Style Guide Recommends: Custom Suiting

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.

Your new favorite suite just might come from Alan David Custom.

On the go in Brooklyn with an easy-to-wear suit. In fact, your new favorite suite just might come from Alan David Custom

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.

A beautiful suit with nice, refined details. Definitely a new recommendation. Watch by MVMT Watches.

A beautiful suit with nice, refined details. Definitely a new recommendation. Watch by MVMT Watches.

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.

Go with a slim silhouette for versatility and ease of wear -- even when on the move after a long day. Shirt by Twillory. Watch by MVMT Watches. Brown leather wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Socks by American Trench. Glasses by Frameri.

Go with a slim silhouette for versatility and ease of wear — even when on the move after a long day. Shirt by Twillory. Watch by MVMT Watches. Brown leather wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Socks by American Trench. Glasses by Frameri.

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.
Beckett Simonon

Just one of the ways to wear a beautiful blue custom suit. Shirt by Standard Shirt. Tie by J. Crew Factory. Pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

Just one of the ways to wear a beautiful blue custom suit. Shirt by Standard Shirt. Tie and pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

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,

-Beau

Huckberry

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#OOTD: The Best Way to Suit Up This Winter

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Maybe as we enter 2017, one of your New Year’s resolutions has been to suit up more  — but if you don’t quite have the right gear to do so in winter weather, that can be a difficult endeavor. So, if you need a sharp tailored suit and durable winter accessories for the season, today’s Style Guide post you all set. It’s a bit different than wearing a summer blazer  — the need for added layers, for one — but you’re also going to want to start out with a more textured shirt and tie, plus tougher shoes. Lest we forget, you’ll still need to stay warm with a  crisp topcoat, too. So there are certainly more variables at play than when dressing up in the spring, summer or fall. If some of the below pieces look familiar, well, that’s the point of a versatile wardrobe — right?? Bear with me as we step into winter with serious tailored style, and I’d love to get your thoughts via Twitter on this look. Happy shopping!

Winter textures and accessories make a fine cold-weather suiting combo.

Winter textures and accessories make a fine cold-weather suiting combo.

The Suit: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket and Trousers in Grey Wool, $456 — The ever-reliable, durable and winter-appropriate Telegraph Suit is just the right mix of crisp and casual when it comes to suiting — the grey wool fabric is classic, the patch pockets are casual and the fit is on-point throughout. Oh, and don’t forget a crisp dress belt.

The Topcoat: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat in Charcoal Houndstooth, $104.30 — Told you a sharp topcoat would be of particular importance, right? This charcoal houndstooth number is all old-school cool.

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The Tie: The Tie Bar Scramble Knit Stripe Tie, $25 — Want to shake up your normal tie rotation? Try a textured knit with seasonally appropriate burgundy stripes.
 
The Pocket Square: Ties.com Galveston Pocket Square, $10 — Are we breaking out a cotton pocket square in the dead of winter? We sure are, because this pocket square breathes a bit of life into the blue, red and charcoal combo on your top half.
The Boots: Nisolo Emilio LE Chukka Boot, $149.98 — This limited-edition, five-eye chukka boot lends some hearty visual interest to the wool suit, and is fit for stepping through the occasional snowdrift (occasional being the operative word).

The Socks: American Trench Superfine Merino Herringbone Socks, $28.98 — Want a pair of sharp socks that’ll still keep you warm? American Trench is the way to go — this pair is dressy, sharp and comfortable.

The Watch: Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch, $198.98 — Is it possible to get a quality dress watch for under $200? It certainly is, particularly when you reach for something as sharp, simple and classic as the Orient Bambino.

 OK, are you all ready to suit up for winter? When you start with a spread-collar chambray shirt and build up with key accessories like a classic knit tie and textured pocket square, a suit as handsome as the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Suit  is really going to shine. Meanwhile, sturdy Nisolo leather chukka boots should be tough and durable, while American Trench socks won’t let you down in the comfort or looks department. And every man should own a simple, crisp black leather dress watch like the Orient Bambino 2nd Generation.  How will you be suiting up this winter? Let’s hear it in the comments below — thanks, as always, for reading!
-Beau

Style Suggestion: What to Wear on New Year’s Eve

As 2016 draws to a (thankful?) close, it seems that a slew of important days fall one right after the other this time of year — from Christmas Day to today’s important style suggestion — what to wear on New Year’s Eve. Of course, days like these are important for the chance to spend time with family and friends, but a night like New Year’s Eve is also important in terms of how you present yourself heading into the coming year. Too philosophical? Maybe. However, if you’ve been working on your men’s style resolutions, the night before 2017 is a good time to kick things off a bit early. And besides, who doesn’t relish the chance to get dressed up a bit and perhaps channel your inner James Bond? No one, that’s who. So today’s style suggestion covers a crisp and rather formal situation — we’re not going full-on black tie, to be sure, but if you’re a guy who doesn’t suit up all that often, don’t worry; there’s something for everyone in this style suggestion. From a classic dress watch to a well-made suit jacket, consider your New Year’s Eve style all set. To weigh in on these picks, head to the friendly Style Guide Facebook page, and let’s connect on Twitter.
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The Topcoat and Scarf: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat — $149 AND J. Crew Cashmere Scarf — $98
Refined and relatively affordable accessories for a chilly yet dressy night.

Refined and relatively affordable accessories for a chilly yet dressy night.

You might recognize the above JackThreads topcoat from our holiday party style suggestion, and given the mixture of quality and affordability, it’s the right outerwear pick for a refined occasion like New Year’s Eve. The camel color and double-breasted cut are unique and on-trend yet still classic, and the topcoat will slip easily over the rest of your ensemble. The J. Crew cashmere scarf  is quite pricey for an accessory, but it’s a classic, versatile piece that you can use season after season — plus, it looks a little cleaner and sharper than a patterned scarf. Need black leather gloves to finish off the look? Might I suggest these black leather sheepskin Hestra gloves? Give ’em a try.

A versatile, tailored jacket that'll spiff up your New Year's Eve ensemble.

A versatile, tailored jacket that’ll spiff up your New Year’s Eve ensemble.

Yet again, we’re going with another pick from our holiday party style suggestion — a classic, rich wool jacket like the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket  is sharp and versatile enough that you can certainly wear it multiple times in the same season, with or without the matching Telegraph Trousers. It’s a slim-fitting, well-made piece that’s appropriate for a dressy New Year’s Eve — it’s not a shawl collar tuxedo by any means, but when matched with a crisp white shirt and a textured tie (more in a second), it’ll outshine any ill-fitting black suits that might be in the crowd. And no one wants to be the guy in the poorly tailored suit, right?

The Shirt: J. Crew Factory Thompson Dress Shirt in White — $34.50

A crisp, clean white dress shirt for a great price.

A crisp, clean white dress shirt for a great price.

When you’re putting some money into your outerwear, accessories and jacket, you don’t have to necessarily overdo it on the shirting front. In this instance, that means you can snag a heck of a versatile white dress shirt at a heck of a bargain. J. Crew Factory offers up nearly the same quality as J. Crew, and they’ve become a favorite for style on a budget for that very reason. This is a workweek workhorse and a shirt that can more than pull its weight in a formal ensemble given the slim fit and crisp construction.

The Accessories: Ties.com Burgundy Brussels Plaid Tie — $20 AND Ties.com Blue Hunter Paisley Pocket Square — $10

Two accessories that mix seasonal textures and colors.

Two accessories that mix seasonal textures and colors.

As mentioned above, this isn’t a traditional black tie look. So, slightly unique accessories fit the bill nicely here while adding a touch of refinement and seasonal texture to the sharp Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket . The burgundy wool tie changes things up from a standard black or navy knit tie (although either would work well here). It’s slim, to match the width of those lapels, and it’ll complement the paisley blue pocket square thanks to the red-and-brown color combo. A more standard white pocket square would also work in this case, but the paisley pattern adds some nice visual interest.

A reliable alternative to plain charcoal trousers, made with a hint of stretch fabric.

A reliable alternative to plain charcoal trousers, made with a hint of stretch fabric.

Skeptical about spending more than $120 on a pair of pants? Bear with me. JACHS NY mixes a nice blend of heritage and modern sportswear with sharp tailoring, resulting in a pair of tailored herringbone pants that call to mind vintage style. These trousers mix cotton herringbone with a hint of stretch and a seriously sharp windowpane pattern — they’ll handsomely accent the smaller-scale plaid pattern on the tie. And the navy color will play nicely off the grey wool Telegraph Jacket — think of this as the smart-casual alternative to a full tuxedo. Oh, and those suspender buttons are handy if you own a pair –but those belt loops will come in handy … just stick around until the end of the style suggestion, ehh?

The Shoes: Johnston & Murphy Waverly Wingtip — $175

An ultra-crisp pair of classic dress shoes -- just what you need for New Year's Eve.

An ultra-crisp pair of classic dress shoes — just what you need for New Year’s Eve.

Now, we certainly love our rugged brown leather boots here at The Style Guide — but every man needs a pair of classic dress shoes that work for formal situations. In this instance, that’s the gap in your footwear wardrobe that the Waverly Wingtip fills. The razor-sharp combination of a wingtip and black leather speaks to tailored style, yet it’s not as formal as a pair of black patent leather shoes. You could always reach for a pair of classic black captoe shoes, but again, the wingtip’s heftier look plays well with the wool jacket and textured windowpane trousers.

The Watch: Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch — $199.98

A well-made, well-designed and timeless dress watch for under $200.

A well-made, well-designed and timeless dress watch for under $200.

If we’re going with classic men’s dress shoes in sharp black leather, you need an equally sharp black leather dress watch. So, what better timepiece to pick up than the well-made, crisp and timeless Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch? And the even better news? It’s a relative steal for under $200. Plus, it features a new-and-improved in-house movement and a sturdy stainless steel case that’s offset nicely by the formal black leather strap. In short, it’s a heck of a watch that’ll work in occasions both formal *cough, New Year’s Eve, cough* and casual (try it with a slim pocket tee and light wash denim in the spring — seriously).
j-crew-leather-dress-belt
Just as every man needs a pair of classic leather dress shoes and a classic dress watch, so too does every man need a slim black leather dress belt. Like the cashmere scarf pictured at the top of this post, the black leather dress belt in question is quite pricey compared to a budget option. Yet, this is a dress belt that’s going to see a ton of use if you happen to suit up a lot. And in this case, it’s refined and not ostentatious — just what you need in a dress belt.
USA-made socks that offset the rest of this formal ensemble quite nicely.

USA-made socks that offset the rest of this formal ensemble quite nicely.

The American Trench brand tends to be the go-to sock of choice around these parts, and if you’re not familiar with the brand, I’d encourage you to stock up just as soon as you can.  Because no detail is too small in matters of men’s style, American-made socks are a bit of a luxury upgrade to typical, thinner dress socks sold in a four-pack — right? The Random Plait Sock in Smoke brings some nice, winter-friendly texture to your bottom half, and the color plays nicely off both the navy herringbone trousers and the sharp black wingtips.

Frank & Oak

So, we’ve got you covered right down to your socks for New Year’s Eve. Stick with classic-yet-modern pieces — like a beautiful cashmere scarf and a double-breasted topcoat, and you’ll be set on the accessories front. Accent those touches with the ever-versatile Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket , and throw in complementary trousers and a seasonally appropriate wool tie, and consider your top half set. Keep in mind that slim navy trousers will offset the grey wool jacket nicely, and know that you can never go wrong with crisp black wingtips and an heirloom-quality watch like the Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch. Of course, socks from American Trench are a great way to complement any look. Is this similar to what you’ll be wearing for New Year’s Eve? Leave any feedback in the comments below — oh, and enjoy your own New  Year’s Eve! You can look for our regularly scheduled Friday Read later this week, too; in the meantime, stay stylish and bring on 2017!