I’m really excited to introduce local men’s custom retailer The Bespoke Edge; lately, with the holidays right around the corner, I’ve been getting many requests for places my clients can buy their men something special. Here is the answer-
The word ‘bespoke’ is becoming increasingly popular in modern marketing. Can you explain what the term actually means and a little about its history? You’re absolutely right, we hear ‘bespoke’ a lot these days. Basically, when a piece of clothing is designated bespoke, it means that it was custom cut from patterns made specifically for you. Therefore, bespoke clothing is truly one of a kind and usually involves a minimal amount of machine work.
And the word itself is derived from the verb to bespeak or to ‘speak for something.’ Historically, when one needed new clothes, the first thing they would do is go visit their tailor and choose a fabric. This fabric was then said to be ‘spoken for’ and would soon be transformed into their new piece of clothing.
So, it’s great to see a bit of an emerging bespoke trend in menswear. It’s now easier than ever for guys to dress sharp!
Who is your typical client and what are his needs? I wouldn’t say that we have a typical client because we’ve been fortunate over the past couple years to work with so many different types of guys. Different ages, different backgrounds – each man sporting a different style.
But there has been a common theme among our clients, regardless of age or profession, that they have grown frustrated with shopping for off-the-rack clothing. They have come to understand that they aren’t a size medium or a size large and they know that they need some guidance with finding a great fit.
What we do best is guiding our clients through the custom process. It may seem intimidating at first, but once guys get the hang of it, they really start to have a lot of fun building their clothes!
What are some of the biggest mistakes men make in how they shop for and wear suits? So, two things come to mind. Firstly, men have a tendency to buy clothes that are simply too large. What happens is that we end up drowning in oversized clothing. We may think that we are a size larger than we really are, but baggy clothes only work in making us appear smaller! So what we do at BE is work with our clients to show them what a great fit looks like and why. When they step in front of a mirror with BE clothes on they can’t believe the difference that an emphasis on fit makes.
Secondly, a lot of guys don’t believe that suits or dress shirts can be comfortable so they aren’t shopping with that expectation in mind. You see, all of us guys have memories of being stuffed into an uncomfortable, itchy and stiff suit when we were young. It can be tough to get over this misconception, but in reality, a nice suit should be as comfortable as your pajamas! It should breath and effortlessly slide over your skin.
Your Daily Rider custom shirt is designed ‘with the urban cyclist in mind’, which seems perfect for the Colorado customer. Tell me a little bit about it. The Daily Rider was a fun shirt to build. It was a collaborative piece we did with The Bespoke Pedaler in Denver. They are an urban lifestyle boutique and much of their style is geared towards the urban cyclist and commuter. We thought that it would be fun to put them in the driver’s seat and have them design a shirt. One that would facilitate a cycling commute to the office and look great once you arrived.
Ron provided some guidance on fit considerations and Rick and Emily, owners of the Pedaler, added some really cool design details like the bicycle themed contrast fabric on the cuffs. The result was an innovative shirt that is practical as it is stylish.
Besides your store, what shops in the Boulder/Denver metro area do you recommend for stylish men? Obviously, we like the clean and urban style that we see in The Bespoke Pedaler. And just a few doors down is another cool shop – Armitage & McMillan. They have really done a great job of curating a nice mix of clothes and accessories for the modern man.
And in Boulder we really like NINOX. They are designing men’s jackets that are a much needed alternative to our ubiquitous technical winter jackets. It has been fun to see this emergence of menswear offerings in the Denver and Boulder area; a lot has happened in just the past (5) years or so.
You make clothing for grooms – what advice do you give a man in choosing his wedding day attire? Well, assuming that a groom has decided on a suit over a tuxedo, there are a few pointers I would offer up. Obviously, fit is the single most important piece of sartorial advice. A great fit makes everything else so much easier. Then invest in a great fabric. A premium fabric is going to look amazing and last a long time. The great thing about opting for a wedding suit over a tuxedo is that you can wear that suit later on. It may be to the office or for a fancy night out on the town. Regardless, you’re going to feel great, look great and rekindle those memories of your wedding day.
And overall, I think it’s important to keep in mind that the bride has put in a lot of time and energy in choosing her wedding gown. Men shouldn’t view their suit as merely an obligation. Instead it’s an awesome opportunity to explore custom details. For instance, a groom can have a suit made with working button holes and select a thread color that matches their wedding colors. Or, choose a white dress shirt with a fun contrast fabric on the inside of the cuffs. During the reception you can roll up the sleeves and show them off on the dance floor!
What are the most important factors for men in pulling off great style? Bottom line: Fit overshadows everything else. It doesn’t matter what label you are wearing. All that really matters is that your clothes fit you. A nice looking silhouette pays dividends far beyond any designer outfit that is overly baggy on your frame.
Something else to bear in mind is to invest in clothing that will always be in style. A crisp navy blazer and a great looking oxford dress shirt aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
And one final nugget of wisdom to leave you with is this: Great style is about putting your clothes on and then forgetting about them!
Images via The Bespoke Edge.