I have to say that iammatt and A Harris have it exactly right. Wilkes is a great store, and I think their buying is second to none. Yes, it is somewhat conservative, but it is certainly less so than any number of department stores that carry high-end brands. At this echelon of clothing, most (even those on this forum) espouse such a way of dressing. That said, the Wilkes color palette coupled with the staff's eye for mixing patterns can take separately conservative pieces to make an ensemble with great style and panache.
Comparing apples to apples (here private, non-department store clothiers), I think Wilkes is as good as it gets. Compare it to any of the other stores of its ilk in the country--such as Louis, Korshak, Mario's, Scott Hill, Boyd's, Wayne Edwards, and others--and I think Wilkes still comes out on top. That may not have been true a few years ago when Louis probably reigned supreme, but I've seen almost all of the stores (Korshak excepted) that I listed above in the last couple of years and came away unimpressed compared to Wilkes. Comparing Wilkes to department stores--yes even Bergdorf Goodman--is even less fair to the department store. I love BG, but I agree with iammatt that its purchasing does not match Wilkes (or Louis for that matter). Where Wilkes and Louis purchase with their point of view, the department store must purchase based more on bottom line than its conception of stylish dressing.
But I won't be completely ra ra about Wilkes. As iammatt has pointed out, Wilkes has its drawbacks. Yes, made to measure at except at trunk show times is not a great idea. And their tailors in the past have not always been perfect. And, it's also true that they have fewer avant-garde designers. That said, they still carry some, and have branched out into high quality denim and sportswear.
But from a purely merchandising, quality, and styling point of view, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better store.
And as for the statement that the coats fit like tents, I think this is not true at all. In fact, many of their coats are quite trim. And I know that at times they purchase slimmer shirt models. I'm just not sure where this criticism is coming from. It all seems so inaccurate. Wilkes is hardly perfect, and I certainly think it can be justly criticized. But the criticisms lobbed thus far are off base, I think.
Finally, addressing the photo itself. I would not be surprised if the suit is not Wilkes's own and was used just for the photo shoot. So the critique of its fit may not be completely fair. I say this because, for example, I was talking to Randy (one of the salesmen at Wilkes) a few weeks ago about his picture in Esquire for the best dressed regular guy. Randy told me that just about all the others in that photo shoot (maybe not the guy in the custom blue Hickey suit) were given the clothes that they were wearing. As some may recall, much of the fit of those clothes, too, could have been better. Randy was also supposed to get some clothes to wear, but either because he refused or because his clothes fit so well and reflected his style so perfectly (I cannot recall which) that he wore his own clothes for the shoot. Ultimately I don't know whether this is Wilkes's own suit or not, but I can tell you that when I see Wilkes around town he's impeccably dressed.