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 tailoring experience for the digital age.
Showroom versus online
As Modern Fellows noted in a prior article profiling Knot Standard,
The company offers two entry points for customers. Online, the company offers made-to-measure suiting via processes similar to competitors such as Black Lapel and Indochino at prices that begin at around $500. In person, where suit prices begin at just under $800, personal stylists offer a more in-depth custom experience, guiding men through measurements, a broader range of fabrics and impressive bespoke details.
The goal is the same – to translate your measurements, whether input via a tailor, yourself or an impressive and surprisingly accurate 3D webcam scanner, to a digital pattern – but the experiences are somewhat different.
The showroom experience offers several significant benefits that help Knot Standard shine.
The first is a professional who can help get your measurements correct, talk to you about your fit and style preferences and introduce you to new wardrobe ideas. Miriam, who heads their Washington, DC effort, is a wiz at explaining the differences between full and half canvas and the interest an Italian shoulder brings to an unstructured blazer. She and her colleagues can also help you branch out from your basic greys and navys, and suggest and explain touches such as a hand-stitched working boutonniere.
Second, the showroom offers a significantly expanded selection of fabrics, including a wealth of high-end material. Since they opened the showrooms in the United States, Knot Standard has become one of the biggest consumers of high-end wools from the likes of Loro Piana and Zegna, and the company carries reams of fabrics spanning a variety of price points.
At the showroom, style consultants like Miriam are a significant asset. She asked about my workplace, current wardrobe and what I was looking for.
But then she pushed me – gently – towards slightly edgier designs on the margins of my comfort zone. Noting that I wear suits almost exclusively, she suggested a blazer, and brought out some plaids and textured solids for me to see.
Once I selected the blazer fabric, she offered a range of options for pants from cotton chinos to silvery wool trousers that offset the navy and brown jacket.
Along the way, Miriam also offered suggestions for customizations – such as an Italian shoulder and patch pockets – and challenged me to think about fit. (“Belts,” she observed when I suggested that the pants were a hair tighter than I was used to, “are an optional accessory. Pants should be able to stay up on their own.”)
The combination of personal touches (even via the online experience, a style consultant will check in and follow up via email), a near flawless fit, and fabric selection makes it easy to see why Knot Standard has received rave reviews from the likes of An Affordable Wardrobe, Men’s Style Pro and Fine Young Gentleman.
The result of my consultation at Knot Standard is that I chose pieces – an unstructured, unlined navy check blazer with soft Italian shoulders and patch pockets, paired with silver-grey wool trousers – that I never would have come to on my own online or browsing retail racks, and my wardrobe is better off for it.
Italian-inspired, lightweight and a little trendy, it’s the opposite of my go-to staple, the basic grey suit, but is exactly the kind of pieces that a professional man should seek to add to his wardrobe over time.
Entry suits on the web begin at $495. In the showroom, suits begin at $795 but can go to $1,400 or more depending on the fabric. That’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, however, since the showroom is based on an all-inclusive model of suit – you get a variety of customizations for no extra cost – while on the website you will pay a la carte for extras and options.
While you’d have to pay multiple thousands of dollars for a bespoke experience on Savile Row, the style consultants at Knot Standard’s showrooms around the United States — New York City, Washington, DC, Austin, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles — and in Dubai make you feel like million bucks while translating your measurements into an online digital profile that offers as close to a true bespoke experience as is possible at a price point that begins at about $800.
This is the quintessential tailoring experience for the digital age, combining advanced digital patternmaking, a diverse and high-quality selection of fabrics, interesting customization options and stellar customer service. Highly recommended.
This is part two of a two part series on Knot Standard. Part one profiled Knot Standard and its founders. Knot Standard provided a blazer and pants at no cost to Modern Fellows for review.