Category Archives: men suits

Coming Attractions: Spring 2016

Photo credit D&G via thebestfashionblog.com

photo credit thebestfashionblog.com

While the East Coast is shoveling out from snow, we on the West Coast are skiing and snowboarding down the slopes of Lake Tahoe. Thanks for letting us get out of the studio for a few weeks of recreation!

As San Franciscans prepare for Chinese New Year festivities next month, we’re pleased to present you a preview of Spring 2016 and style trends:

Monochromatic white is the dark horse candidate.
Shake off the dark colors associated with winter. March in to the Spring season with confidence. White on white is high-maintenance but looks dapper. Dial it down by pairing a gray custom fit jacket with white tailored trousers.

men's single breasted rain coat macintosh raincoat outerwear

photo credit wellbuiltstyle.com


Remember grandpa with retro style raincoats.
You do realize not everybody or every body shape looks good in a double breasted suit. (Scan this past blog entry for a refresher on body shape and flattering fashion.) Unfortunately much outerwear isn’t designed with you in mind. Our favorite trench coats are double-breasted.

In contrast, almost all of us look fantastic in single-breasted jackets and coats. After deliberately selecting your bespoke 3-piece suit, an ill-fitting raincoat shouldn’t be your downfall. Shed heavier coats and slip into lightweight, retro grandpa-inspired trench coats. We recommend avoiding belts, especially if you’re lean.

bespoke striped suits for men make a bigger impact than ever

photo credit fashionmenswear.com

Pjs can’t have all the fun; wear bespoke striped suits.
Pinstripes are linked to powerful professions, from banking and finance to law and order. But fans of personally tailored clothing are enthusiastically embracing this trend in more lavish and exaggerated ways a la John Varvartos.

Find it hard to rock that edgy look in your office or line of work? No problem. Under your discreet coat during your commute, maintain a polished and professional image with this tailor-made striped suit, pictured to the left. The black color remains a safe bet; the higher stripe count adds texture suggesting a depth and complexity to your character.


Preview our catalog of light-weight fabrics
 to design your own one-of-a-kind suits and outerwear as well.

Since 2010 The SF Tailor has served a wide range of clients who never tire of traditions, prefer the latest suit trends, or contact us with personalized requests. View our gallery for inspiration or submit photos for distinctly special requests.

Hot Fashion for Winter Formal

photo credit DJDM/WENN.com via skim.gs Mark Ballas grey suit Derek Hough black suit tailored

Mark Ballas and Derek Hough on the town, off the DWTS dancefloor.

Want to dance with the stars at your Winter Formal or Prom?

The SF Tailor has these hot styles for the cold season, so you look as good at the dance as these suits on the red carpets. Our clients feel confident wearing made to measure suits and customized tuxedos to fit their own swagger — not something generic off carousels from the mall.

Whether your special event is semi-formal (suit OK) or black tie (tux required) you’ll want well-made, affordable clothes you can keep after the occasion. Do you really want to rent? Resent the idea of another person showing up in the exact same outfit?

Above, Mark Ballas sports a gray two-piece suit with a peaked lapel. The white shirt creates a strong contrast for his black and white-striped tie to pop. It’s a much less formal look. We prefer Zac Efron in a three-piece charcoal gray suit and stripped tie; layering with a vest adds sophistication. Derek Hough’s intense ensemble is a darker side we don’t usually see: Monochromatic black suit, shirt and solid color tie demand all eyes are on him. Jayden Smith pulls off monochromatic white.

credit glamour magazine How to Get Away with Murder blue suits black ties pocket squares

Men of How to Get Away with Murder in eye-catching electric blue suits.

Black-and-white are so textbook. Blue tuxedos are hauteProm is your moment. There’s no competition with cobalt blue suits like the men of How to Get Away with Murder can testify in this photo, right. Dapper details include standard notched lapels, black skinny ties — definitely not to be confused with dads’ — and pocket squares to infuse color or print. Tip: don’t button the last button on your jacket!

Completely personalize your order by sending photographs of your inspiration and your measurements to us. We’ve had the most fun suiting clients in fashion similar to that of their favorite athletes or artists. Michael B. Jordan color coordinates a two-piece blue print suit with a solid blue tie. Got boldness? Consider Robert Pattinson in hunter green or Darren Criss in burgundy with a bow.

The SF Tailor doesn’t technically make adaptive clothing for teens with disabilities or different abilities, but we understand some of the challenges and all the desire to look as dashing as everyone else. Before ordering, these style hacks can maximize your assets.

We want to help you make an impression at winter formal. Check out this gallery of bespoke suits and custom tailored tuxedos. Our Facebook albums feature more made to order special occasion clothes.

Tailor Yourself to Job Interviews

The bottom line is to feel confident from a smart-fitting suit and its first impression,
to your interview responses and your performance on the job.

A well-cut suit should flatter your frame by broadening your shoulders and minding your midsection. This signals great job-seeking traits like attention to detail and self-confidence. For any job interview, be sure you are prepared and look polished.

photo credit primermagazine.com How should my suit jacket fit? Avoid shoulder divots.

How should my suit jacket fit? Avoid shoulder divots.

Check the fit. Does the top button of your jacket sit just above your naval? Do sleeves end where your thumb and wrist meet? Does the shoulder seam sit smoothly at the corner of your shoulder? Or is  a weird divot created because the shoulder width is incorrect? Finally does the jacket completely cover your butt, and no more?

 

Custom tailored medium grey suit jacket by San Francisco Tailor paired with versatile blue paisley necktie

A medium grey bespoke suit is extremely versatile.

Color consistent with industry? A tailor made medium or dark grey suit looks more youthful than a stark black suit. In fact it’s much more versatile and a great candidate for all of those important appointments — from job interviews to daily office wear to networking events after work. Most of all, it’s still industry appropriate.

For a contemporary take on the navy suit, consider a bespoke jacket that’s single-breasted with notched lapels. It’s sure to consistently look good even with a white dress shirt, a textured tie and brown brogue dress shoes. Complement its ordinary color with warm tones of yellow, orange and red or stay cool during winter months with grey and other shades of blue as well as purple.

 

photo credit adamlamberttv.blogspot.ca Printed blue shirt under navy suit jacket great for artistic type job interviews

Vocalist Adam Lambert in a printed shirt with various blue shades on The Talk with host Sharon Osbourne.

Wearing a standard issue suit to an interview for a creative job could mute your personality and je ne sais quoi. Hiding what makes your unique can hurt your chances at landing that job.

Color blocking separate top and bottoms is oft chosen by media, advertising, and fashion professionals. Printed shirts are also an alternative to displaying your style. Geometric or subtle floral prints can exhibit range of thinking from hard and analytical to soft and expressive.

We make elegance affordable & job promotion accessible as you pay off loans or mortgages.

Made to measure suits can be pricey. Don’t worry! Without the overhead of a brick and mortar shop or webcam body measurements, we offer the lowest prices in fully personalized suits online. You’ll even have money left to splurge. Book yourself an appointment with the hairdresser, or purchase a tie clip — a small but noticeable accessory to set you apart.

Pre-Party Season with Made to Measure Tuxedos

Made to measure tuxedo by San Francisco Tailor two-tone red black peaked lapel customized red button matches red black bowtie

A fully customized tuxedo inspired by this bow tie.

Like it or not, the end of 2015 will be here and a glut of holiday parties will begin soon! From corporate holiday soirees at the Top of the Mark (Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel in Nob Hill) to legendary New Year’s Eve celebrations at The Starlight Room in Union Square, dress to kill in a made to measure tuxedo for women or men.

Design your tuxedo properly and this icon of classic, affordable elegance
will be worn much more often than once in a blue moon.

Consider midnight blue instead of black tuxedo. You could look slightly taller and make a great first impression. Initially the blue color was never an off-the-rack option, so it was obviously a custom made tuxedo. White jackets with tails are mandatory for the most formal occasions.

A single-button jacket is more versatile especially with matching grosgrain- or satin-striped tuxedo trousers. (Matching jacket and trousers mean tuxedos are technically two-piece bespoke suits.) Grosgrain has a ribbed texture and dull appearance whereas satin has a rich, smooth and lustrous / shiny look. A shawl lapel is the most stereotypical. Shorter men however like peaked lapels. Lengthened lapels heighten their wearers by drawing more attention to their faces. Notched lapels are the least formal.

photo credit blacktieguide.com Ocean's 13 featured black tuxedos peaked lapel notched lapel shawl lapel black bowties

Ocean’s Thirteen, from left to right: peaked lapels, notched lapels, satin shawl lapels

photo credit perezhilton.com John Legend turndown collar dress shirt semi-butterfly black bowtie with pointed ends

John Legend in a turndown collar, semi-butterfly with pointed ends.

A white evening shirt with a wing collar keeps your ensemble classic. Stiffly starched shirts and high standing wing collars were once conventional. Imagine the Victorian collar, or an air filter for your car. Today a wing collar is required for the strictest of White Tie affairs.

We prefer the contemporary turndown collar pleated shirt. The front features a pleated bib in addition to an open or hidden placket of buttons. Understated and more comfortable, it complies with the semi-formal dress code yet appears approachable. That’s a fantastic advantage when you want to network and/or make new acquaintances at such special occasions.

Our online styling tool allows you to order tailor made shirts as well.  Be sure French cuffs set apart your tux shirt from daily work shirts.

The (butterfly) bow tie is the most traditional, but we recommend a (semi-butterfly) thistle bow tie for a refreshing change. Never buy a pre-tied bow tie! If you didn’t adequately practice those YouTube bow tying videos, a necktie could save you … but choose a width proportional to your lapel and collar.

photo credit hisstylediary.com dress shoes black patent laced oxfords opera pumps formal dress shoes court shoes

L to R: black patent slippers, laced oxfords, opera pumps   

Finish off the bespoke formal wear with patent leather formal pumps — flat or heeled for women. Don’t happen to own those? Difficult to find them?

Well-polished Oxford dress shoes will get by. But if you prefer to get noticed, velvet will bring more luxury to your custom made suit regardless of grosgrain or satin lapels and trouser stripes.

Most typical accessories are a cummberbund to cover your waist (and any bunching or pooling of the shirt) and suspenders that button inside your trouser waist. Want others to notice your attention to detail? Pick out high contrast colors for a pocket square or a carefully chosen lapel pin to spark conversation.

photo credit thetimes.co.uk black tuxedo peaked lapels black cummerbund black bowtie rosette accessory

Justin Timberlake’s cummerbund creates a refined visual effect accentuating Carey Mulligan’s black satin neckline.

Winter Wedding Wear

photo credit onelittlelibrary.comCongrats to couples getting engaged at apple orchards and pumpkin patches this fabulous fall season!

An odd year means no torture from McCovey Cove, and brides breathing sighs of relief. These women are happily focusing fiances’ attention on winter wedding plans. No World Series widows here!

The SF Tailor has prepped this cheat sheet to understand formal wear if you’re getting married or renewing vows:

When is the main event? The season will suggest ideal fabrics and colors (the lighter, the better in summer or tropical destinations) whereas gray or dark blue wool suits are a winter standard. The time of day also influences your color scheme.

photo credit Alan Davidson for dailymail.co.uk

Second left, Prince Henry & mates in colorful morning dress on the day of Kate & Wills’ festive wedding.

Where’s the party? The venue is a significant factor in the formality or casualness of your suit.

Royalty recommends morning dress: a tailcoat, dress shirt with a wing or (modern) turndown collar, a waistcoast or vest, and striped trousers. Pair with polished black Oxford shoes. Play up the color with matching ties and pocket squares. Such formal events are few and far between, so blend separates like shirt, vest or trousers into semi-formal contexts. Evening dress employs a striking black and white contrast: Black tailcoat, uncuffed trousers and patent leather footwear with white dress shirt, waistcoat & bow.

photo credit pinterest.com

Bradley Cooper (2010) in black tuxedo with cummerbund. Trousers too long.

Commonly believed to be the most formal wear, the black tie tuxedo is evening appropriate and the best investment for the range of social events in the U.S. Earlier this month we ran this post on made to measure tuxedos.

Midnight blue or black are equally advisable, and both go well with black Oxfords / Balmorals. Court shoes are slightly more formal. Don’t limit yourself if you want to indulge in color: match your bow tie and cummerbund… even suspenders.

To take the formality down a notch or two, review black tie optional and cocktail attire. These semi-formal dress codes let guests feel slightly more relaxed. Bow tie optional but neckties with dark suits of black, dark grey, or navy still required.

photo credit bagozza via fashionbeans.com

Grooms and rules relaxed in less formal lounge suits.

The lounge suit is the least formal and most misleading. Don’t think pink! It is not the tracksuit with matching zip-up jacket and elastic waist pants. You’re preparing for a wedding ceremony, not a wrestling competition.

This laid-back alternative still consists of smart-fitting trousers, a long-sleeved button-down shirt, and a blazer. The casual style lets you contrast classic colors like navy, black and grey with neutral beige or stone. Cotton twill trousers and no need for a matching jacket let you daydream about a beach, winery or farmhouse wedding. Instead of exactly matching the color of your neckwear (bow tie or necktie) and pocket square, choose complementary shades. You might pair with Derby / Blucher shoes instead of Oxfords.

Still have questions or concerns about what to wear for your winter wedding? Our Facebook page features inspiring photos. Or contact us with details about your celebration and we’ll get back to you with suggestions.

A Suit, A Second Chance at Life

‘We don’t know our own power. We don’t know how amazing we are,’ remarks Gabriel Bristol, a man who went from homelessness to head of a fast-growing customer service provider.

Know a diamond in the rough? Perhaps you overcame personal obstacles and want to give a somebody a second chance at life and a career. Rather than donate money this holiday season, sponsor a job applicant with a suit scholarship. The SF Tailor offers the lowest prices in fully custom suits online and delivers within a month. 

photo credits fox59.com and mediablackoutusa.com

Ted ‘Golden Voice’ Williams, from 2011 homeless radio announcer to 2016 presidential candidate

Smart people with troubled pasts need opportunity. They’re overlooked, so they forget their own value. They lose hope unless they’ve participated in workforce development programs and enterprises like Delancey Street Foundation and Swords to Plowshares, where graduates leave with marketable skills and a future. Charities like St. Anthony’s also try to provide interview and employment apparel — but choices can be limited, especially for clients of larger proportions.

Photo credit michelledubiel.com

Dani Johnson’s past didn’t anchor her.

Tailor made professional wear continue to build confidence for these men and women who want to thrive at work and in their personal lives. Individuals like Dani Johnson have already overcome a significant amount of adversity, and have potential to earn money, truly thrive at their jobs and become self-sufficient.

Cold hard money is what it is.
On the other hand made to measure suits are worn
as we celebrate new beginnings and milestones
like jobs, promotions, and weddings.

Email us if you’re going to present a custom tailored suit to a well-deserving beneficiary. We’d love to read a brief summary of this individual’s triumph over difficulty and what s/he plans to tackle next.

Mixing Patterns & Prints

photo credit trashness.com

Try strong, bold stripes not fat stripes f you have a small frame in particular.

Winning if you’ve reached this level in our Basics for Newly Bespoke series! In this sixth and final section, pattern-mixing will be the most ambitious to master. More risky than matching colors, the rewards add a rich new dimension to your personal style — further elevating your elegance, confidence and influence.

The first rule of pattern and print mixing is express yourself.
Vary the size of the pattern but unify with color.

Keep the Same Pattern
Wear checks with checks, or stripes on stripes BUT vary the size or width of the pattern. Mind your stature when choosing a stripe. Beginners test waters with a navy pinstripe suit and a fine striped shirt. A solid or diagonal striped tie pulls such a powerful look together. Birdseye & nailhead offer equally conservative aesthetics as stripes, yet introduce texture. Pair them with flat textures like solid shirts and ties.

Herringbone‘s distinctive V-shaped weave makes for a far more eye-catching suit as the zigzag pattern picks up light. Made to measure suits in this fabric appear to be a solid color from a distance. Upon closer look, the pattern is readily recognizable and reveals sophistication.

photo credit pinterest.com

The gray color unifies this checkered jacket and striped shirt.

Choose a Recurring Color
The same rules regarding color still apply. Go ahead and check your notes since this isn’t a closed-book quiz!

Remember any monochromatic combination is a safe bet. Pair two colorful prints or patterns with a common color. We’ve chosen a gray checkered jacket and striped shirt to illustrate our point. It’s moderate… yet pushes the envelope for those who work in legal as well as banking and finance.

If you’ve mastered this and your style slightly stagnates, dare to pair stripes and checks in complementary colors. We strongly recommend this ensemble for summer wedding guests: glen check or plaid suit, blue gingham shirt, even the woven orange tie has a checkered texture.

photo credit suitupdressup.wordpress.com

Advanced pattern & color mixing: gingham shirt plus tie & pocket square accentuate blue & orange in suit.

photo credit suitupdressup.wordpress.comTry Mixing Three Patterns: All patterns or prints should be relatively close in size. Proportions matter. Attempt the above look but pair with a silk striped necktie instead of a solid textured one. Alternatively select two elements like a violet & white polka dot tie and a lilac gingham shirt, and wed them with a brown pinstripe suit. The patterns achieve fashion zen based on a split-complementary color code.

Matching Colors Maximizes ROI

In business, there’s a lot to be said for understated elegance. Clothes ought to make you look smart and increase your professional credibility. In part 5 of 6 in the Basics for Newly Bespoke, we’ll show you how matching colors can maximize the ROI on custom made suits.

photo credit shibumi-berlin.comStick to the same color family BUT change the shades for a more subtle look. A monochromatic look lengthens people with shorter dimensions; just don’t choose black because you’ll seem shorter.

Slightly more daring are analogous colors, giving you room to experiment. You may be surprised to learn how classic bordeaux and blue is. A subconscious visual effect blends these colors so people almost sense a decadent purple and they feel at ease. This versatile combination is great with brown or black shoes. The vibrancy of burgundy is a nice lift for cold winter months when we feel blue and gray.

photo credit pinterest.com

Choose complements. A bold orange tie against this blue suit creates a focal point , so you cannot be ignored.

When you choose opposites or complementary colors, people actually feel at harmony and experience a wealth of choice and creative opportunity. Employ this strategy to call attention to layers and complexity to your wardrobe. Remain classy without boredom.

Split-complementary is a minor variation. Instead of choosing two colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel, select three colors — one color and two more colors that neighbor the direct opposite. The resulting ensemble is more visual interesting without disturbing the peace.

On the other hand a triadic selection stimulates a strong visual contrast. Choosing three colors equally distant on the wheel still retains a balance eyes and minds crave.

Tetradic is the most challenging color strategy. Rarely executed well, it can look noisy because two sets of complementary colors are employed — not just one! Pick a dominant color. This alpha – color subdues the rest and speaks volumes about your leadership, not confusion.

A word of warning: black is too stark for day wear. Further it can make people of smaller stature seem shorter. Brown is more casual, and not appropriate for mainstream business environments. Apart from these boundaries, you have a wide array of colors to shape your personal style from.

Fine Fashion Pairings: Shirts & Ties

Following Part 1 (intro) 2 (measurements) and 3 (styles) we pair shirts and ties in Part 4 of what you need to know if you’re new to bespoke suits online: Every professional wardrobe ought to have a classic white dress shirt and a blue oxford shirt. Beyond that, take calculated risks and let your confidence shine through your unique pairing of shirts and ties. For instance CHUNKY ties, not skinny ties, now suggest a more youthful look. Meanwhile knit ties, slightly retro and becoming popular again, are casual.

When you walk into a room, your shirt and tie are a powerful focal point.
So how do you ante up? Got a license to kill in your shirt & tie?

Photo credit lookastic.comWe chose single-breasted jackets because they’re versatile, so you can focus on color combos. Use a color wheel if you’re a maverick at matching solid colors. The tie should be richer in color than the shirt. When it effectively creates a nice contrast, it draws positive attention to your face. Good eye contact leads to better communication.

Next, experiment with a polka dot tie against a standard blue shirt — or vice versa as Joseph Gordon-Levitt sports this marine blue satin tie against a sea of white and burgundy. Blue and red make a classic (complementary) color combo especially in winter, when everybody else wears gray and black.

Should you choose a stripped or patterned tie, the key is to match the color of your shirt with a color in that pattern. We like this particular example for its versatility with a blue or white shirt.

photo credit pinterest.comAccent your fashion with striped and checkered shirts. These patterns aren’t classics per se, but most have one or two of these shirts in their closet. Blue stripes are the most common.

Right photo: We’ve chosen a lilac stripped shirt to highlight the same light purple color in the necktie. Keep patterns minimal till you’ve mastered patterns. We’ll talk more about prints in part 5. Note how the brushed steel tie clip brings the tie and light gray suit together. The length of the clip should be 3/4 the width of the tie.

Close up, a micro polka dot printed tie may seem busy against a slate gray striped shirt. Standing at a respectful distance of personal space, the tie seems black and the combo pays off well for bankers and lawyers with a moderate flare for fashion.

Looking to better understand what your dress shirt implicitly says about your ambition and character? Learn how a custom made shirt can make a positive impression and impact your future.

Styles that Fit your Figure

In part 3 let’s consider what style of made to measure suit compliments your body type and personal taste. If you need to revisit earlier segments, here are part 1 (advantages to personally tailored clothes) and part 2 (accurate measurements).

photo credit squarespace.com

Debate: single vent (left) versus double vent (right)

Single- or Double-breasted Jacket
with Single or Double Vents  

Single-breasted jackets with 2 buttons are common but taller men may prefer 3 buttonsBTW never button the last button!  A double-breasted jacket with six buttons might help you appear slimmer… but it can make short men look stocky or husky. Classic American style often features single vents, while classic English style features two side vents (Tuxedos have no vents, but The SF Tailor can vent them if you specify in your order.) Double vents have become popular in fully customizable suits among our American clientele. 

photo credit gurjotnewyork.com

notched lapels (left) v peaked lapels (right)

Peaked or Notched Lapels
Peaked lapels are considered more elegant than notched lapels. They appear to have longer lines and thus create a visual effect that draws attention to your face. If you stand shorter than 6’0 adding height can subconsciously increase your power and influence.

Double-breasted suits should have peaked lapels. Want notched lapels? We can accommodate your request.

Two- or Three-piece Suits
Jacket and trousers comprise the common business suit. The two-piece suit is the unspoken uniform from entry-level professionals to C-suite execs in finance, law and white collar jobs. It’s versatile to suit up the diversity of body shapes. It’s even popular from less formal weddings to vow renewal ceremonies.

photo credit tumblr.com

almost right: back should be slightly longer than the front

The addition of a waistcoat or vest makes it a more formal three-piece suit. Museum curators or university deans seem more likely to wear them. No surprise this preppy look flatters the leaner body type of scholars.

Pants or Trousers
The ‘right length’ means the waistline rests at your natural waist and the hem breaks atop your shoes. See the photo on right.

We didn’t tailor these made to measure trousers. If we did, we prefer the back of the pants to sit slightly lower than this photo shows — and just above your heels.

classic vs cutaway collarShirt
You can find shirts with a traditional collar much more easily, while a more formal cutaway collar draws more attention to your necktie or larger bow tie. The more modern cutaway looks fabulous with a full- or half- Windsor knot. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart!

Vest or Waistcoat
This optional element fits perfectly when it sits at the waistband, and thus conceals the tucked in shirt. Like the single-breasted jacket, the single-breasted vest is simple and popular. Got bravado or swagger? The double-breasted waistcoat requires it. A matching three-piece suit suggests a more formal look.

The SF Tailor specializes in fully customizable business clothes. With precise measurements and styling details that compliment your body shape, present yourself and your work with pride.