I was brainstorming interesting blog posts the other day when my boyfriend asked me to write a piece on menswear. Knowing absolutely nothing on the subject, I decided to interview Dana from Royal Blue on fit. Dana owns and operates a successful custom shirt and suit business, so I knew he would have all the info I needed. Enjoy our discussion, and check out his work below!
Fortique: "What are signs that a suit doesn't fit properly? I feel like I can tell when a guy looks goofy or when he looks like he's in an expensive suit, but I can't tell what specifically makes it look good/bad"
Dana: "Look at the shoulders. That is the most important element to get right and one of the most difficult to change. Also, the jacket shouldn't pull over the rear-end, and the center vent should go straight down with no gaping. Good tailoring can make a suit from H&M look custom and expensive."
Fortique: "What is the proper pant length? How do you look like Brad Goreski without turning your pants into floods?"
Dana: "It completely depends on the leg opening. A 17"-18" opening should hit mid-way down the shoe heel and brush the front of the shoe without breaking (i.e., creasing). Smaller pant openings (e.g., 15"-16") can be hemmed higher. Pants settle throughout the day, so you will often see the pants hit the shoe differently in the morning than at night."
Fortique: "What is bespoke vs. made-to-measure?"
Dana: "Bespoke refers to a suit created from a custom silhouette designed specifically for the buyer. It is very expensive. Made-to-measure, which is what I do, starts with a standard template then incorporates 21 measurements to customize the suit to fit the client. Made-to-measure offers the customer the customized look and feel without the price of a bespoke suit."
Fortique: "Finally, if someone wanted to hire you for a suit or shirt, what is the process?"
Dana: "First, we start with the consultation appointment. I meet you at your work, home, etc. to discuss your goals, help you pick a fabric, take your measurements (11 for a shirt, 21 for a suit), and decide on all the nuances for the item of clothing (e.g., working button holes, lining, button type). About 4 weeks later, we have a try-on session where I tweak certain elements on the garment so that it fits perfectly. About a week later your garment is ready to wear."
Check out Dana's business the next time you're looking for a men's gift! The shirts are comparable in price to a nice Nordstrom button-down, and it's fully customized and tailored. Click HERE to get in touch with Dana.
- Steph & The Fortique Team