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 MyTailor.com. 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.