Unless you are 6’0” tall and weigh 165lbs, I recommend getting custom clothes. Just to be clear I am talking about custom dress shirts, suits, sport coats and slacks. Great reasons to buy custom:
- The clothes fit right
- The choices are unlimited
- The quality is great
- It is a lot fun
- Free alterations for life of the garment
- It is CHEAPER!!! Yes in the long run it is cheaper; your cost per wear will be less.
If you are like me, someone who loves to dress, but is blessed with being under 5’ 10” and over 200lbs, you know that shopping for clothes can be a pain. How it used to go for me. When I needed (or wanted) a new suit I would go to SAKS, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdales and go to the Men’s Department and look around and leave because they didn’t have my size. So I would end up at Jos A Bank and they would have two or three suits/sport jackets in my size. I am also blessed with a 19” neck so shirt selection wasn’t so great either. I would buy my suit and two shirts and spend about $650 for the suit and $100 per shirt; my alterations for the suit and shirt were about $250 and $40 respectively (NOTE TO REMEMBER FIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING). So my total cost for 1 suit and 2 shirts were about $1,280. I never thought of buying custom because I always thought it would cost me $2,500 – $3,500 for a custom made suit so I never bothered. A friend introduced once to a custom suit maker and it was less expensive than I thought and I haven’t bought a suit in a department store since. Besides getting great clothes the best part of buying custom is the experience.
So when I need (I always want) to get a new suit. The first thing I do now is take a trip to J Lucas Clothiers at 347 Fifth Avenue Suite 307 (between 33rd & 34th Streets) and see my friend Neil. I walk into the nice studio and sit down on a comfortable couch and Neil will ask me what I am looking for. After I explain what is want and the price range I want to spend (you can also call a head so Neil is ready for you), Neil will bring me the books, I will look through hundreds of fabrics and pick one, or two. Then we pick the lining and discuss other aspects of the suit. Neil has some very creative ideas and neat stylish things that he does. You then have hundreds of fabrics for shirts. You select the fabric, collar style, cuff (Always get French) and monogram. When you are done you have created a unique suit that is just your style. For your first visit you will need to be measured which takes about a half hour after that it just pick the fabrics and discuss some details and you are on your way. In about four weeks you go back to Neil for a fitting. After that in about a week you walk out with a suit fit for you and your style and people will take notice. Neil also has a great selection of accessories such as Pocket Squares or Rounds, Cuff Links, and Ties. The best part is the cost; depending on the fabrics the cost is not ridiculous. My last purchase at J Lucas for a fully custom made suit and two dress shirts that fit me PERFECTLY costs about $1,350. That’s less than $100 more than the crap I used to get at the department store. Even if its still a little pricey for you, most custom shops can and will work with you on fabric selection and limits on lining and other areas. But I highly recommend checking a J Lucas at www.jlucasclothiers.com