Often, people tell me they think of custom as only for those who wear suits.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Custom is, of course, an alternative for the one who is wearing a suit…but custom is also as effective and efficient an alternative for one who is not wearing a suit. Whether one is wearing a sport coat, a pair of dress pants with a complementary dress shirt, or simply a pair of jeans with a cool shirt worn outside, custom is quite often the more affordable and better choice than readywear.
Let’s talk about weekend casual first. Every guy has a shirt or two that are his favorites. This could be due to the fabric, but is more often than not due to the fit…perhaps it’s a little slimmer than normal, or the collar is higher, larger, or smaller than normal. A custom shirt can cost more than an off-the-rack shirt…but not if one is looking at designer labels such as Canali, Zegna, Pal Zileri, or Corneliani to name but a few of the better Italian labels my brick-and-mortar stores used to carry. Regardless, even if you are shopping at Banana Republic, the cost of a casual shirt will often exceed $100…and if you are shopping for a current-season Italian designer label, your cost will certainly exceed $150.
Custom shirts should cost in the $150 range…so the starting price should be within one’s comfort zone for further discussion.
The benefits to custom include:
- The fit will be exactly what you want. Bring your favorite casual shirt to your custom tailor and ask him to duplicate your fit.
- The collar will be exactly what you want. Have your favorite collar reverse-engineered or bring a photo of what you’d like to your custom tailor.
- The sleeves will be the exact length…most guys have sleeves that differ from 1/2 to 1 full inch due to athletics, injuries, etc.
- Your custom shirt will become one of your favorites and actually save you several unnecessary purchases of items that you think “might be what you want”…but really aren’t.
Stay tuned for more tips on custom clothing and how it might be a good fit for you.