Timelessness and Bespoke
Réginald-Jérôme de Mans, one of my favorite menswear writers, has been moved to a Tuesday column at A Suitable Wardrobe. Today, he does the good work of separating “timelesness” from “bespoke.” An excerpt:

What this means is that timelessness has nothing to do with the work of a superb tailor. I’d certainly hope that the tailor’s work would last a long time, because good bespoke is usually very expensive nowadays, but superb tailors like Smalto, or Edward Sexton during his time at Nutters, have made many items whose style was of their particular moments.They may still be wearable now, but with a great deal of front, irony or splendid sense of costume.
Timelessness has entered the mythos around the term bespoke precisely because bespoke has for some time been usually expensive and hard to find. However, quite recently I’ve noticed a lot of social media discount sites offering coupons for new local bespoke clothiers.  I suspect they’ve sprung up because the idea of bespoke clothing is fashionable and the meaning of bespoke so misunderstood.  In other words, my uninformed guess is that these new companies are taking advantage of those of us who actually believe the naïveté of magazine writers to think that bespoke means timeless quality and impeccable handmade construction.
[…]
Bespoke is not timeless.  Bespoke, if you’re lucky, is what you ordered. 

You can read the whole article here. For other articles in de Man’s “Untrueisms” series, where he ruthlessly goes through various menswear cliches, click here. My favorite might be this post on price and quality.

Timelessness and Bespoke

Réginald-Jérôme de Mans, one of my favorite menswear writers, has been moved to a Tuesday column at A Suitable Wardrobe. Today, he does the good work of separating “timelesness” from “bespoke.” An excerpt:

What this means is that timelessness has nothing to do with the work of a superb tailor. I’d certainly hope that the tailor’s work would last a long time, because good bespoke is usually very expensive nowadays, but superb tailors like Smalto, or Edward Sexton during his time at Nutters, have made many items whose style was of their particular moments.They may still be wearable now, but with a great deal of front, irony or splendid sense of costume.

Timelessness has entered the mythos around the term bespoke precisely because bespoke has for some time been usually expensive and hard to find. However, quite recently I’ve noticed a lot of social media discount sites offering coupons for new local bespoke clothiers.  I suspect they’ve sprung up because the idea of bespoke clothing is fashionable and the meaning of bespoke so misunderstood.  In other words, my uninformed guess is that these new companies are taking advantage of those of us who actually believe the naïveté of magazine writers to think that bespoke means timeless quality and impeccable handmade construction.

[…]

Bespoke is not timeless.  Bespoke, if you’re lucky, is what you ordered. 

You can read the whole article here. For other articles in de Man’s “Untrueisms” series, where he ruthlessly goes through various menswear cliches, click here. My favorite might be this post on price and quality.

Things You Should Never Say To Your Tailor
IvoryTowerStyle lists twenty things you should never say to your bespoke tailor. A selection:
It’s ok, I’m going to lose 10 pounds.
This looks great. I can’t wait to have a cheaper tailor copy it.
Don’t worry, it’s ok, I read Fred Astaire did this to all his new suits.
I’ll post some pics on the Internet and let you know what needs to be changed.
Could you measure my inseam a few more times?
I’d like no padding in the shoulders, only in the trousers.
Which way do I dress? Up.
Do you accept blog posts as payment?
According to this guy on the Internet, here’s how it should be done…
Read the full post here. 

Things You Should Never Say To Your Tailor

IvoryTowerStyle lists twenty things you should never say to your bespoke tailor. A selection:

  • It’s ok, I’m going to lose 10 pounds.
  • This looks great. I can’t wait to have a cheaper tailor copy it.
  • Don’t worry, it’s ok, I read Fred Astaire did this to all his new suits.
  • I’ll post some pics on the Internet and let you know what needs to be changed.
  • Could you measure my inseam a few more times?
  • I’d like no padding in the shoulders, only in the trousers.
  • Which way do I dress? Up.
  • Do you accept blog posts as payment?
  • According to this guy on the Internet, here’s how it should be done…

Read the full post here

The Overuse of the Word Bespoke
Many words are injured in the process of selling clothes to the public. Think of the words “timeless,” “classic,” and “artisanal.” All perfectly fine words, but sadly robbed of their meaning once fashion writers get to them. None of them sadden me more, however, than how the word “bespoke” gets abused. In the last year or two, it’s increasingly used to describe anything that’s custom made, and even a few things that aren’t.
So what is bespoke? The word originally came from shoemaking, but gained in popularity through custom tailoring in England, where lengths of cloths were said to be “spoken for” or “bespoken” by another customer. In this way, it means a lot more than “custom made clothes,” but rather a specific process of making garments. It’s perhaps easiest if we think of “custom made clothes” as an umbrella category, and then think of the different ways custom clothes are produced.
The first is made-to-order, where a customer tries on a stock garment, and then picks out certain trimmings or materials for his order. The cut is the same, but the materials are customized to his preference.
The second is made-to-measure, where in addition to picking out the materials and trimmings, a customer’s measurements are taken. Those measurements are used to adjust a pre-existing stock pattern through a computer-aided design (CAD) program. Here, we get a customization of not only the materials, but also of the cut.
The third is bespoke, where not only are the cut and selection of materials are customized, but the garment is made through a series of fittings. The key difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is not, as is popularly believed, in how the pattern is made. Indeed, there are many bespoke tailors who draft their patterns by adjusting “block patterns,” not too unlike how made-to-measure uses a CAD program (only here it’s done by hand). No, the key difference is that with made-to-measure, you typically only get one fitting, whereas in bespoke, you usually get three. In addition, anything on the garment is customizable - how much adjustment needs to be made to accommodate for your posture, how high or low you want the button stance, how you want certain areas to be cut, etc. 
All things being equal, the advantage of bespoke is that you can get more precision in the fit and style of your garment. Theoretically, going through multiple drafts should allow your garment to get better and better, though the extra time and labor this takes also means it’s typically a more expensive process. 
Of course, things are not always equal in the real world, and how well a garment can turn out will depend on a number of variables (the skill of the tailor, the mood he’s in while making your garment, and even your own skill in bespeaking a garment). Just because something is bespoke doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than made-to-measure or even ready-to-wear. One of the biggest advantages to ready-to-wear is that you can put something back on the rack if you don’t like it. That’s no small thing.
Should you ever be in a place where you’re ordering a custom garment, and it’s advertised as bespoke, ask how many fittings you’re getting.* Some use the word bespoke to put a little glitz and glamour on their services, while others use it to refer to a very specific method of making clothes. I think it’s a shame that real bespoke tailors are having their word co-opted by marketing men, but at the very least, you as a customer should know exactly what you’re buying. 
* Note, this process of multiple fittings is mostly relevant for suit jackets and sport coats. Other bespoke garments, such as shirts, can be made using different processes, which can also vary by region. 
(Pictured above: A bespoke tailor pressing a pair of trousers at Henry Poole & Co in 1944)

The Overuse of the Word Bespoke

Many words are injured in the process of selling clothes to the public. Think of the words “timeless,” “classic,” and “artisanal.” All perfectly fine words, but sadly robbed of their meaning once fashion writers get to them. None of them sadden me more, however, than how the word “bespoke” gets abused. In the last year or two, it’s increasingly used to describe anything that’s custom made, and even a few things that aren’t.

So what is bespoke? The word originally came from shoemaking, but gained in popularity through custom tailoring in England, where lengths of cloths were said to be “spoken for” or “bespoken” by another customer. In this way, it means a lot more than “custom made clothes,” but rather a specific process of making garments. It’s perhaps easiest if we think of “custom made clothes” as an umbrella category, and then think of the different ways custom clothes are produced.

  • The first is made-to-order, where a customer tries on a stock garment, and then picks out certain trimmings or materials for his order. The cut is the same, but the materials are customized to his preference.
  • The second is made-to-measure, where in addition to picking out the materials and trimmings, a customer’s measurements are taken. Those measurements are used to adjust a pre-existing stock pattern through a computer-aided design (CAD) program. Here, we get a customization of not only the materials, but also of the cut.
  • The third is bespoke, where not only are the cut and selection of materials are customized, but the garment is made through a series of fittings. The key difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is not, as is popularly believed, in how the pattern is made. Indeed, there are many bespoke tailors who draft their patterns by adjusting “block patterns,” not too unlike how made-to-measure uses a CAD program (only here it’s done by hand). No, the key difference is that with made-to-measure, you typically only get one fitting, whereas in bespoke, you usually get three. In addition, anything on the garment is customizable - how much adjustment needs to be made to accommodate for your posture, how high or low you want the button stance, how you want certain areas to be cut, etc. 

All things being equal, the advantage of bespoke is that you can get more precision in the fit and style of your garment. Theoretically, going through multiple drafts should allow your garment to get better and better, though the extra time and labor this takes also means it’s typically a more expensive process. 

Of course, things are not always equal in the real world, and how well a garment can turn out will depend on a number of variables (the skill of the tailor, the mood he’s in while making your garment, and even your own skill in bespeaking a garment). Just because something is bespoke doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better than made-to-measure or even ready-to-wear. One of the biggest advantages to ready-to-wear is that you can put something back on the rack if you don’t like it. That’s no small thing.

Should you ever be in a place where you’re ordering a custom garment, and it’s advertised as bespoke, ask how many fittings you’re getting.* Some use the word bespoke to put a little glitz and glamour on their services, while others use it to refer to a very specific method of making clothes. I think it’s a shame that real bespoke tailors are having their word co-opted by marketing men, but at the very least, you as a customer should know exactly what you’re buying. 

* Note, this process of multiple fittings is mostly relevant for suit jackets and sport coats. Other bespoke garments, such as shirts, can be made using different processes, which can also vary by region. 

(Pictured above: A bespoke tailor pressing a pair of trousers at Henry Poole & Co in 1944)

Q & Answer: When Shouldn’t You Go Bespoke?
Philip asks: I’m considering how I should spend $400 to buy a suit. I can either purchase one from a shop in Washington, DC, have one custom made for me in Florence or Rome when I visit this fall, or have one made in Bangkok or Hong Kong when I visit SE Asia in April. What would you recommend for receiving the best suit with the limited funds I have?
We get this question a lot at Put This On. Folks say they’re headed to Bangkok or Mumbai for a week, and should they buy their first suit there? Alternately, they ask if they should buy their first suit from a low-cost online custom maker.
The answer, generally, is no. Unless off-the-rack clothes don’t fit you, just buy off the rack.
Why shouldn’t you go bespoke?
Unless you have a very unusual body, an off-the-rack suit will fit you well, particularly with alterations. You can and should try on a variety of models to get a sense of which brands and styles fit you best, but for men who aren’t 6’6” or 300 pounds, off-the-rack will fit.
Bespoke tailoring, and custom tailoring generally, is never right the first time. Getting a perfect fit requires a long-term relationship and typically at least two or three garments, even for a great tailor.
Inexpensive tailors in second and third-world countries are rarely great tailors. There simply isn’t demand for great tailoring at their price point, and so good enough tailoring suffices. There are certainly exceptions, but you should ask yourself if you have the time and cultural skills to figure out who those exceptions are.
Fashion in the first world is very different than it is in the third world. One generally can’t rely on a tailor for fashion tips, but this is particularly true in, say, Thailand. If you don’t want an awkwardly designed (as opposed to tailored) suit, you’ll have to have a very, very specific idea of what you want, and communicate it effectively.
Buying bespoke involves a lot of choices, and those choices are best left to a professional clothing designer, rather than a guy buying his first suit.
High-quality fabrics are tough to get in the third world. You’ll find a lot of Chinese polyester blends in the fabric market in Bangkok, and not a lot of English woolens.
Of course, there are situations in which you can and should buy custom garments. If your body is unusual and you can’t get a good fit off the rack, go for it. If you live in a tailor-rich country, and can effectively judge who’s good and who’s not, and have the money to experiment and import fabric, go for it.
Generally, though, you’ll be better off at Suit Supply or Brooks Brothers or even H&M than with a tailor you don’t know whom you will see only once.
(One side note: shirts are a different story. If you can find decent fabric, there are tailors who can make affordable custom shirts in tons of places.)
(Photo via)

Q & Answer: When Shouldn’t You Go Bespoke?

Philip asks: I’m considering how I should spend $400 to buy a suit. I can either purchase one from a shop in Washington, DC, have one custom made for me in Florence or Rome when I visit this fall, or have one made in Bangkok or Hong Kong when I visit SE Asia in April. What would you recommend for receiving the best suit with the limited funds I have?

We get this question a lot at Put This On. Folks say they’re headed to Bangkok or Mumbai for a week, and should they buy their first suit there? Alternately, they ask if they should buy their first suit from a low-cost online custom maker.

The answer, generally, is no. Unless off-the-rack clothes don’t fit you, just buy off the rack.

Why shouldn’t you go bespoke?

  • Unless you have a very unusual body, an off-the-rack suit will fit you well, particularly with alterations. You can and should try on a variety of models to get a sense of which brands and styles fit you best, but for men who aren’t 6’6” or 300 pounds, off-the-rack will fit.
  • Bespoke tailoring, and custom tailoring generally, is never right the first time. Getting a perfect fit requires a long-term relationship and typically at least two or three garments, even for a great tailor.
  • Inexpensive tailors in second and third-world countries are rarely great tailors. There simply isn’t demand for great tailoring at their price point, and so good enough tailoring suffices. There are certainly exceptions, but you should ask yourself if you have the time and cultural skills to figure out who those exceptions are.
  • Fashion in the first world is very different than it is in the third world. One generally can’t rely on a tailor for fashion tips, but this is particularly true in, say, Thailand. If you don’t want an awkwardly designed (as opposed to tailored) suit, you’ll have to have a very, very specific idea of what you want, and communicate it effectively.
  • Buying bespoke involves a lot of choices, and those choices are best left to a professional clothing designer, rather than a guy buying his first suit.
  • High-quality fabrics are tough to get in the third world. You’ll find a lot of Chinese polyester blends in the fabric market in Bangkok, and not a lot of English woolens.

Of course, there are situations in which you can and should buy custom garments. If your body is unusual and you can’t get a good fit off the rack, go for it. If you live in a tailor-rich country, and can effectively judge who’s good and who’s not, and have the money to experiment and import fabric, go for it.

Generally, though, you’ll be better off at Suit Supply or Brooks Brothers or even H&M than with a tailor you don’t know whom you will see only once.

(One side note: shirts are a different story. If you can find decent fabric, there are tailors who can make affordable custom shirts in tons of places.)

(Photo via)

Steed Bespoke Tailors Coming to San Francisco, April 13th

As some readers may know, I’ve been trying to persuade Steed Bespoke Tailors to come out to San Francisco for over six months now. Well a few weeks ago, they finally booked their first ticket, and are scheduled to arrive on Saturday, April 13th, and then depart Tuesday, April 16th

A little background on Steed and why this announcement is so special: Steed was founded in 1995 by tailors Edwin DeBoise and Thomas Mahon, who at the time worked as cutters at Savile Row’s Anderson & Sheppard. Thomas has since moved on to start his own firm in Cumbria, but Edwin continues at Steed. Before working at Anderson & Sheppard, Edwin received his training at the London College of Fashion and worked under the legendary Edward Sexton. His tailoring style is very much informed by these experiences, and in my opinion, he currently makes some of the most beautiful garments in the world of classic men’s tailoring.

Now, bespoke garments are expensive, and certainly not for everyone. However, if you have the money and are looking for something special (perhaps for a wedding or new job), this is a great opportunity. Steed cuts a unique style known as the London drape cut. Oversimplified, it’s designed with a fuller, more sculpted chest that makes the wearer look masculine, muscular, and comfortably relaxed. You can see this in the photos above, but if it’s not obvious, check out a post I wrote here, which highlights this silhouette a bit more clearly. In addition to the signature chest, Steed’s cuts a soft, unpadded shoulder, slightly nipped waist, and high armholes. The effect is something very comfortable, and very stylish.

This being bespoke, you can ask for your commissions to be made in any way you want, but you’ll want to stick to their general house style (meaning, the soft shoulders and shaped chest). When choosing a bespoke tailor, it’s always wise to stay within the style they specialize in, and ask for little tweaks here and there, rather than request something dramatically different. 

It’s my hope to drum up enough interest in the Bay Area to keep Steed coming back. This is partly for my own selfish reasons, since I hope to use them on a regular basis, but I also think this is a rather special opportunity for people who live in this area. They’re less expensive than many of the Savile Row tailors who visit, and I think they cut a very unique and beautiful silhouette. Since Put This On has a rather big audience, I’m happy to help answer any basic questions if you email me, but will refer you to Steed for anything complex (I just don’t want them to receive a hundred emails in the middle of their workday). For booking appointments, however, you should just directly contact Steed.   

(Pictured above: two of Steed’s clients looking fantastic in their commissions)

A tremendously well cut suit elegantly worn by Michael Anton. Note the classic proportions, such as the width of the lapels and the buttoning point. If Mr. Anton were to step away from the podium, you could be sure that the jacket’s length wouldn’t be too short, either. An extended shoulder line and a touch of fullness in the chest gives him a nice, masculine look, while the soft, sloping shoulders make him look natural and at ease. 
It’s a shame you rarely find anything this good off-the-rack. But photos such as this can help train your eye so that you can better judge of what’s a truly well fitting suit. Don’t buy a jacket that is too short, has too high of a gorge, lapels that are too skinny, or a buttoning point near your sternum. 
Not even if it’s on sale. 
(photo via voxsart)

A tremendously well cut suit elegantly worn by Michael Anton. Note the classic proportions, such as the width of the lapels and the buttoning point. If Mr. Anton were to step away from the podium, you could be sure that the jacket’s length wouldn’t be too short, either. An extended shoulder line and a touch of fullness in the chest gives him a nice, masculine look, while the soft, sloping shoulders make him look natural and at ease. 

It’s a shame you rarely find anything this good off-the-rack. But photos such as this can help train your eye so that you can better judge of what’s a truly well fitting suit. Don’t buy a jacket that is too short, has too high of a gorge, lapels that are too skinny, or a buttoning point near your sternum. 

Not even if it’s on sale. 

(photo via voxsart)

My Visit to Naples

I’ve been traveling a bit, but sometime at the end of last month, I was able to spend a week in Naples. 

They say there’s a difference between awareness and understanding, and I believe that you can’t really understand Neapolitan tailoring without having visited Naples itself. The Neapolitan jacket is more than a collection of unique details - the barchetta pockets, puckered sleevehead, extended front seam, and light construction. Some years ago, I commissioned a “Neapolitan” jacket to be made by a Chinese tailor. The fit and construction were good, but there was something missing. It looked exactly like what it was: a simulacrum. Capturing all the details was simply not enough to make it Neapolitan. 

Indeed, while I was in Naples, I had a chance to chat with Mariano Rubinacci, the current proprietor of the famous Rubinacci tailoring house. Rubinacci is one of the few houses in the world that has both built an international brand and kept an unwavering standard for its craft. In addition to its flagship in Naples, it has stores in Milan, Rome, and London, each of which offers bespoke tailoring services.  

I asked Signore Rubinacci if he’s able to train someone in Milan, for example, to make a perfect Neapolitan jacket. After all, I had already lost some money trying to get a Chinese tailor to do the same. He admitted that his tailors outside of Naples would make something slightly different. “We can train them to make the same exact patterns, cut in the same exact ways, and stitch just as we do, but in the end, a Milanese jacket will be slightly ‘cleaner,’” he said. “Perhaps there’s something in the air here.” 

After my visit, I can see how this is true. There is no other city in the world like Naples. It has an energetic, non-stop tempo that makes every corner feel like a theatre. The city isn’t just a background to the Neapolitan man’s suit; it’s the inspiration. The sun-baked cobble stone streets, the Neoclassical architecture, the peeling layers of paint on every wall, the breeze that blows over Mount Vesuvius, and the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea are all things that emotionally define the Neapolitan jacket. 

Take, for example, the extraordinary level of visible hand detailing. Any well-constructed bespoke jacket will be fully handmade, but Neapolitans take the extra effort to make this handwork visible, perhaps most of all through the mappina sleeves. It’s one thing to appreciate this artistically or technically, but it’s another to understand how this speaks of the Neapolitan. Every Neapolitan man I met - tailors, taxi drivers, waiters, etc - had an extraordinary amount of pride for his city. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t obnoxious, but rather charming. There’s no way to become quicker friends with a Neapolitan than to tell him (sincerely) how much you love Naples. Of course, out of humbleness, they may point out some of the town’s problems, but you could always sense they loved their city more than others care for theirs. 

This pride, I think, plays itself out in the city’s tailoring. Neapolitans not only know they make some of the best handmade garments in the world, but they want to show you. Their tailoring is meant to elevate both the wearer and Naples itself. How else can one understand a pignata pocket with the decorative double stitching, or the soufflé-like sleeveheads? 

In the following weeks, I have a few posts planned for Put This On about my experiences there. I’ll talk about some of the artisans I met and my thoughts on Naples’ changing tailoring culture. I hope you’ll enjoy the articles I have planned.

The Financial Times just published a story about the the London Lounge’s Cloth Club. An excerpt:

What happens when bespoke is not enough? As the ability to personalise everything from your trainers to your trench has become democratised thanks to the internet, those in search of the truly special – the ne plus ultra of made-to-order – have become frustrated. Even more so as their old go-to solution, the tailor, has been constrained by the increasing homogeneity of cloth. That is about to change, thanks to three new services that offer men a range of fabric as broad as their imagination.
Paris-based American financier Michael Alden says: “I have been a client of bespoke tailors most of my life, but a decade ago my desire to have clothes made waned as I could no longer find fabrics of sufficient style and interest. Visiting a tailor, I’d find dozens of sample books [of fabrics] with little in them but the standard blues and greys for business suits.”
Indeed, according to Frank Shattuck, a tailor from New York, “Quality cloth that can stand up to manipulation by skilled hands and the steam of a heavy iron” has almost disappeared, “replaced by cloth made for gluing in factories.”
“Fabric weights have changed over the years to accommodate the change in climate, central heating and air conditioning,” explains cloth merchant Frederic Dormeuil. “Luxury cloths tend to be on the lighter side as the fibres used are generally of finer quality.” The end result: lack of choice for even the uppermost end.
Alden believes that one of the things that distinguished the great dressers of the past – such as Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper and Gianni Agnelli – was the fabrics from which their clothes were made. They were heavier, draped better and carried richer patterns and colours than much of what is available today. So, in 2005, he set up the Cloth Club on his London Lounge website, a forum with about 400 members on which men discuss their passion for bespoke tailoring.
Alden decided to use the forum to change the situation, and now he proposes very limited runs of fabric of his own design, such as substantial Irish linen in a deep shade of blue. Once he has persuaded a dozen of his forum members from around the world to each subscribe to enough cloth for a suit, which, at around £100 per metre, costs approximately 25 per cent more than readily available cloths, he has a leading Scottish mill produce the fabric.
In archive shots, including images of Agnelli and the Duke of Windsor, Alden finds “Fabrics in weaves, patterns, colours and weights that have tremendous appeal. They are familiar from the clothes we see in the cinema of the past.”
Once a consensus is reached, the cloth is put into production and his customers buy it directly from the mill. In its entirety the process rarely takes less than six months from conception to delivery.

 Read the rest here. 

The Financial Times just published a story about the the London Lounge’s Cloth Club. An excerpt:

What happens when bespoke is not enough? As the ability to personalise everything from your trainers to your trench has become democratised thanks to the internet, those in search of the truly special – the ne plus ultra of made-to-order – have become frustrated. Even more so as their old go-to solution, the tailor, has been constrained by the increasing homogeneity of cloth. That is about to change, thanks to three new services that offer men a range of fabric as broad as their imagination.

Paris-based American financier Michael Alden says: “I have been a client of bespoke tailors most of my life, but a decade ago my desire to have clothes made waned as I could no longer find fabrics of sufficient style and interest. Visiting a tailor, I’d find dozens of sample books [of fabrics] with little in them but the standard blues and greys for business suits.”

Indeed, according to Frank Shattuck, a tailor from New York, “Quality cloth that can stand up to manipulation by skilled hands and the steam of a heavy iron” has almost disappeared, “replaced by cloth made for gluing in factories.”

“Fabric weights have changed over the years to accommodate the change in climate, central heating and air conditioning,” explains cloth merchant Frederic Dormeuil. “Luxury cloths tend to be on the lighter side as the fibres used are generally of finer quality.” The end result: lack of choice for even the uppermost end.

Alden believes that one of the things that distinguished the great dressers of the past – such as Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper and Gianni Agnelli – was the fabrics from which their clothes were made. They were heavier, draped better and carried richer patterns and colours than much of what is available today. So, in 2005, he set up the Cloth Club on his London Lounge website, a forum with about 400 members on which men discuss their passion for bespoke tailoring.

Alden decided to use the forum to change the situation, and now he proposes very limited runs of fabric of his own design, such as substantial Irish linen in a deep shade of blue. Once he has persuaded a dozen of his forum members from around the world to each subscribe to enough cloth for a suit, which, at around £100 per metre, costs approximately 25 per cent more than readily available cloths, he has a leading Scottish mill produce the fabric.

In archive shots, including images of Agnelli and the Duke of Windsor, Alden finds “Fabrics in weaves, patterns, colours and weights that have tremendous appeal. They are familiar from the clothes we see in the cinema of the past.”

Once a consensus is reached, the cloth is put into production and his customers buy it directly from the mill. In its entirety the process rarely takes less than six months from conception to delivery.

 Read the rest here

Put This On L.A. Meetup: Don Ville Launch Party!
Remember Raul Ojeda, from episode two of Put This On?
Ten years ago, Raul walked into Willie’s Shoe Service in Los Angeles, and asked Willie, the owner, to teach him how to make shoes. At first, he worked for free - and Willie only agreed to teach him because Raul’s family is from the same Mexican state Willie is from.
We’ve been palling around with Raul since our shoot last year, and about a month ago, he sprung upon us some amazing news: he’s opening his own shop!
Don Ville, named after Willie, will be the only storefront in the US of A dedicated specifically to handmade bespoke shoes. Raul will be offering a ready-to-wear line, a custom line and a bespoke line. All the shoes will be made on-site in their workshop. It’s a truly remarkable operation that Raul is planning.
To celebrate, we’re helping Raul throw a party at his grand opening on Saturday night!
Join Raul and me for free drinks and tours of the workshop where Don Ville shoes are made. A truly marvelous opportunity.
Presented by Put This On!
Here’s the details:
Saturday, July 23rd, 6-9PM
Don Ville
113 N. La Brea (at 1st)
Los Angeles, CA

Put This On L.A. Meetup: Don Ville Launch Party!

Remember Raul Ojeda, from episode two of Put This On?

Ten years ago, Raul walked into Willie’s Shoe Service in Los Angeles, and asked Willie, the owner, to teach him how to make shoes. At first, he worked for free - and Willie only agreed to teach him because Raul’s family is from the same Mexican state Willie is from.

We’ve been palling around with Raul since our shoot last year, and about a month ago, he sprung upon us some amazing news: he’s opening his own shop!

Don Ville, named after Willie, will be the only storefront in the US of A dedicated specifically to handmade bespoke shoes. Raul will be offering a ready-to-wear line, a custom line and a bespoke line. All the shoes will be made on-site in their workshop. It’s a truly remarkable operation that Raul is planning.

To celebrate, we’re helping Raul throw a party at his grand opening on Saturday night!

Join Raul and me for free drinks and tours of the workshop where Don Ville shoes are made. A truly marvelous opportunity.

Presented by Put This On!

Here’s the details:

Saturday, July 23rd, 6-9PM

Don Ville

113 N. La Brea (at 1st)

Los Angeles, CA