An article in The Wall Street Journal this week claims that the modern revolution in suiting means a man’s first suit no longer has to be a poor quality affair.
Thanks to the “democratization of fashion,” and the fact that companies are increasingly producing their suits overseas (while continuing to use the finest Italian and British cloths), an affordable suit is no longer a “regrettable” suit.
A Suit That Fits, which opened its first New York studio in 2013, couldn’t agree more.
A man’s first suit: no longer terrible
There once was a time when a man’s first suit was a cheap, low-quality affair. John Ortved in The Wall Street Journal calls it the “entry level suit,” the kind of suit you buy in an emergency when you get your first job.
Whereas in the past mature men who’d earned their stripes in business were likely to want an Armani or a Zegna suit, those starting out in the world of business had to make do with a cheap suit, most likely with a questionable fit.
Those days are no more.
The new custom tailors
Today, new custom tailoring companies like A Suit That Fits are sourcing fine cloths and producing suits in Asia so that men starting out in places like New York can afford quality garments with an excellent fit and perfect finish.
A Suit That Fits, for instance, sources cloths from brands such as Loro Piana, Valentino, Cerruti, Campore, and Vitale Barberis Canonico.
What this means is that you get both an affordable and a quality suit. As Mr. Ortved points out, the new custom tailoring firms “have invested in fine Italian wools, slimmer cuts and refined construction to produce moderately priced suits that offer men something similar to, and occasionally indistinguishable from, their upscale counterparts.”
“The democratization of fashion”
Mr. Ortved cites Jim Moore, creative director of GQ as saying that the new custom tailors are part of a movement he calls the “democratization of fashion.”
This democratization has taken place on both the “buying” and the “selling” ends of the market: It can be seen in the increasing patronage of high-quality mills by affordable custom tailors, and in the increasing interest in (and knowledge of) custom tailoring on the part of middle class, lower-middle class and working class consumers.
What results from this is a much wider accessibility of traditional styles and high-quality products. Today, high-quality fabrics and slimmer cuts are reaching more consumers than ever before – and that makes us very happy. Here’s to the continuing democratization of fashion!