We talk a lot about the finer points of tailoring on Put This On—what fabrics are out there, how a suit should fit, how it can be constructed. All of these assume that, with some money in your pocket, you can go buy or at least order a good-looking, well-made, and decently fitting suit today in any American city. But that’s not true for everyone who wants to wear a suit.
Bindle & Keep is a custom tailor based in Brooklyn, and although their website copy reads like that of many other upstart custom tailoring operations (they’ll use their years of experience and 30 point fit profile to deliver you a one of kind suit comfortable enough to sleep in)—there’s a significant difference: approximately 90% of Bindle & Keep’s clientele is from the LGBTQ community.
The outfit and six of their clients are the subject of an upcoming documentary on HBO, Suited. Rae Tutera and Daniel Friedman, who started the company, specialize in making suits for people who want what a suit can give you—a sharply tailored silhouette, the confidence that can come with wearing a woolen suit of armor—but who your old school tailors were often not equipped or prepared to serve. Tutera and Friedman (pictured above in a photo from Rachel Syme’s New Yorker story) are responsive to the needs of clients who don’t have body measurements that fit the templates of traditional tailoring, and who have potentially spent their lives wearing clothing that fit them, but didn’t fit them.
I haven’t tried Bindle & Keep’s services, and I don’t know how their product stacks up against the sort of tailoring criteria we like to pick nits about, but I’m unreservedly in favor of a business delivering the tailoring its clients want and value, and serving a community who the men’s retail business often ignores or even rejects.