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We’re always glad to see signs of men getting a little more educated about their clothes, so this Observer piece was what we call in the business “a very good sign.”

Here’s the gist: New York tailors are starting to get customers who aren’t afraid to get into gritty technical details like ankle measurements, tapering and shoulder pitch. In short, they know what they’re doing.

We’d name two culprits. First, as the article hints, it’s not that hard to get a $500 custom suit these days. A decade ago, you could easily be paying ten times that. Sure, you wouldn’t exactly be getting Savile Row, but having a lower entry level brings a whole new set of customers into the game. And by the time they work their way up to genuine bespokery, they know what they’re doing.

Second, there’s a whole crop of tailoring blogs to tell you everything you need to know. A few months of following—possibly as you’re building up the funds and the gumption for the big leap—and you’ll be able to go toe-to-toe with just about every tailor in the city.

We’d also add this: Knowing a few numbers can come in handy even outside of the tailor’s shop. For instance, we’ve found our personal sweet spot for tie-skinniness is just shy of three inches, which makes online shopping a whole lot simpler than it might be. And given how much a “small” shirt can vary from brand to brand, a handy measurement on your shoulders and sleeves can save you countless hours in the returns hustle. With a little digging, you can almost always find a brand’s measurements.

In other words, study up. You’ll thank us later.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom