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Bespoke/MTM in NYC?

loll8capital

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I'm looking for a new suit and am interested in exploring MTM or bespoke. I don't often have an occasion to wear suits (~3-5x year), but care a lot about fit and quality, and would like a canvassed suit that I can wear for the next 20 years. I'm in my mid-30s, trim/athletic (~37" chest / 29" waist), 5'8 with long legs and short torso. Not looking for 'trad' style but also not looking for the trendiest. Likely want a simple navy blue wool suit, but would be good to find a place I could return to for more down the line if it works out.

Current have a Black Fleece by BB suit (made in Italy so not Martin Greenfield) and I like the shrunken-sack look but am looking for something a bit less buttoned-up. I often wear Margaret Howell unstructured sports coats casually and also have some hand-me-down vintage Gieves and Hawkes blazers whose drape and cut I appreciate (though lapels a bit too big, and I have a short torso so they are too long)

I'm curious what you all might recommend in terms of MTM/bespoke in NYC. My first thought was Martin Greenfield, but from looking a bit in the SF archives it sounds like the house style might not suit me and given that the level of customization is low, this might not be the right choice. Other threads have rec'd Nino Corvato but it sounds like he's now retired. Paul Winston perhaps too trad and also not done in house?

I welcome any suggestions. Only limitation is that I'll need it before the end of August (which, it sounds like, makes someone from Italy or England who stops in NYC not an option).
 

loll8capital

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If possible I'd like to stay under $3k, but I understand that won't work for bespoke. If I can find someone to do bespoke and build a good relationship with them, I could go up to maybe $4.5k.

In terms of silhouette, as I mentioned I do like aspects of the sack suit, namely a bit 'easier' of a cut. What I don't like is when your eye is drawn to the waist and an obviously 'tailored' look, as one sees in the most traditional British tailoring. That said, I'm built more like an Italian than an American so the big shoulders, and long waist of American suits is not for me.
 

dieworkwear

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Yes, bespoke is typically above $4.5k for a suit, although there are some exceptions. In your case, you mentioned that you need a suit before August. Any bespoke tailor that charges less than $4.5k -- and it will be right on the cusp -- is going to be a traveling tailor. So this may rule out bespoke for you

There are lots of MTM options, but I encourage you to try RTW first.

You mentioned in your post that you want a custom suit because you care about quality and want something that you can wear for the next 20 years. I think a better way to understand custom tailoring is that it's mostly about the pattern drafting process.

A RTW pattern will obviously be drafted based on an idealized body type, which may or may not be close to yours

A MTM pattern will be adjusted from a block, usually by computer.

A bespoke pattern may or may not be adjusted from a block, but it's done by hand, so there's more flexibility in adjustment.

If you're working with a good bespoke tailor, the process and outcome can be very special. Even then, however, the outcome may not turn out to your liking. The silhouette may not be to your taste; or the fit may not be very good. Or you may have chosen a bad fabric. You have to be willing to eat the cost.

If you're working with a MTM tailor, there are the same pitfalls. However, since bespoke has three fittings, a tailor can theoretically home in on the fit. With MTM, there are two systems. The first is making the garment straight to finish after measurements. The only adjustments that can be done will be on the final garment, like you would do for a RTW suit (e.g. nipping the waist, adjusting the sleeves, etc). The other system involves a try-on suit. You go to the store, try on a suit in your size, and the fitter notes what changes should be made. This system is better because it allows you and the fitter to see what the pattern looks like on you.

The limit of MTM is in the pattern. If you are not within a certain distance from the block pattern, the results will be bad. In bespoke, even if you're far from the block pattern, a bespoke tailor should (theoretically) draft a new pattern for you. In MTM, this is not possible. A good fitter/ sales associate should turn your order away if you're not a good fit for their block pattern, but not all do. The chance of success relies on the quality of the fitter and how well your body fits into the company's block pattern.

It's better to think of custom tailoring this way because you can find RTW garments with all the other markers for "quality" -- hand stitching, full canvassing, quality materials, etc. The main difference is in how the pattern is drafted. Drafting a new pattern for a customer comes with its own pros and cons. It's not always a success.

I would first try some good RTW garments and see how you fit into them. In the NYC area, there's No Man Walks Alone and The Armoury. No Man Walks Alone is an appointment-only showroom, but they are very friendly and open to having people stop by. Just contact them first. They have a line with Sartoria Carrara, which I think is very nice. At The Armoury, I like thier in-house Model 3 for sport coats and Model 11 for suits. Both companies can do MTM if you don't fit into the RTW garments, and since they have try-on garments, you can see whether you like their base pattern. Both companies have a style that I would describe as vaguely Italian -- but in a classic way and not the Suitsupply way. The chest is a bit swelled, the shoulder extended, and the construction soft.

I've also seen some good work at Hall Madden, but they're MTM only. I don't believe they sell RTW goods. They may have try-on garments, however. (Their site uses the term bespoke, but they are MTM)

When you go, take photos of yourself in these try-on garments. Stand far from the mirror so you don't distort the proportions. Snap some photos of yourself standing naturally (standing naturally is important, resist the temptation to throw your shoulders back and make your arms stiff). Snap a few photos of yourself from the front and sides. You can review these photos later to see how you feel about the silhouette.
 

breakaway01

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@dieworkwear is right on. Based on your proportions I'd be surprised if you couldn't find RTW that works for you. Actually having a shorter torso is to your benefit given the shorter jackets that are currently in style. The huge benefit to RTW is that you can see, on the spot, whether the fit and styling work for you before you purchase.

Even if you end up going custom, it helps to try on several different RTW makers to see (1) whether you have a consistent fit issue (e.g. a low shoulder and/or high hip, or erect posture, or forward shoulders) that needs to be addressed in a custom suit (you can also use this to judge whether the fitter recognizes this issue or not) and (2) what silhouette and styling details you like.
 

dieworkwear

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One more to check out: MyTailor.com or Divij Bespoke (same company). I realize MyTailor is not the most inspiring name, but the work I've seen from them is very good -- much better than even some Savile Row companies, to be honest.

They offer both MTM and bespoke. I can't remember the prices, but they are surprisingly affordable. I don't know if they bring try-on garments. They do trunk shows, so check with them to see when they're in NYC next. They may be able to deliver a suit by August.
 

ValidusLA

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MyTailor is great. Currently do my shirts through them.
They will be below your price point on a bespoke suit, and Divij recently started scheduling travel showings again.

They will be very up front about speed too.
 

loll8capital

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Thank you all for these suggestions, which are very helpful. Digging deeper into RTW options does seem like the right first move. I'm going to stop by NMWA and maybe the Armoury and look around at other RTW as well. Does anyone have suggestions for dept stores now that Barneys is closed, to try on e.g. Zegna, Kiton, Gucci, Sander type things?
 

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