Newc's Bespoke Adventure.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Newcomer, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Howdy y'all!

    Background:

    Before delving into the deets, I guess I ought to go into a little backstory. I came upon SF when I was around twenty years old. On that day, I had gone out to the local men’s retailer and purchased a Hart Schaffner Marx Gold Trumpeter navy sportcoat. When I purchased that jacket, I thought I had hit the big times. It was a very large purchase for me. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I wanted to know more about it. Well, the reviews took me to SF. And for the past, gosh, six years of my life, there have been few days where I have not at least glanced at the forum. I have learned an immeasurable amount. People like Voxsartoria, Manton, Foo, Matt, RJ, Will, Greg, and the like, have taught me so much. I developed an interest in “MC,” which led to my interest in watches, which led me back to the “MC” side of things. As soon as I found out about “bespoke” tailoring, close to six years ago, well, it has always been a dream of mine. I pushed the dream back, because, well, I live in the American South, and the logistical difficulties have been more than enough to dissuade me.

    Well, in December 2014, I found my opportunity. I recently visited Chicago, and decided to pay a visit to Chris Despos, who spends his time between Chicago and Dallas. I live around 5 hours from Dallas, and spend a lot of time in Houston, so I figured… maybe it was time to take the plunge. Special thanks to @Patrick R, who pushed me over the edge.

    I have decided to post about my experience. This forum has taught me so much, and brought me so much joy over the years. Of everything I have read, I think my favorite posts have been some like the following:

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/301187/maomao-x-gaz-italian-sartorial-adventure-2012

    Well, I don't think I can even attempt to accomplish something as great as that thread. But I would love to share my experience.

    For those who are a TL;DR types--this may not be the thread for you. Personally, I love reading long accounts, so, that is why I am going to do.

    Chicago:

    Well, prior to Christmas, I took a quick vacation to Chicago. I am a big fan of visiting colder climes during the winter months. First day of vacation, decided to take a morning run, and took what I thought was a pretty solid picture of the city:

    [​IMG]

    It was cold.

    After bundling up, I was ready to hit the streets.

    [​IMG]

    After bombing around for the day, it was time for some drink and food! Per the suggestion of @FrankCowperwood, we first got a drink at Gibson's. It was a really cool environment, and I went back later for some less fancy drinks. Negroni for me, Old Fashioned for my brother.

    [​IMG]

    We then had reservations at Grace. My brother is the foodie, and we go to one "fancy" restaurant whenever we have a trip. I usually do not post food pr0n, but, well, when in Rome:

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    A few courses were missed, but you get the gist.

    The "Meat":

    So now that I am done with the frou-frou stuff, time to talk about my initial meeting with Chris. He called me early on a Saturday morning, and confirmed our appointment. He was kind enough to meet with me on a Saturday, which I greatly appreciated. I showed up a good deal earlier than our appointment--I hate being tardy. The shop (studio?) is in a great location--it is on the third floor of a nice building, and is situated adjacent to Prada. So I walk in, and I figured I would take the elevator. Well, I am sharing the elevator with a younger lady, who apparently works on the second floor. Since I am far, far too early, the elevator could not access the third floor, where Chris' studio is located. So the young lady told me I could hop off with her on the second floor, and take the back stairs. Well, the doors open up, and there are about ten young women waiting--judging by the gaggle of girls, and the stark white decor, it is apparently a bridal salon. The lady who works there takes me to the back, and I pass about three bridal parties in various states of moderate undress. Worse yet, when the back door is locked, I am led back to the elevator. I caught my reflection in the mirror, and I was beet red! I am still laughing to this day. This thing can only happen to me.

    When the elevator reaches the bottom, I see Chris walking in the door. I recognized him from, well, the copious amount of articles I had already read about him online. I was relieved to see him. We took the elevator up to the third floor, and I saw the same studio I had seen several times online. Tastefully decorated, clean, comfortable, and filled with beautiful clothes. After poking around, and eating far too many Dove chocolates, Chris led me to what I will call the "fabric room."

    ...

    Well, at this point, I think I am done for the first post. More to come tomorrow.
     


  2. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    subscribed :lurk:
     


  3. Patrick R

    Patrick R Senior member

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  4. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Looking forward to part 2 :bounce2:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015


  5. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    :slayer:


    Well, there are going to be many parts, and it is going to be fairly drawn out :D. My girlfriend has agreed to come along with me on the road trip, so it will be fun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015


  6. FrankCowperwood

    FrankCowperwood Senior member

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    That is a nice photo of Chicago!

    But I thought I told you to have a stinger at Gibsons, darn it

    I kid. [​IMG]
     


  7. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Haha, I know, I know, mea culpa! I judge a place on its Negroni though... and its Negroni is delicious :slayer:.

    My brother and I got hit on by some cougs within about five minutes of being there, which is certainly my barometer for a good bar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015


  8. FrankCowperwood

    FrankCowperwood Senior member

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    Well full points for the Negroni. That is a fine drink. And yes I think you probably were an outlier for age in that establishment.
     


  9. calypso

    calypso Senior member

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    subscribed, will be fun to follow
     


  10. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

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    sub
     


  11. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    But . . . but . . . what about the RPC? :lol:

    Looking forward to more posts and pics.
     


  12. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    :slayer:


    The RPC was designed so I could finance this! And more posts and pics will be coming--have one more post for now, then another will be forthcoming in a month or so.
     


  13. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    So where was I? Oh yes, the fabric room.

    As I walked in, there are some jackets located immediately on the right.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up of one of the "sample" jackets. Pay particular attention to the pattern matching! Specifically, check out how the pattern on the sleeves matches up with the pattern on the front of the jacket, and how the pattern on the front of the jacket flows into the patch pockets. Further, look at how the jacket is cut so that it is mirrored on both sides of the jacket. The attention that is paid to pattern matching is unbelievable.

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    Next up, we have Chris' own overcoat. It is made out of suiting fabric, and would be the perfect overcoat for someone who lives in a warmer climate.

    [​IMG]

    After walking in, we both had a seat at a table in the middle of the fabric room. I felt a bit nervous, which is silly in hindsight, but I guess it is because it is something I have looked forward to for so long. Chris got up to grab some fabric books, and I decided to snap some pictures of the fabric wall.

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    Very cool!

    So enough with the pictures for a little bit (especially considering many of these I am sure have been seen). Chris and I sat down, and he asked what I was looking for. As I mentioned, I really was a bit nervous and flustered, but little by little he coaxed the important details out of me. We settled on a suit, three roll two, side vents, flapped pockets, flat front pants. May end up getting another pair of pants later down the line, probably with pleats. We discussed what I was looking for in the suit, and what I envisioned regarding fabric.

    We leafed through about a dozen fabric books, perhaps more, in an attempt to pick out what I was looking for. I wanted something with some visual interest, in either dark grey or navy. But I didn't want to go too crazy. We looked at a bunch of birdseyes, nailheads, sharkskins, frescos, hopsacks, and the like. At the end, I was in between a grey sharkskin and a navy hopsack. I ended up putting the hopsack aside, and it will likely be my next choice. Next, I had to choose between about six sharkskins. I ended up choosing the following:

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    For me, it is an ideal weight, and is a happy median between conservative and interesting.

    We looked at a bunch of the other fabrics he had on hand, that I would love to order one day. Maybe once I have the basics down!

    As for styling, well, I only asked that it makes me look good. He is clearly the expert, and I felt like it would be silly to engage in the banter that I usually do on SF. He identified many of the reasons why I have difficulty buying clothing OTR, and told me how he would solve them.

    My appointment ended up lasting approximately two, two-and-a-half hours. We discussed SF, old-time tailoring in a new world, and life in general. It was great to talk with someone who is clearly very passionate about his craft. But most of all, I really appreciated how comfortable the whole experience was. Although I am a younger guy, who looks even younger, and at no point did I ever feel like I was out of place. I was not rushed to make a commitment, and I don't think I would have felt bad leaving without placing an order. At no time did I feel like I was being "sold." And that is something I really, really appreciate.

    Oh, and a small lagniappe--check out what is right across from the studio! Funny to think of the juxtaposition of the two.

    [​IMG]

    Well that is all for now folks. More updates in about a month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015


  14. Murlsquirl

    Murlsquirl The Moral Squirrel Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    Awesome. If all goes well, I'll be making the same trip this year.
     


  15. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    To Dallas, or Chicago?
     


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