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.

Ledbury Opens New Retail Shop in Georgetown

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Ledbury Opens New Retail Shop in Georgetown

Richmond-based menswear brand Ledbury — a longtime favorite of Modern Fellows — has launched a permanent shop in Washington, DC along Cady’s Alley in Georgetown.  Ledbury made the decision after a series of pop-up shops in Georgetown over the past several holiday seasons. The online brand has put an emphasis on getting in front of potential customers through a retail outlet in Richmond and by participating in select projects such as Northern Grade....

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In Praise of the Essential Gray Suit

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

In Praise of the Essential Gray Suit

Writing a menswear blog encourages exploration of bold patterns and colors, but when I need to look my best for a big day, I turn to an essential staple — a sharp, cool gray suit. At least I did, until it ripped — badly — at a conference.  Thank goodness for online custom tailor Black Lapel. My old gray suit — an off-the-rack Hugo Boss piece made in Turkey about 10 years ago — was like a security blanket.  It shone with a crisp white dress...

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Review: Luxury Made-in-Italy Suits from Menswear Startup Lanieri

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Review: Luxury Made-in-Italy Suits from Menswear Startup Lanieri

With Italian lineage and a partnership with a centuries-old fabric mill, online custom tailor Lanieri casts a unique shadow in the still-burgeoning field of made-to-measure suiting.  Modern Fellows reviewed the Lanieri.com suit experience after catching up with co-founder Riccardo Schiavotto to go behind the brand last year. Receive a $100 discount off your first purchase from Lanieri by entering code MODERNFELLOWS at checkout. Crafted in Italy from start to finish...

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3 Steps to Finding a Good Local Tailor

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Advice & Resources, Around DC, Custom tailoring, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

3 Steps to Finding a Good Local Tailor

You don’t think much about a tailor until you need one. When that moment comes, it can be a little anxiety-inducing.  Can the dry cleaner down the street do it? Would it be better to search Yelp reviews and blog posts for a dedicated tailor? How do I know if they are ripping me off?  At least, these are some of the concerns that have swirled around my head from time to time as I thought about where to take that custom suit jacket whose sleeves were too long, that...

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13 Amazing Sites to Shop for Menswear (and counting)

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Advice & Resources, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

13 Amazing Sites to Shop for Menswear (and counting)

Information overload is a constant challenge in the digital age.  Blogs — including this one — review product after product, store after store, and the posts just keep coming.  So who are our favorites? Here’s a list of 13 of the best sites we’ve found to shop for menswear.  1. Ledbury Richmond-based Ledbury offers an amazing selection of off-the-rack dress and business casual shirts.  While their basic whites and blues are terrific, their...

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Backed by Italian Mills, Menswear Startup Lanieri Delivers Custom Suits Direct from Italy

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

Backed by Italian Mills, Menswear Startup Lanieri Delivers Custom Suits Direct from Italy

Online custom tailors are everywhere, but how many can boast a pure Italian pedigree and the backing of a centuries-old fabric mill? Menswear startup Lanieri delivers made-to-measure suits and shirts crafted by Italian tailors using high-end Made-in-Italy fabrics.  Modern Fellows caught up with Lanieri co-founder Riccardo Schiavotto to go behind the brand. Schiavotto, who used to work as a consultant, had to wear a suit everyday to work.  As he started looking at next...

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Curated, No-Hassle Custom Shirts from ShirtCycle

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 0 comments

Curated, No-Hassle Custom Shirts from ShirtCycle

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...

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Review: The Knot Standard Custom Suit Experience in Washington, DC

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 3 comments

Review: The Knot Standard Custom Suit Experience in Washington, DC

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...

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Behind the Scenes at Trunk Club in DC

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs, Modern Fellows | 1 comment

Behind the Scenes at Trunk Club in DC

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...

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Trading Snow Boots and Parkas for Oxfords and Unlined Blazers

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Around DC, Custom tailoring, Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

Trading Snow Boots and Parkas for Oxfords and Unlined Blazers

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...

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