Some of you may remember that back in January I travelled to New York in a mad 18 hour blitz
to be measured for a suit from Imparali Custom Tailors
. It's even possible that some of you have been awaiting a report on the results of that suit. After an embaraasingly long peroid of feet dragging on my part, here it is:
The short answer is this: I entered into this endeavor hoping for the perfect charcoal grey suit, and that's exactly what I got. It's a conservative, well-cut suit made of good fabric that compliments my build and contains all of the little details I asked for executed exactly. It is a garment that I should be able to wear for many years to come, which is exactly what you'd want from a custom suit. Bravo Imparali!
Visitors to the Top Shelf Flea saw it on its maiden voyage, Today was it's second outing, and I have to say I only like it better than I did the first time. It needs a few very minor tweaks, but overall it's spot on.
When worn in full with the vest, it's likely that I will rarely button the jacket. When closed, the jacket fits like a dream. The shoulders are natural and barely padded (just like I asked for) the front is un-darted, yet still has some shape in the waist (just like I asked for). It has a soft 3/2 roll, and the center button is placed a bit high, which is how I like to wear it. The sleeve length could be touched up a hair, but I have a good guy in town for that. The lapels are whiff narrow, but that's really only nitpicking. I mentioned to Matt that I will probably wear this with brown shoes as often, if not more often, than with black, so boinus points for the use of smoke grey buttons. Clearly a great deal of attention has been paid to detail here.
Vests can be hard for me as I often find them to be cut too short or too tight to meet the trousers cleanly. Not so here. The vest fits closely without being constricting. It has a five button front closing just high enough and long enough to meet the trousers without showing any waistband.
The trousers sit on my natural waist (just like I asked for). They're cut in a very flattering style for me, relatively full but with a nice taper and little break. This cut accomodates both my large thighs and relatively short inseam. This is not something I asked for specifically, but a wise choice on the part of Matt and his team. Brace buttons are placed perfectly.
So let's talk minute details. Besides a better fit and personal choice of fabrics, one of the benefits of custom clothing is the freedom to choose one's own options. This can be a blessing and a curse, as the rookie is likely to drench the garment in so many details and tweaks as to mark the garment as the property of a rube. I myself was guilty of this in my both my Freshman
outings into the world of custom clothes. To my own credit, I believe I manged to tone it down here while retaining just enough flourish to make the suit feel special. I went for a slightly unconventional combination of East Coast Tarditional and English details that really speaks to my own personal style.
I was fairly insistent on a natural shoulder. What they delivered was just that, in a modern way. Sloping and soft with just a touch of padding. Note how well the collar of the coat hugs my shirt collar, an essential detail. Lapel gorge is good, right in line with the shirt collar, and the slight angle of the breast pocket ain't bad neither.
A good looking 3/2 roll...
Matt did raise and eyebrow when I insisted that the jacket have no darts. But he did it. Note how the center button sits well above the line of the pockets. Not for everyone, but perfect for me.
Nicely made four button surgeon cuffs...
Buckle side tabs, sans belt loops...
Elasitc strips in the waistband to keep the shirt tucked in...
Forward pleats, a tab closure and a brass zipper finish the job. The waist could come in a pinch, but I suppose that's intentional. There is also plenty cloth to let out. I'm not sure I appreciate the assumption here, but I feel certain I'll be thankful for the extra cloth years on.
The whole rig looked pretty killing with an old Brooks Brothers blue stripe shirt with contrast club collar and a Macclesfield tie I picked up for $1.99 months ago and haven't been able to wear yet.
This suit was ready for pick-up five weeks after my initial fitting. Matt was fairly insistent I pick it up in person, as he wanted to have his own staff perform the alterations. After nearly teo months, I informed him that a trip to New York wasn't a possibility any time soon, and he gladly mailed it to me. This suit costs just shy of $1000. As a function of the level of service and attention I received, the quality and variety of fabrics available, turn around time and overall quality of the garment and fulfillment to the letter of my requests, I'd say that's pretty damn good. Imparali Csutom Tailors is the perfect starting point for any guy looking to try custom, leagues better than online, measure yourself sites. If you're near New York, or visit there at least twice a year, give these guys a try.
In closing, let me say this. You all know that I am both a cheapskate and a second-hand master. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's rare that I am the first owner of anything I have, let alone that I have something actually made for me (with my name in it even!) Thank you Matt and Imparali Custom Tailors, for letting me have something new for once.