Nowhere has the internet-driven democratization of men’s fashion been more apparent than in custom tailoring. Once reserved for Wall Street bankers, c-suite businessmen or those willing to put up with a great deal of effort and uncertainty to navigate international transactions with foreign tailors, it is now possible to find reasonable-quality made-to-measure shirting for $100 or less and suiting from around $500.
Between New York and DC alone, Alexander West, Alton Lane, The Tailored Man, and VM Clothiers are just a few of the options available. Around the country, sites such as Black Lapel, Indochino, mytailor.com, Proper Cloth and Ratio Clothing allow you to take your own measurements and design a shirt or suit online without visiting a shop. For those with slightly deeper pockets, startups such as Michael Andrews Bespoke and established retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Geoffrey Lewis Ltd., Hickey Freeman and Nordstrom variously offer made-to-measure and fully bespoke options that are competitively-priced.
Modern Fellows’ Affordable Custom project is an effort to highlight a range of online and in-person options for affordable custom clothing and to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the brands. Periodically, MF will report on experiences with custom clothing retailers.
Modern Fellows maintains a directory of where to buy custom suits and dress shirts online.
New York-based suit startup Black Lapel recently unveiled their Fall 2014 suiting fabrics and invited Modern Fellows to take a look. An outstanding contender in the world of custom suiting from the start, Black Lapel’s founders Derek Tian and Warren Liao continue to iterate on fit, fabrics, offerings and design in ways that seem deliberate and conscious of a long-term strategy. Black Lapel has been introducing handfuls of new fabrics for suits and blazers each season....read more
Can an app take measurements as accurately as a tailor? New online startup MTailor delivers precision measurements via your iPhone. When Miles Penn approached Modern Fellows to review a custom shirt from his recently-launched technology-meets-fashion concept MTailor, I was skeptical. MTailor’s pitch? A custom shirt that removes the need to take your own measurements or visit a tailor. Download an app, set it down on the floor 10 feet away from you, spin 360...read more
The entrepreneurs behind Chicago-based Proper Suit put a premium on customer service, having evolved their business model from online made-to-measure to an in-person only approach that aims to guarantee a perfect fit and inviting experience.read more
If you have been researching options for affordable online custom-tailored suits, Dragon Inside has likely appeared on your radar. The EU-headquartered company has made a splash of late via menswear blogs, targeted Google ads and a slick website. How does Dragon Inside’s suits stack up in the growing digital menswear world? Pretty well, largely because of their dedication to customer service and to understanding your fit preferences. Inside Dragon Inside...read more
You have just one day in London. Where would you go? If shopping for menswear is your answer, read on for the Modern Fellows walking guide to menswear in London. The birthplace of Beau Brummell and the home of Savile Row, the City of London helped developed modern tailored dress and remains central to men’s fashion. Perhaps most exciting, while Savile Row has aged and shrunk (as one does when one ages, I suppose), a new generation of entrepreneurs is opening shops...read more
With the explosion of affordable custom tailors in recent years — led by venture-backed behemoths such as Indochino and bolstered by fledgling, well-regarded entrants like Black Lapel — Modern Fellows has released a guide to buying made-to-measure suits and shirts online. While the proliferation of online custom tailors may be thought of as a natural outgrowth of the traveling tailor who, twenty years ago, came from Asia or Europe to major U.S. cities, this...read more
Several online retailers set up shop in Georgetown this holiday season, offering DC residents an opportunity to touch fabrics, try on clothes and get to know their brands offline. Modern Fellows toured pop ups put on by Richmond-based Ledbury and Washington, DC’s Read Wall this week and captured some photos of what’s on offer. Read Wall Read Wall grew up in Washington, DC and stuck around to found an evolving and extraordinarily interesting line of...read more
From Thailand, Custom Necktie Tailor Sam Hober Takes an Old Fashioned Approach to a Digital Age Business
Thanks to the internet, Thailand-based custom necktie maker Sam Hober carefully manufactures custom ties for clients around the world. The company offers a variety of silk, wool, linen and cotton ties, scarves, and pocket squares to a global customer base while boasting of the largest selection of solid grenadines in the world. Modern Fellows ordered a tie from Sam Hober and, in the process, interviewed David Hober, who “handles the business side of...read more
Is it really that hard to take a good picture? Seph Skerritt, founder of online made-to-measure shirting company Proper Cloth, doesn’t think so. His New York-based startup stands out from the proliferating crowd of digital tailors for its high-quality fabric close-ups and crisp digital look-book campaigns. Modern Fellows reviewed a shirt from Proper Cloth and spoke with Seph about product presentation, website functionality and the company’s recently-launched New York...read more
One of earlier and more refined entrants in a now crowded field of digital custom suiting, Black Lapel has tailored clothing for men across more than sixty countries. This review of the company’s charcoal herringbone tailored fit suit is based on Modern Fellows’ experience with the company over the past several months. Why Black Lapel While Black Lapel did not originate the digital suit experience, founders Derek Tian and Warren Liao have helped pioneer and...read more