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.

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.

Basics for Newly Bespoke Ladies & Gents

photo credit todayschristianwoman.comIt’s September & while some are back in school, you — recent graduate — are beginning to climb the corporate ladder. Good luck, we’re here with you every step of the way!

In part 1 of 6 entries explaining the basics of tailored made clothing, we discuss 5 advantages of buying custom made suits for men and women:

1) Set your own tone: Others will take notice as your made to measure suit testifies to your attention to detail, creativity and discernment. Readymade suits rarely fit well and often need alterations, which may not leave you completely satisfied. Mass manufactured apparel doesn’t account for the asymmetry of your body. They actually call attention to a hip that’s higher than the other, or one arm longer.

2) Get the perfect fit: Tailor made professional wear will fit you so well that you’ll feel confident. Be content knowing your suit expresses yourself and it looks good. Garments are made from your exact measures. Our tailors even leave a small margin in case you gain or shed some weight in the near future. Your fit isn’t affected dramatically. This is a serious advantage over department store drones.

distinctions

The devil is in the details, from button holes & button thread color to stitches to monograms.

3) Define specifications and distinctions: Style your suit according to your taste and preference. Don’t settle for an off-the-rack suit that’s flawless in design, but in a color and/or fabric you don’t like. Worse yet, you find a superior quality fabric in your color — but the style doesn’t flatter your body type. It’s almost impossible to find the perfect combination of design, color and fit. But ordering custom made suits online easily overcomes this trifecta!

4) Less hassle: When we deliver your made to measure garments to your door in a month, you won’t need to have them altered. Bespoke clothes certainly save you time and effort, so claim that prize for time management and efficiency expertise.

5) Quality modern tailoring at an accessible price: Expect a fully customizable suit to your liking since you call all the shots including the price tag. A la carte extras let you to make elegance and luxury as affordable as you want.

If you dress for the position you want, tailor made suits have a huge competitive advantage over off-the-rack office wear. Now that you’re eager to express yourself, let’s move on to measurements and making certain your suit fits in part 2.

photo credit everyguyed.com

Dress for the job you want during interviews and daily. Will department store drones put you at a disadvantage?

Dapper but Not Disabled

photo credit trustedpartner.comDear SF Tailor,

 

After a car accident, I faced several physical challenges and depression. With the support of family and friends, I focused on surviving. And as long as I’ve had my wheelchair, I’ve known what I’m capable of doing — but other people don’t know til they get to know me.

This summer the only disappointment from my internship was suiting up for work. It was first time I had to wear professional clothes, which didn’t fit me well. I felt self-conscious. I want to look good and I want people to look at my wardrobe, not my wheelchair.  

After I cross the graduation stage this December, I want to look as confident as I feel during job interviews and on the job. — Dapper but Not Disabled in Denver

Dear Dapper but Not Disabled in Denver,

First, thanks for contacting us. We’re inspired by the obstacles you’ve overcome during physical recovery.

Second, congrats on graduation! Don’t be anxious about interviews. We are happy to custom tailor a suit, so you make a great first impression — and always look your best. Since fit and proportion is critical, measurements should be taken in your chair, not lying down. Then you can use our online tools to customize your 2-piece bespoke suit.

Your body may be beyond your control, but your sense of style isn’t. In fact it becomes more meaningful and essential in retaining your dignity. — Fiona Jarvis

Here are 4 style hacks to draw eyes to your face, so people focus on what you say:

    • Trousers with broad cuffs demonstrate your attention to detail.
      Ignoring your ankles can suggest you’re sloppy and inattentive. Because you haven’t always used a wheelchair, note that sitting trousers are 3-4 inches longer than standard trousers. So you may want to add 3 inches to a previous length of up to 31 inches, 4 inches for a previous length of 33 inches or longer.
    • A vest or waistcoat can hide your waistline, showing off a broad chest and shoulders.
      These physical assets project strength and confidence.

Embrace who you are. Be comfortable with your character. Job applicants tailor their talking points to their skills, talents and potential. By law interviewers cannot ask you about your disability. Why not impress them and bring a functional disability statement; the American Foundation for the Blind recommends these tips.

Again we appreciate the privilege to dress you. Good luck with the job search!

— The SF Tailor

Fall 2015: Runway Couture to Office Corridor

Fall 2015 is here, so let’s review our notes from February and the front row of New York Fashion Week. As always look polished and put together — even if you don’t have a team of personal stylists following you.

photo credit fashionedits.comBedazzled, Bejeweled Blazers
A well-fit suit jacket (especially in a deep charcoal grey) remains an office staple, i.e. classic. Designers introduced slits, jewels and floral patterns to put off thoughts of winter’s drab dark colors. Just beware how bedazzled your blazer looks in the office. Work in a more under-stated, minimalist environment? Add bling via accessories from rings and clutches to lapel pins and pocket squares.

Vive la France! Skinny (Pants) Banned
In April, France banned ultra thin, super skinny models to discourage anorexia. We support this revolution. Designers united to emphasize relaxed-fitting women’s trousers besides wide-legged, free-flowing pants (but not quite bell-bottoms). In spite of taking inspiration from menswear, bold feminine colors like brown, red and cream dominated more than a handful of collections.

Trench Coat Still Vogue, Now in Chic Colors
Like suit jackets, the trench coat never seems to go out of style. It’s light weight is appropriate for mild autumn temperatures from San Francisco to New York City. Taking a cue from Mother Nature, look for falling folliage / leafy tones like brown, orange and tan… or dare to wear chalk, a derivative of white.

A ‘truly unisex color palette’ has emerged, but your friends at The SF Tailor maintain a tradition of high quality clothes made to your measurements. Leave boxy, mass produced suits hanging on racks at the department stores. Personalize your professional wear as your preview our catalog of light-weight fabrics.

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.

I Don’t Have Anything to Wear!

“I don’t have anything to wear!” a new client confessed to The SF Tailor. We custom tailored a navy suit for him a year ago, so we understood what he meant: He didn’t have anything he wanted to wear, and he was in a fashion slump. Here are 6 suit combinations to get you out of a streak of stale style:

photo credit mensstylepro.com

Khaki Jacket and Navy Chinos
If the navy sport coat and khaki chinos combo is your go-to look, flip it on its head. A chambray or pastel colored shirt is an office essential… whereas a light blue polo shirt softens the look for a semi-casual weekend brunch.

photo credit lookastic.com

Gray Jacket and Gray Trousers
This powerful look has potential to bore. So experiment with texture and color. A white dress shirt and a bold colored tie can set off a dark gray monochrome suit. Select a subtly patterned shirt like a pink herringbone and/or tie to insert extra visual interest.

Patterned Jacket and Gray Trousers
If 2. is too understated, mix up your style with a little pattern and print. Use a blue oxford shirt to ground such a bold and electric look.

photo credit picvpic.com

Gray Jacket and Black Chinos
This is a fantastic go-to look. For work, pair with a solid or striped shirt. Got a date? We prefer a black polo shirt, but sometimes choose a breton stripe tee for a whimsical youthful weekend.

photo credit articlesofstyle.com

Khaki Suit and Chambray Shirt
Hot temps make the khaki suit a staple in any wardrobe. Don’t forget to wear it to the office, not only on Saturdays and Sundays. For increased formality, employ darker shirts like a dark green one to bridge you from summer to fall. For more frivolity, we like the geary checks pattern and a tie of a complementary color.

photo credit thesftailor.comPlaid Suit
plaid suit allows you to be subtle or refuse to be ignored. It’s a good alternative to a pinstripe suit, especially if you frequently attend networking events. A single-breasted jacket is versatile. Dress down with a T-shirt or black hoodie for a modern take. Similar designers suits have a $2000 price tag.

Pictured right, a double-breasted jacket means business. The cut is formal, and looks smart with a black shirt rather than a white oxford shirt. A solid color tie minimizes your statement, while a diagonal stripe pattern emboldens it.

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.

Coming Attractions: Fall 2015

We can’t get enough sun and summer dress shirts… but that’s not stopping us from previewing Fall 2015 and its coming attractions.

photo credit pinterest.comGREEN is the new brown.
Pair it with navy, black or brown. Army green is our diplomatic compromise in the cold war between summer’s bright colors and winter’s dark hues. If a whole suit seems too trendy or bold — or if t reminds you of Duck Dynasty — we have some workable alternatives:

Mix a jacket with tweed trousers or vice-versa, a custom-made tweed jacket with green tailored trousers. Broker power with a green dress shirt under a black suit. A tie (and pocket square) in this color upgrades your classic, conservative suit to contemporary.

Go the WHOLE nine yards in print.
From Alexander Wang to Valentino, suits are in full effect: jacket, trousers, even the shirt are the same pattern.Too much awesome for you?  Order a bespoke 3-piece suit: jacket, vest or waistcoat, and trousers.    

photo credit fashionbeans.comDouble down on outerwear.
Despite our home base in California, San Francisco has a surprisingly mild climate. Temps only spike in September and October. So we have a big collection of outerwear, and enthusiastically embrace this trend.

We love the look (and psychological security) of a Levi’s denim jacket… under a tailor-made wool coat. Keep looking polished and professional during your commute, yet prepared for a casual happy hour or coffee-date with your comrades.

Preview our catalog of light-weight fabrics to design your own one-of-a-kind jacket as well. We particularly like rich, complex patterns under those dark, long coats.

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. Preview our gallery for inspiring ideas to design your own custom-made clothes for women and men.