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I don’t know about you, but my husband needs a wee bit of help when it comes to buying clothes. Not that he’s incapable of it, but I think he knows (like most men do) that when it comes to fashion we’ve got them covered. And while shopping in an actual store is usually inevitable, the easier he can make it the better. That’s why companies like Mantry and the Trunk Club, a boutique men’s clothing delivery service that the hubs subscribes to, are becoming so popular. Because men will do whatever it takes to avoid having to step foot into a mall. Unless there’s a bar there, then that’s cool.
One area of fashion that’s becoming a lot easier (and better) for men are custom online suits. A recent article in The Boston Globe describes the growing popularity of these sites, and how bespoke online suit companies have become a fast-growing business. In fact, there’s now over 50 to choose from online. And while custom suits are not a new thing, having an inexpensive and easily accessible option is. (An in-store tailor-made custom suit could run you from $2,000 and up, while an online custom suit averages $500.)
“I think we owe this to TV shows like ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ and now ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” Seth Howard, style director of suit maker Alton Lane , told the Globe. “They’re trading in their T-shirt and jeans for three-piece suits,” he added, mentioning celebs like Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as celebs in their 20’s and 30’s who are ushering in a new wave of tailor-made fashion.
So, how does one actually go about this whole custom-made suit thing, especially one with the pressure of looking good on his wedding day (or best-friend’s wedding day). Here’s how it works:
You go online, pick a style, pick a fabric, e-mail your exact measurements (that you hopefully went to a tailor to get), and a suit is mailed to you in about a month. The drawbacks? You won’t be able to feel the fabrics beforehand in most cases, but a lot of the websites offered detailed photos. You also risk getting the wrong measurements (which will throw the fit of the suit off), but if you go to a good tailor the chances of the happening are slim. Also, most of the companies offer a $75 refund towards any alterations. They also offer free remakes and refunds.
A friend of ours recently purchased an online suit from Black Lapel and he was super impressed with it. Not only the quality of the fabric but the fit and feel of the suit. And truth be told, even if you order a suit online and have to get one or two slight adjustments made, that’s not unusual. My husband bought a tux from Brooks Brothers for our wedding, and was in the store multiple times getting adjusted (just like you will with your wedding dress). Same goes for suits from J.Crew and any other retailer.
If your husband-to-be is interested in getting out an online suit, a few of the more popular ones are below:
Blank Label (currently only for custom shirts. suits are apparently coming soon)