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If the Suit Fits: The Pros of Going Custom-Made
There’s a wide world beyond off-the-rack. Here’s how to navigate it
The custom suit—once a luxury—is becoming de rigueur. To forge a one-of-a-kind ensemble, the best route is bespoke, where everything is done to your specifications and the fabric can be specially woven. Or you can opt for made-to-measure, which dials down the guesswork by letting the wearer pick from an impressive range of fits and fabrics. For some, it’s about getting caught up in the spirit of experimentation, playing with combinations of color and silhouette. Men are taking their cues from red carpet risk-takers like Pharrell Williams, who’s swapped pants for shorts, and Matthew McConaughey, who’s been known to go bold in an emerald velvet tux.
Duncan Quinn in West Hollywood is the shop of choice for a mix of timelessness with an urban edge (think three-piece suit of heritage Dormeuil cloth and a silk tie embroidered with a pistol emblem). Crafted in the company’s New York workshop, each piece takes up to 80 hours to hand-stitch. Customers can choose from thousands of swatches or have the fabric personally milled (prices start at $2,500; 8234 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove, 323-782-9205). Studio execs and onscreen talent use the experts at Seize sur Vingt, who specialize in Italian style (high armholes, soft shoulders) and offer a selection of more than 1,000 fabrics. Measurements are videotaped and sent to Puglia, Italy, where construction can take up to a month (prices start at $2,750; 8618 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 310-657-1620).
Can’t wait months? Made-to-measure is the way to go. Anglophiles flock to Burberry, where a tailor works with three fits (slim, modern, and classic) and more than 40 fabrics. Suits typically require a 48-hour turnaround period (prices start at $1,195; Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 310-657-2424). At Giorgio Armani you can pick from 325 textiles for suits, jackets, and pants, and 125 for shirts. The company is also a go-to producer of eveningwear, along with all its accoutrements (prices start at $3,600; 436 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-271-5555). The fabrics at Klein Epstein & Parker are bold—think psychedelic paisley—and keffiyeh scarves stand in for ties. “Our hope is to inspire men to express themselves,” says co-owner Miray Bik ( prices start at $798; 367 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 424-777-0709).
Complete your look with a custom pair of shoes
For its made-to-measure line, the Left Shoe Company scans the customer’s feet using 3-D technology (starts at $375). Six weeks later the shoes arrive from Portugal.
G.J. Cleverley and Co. on Rodeo Drive offers made-to-measure (starts at $1,600) and bespoke (from $3,800) footwear. The shoes are handcrafted in London.
At Don Ville owner Raul Ojeda stocks nearly 2,300 square feet of leather for his made-to-measure (starts at $3,600) and bespoke (from $5,800) creations.