Category Archives: tailored tuxedo

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.

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.

Made to Measure Fits the Best

Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing.
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.” – Charles Bukowski

Know thyself to make certain your custom made clothing fits as well as possible. In other words, get accurate measurements. In part 2 in this series of Basics for Newly Bespoke, we cover the measurements you need to order a tailored made suit. Simply knowing your height isn’t enough.

Print the measurements page before visiting a local alterations service to get your profile in minutes.

Hips lie below the waist, stomach above.

Waist: Wearing only boxers or briefs — measure your natural waistline, or the narrowest part of the torso. For most it is at the same height as the belly button (but it may be above the navel for people with long upper torsos). Your weight can change so keep one finger between the measuring tape & your body. In contrast stomach size is the widest part of your abdomen and hip size is the widest part below the waist.

Crotch: Anchor the tape at the center of your back at your waist. Run the tape between your legs, pulling comfortably at the crotch, and up to your natural waist in front. This should not fit as snuggly as a jock strap! The tape should be at the same level, front and back. In contrast thigh size measures the widest part of your upper leg.

Pant length: Without your shoes and standing on a hard floor (not a carpet or rug) hold the tape from the waist to approximately an inch above the floor.

Our website tools help you find the right shirt length.

Jacket / shirt length: See image left. Relax your arms at your sides and measure from the highest part of your shoulder, or the point next to the shirt collar, to the tip of your thumb. The tape must pass through the center of the chest. If your legs are shorter, slightly reduce the length of your jacket.

Sleeve length is the distance from one shoulder inseam down the arm to the thumb bone. Bicep size is the measurement from the widest part of your bicep muscle. Wrist size is taken when the tape is wrapped around a wrist with a finger between your body and the tape.

Shoulder width: Extend tape from one sleeve inseam to the other, along the lowest part of the shirt’s neck. In contrast measure your chest from under your arms and around the fullest part of your chest.

Breathe easily by inserting one or two fingers between your neck and the tape.

Neck Size: Keep the tape slightly loose around the middle of your neck (at the Adam’s apple). By loose, we mean insert one or two fingers between your neck and the tape.

Your body can change especially if you are doing cross-fit or extreme fitness training. If so, visit a local alterations service to get re-measured every 6-12 months.

Trust model shots or lookbooks for styles, not examples of how clothes will fit because expert use of a bulldog clip guarantees a perfect fit all the time! Part 3 will cover styles that fit your figure.

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Wedding Suit Shopping

photo credit cloudfront.netTo celebrate National Bow Tie Day and National Dog Day, The SF Tailor explains 5 things nobody tells you about wedding suit shopping:

1. Comfort reveals confidence.
Custom made suits or personalized tuxedos are made to your measurements and they’re yours to keep, not return to a rental shop. You need to feel your natural self in it. Plus our tailors leave enough room so you can dance, especially if your  guest’s video goes viral!

2. Most suits and tuxedos look good on hangers.
Factory produced suits don’t take into consideration the asymmetry of the wearer’s body. Most men have one shoulder that’s higher than the other, or one leg that’s longer. Alterations are typically needed even if you buy off the rack.

3. The best time to order is anytime.
Ordering bespoke formal wear online ensures you have a more personalized experience — anytime you want and from anywhere. Weekends are the busiest times at grooms’ lounges and bespoke brick and mortars, so you either feel rushed or play foosball while you wait for your measurements to be taken. Life is short. Why are you worried about finding parking, or when the meter maid will ticket your vehicle?

4. You can negotiate prices.
A tailor-made suit and tuxedo doesn’t need to break the bank. We offer the lowest prices in fully customizable suits and tuxes online. From there, you can choose specific distinctions in regards to lining, button thread color, and stitching. We make elegance is affordable… so you can use the cost savings on other wedding expenses, your honeymoon, or your new home.

5. You deserve convenience.
If you have accurate measurements and place your order, we can deliver your bespoke suit or tux to your door in 3-4 weeks. (You can visit a local alterations service to get measurements in 10-15 minutes.) Other tailors schedule 2 or 3 one-hour fittings and then they expect you to pick-up your order in 8-10 weeks later. Again life is short. Focus on your fiance, family and man’s best friend instead of this project!

photo credit junebugweddings.com

The Shortlist Strategy

photo credit trnedhunterstatic.com

You want to make the shortlist when you’re nominated for an Academy Award or jockeying for a job promotion. However if you stand under 6 foot tall, you’re still in remarkably successful company from Michael J. Fox to George Clooney. The SF Tailor offers 4 tips to tailor suits to smaller measurements and change public perception of your stature, so you stand tall and proud.

Women interested in custom made suits should consider these specific suggestions.

photo credit cdnds.netSelect a Single Color Scheme
Choose a monochrome color palette, but vary shades of the same color to create an illusion of height: the darker, the better. Light shades for your top half draw eyes up, dark ones for your lower torso lengthen. BEWARE: black shortens you like this scene from Mission Impossible. Custom camel color coats or bespoke blue tuxedos are handsome and impressive alternatives.

Wear Trousers at your Waist
Weekend and leisure sportswear might have you sagging your pants… but trust us, wear trousers at your natural waistline. Consider a smaller trouser rise too. That distance from the middle of the crotch seam to the top of the waistband will make your legs will look longer.

Button and Bulk up your Better Half
If you exercise and have built up your shoulders, this calls attention to your top half. Keep your suit jacket buttoned — but not the last button! — streamlines your look. You appear slimmer and taller when your chest looks bigger and your waist smaller. Make sure your top button is above your navel (bellybutton), and think about a shorter cut jacket. This earlier entry provides more info on showing off your muscles when suiting up.

photo credit hesinvogue.com

RDJ: a tall drink of water as Sherlock Holmes or Iron Man Tony Stark. Note: Jacket buttoned and above the navel. Trousers rest at his waistline, and accessories (sunglasses & bow tie, hap, lapel pin) draw eyes to his face.

Cuff Shirt Sleeves, and Keep Hems at your Hip
We’re creating beneficial optical illusions. So despite the weather, a long-sleeved shirt with rolled cuffs makes your arms (and body) seem longer. Tuck in that button down shirt to use that waistline to your advantage. When wearing un-tucked shirts, keep hemlines at your hipbone. Longer shirts remind us of girlfriends in nightshirts… not the professional look you envisioned, right?

Quick and simple: avoid focusing attention below your chest. Avoid drawing attention to big watches, belts or shoes. Make simpler, darker choices for your lower torso.

3 Ways you Relate to our Customers

When some people first hear about The SF Tailor, they’re surprised: If you’re younger than age 35 and used to shopping at department stores, you’re used to trying on several jackets and pants. You pray to find two pieces that fit your body shape, are the same color, and don’t max out your credit card.

Before visiting TheSFtailor.com, our customers never imagined buying a suit could be so easy!

Young professionals frequently seek us out for the following reasons:

photo credit thesftailor.com(1) College students & recent grads want a solid color suit for first interviews and first jobs.

From economists to entry-level engineers, med students to mid-level managers, our tailor-made clothes are comfortable for infrequent suit wearers. Single-breasted, straight-waist jackets are common — but you can still express your personality through distinctions. Our turnaround time is roughly 3 weeks, pretty fast compared to machine-made, ill-fitting suits from department stores.

(2) Finance majors and salespeople usually suit up daily.
Until you earn C-level salaries and larger commissions, we specialize in bespoke suits for men and women at affordable prices. Online competitors typically charge $500-1000 per suit. That’s more than twice our price — since they’re opening permanent showrooms.

(3) Both infrequent and daily suit wearers attend special occasions as grooms, groomsmen or guests. Our blog explains a variety of formal wedding wear men and women may choose to celebrate milestones. Familiar with the comfort of our daily custom made suits, our clientele return to us for tuxedos. We are pleased to offer elegance at an accessible price.

photo credit businessinsider.comTake 5-10 minutes to get measured from a local alterations service. Then fully customize your suit from our wide range of colors, fabrics, and styles.

P.S. Send the SF Tailor your measurements and a photo to order one-of-a-kind suits. We recreated a red carpett James Bond film premiere look for a costume party. Recently we were contacted about a Heath Ledger Joker suit.

Top 3 Mistakes Groom, Groomsmen Must Avoid

photo credit pinimg.com

At one time or another, we all wanted to marry Superman… but we never thought he’d wear his superhero costume to the wedding ceremony.

To save your wedding day, the San Francisco Tailor comes to the rescue as we ask and answer:

What are the most common suit and tuxedo mistakes? How can I avoid them?

First, don’t rent your tux. Rental tuxedos are like bowling alley shoes and/or roller skates. They can look really worn out. For about the same price, order and own a custom made tuxedo. We deliver the bespoke clothing to your door for your convenience — in as fast as three weeks. By no means should you wait til the last minute, and then face the wrath of Bridezilla!

Second, know your size. It’s difficult to find a good fit in stores. That’s a major reason we founded our online tailoring firm. Visit a neighborhood alterations service — perhaps at your dry cleaner — and in minutes you’ll know your measurements. When you try on the jacket, shoulders should be close to the body but not constricting. When your arms are at your side, sleeves ought to be long enough to show a quarter-inch to a half-inch of shirt cuff. Moreover, the overall jacket length should end at the base of your thumbs, not fingertips.

Third, choose a stylish yet classic tuxedo or suit. Light or charcoal (dark) grey, midnight blue, navy or black always seem sophisticated. Avoid unique or crazy colors… that could take attention away from the bride on her day. (With her permission?) The groom and his entourage can spice up their look with shawl collar tuxes, suspenders, bow ties or accessories.

If you like fashion trends, ladies can’t have all the fun with mismatched bridesmaid dresses. Read up on mismatched suits for groomsmen. After the wedding, your best men can confidently and comfortably wear the suits to individual job interviews, work, power meetings or networking events — and certainly know your moral support is with them.

Since 2010 the SF Tailor has customized tuxedos and suits so you look your best… because you never know where you might meet your significant other or your next employer!

photo credit brides.com

Stripe or Solid Suits

We’re celebrating National Flag Day, 14 June, with a tribute to stripe or solid suits for men and women.

Wear solid suits to interviews for your earliest jobs or internships. Your go-to suit shouldn’t draw much attention. Your interviewer wants to focus on your answers, not attire. Navy, charcoal (medium grey) or light grey is suitable for daily office wear. These colors are essential to your wardrobe. Add variation with shirts, ties and especially shoes.

Just as soldiers earn their stripes, working professionals earn their pinstripe suits. The versatility of striped suits sets you apart from rank-and-file employees. Cosmopolitan city dwellers from New York to Boston to Chicago also love the confidence the stripes connote.

Certain professions associate with the power of pinstripes include the banking and finance industry… but it’s not exclusive. Anybody from business people, doctors, attorneys, real estate agents who collaborates with upscale clients can rely on pinstripes to make a memorable impression.

* If you attend a lot of networking events, don’t forget to wear your solid suits too. You don’t want people to think the pinstripe is the only suit in your closet!

What to wear with pinstripes Be careful about stripes in your tie or shirt. Bold personalities can rock multiple stripes — but too many stripes, especially with the same distance between the stripes, looks too calculated… You know what we mean?

Mixing and matching It’s harder to wear a pinstripe jacket and trousers separately, but you can show some flexibility in less formal settings. For some variation to your daily look, pair a navy jacket with pinstripe pants… make sure the hue (or color) match. We’ve experimented with a solid charcoal jacket and trousers with charcoal pinstripes.

A note about tuxedos Why would you want to have black tie? Technically, a tuxedo is a solid suit. If you wear suits every day (and own enough) — you’re most likely have the opportunity to wear a black tie at least once or twice a year. This past blog entry takes explains formal attire.

Menswear for Women

photo credit fmaurer.netAny recruiter advises job candidates to be themselves during an interview. After all you only get one chance to make a first impression. What does this mean for women who prefer menswear?

Men and women who have bought off-the-rack suits from the men’s section of a department store know how uncomfortable and pricey they are.

Whether or not you ID yourself as a lesbian or trans-masculine person, women with a strong sense of self worth can make bolder choices in clothing now — more than any other time in history.

So where do you begin the process to truly express yourself?

Check our online advice regarding measurements. Visit a local alterations service to get your custom measurements in minutes (and typically for free). Then configure your suit to your very own specifications! We offer a wide range of fabric and lining for suits alone… and even more choices for shirting fabrics.

If this is your first made-to-measure suit, you cannot help but be enthusiastic.

Equality in fashion: Alyson White, best men, looking sharp.

Actually our clientele enjoy the confidence and comfort of their custom made orders, that women have returned to us for personalized tuxedos for weddings. Young women are feeling free to wear suit up for high school proms and sorority formals as well.

Unfortunately it’s 2015 and even tailors are still uncomfortable working with women.

However The SF Tailor established itself in 2010 after we also experienced poor-fitting, yet expensive suits that reinforce sexual stereotypes. 

Need inspiration? Preview our gallery of custom-made clothes for women and men. Better yet, we’re a cut apart from the competition because clients send us photos and requests for the ultimate in personalized clothing.