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 entrepreneurs Gage Mersereau and Matt Harpalani set out to create an online experience that removed the biggest hassles that inhibited guys from buying custom shirts online. Meet ShirtCycle, which delivers a package of three curated custom shirts monthly along with an innovative and mostly painless onboarding process for new customers. From corporate finance to custom shirting Gage and Matt met while working at Deutsche Bank, clicked, and realized that there...read more
While Knot Standard has already earned a solid reputation as an online custom tailor, the company is building out a network of premium in-person showrooms around the United States. These showrooms, including one in the U Street corridor in Washington, DC, offer an expanded range of men’s suiting options, where staff excel at making you feel comfortable while still helping you branch out. Read on to find out why we think their showrooms provide the quintessential...read more
Menswear styling service Trunk Club has been quietly building out a physical presence across the United States to complement its online subscription offering. Their expansion includes a clubhouse in Washington, DC, where Modern Fellows recently caught up with their team. Founded in 2009 by Bonobos co-founder Brian Spaly and acquired by Nordstrom in the summer of 2014, the company began opening studios with their home base in Chicago. Trunk Club arrived in DC in March...read more
The calendar says spring and it is finally starting to feel like it. Time to trade heavy winter jackets and functional snow boots for new shoes and clothes. Here is what Modern Fellows is looking forward to as the weather brightens. The thing about winter is the weather often necessitates function over form. Who in their right mind would put on an unlined, patch pocket blazer (above) courtesy of Knot Standard’s new DC showroom when the thermometer is hovering...read more
Knot Standard feels like a classic tailor updated for the digital age. After evolving several times since it began five years ago, founders John Ballay and Matt Mueller seem to have found their groove, offering a seamless experience and quality product online and across an expanding series of showrooms scattered throughout the United States and Dubai. Modern Fellows’ readers receive a 15% discount online for first time customers via this link and code...read more
Custom shirting outposts are everywhere these days, but European-headquartered Tailor4Less has been around since 2008. And while many focus on high-end fabrics and finishes with prices to match, Tailor4Less targets the basics at an affordable price point. How does their basic sub-$60 dress shirt stack up? Getting to know Tailor4Less In the summer of 2008, Tailor4Less’ CEO, Andreu Fernández, was traveling in Shanghai, where he found good quality menswear at a very...read more
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