Happy Friday. To celebrate, the universe is bequeathing you with two new online-buying options to explore, and thus whittle down whatever working hours you have left by looking at pebbled-leather monk straps and customizing $988.13 Scottish sweaters instead.
And for all of the things that have received the online-customization treatment, this is something we can get behind. You’ll get to choose between their nine most iconic frames and have dozens of color, lens and engraving options. Which should come in handy if you’re looking for a subtle way to sport your team colors in the Final Four.
It was only a matter of time before the 3D body scanners used by futuristic tailoring houses got applied to more humble items like jeans and polo shirts. (If you weren’t aware of the magical laser-assisted fitting rooms that scan your every suit measurement in mere seconds, you are now.)
In a perfect storm of British rakishness, custom tailor Duncan Quinn has fully kitted out a London double-decker bus with custom suits and cocktails. And he’s on his way to a town near you.
We got a sneak peak at the whole operation last night over a few barrel-aged rum cocktails (yes, those will be along for the ride) in the upstairs speakeasy and were duly impressed with the roominess of the downstairs menswear shop on wheels. The tour began last night in NYC with a three-night stint and will continue in Miami for another three nights starting February 20. It will then make its final stop in LA for another three nights starting March 26. As you can imagine, time and space is limited, so drop Mr. Quinn a line if you’d like to get suited up when he’s in town.
Finding the ideal tie width can be a very personal thing—especially for the kind of person who wears one almost daily. Once you’ve got it nailed down, it’s something that will make or break every subsequent tie purchase—which is why many well-heeled outfits like Drake’s of London have offered the bespoke treatment to their regular in-shop customers for some time now. All that changes today—cancel the flight to London—because they’ve opened their custom tie program to anyone with an Internet connection and a discerning taste in ties. It’s all the quintessentially British fabrics you’re used to (50-ounce silk twill, grenadine, cashmere), but now you can get them in whatever length, width, lining and tipping you’d like. For some, this is revolutionary news. You’ll want to have your metric conversion table handy.
The term “custom shirting” leaves a lot of room for interpretation—especially online. But the latest shirt makers on the scene, Ratio, are handcrafting shirts in as custom an operation as it gets—short of spending a couple hours with a tailor (h/t). In addition to the standard options you’ll often find online (fabric type, collar-to-sleeve ratio), Ratio lets you choose your hem length, collar style and even whether you want a box pleat, center pleat or no pleat on your back. In all, you’ve got over a dozen variables to tweak.
Meaning you’ve just found your new favorite shirt designer: you.
In general, we favor wearing things that have withstood the test of time. And when it comes to our cufflinks, we’d rather not feel like we’re slipping a dainty trinket onto our shirtsleeve...
That being said, allow us to introduce you to HollenWolff Heritage, a Milwaukee-based upstart that’s unearthed a century-old patent for ball-bearing-lock cufflinks and will soon be fulfilling all of your French-cuffed needs. (Rest assured, they’re much heftier than the baubles you’re clasping to your shirts right now.)
So we were pleased to get word of a new custom house in Napoli that specializes in digging up luxurious 40-year-old silks. They’re called Passaggio, and their work takes both money and time. Each batch will take nearly a month to get through their factory—if you want it faster, go to the Germans—but in that time you’ll nail down precisely which dimensions, fabrics and finishing touches complement your collection of suits.
Their favorite trick is stitching together a tie from a single piece of silk (most ties are made from two or three separate pieces) for a lighter, more casual drape, an old-world affectation that’s increasingly hard to find.
They’re still a few months away from e-commerce, so they’re working by email—but nothing this good is ever easy to find.
If you’ve had a custom suit made recently, you may have noticed a mind-boggling number of choices piling up in front of you. Would you like contrast threading? Two or six-millimeter pick-stitching? How do you feel about buttonholes?
The decisions are easier to handle with a trusted tailor, but with Web shops opening up left and right, it can be a genuinely befuddling moment. Unless you’ve spent the last few years studying StyleForum, you might not know the coded sartorial meaning of kissing buttonholes or the dozen other affectations swirling around the edges of a custom suit.
So we’re going to explain it all, here and now. The good news is, it’s simpler than you think.
eCommerce and Flash media have developed together to the point that it’s possible to customize just about anything—with the right site, naturally. But we’re a little unsure of whether taking on tailoring was a good idea.
Shirtsmyway.com is a customizable shirting site that lets you enter your measurements, select a style, and generally oversee your oxford from conception to completion. Then it’s stitched together in China and shipped to your doorstep, just the way you imagined. Of course, we would never speak ill of tailoring, but something about this setup just doesn’t seem right…