Tag Archives: trouser

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Do your Clothes Suit your Body Shape?

Typically women talk about body shapes — there are seven! — and how to dress each one best. However men shouldn’t remain ignorant about their shapes as well. Fortunately there are only three male body types to consider, from left to right: lean and lanky, moderate and fit, heavy and stout.

photo credit goodstuff.tv

The lean and lanky ectomorph usually has small joints, lean muscles, and somewhat tall. Add bulk to this shape by wearing jackets with padded shoulders. The visual effect is broader shoulders and a fuller chest. Jackets as long as your hip and slim fitting shirts are great. Anything longer or baggier will make you look thinner. Try contrasting bold colors to break-up your long lines.

Moderate and fit mesomorph guys look athletic. They have a large bone structure and muscles. Shoulders are wider than hips, creating an inverted (upside-down) triangle. Jackets as long as your hip or mid-thigh give your shape some balance. Shirts and jackets with wider shoulders but a narrow waist will compliment your fit form. You may have a small waist, so wear straight or wider leg trousers to broaden your lower half.  NO baggy clothing!

The heavy and stout endomorph shape is solid and generally soft. De-emphasize the top-heavy torso with simple styled shirts and jackets. Jackets with shoulder pads bring attention upward and create long slim-looking lines. Single color or similar tones also do this. Choose trousers that are trim, but not tight. Avoid trousers pleated in front.

The SF Tailor created this double-breasted suit jacket for a heavy and stout client. The cut removes focus from a larger than average midsection, and in fact produces a slimming visual effect. Thin vertical lines in the fabric also suggest longer and leaner.

Contact us if you don’t know your body shape and need a quick consultation. Then get your measurements from a local alterations tailor, before your design your very own custom made suit. 

Answers to Most Googled Fashion Questions

No surprise Google tracks all fashion and beauty queries. As an online custom tailor, your friends here at The SF Tailor have answers to prevent headaches PLUS save you time and money.

photo credit etsy.comWhat to wear to a wedding? It depends.

Remember these puzzles and wearing these glasses to decode the mystery message?
Our entry ‘What to wear to a wedding that’s where?’ explains which suits are acceptable for city, country or beach events
. If the event is more formal, skim ‘Decoded: Formal Wedding Attire’ for a quick understanding of tuxedos and phrases like black tie, black tie optional and cocktail attire

What to wear to an interview? A suit that compliments your physique and personality.

Start with a well-tailored two-piece suit for men or women, remembering these 7 essential details. Got special requests? Let us know. We’ve helped suit up job candidates who are differently abled, besides men who are taller or shorter than average. We haven’t overlooked the styling needs of petite women in suits either. Win BIG in the interviews, and then let a casual or formal workplace determine your daily look.

photo credit pinimg.comWhat to wear on a first date?
Put some thought into your selection. Impress but don’t intimidate. Confidence equally attracts women and men.

On women, a suit jacket or blazer implies power — not pushover — but your casual look says playful. Complete your statement with thoughtfully chosen shoes, handbag and accessories.

On men, a jacket is a hint of how well you clean up when you must wear a full suit. You can pair it with (1) a dress shirt, but no tie (2) a t-shirt with a crew neck or V-neck (3) even a polo shirt. We prefer to wear jeans, but khaki-colored trousers hit the beach too. Before you leave the house, ask a good, honest friend if you fail the douchebag test.


What color matches brown?
 Everything even navy and black.

For Spring / Summer months, we like a lighter monochromatic palate. In other words, choose different shades of brown. The jacket on the right is made from a light-weight fabric as well. Come Autumn / Winter seasons, the heavy tweed fabric made from wool will return. We especially love the rich, complex patterns that feature darker and lighter shades of brown.

photo credit mens-fashion.lovetoknow.com

We love San Francisco because our neighbors hail from around the world. 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 or men.