Affordable Custom

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.

Review: How to Get the Most Out of Your Dragon Inside Suit

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Review: How to Get the Most Out of Your Dragon Inside Suit

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...

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A Walking Guide to the Best Menswear Shops in London

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Advice & Resources, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

A Walking Guide to the Best Menswear Shops in London

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...

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Where to Buy the Best Custom Suit Online?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Custom tailoring, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Where to Buy the Best Custom Suit Online?

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...

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Inside Ledbury and Read Wall DC Christmas Pop-Up Stores

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Made in America, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Inside Ledbury and Read Wall DC Christmas Pop-Up Stores

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...

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From Thailand, Custom Necktie Tailor Sam Hober Takes an Old Fashioned Approach to a Digital Age Business

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

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...

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Review: Proper Cloth Custom Dress Shirts

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

Review: Proper Cloth Custom Dress Shirts

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...

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Review: The Black Lapel Custom Suit

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

Review: The Black Lapel Custom Suit

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...

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Suit Supply to launch new label, menswear “speakeasy” in New York

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Suit Supply to launch new label, menswear “speakeasy” in New York

Menswear start-up Suit Supply is launching a new luxury label to be featured in a speakeasy-style boutique attached to the company’s New York flagship location, head of U.S. operations Nish De Gruiter told Modern Fellows in an interview.  An August 2013 launch is planned for the new shop, which will have its own floor and entrance alongside Suit Supply’s current location at 453 Broome Street. The new label will feature suits with more luxurious construction and...

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How Pakistan, the Peace Corps and USTR spawned Georgetown’s New Stealth Tailors

Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

How Pakistan, the Peace Corps and USTR spawned Georgetown’s New Stealth Tailors

While entrepreneurs often jump from business school or the corporate world to start a new business, others take a different path.  This is the improbable story of two development professionals trying to change the world through men’s clothing: Introducing J&C Suiting, Georgetown’s new stealth tailors of affordable custom menswear. Last fall, roundabout the same time that Modern Fellows launched, I stumbled across J&C Suiting’s twitter account...

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Review: VM Clothiers’ Custom Dress Shirts

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Review: VM Clothiers’ Custom Dress Shirts

Down the street from the White House, Vishal Mirpuri is building a solid reputation in the District of Colombia for affordable custom suits and shirts.  Over the past several months, Modern Fellows tried out and tested two of VM Clothiers’ custom dress shirts and, in the process, got a feel for Vishal’s approach to men’s clothing and customer service. Why VM Clothiers? Inspired by family members already in the business, Vishal — the VM in VM...

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