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Q & A: Episode 10 | Bespoke Suits

Q & A 10 | Bespoke Suits

In this video, Kirby Allison replies to several of the questions and comments asked by our YouTube Audience with a theme of Bespoke Suits. We love hearing back from our customers and audience and shortly after this video airs, we will attempt to reach out to all commenters featured in this video with a complimentary pair of our Sovereign Grade dress shoe laces. If your question or comment was featured in this video and you have not heard from us, please message us directly on YouTube.


Hi, I'm Kirby Allison and we love helping the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Thank you for all your comments and questions that you guys have posted on our YouTube channel. After reading them all and answering as many as possible, I've selected five that we're going to include in today's Q video. Each of these individuals I have selected will receive a complimentary pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces as a token of our appreciation for their participation in our channel. In today's Q&A; video, we're going to be talking about bespoke tailoring.

Our first question today is from Michael Fisher. Michael, it's nice to hear from you again. Michael is one of our regular commenters on this channel and someone I think that even communicated with over email several times. So Michael, great to hear from you. His question was on the Gary Tok interview that we filmed at the world championship of shoe-shining in London and his question reads, "Thanks Kirby, very interesting gentleman Gary Tok. I enjoyed hearing what he had to say about suit tailoring. I'm looking for a good tailor in Texas, to start with i need a couple of blazerss/sport coats then a suit. I am going this route because they can fit me with something for our climate as you did mention which i'm glad you and Mr. Tok did discuss." So Michael, a great question. It's a little bit difficult in Texas just because we don't really have any bespoke tailors that are based here. But we are fortunate that we do have many very talented bespoke and made-to-measure tailors that do travel through Texas. So if you're looking to go the bespoke route, Leonard Longsdale and Huntsman both travel extensively through Texas. I believe they both hit Austin, Houston and Dallas. Relatively easy to catch. Leonard Longsdale is based in New York and has all his stuff made off the row in London. And then of course you have Huntsman, which just opened their New York cutting room which is allowing them to offer an incredibly high level of service to their American clienteles. lt's actually really exciting and quite groundbreaking. They're the first Savile Row bespoke tailoring house to have a full-time dedicated cutter based here in America. And what that allows is just more access to your cutter than what you would have with a traveling tailor that's just traveling through Texas or America twice a year. So if you're looking to go full bespoke, I can recommend Leonard Longsdale and Huntsman. Now if you don't want to do full bespoke, there's two great made-to-measure tailors that do travel quite extensively through Texas also. Angel Ramos, whom we've just released a series of videos on and then of course and then of course Joe Hemrajani with Now Joe Hemrajani is incredibly talented. A dear close friend. And my gray, flannel suit was actually made by Hemrajani and it's one of the best suits I own. So I can absolutely recommend both of them. You know the suit that I have from Hemrajani is a made to measure suit, but the finishing details that really is almost bespoke quality and I believe their highest grade ,really the highest level of handwork is like a $2,200 or $2,500 suit which is actually very reasonable for the product that you get. So Michael in choosing a bespoke tailor, you know one of the most important things is really to ensure that you have access to them, because if it's a bespoke tailor that's traveling to the United States once or twice a year and you know your schedules don't align. Then it can take you know 18 months to have your first garment made and so that's what I like about you know both Leonard Longsdale and Huntsman. They both travel through Texas two to three times a year. But you can also visit them in New York for additional fittings if you really need to speed up the process. Now if you're looking between a blazer or a sports coat, you know I would recommend taking...I'd recommend considering a navy blazer with dark horn buttons. Incredibly versatile and probably one of the first pieces that I would have made bespoke. And if you're new to bespoke, you could actually have one of your first suits be a navy suit and then you could use the jacket as a navy sports coat with an odd pair of trousers. You know Michael I hope this helps you in your search for a bespoke tailor and please make sure you keep us posted as to who you choose and how that process goes. In the meantime I look forward to sending you a pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces.

Our second question is from a Pietro Marchesini, and it reads, "Yet another great video, Kirby. I have a question about dress shirt laundry. How do you cope with yellow deodorant sweat stains under the armpits or inside the collar? I've tried several low and high-end cloths, ready-to-wear or made-to-measure (but never bespoke) and my white shirts all get those frustrating stains after only a few months of wear. How long do your charvet shirts last and do you have any tricks to keep them crisp and clean? Do you wear undershirts, and if so, which ones do you recommend?" Pietro, great question. You know it's impossible to really avoid sweat stains under the armpits and the collars. It's just a natural byproduct of wearing clothing, but you can treat those. We have several products here at The Hanger Project. First, we have a stain bar that we sell from the laundress that is really good for scrubbing cuffs, collars and under the armpits to help remove those stains. And so what I would recommend is using the stain bar, scrubbing the collars, maybe even with a a horsehair brush or something to really get in there and then letting the shirts soaked in water before you wash it. Also, if you're sending your shirts to a really good dry cleaners, like here in the United States we have RAVE FabriCARE, whom I send all of my charvet shirts to. A really high-end luxury dry cleaner is going to scrub all your cuffs and collars to really treat those stains and that'll help prolong and extend the life of any great dress shirt. The problem that you're experiencing really has nothing to do about the fabric. I mean the fabric doesn't stain itself and as long as it's a hundred percent natural cotton, it's all going to react to your body the same. It really just comes down to how much you perspire and how well you're laundering your shirts as to whether or not those stains persist. Now if you're really focusing on scrubbing the cuffs and collars or you're using a great dry cleaners like RAVE FabriCARE, then the lifetime of a shirt like one of my charvet shirts could easily be five, ten or even more years. If you're having bespoke shirts made you can even have your cuffs and collars replaced after they begin to wear, which can further extend the lifetime of my shirt. And this is actually where banker shirts came from where you'd have a striped shirt body but with white cuffs and collars. The whole entire idea was to allow cuffs and collars to be replaced since those were the first to wear out. Great question Pietro and I look forward to sending you a pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces and good luck removing those stains on your shirts.

Our third question today is from Ryan Cook. His question reads "Kirby what is your opinion on lapel vest? Also fabric back or satin backed?" You know Ryan I love vests. Especially a double-breasted vest is incredibly elegant and you'll probably have seen that on my stroller I have a beautiful baby blue double-breasted 6-button vest that I absolutely love wearing. The beauty of a vest is that it can really change the look of the suit. You know without a vest, it's slightly dressed down. But the moment that you put a vest on, especially a beautiful double-breasted vest, it really elevates the formality of that ensemble and just create something that's incredibly elegant. I think lapels on a vest again further elevate just the sophistication of a vest so you'll see that on my stroller it has lapels and I'd love to have some additional vests made for that stroller in particular. On the Stark and Sons piece and I'm having made from de Luca. It's a beautiful, just simple navy fabric. I'm having it made as a double-breasted jacket and a single breasted jacket, but also with a just standard vest and a double-breasted vest so that I can mix and match. So absolutely yes on the vests. Now regarding the backing. On a satin back, it's just going to wear cooler and than a fabric backed vest. So on all my vests, I have satin backs. Ryan, a great question. Let us know if you're having any suits made with vests. You know maybe take a photograph and tag us on Instagram so that we can see it. In the meantime I look forward to sending you a pair of our sovereign grid shoelaces.

Our fourth question today is from Thomas Neitmann on our Kirby Alison's favorite tie video and it reads, "First of all, a lovely collection. [Thank you] I am quite envious. I have a question not related to this topic but once I took a close look at your shirt during the video it caught my attention: when you stand or sit without moving your jacket collar lies tightly against your shirt. However, in certain situations a collar gap is visible that is not a flattering look. I'm wondering if this is avoidable. I found that with all my jackets once I move my arms up to a certain degree, the jacket and shirt collar lose contact creating a gap. Can you elaborate on this matter?" Thomas, great question. So most properly a well fitting jacket should not have any gap in between the collar of the jacket and the shirt. But you know if you move around a little bit, it's possible for the jacket to really become unseated from the collar and for a gap to show. Now the easiest thing to do is to just you know take your jacket and just kind of resit it on the on the collar and that'll help eliminate that gap. So with something that you're buying off of the rack, you know sometimes it's really difficult to find a jacket that fits without that gap between the collar of the jacket and the collar of the shirt and that just comes down to the fact that anytime you're buying something ready-to-wear, it's cut off of a standard pattern that isn't really tailored to your specific body stance. So if you're trying on are ready-to-wear a jacket that has a collar gap, either try a different size now or just try a different brand that probably is cut a little bit differently and maybe that'll take care of the problem. But even with my bespoke jackets, you know sometimes you'll see that as I'm sitting down and you know moving my arms around you know sometimes a collar gap will form and it's you know it's just you know slightly unavoidable. But I always try to readjust and kind of adjust my jacket so that that disappears. Thanks Thomas for your question. We really appreciate your participation on this YouTube channel and I look forward to sending you a pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces and if you have any photographs, you know please tag us on Instagram so we can see what that jacket looks like.

Our last question today is from a Jerry Covington. It's on our Q&A; 4 video and it reads, "Hi Kirby! In getting started on this journey of fine men's apparel, what and your recommendation would be the best starting point? Would you start with a pair of dress shoes, casual clothing, or a custom suit?" You know so Jerry great question. It's hard to give you a very specific answer without knowing more about your lifestyle and how you dress. You know whether or not you work in an office where you're expected to wear a suit and tie every day or whether or not you know you could be a doctor wearing scrubs during the day and you just want something nicer to wear on the weekend. All those factors really change how I would approach beginning to grow or invest in a high-quality wardrobe. But I can share a little bit of my own personal experience. For me whenever I was younger, I found that I got the most bang for my buck or value out of nice shoes and nice dress shirts. it's what I was wearing most often. I could wear a nice pair of shoes with the suit. I could also wear a nice pair of shoes with jeans on the weekend. Same thing with my dress shirts. I could wear a nice dress shirt to the office, but I could also wear a nice dress shirt out at night. I found that investing in a few high-quality pairs of dress shoes and a few nice dress shirts is what allowed me to start dressing nicer for the least amount of money. The other benefit of shoes and shirts is that of all the things that you could buy bespoke or even made the measure. They're really the least expensive and therefore the most accessible. So the first things that I had made were dress shirts. I started buying nice dress shoes. Certainly not bespoke. And then I invested in a few nice suits. Now in approaching nice suits, my absolute recommendation would be to focus on the most simple elegant fabrics. So my first bespoke suit was a dark charcoal with a really small herringbone in it. it was incredibly simple and elegant and it was something that I could wear during the day, at night, to work, to a funeral, to a wedding. So again it wasn't something that really was going to stand out. It wasn't crazy. It wasn't like a windowpane or a gun club, but it was something that was elegant and could very versatile. Absolutely the first two suits that any gentleman should invest in is a dark gray or charcoal suit and a navy blue and plain fabrics no windowpanes, no checks because these are the most versatile suits that any man can own. You can wear them at night, you can wear them during the day, you can wear them to wedding, you can wear them to a funeral, so if you're gonna start anywhere that is for a fact wear I would recommend starting. And there's no man alive that doesn't look great in either a dark gray or a navy blue suit and a white shirt. That is absolutely a fact. Thank You Jerry for your question. I look forward to sending you a pair of our sovereign grade shoelaces and make sure you post pictures on Instagram and tag us of anything that you might buy.

Once again I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for their comments and questions. It's your engagement on our youtube channel that make these Q videos possible. Not only does it give me an opportunity to answer in greater depth a lot of the questions that I'm already answering when you ask them in the comment section, but it allows us to take a moment to just acknowledge our appreciation of you being a part of our channel. I've absolutely enjoyed how this platform has allowed us to connect with you guys. If you haven't taken an opportunity to ask a question or make a comment, I invite you to do so. Even if you don't have any questions to ask, just sharing your opinion or your thoughts about our content helps us make better videos for you in the future.

In today's video I'm wearing one of my bespoke Chris Despos suits. This is a navy or a blue fresco suit with patch pockets. I'm wearing a bespoke charvet shirt, of course, in my trademark white. Along with one of our sovereign grade regimental rep ties. Of course like all my suits, these have tabbed trousers which I really enjoy for just the simplicity and the elegance. The trousers are uncuffed and I have a pair of our small dot Palatino socks that beautifully match this suit. And then today I'm wearing a pair of my Saint Crispin's cap toe oxfords that are dark brown.

If you enjoyed this video, give us a thumbs up and please subscribe to our channel and turn on your notifications by clicking the bell to the right of the subscribe button so that you can learn we release new videos. If you have any questions or comments about anything we discussed on this video please ask them in the comment section below. And of course, please visit where we have the largest most comprehensive collection of luxury garment care and shoe care accessories in the world, as well as, many other incredible products for the well-dressed. And while you are there subscribe to our newsletter to receive notifications of new product launches, promotions, as well as, a weekly digest of all the videos we publish here on our YouTube channel. I'm Kirby Allison and we love to help the well-dressed take care of their wardrobes. Thanks for joining us.