Editor’s note: Style Guide Recommends is a new, ongoing series covering just that — recos on all manner of menswear and lifestyle topics from The Style Guide.
First off, welcome to another Style Guide post — and the first in a new series we’re introducing here on the blog! By we, I mean me — but I digress. Think of this as an extension of our other series, from Online Shopping Picks to our Style Pick of the Week entries. Now, those are all recommendations in and of themselves, but the Style Guide Recommends series is going to be a bit different. We’re talking concepts or ideas versus products, but we’ll also talk about music, grooming — you name it. So, if there’s a great beer you should try, a place you should visit, some music to which you should listen … it might pop up here. We’ll figure it out as we go, but today’s entry is an exciting one — it’s all about why you should consider going custom for your next suit, and I teamed up with the great folks at Alan David Custom to do just that, and I’ve been exceptionally pleased with my custom suit. If you try a similar approach, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.
Now, there are all sorts of menswear apps, brands and stores that offer made-to-measure suiting options, but a custom suit is a different ballgame (in fact, my friend Barron at Effortless Gent dives into custom versus made-to-measure suiting quite extensively). And for those of us in NYC and the surrounding areas, Alan David Custom is definitely a great way to go. The brand excels in handmade custom suits finished in the tradition of bespoke tailoring — don’t let that scare you away, though. Alan David Custom is certainly expensive for those of us shopping on a budget, but the difference is in the details (as we say with most style upgrades, ehh?). And the company’s history is exactly what you want when it comes to a great suit. Namely, they’ve been making luxurious tailored wear since 1926 — needless to say, the company’s staff know more about tailoring than any of us ever could (I’d argue). With that being said, the company’s adage is fitting — “The quality of a suit is remembered long after its price is forgotten.” Yes indeed, the difference is in the details. Of course, you can’t forget stylish accessories, like a great leather dress watch or stylish men’s dress shoes but again … start with an excellent suit, and the rest falls into place.
For starters, Alan David Custom doesn’t use glue in its finishing process, resulting in garments that drape nicely and fit perfectly. That explains the purchase price of the suits — ranging from $1,195 to $2,495, based on factors ranging from fabrics to cut and styling. Yes, it’s an investment — but again, one that’ll pay off the more you wear it. The measuring process — which is surprisingly quick — dials in a suit jacket and trousers that couldn’t fit any better (and I’d say it’s certainly much more accurate than taking measurements yourself and submitting them online). And the level of detail is exceptional — from your choice of fabric to suit color (I went with a heightened blue), lining color and other small, essential tailored details (side tabs on trousers and the addition of a ticket pocket, for one). The side tabs are a touch I’m particularly pleased with — it adds another level of refinement and creates clean lines without belt loops.
It’s these little details — plus a superb fit — that make it such an easy suit to wear, either with a crisp white shirt and a classic winter-weight tie (as seen above) or a little more casually, yet still tailored (with a classic blue dress shirt from Twillory). Of course, the crisp Conard Wingtip from Johnston & Murphy, plus well-made American Trench socks, are the ideal complements to such a sharp suit. And one could argue that the ability to wear this suit multiple ways (and with great accessories) is why it’s so important to go custom — particularly with an investment-worthy option from Alan David Custom. Note that they also provide a helpful first-time buyer’s discount, and they can turn suits around in as little as 10 days (seriously quick, yet still high-quality). Crucially, they also offer free lifetime alterations. Yes, free lifetime alterations. Heck, if you’re visiting New York, it’s worth setting up an appointment, truly. In lieu of hitting up Alan David Custom, you can look into other made-to-measure online suiting options (such as Indochino or Black Lapel), but again, if you’ve been very, very good this year and would love a high-quality, luxurious and lifetime suit, Alan David Custom is your best bet.
Thanks for joining us on the first entry in the Style Guide Recommends series — we’ll have much more soon.
Thanks for reading and stay stylish,