

 

We are excited to announce our new partnership in Northern Colorado with Burke Cleaners! It was only a matter of time before the premier men’s custom shop and the best in dry cleaners teamed up. After all, the very best in clothing deserves the finest in cleaning. Burke Cleaners is offering a free cleaning when you purchase a product from The Bespoke Edge. You will receive a free coupon when we deliver your clothing. Burke Cleaners has been my personal dry cleaner for many years and their professionalism and quality of work is excellent. Taking your handcrafted garments from The Bespoke Edge to Burke Cleaners is certainly our recommendation. Don’t forget to pick up one of BE’s business cards while you are there, for you and a friend!

What is bespoke clothing?

Have you ever been curious as to what is bespoke clothing? Perhaps you were searching for a suit when you came across this term. Clearly, at The Bespoke Edge, this is our bread and butter.

The word “bespoke” is derived from the verb to bespeak, to “speak for something”/to give order for it to be made. The term dates back to the 17th century, when tailors held the full lengths of cloth in their premises.  When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have “been spoken for.” Hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called “bespoke.” Using your pattern, the cloth is then cut and trimmed and a single tailor is given the task of sewing the parts of the garment together. This is unlike “made-to-measure,” which simply uses a basic, pre-existing template pattern, which is then adjusted to roughly your  individual measurements.

bespoke-butons

Using a gentleman’s imperfect body as inspiration, the tailor fashions a garment that caters to the owner’s strength. The experience promises to be among the most rewarding you will encounter. Men who try bespoke tailoring often become lifetime advocates, simply because no off the rack garment or modified stock garment can compare. We look forward to helping you with your clothing needs!