Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To Bespoke or To Be Tailored...


Currently, there is some confusion surrounding custom clothing due to the modern “bespoke” trend. This post is meant to set the record straight on loosely used terms in “custom”. The terms “ready to wear” or “off the rack” refer to suits that are pre-made by manufacturers and are sold as is and altered by a tailor or, if you are very trusting, your local dry cleaner. This is also a good time to highlight the confusion about the word “tailored”. A “ready to wear” suit, sport jacket, or pant is tailored by a tailor or seamstress to fit your body. All suits require some form of tailoring or alterations. The term “tailored” is often misused to describe truly custom or a made to measure program. Tailoring is a process. A suit that has been tailored has simply been altered, it is not custom made.

“Made to measure” refers to a garment that is made in accordance to a manufacturers’ template for your specific sizes in suit jacket and waist size. Additionally, made to measure goods often allow the purchaser to choose from available options for things such as lapel style and coat liner. Made to measure has a template or a style that the manufacturer is already producing. The advantage is the buyer can get a suit jacket and pant up front closer to their size and make some style selections.

“Custom” or “bespoke” are terms that are used loosely to mean all of the above. However, “custom” means that an individual is taking several measurements including chest, suit waist, hip, inseam, outseam, knee, bottom, etc. in order to build a template for the buyers body. Custom clothing typically starts by picking the swatch or fabric from a popular mill like Dormeuil, Zegna, or Loro Piana. Then extensive measurements are taken and style options are reviewed. Style options include everything from lapel type, number of buttons, liner, piping, pic stitching, personal labeling, functional button holes, cell phone pocket, watch pocket in the pant, etc. 
There are different types of custom clothing as well. The most basic form of custom involves picking a swatch, picking options, taking measurements and having that information sent to a mill for the suit to be made. However, some very (and I emphasize VERY) talented tailors (usually master tailors) are skilled enough to take a buyer through the entire process. This means the tailor will make the suit themselves in their work shop and will often due several fittings as they construct the garment. This process in the United States will often run upwards of $2500 and can take even longer than shipping goods to a mill to be made. I hope this clears up some of the confusion. However, if it creates more or if you have a question please feel free to direct it to matt@lesrichards.com 

Stay classy. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making a Statement with Bold Menswear Trends

People always ask us about the latest trends in men’s clothing.  I hope to offer some suggestions on a weekly basis through this blog. Recently I visited Miami and realized that prints in men’s sports shirts and different color chinos are a good look and really hot right now. In places like Miami, fashion favors the bold, but the looks that are popular in Miami can be pulled off by anyone in the Northeast. 
A print in a shirt does not have to be a bold paisley or a loud multi-stripe. A print can be as simple as a tight small polka dot pattern. This type of small pattern harkens back to the UK fashion influence we first felt in full force in the 1960’s. The cool thing about that is “heritage” is a major men’s fashion movement right now. So, by itself, a unique small pattern or tight polka dot would be a vintage look. Unfortunately, we cannot just wear a shirt by itself and a small pattern shirt is pretty safe. A brightly colored pant is not. However, there is a starter course in colored slacks. Try a pair of light slate grey chinos or rust color. The advantage to these two colors is they are quite similar to what you already wear and are also very stylish. With a small patterned shirt and a funky slack color you’ll be in style on so many levels. 

Bespoken Spring 2013 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You’re stylish, smart and a little bit sarcastic – your eyewear should be too.

eye-bobs readers

Les Richards named Top 5 Tailors in Philadelphia by CBS Philly


Les Richards named Top 5 Tailors in Philadelphia by CBS Philly
​March, 20th, 2012
"Ever heard that phrase, “the suit makes the man”? Well, the men of Philadelphia are making their mark on the style scene. The streets of Philadelphia are filled with well dressed males who are taking cue from the style icons of late, such as the male cast of shows like “Boardwalk Empire” and “Mad Men.” Many men of Philadelphia experiment with bold ties, pinstripes, stitching and pocket squares to give their look some personality and enlist the help of expert stylists at these five stores."