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The Everyman Goes Dandy

Six antidotes to the off-the-rack suit.

 

It used to be that made-to-measure was a predilection of the awkwardly sized, the absurdly wealthy, and the politically connected (looking at you, Willie Brown). Not anymore. A new band of local menswear stores offer tailored suits and staples for under $1,000—making custom clothing accessible to regular folk. For those unversed in lapel styles and Super counts, though, the options can be overwhelming. We navigated the 3-D body scanners, fabric libraries, bourbon selections, and more at six new made-to-measure outfitters.

ALTON LANE
499 Jackson St. (near Montgomery St.), 888-800-8616
The Staff: Erik Gavrilov, formerly of Dior Homme and Wingtip, and Ryan Devens, formerly of Taylor Stitch.
The Vibe: This basement-level lounge takes a page from the battery playbook: charcoal walls, leather sofas, and a well-stocked reclaimed-redwood bar built by Gavrilov himself. Though they look torn from the pages of GQ, Devens and Gavrilov are congenial and casual. “Our clients want to be able to text us selfies from the fitting room,” says Gavrilov. After traditional hand measurements, you’ll be guided into a 3-D scanner—not unlike a posh airport security scanner—that projects a visual representation of your build and posture on the store’s computer. The 2,000 fabric options, mainly English and Italian, are sourced from mills like Scabal, Dormeuil, and Ariston, though the suits are made in China and Thailand. $595 to $2,000 for suits, $70 to $165 for shirts; five to six weeks

INDOCHINO
61 Post St. (near Kearny St.), 415-872-9125
The Staff: Seth Zinger, formerly of Burberry, plus 3 fit specialists and 10 “style guides.”
The Vibe: The most affordable of these suiting newcomers is also the least intimate. Four measuring stations are divided by curtains, and electronica blares overhead. Style guides take 14 body measurements by hand and send them to the brand’s factory in Shanghai. Suits come in two collections, Essential and Premium, designations based mainly on fabric quality. The fabrics—mostly wool from undisclosed mills in Asia—are displayed in swaths, each with a tag detailing its material, composition, weight, super count, and price. The style guides encourage a little flair: silks for jacket linings include prints of birds, mustaches, and sunglasses. If your suit doesn’t fit, the company covers up to $75 in alterations. $350 to $750 for suits; six to eight weeks

TRUMAKER
701 Sutter St. (near Taylor St.), 5th floor, 855-623-3878
The Staff: Adam Sidney, formerly of Bonobos, who oversees 90 local outfitters. Most are women, whom sidney equates to “style girlfriends.”
The Vibe: Trumaker’s outfitters travel to your home or office for an efficient half-hour appointment that starts with 15 body measurements. The company’s complete collection of “high-end casual” basics—custom blazers and shirts, plus sweaters—is encased in a Bible-like binder that contains photos, swatches, and styling notes. if you value individualized style, this isn’t the service for you, but if you loathe shopping and want prestyled, ruggedly preppy clothes that fit (think Pendleton meets J. Crew, made in China), it’s brilliant. “We try to streamline the process so you can’t trick out your closet in a bad way,” says Sidney. Your clothes are sent to you directly, and your measurements are stored online for subsequent shopping. $98 to $185 for shirts, $495 to $825 for blazers, $128 to $368 for sweaters; three weeks

ARTFUL GENTLEMAN
1687 Market St. (near Valencia St.), 415-527-7611
The Staff: Jake Wall, formerly of the Fashion Incubator San Francisco.
The Vibe: Walk through the Mcroskey mattress store, up a back flight of stairs, and hang a right to reach Artful Gentleman’s off-the-beaten-path showroom. “Clients tend to strip and treat the space like their bedroom,” confides Wall. (The complimentary bar doesn’t hurt, either.) He takes 48 measurements—each fully canvassed suit starts with an original pattern here—then talks through your style preferences. This month, the brand is adopting Salesforce’s new luxe app, which projects a digital version of your body on the showroom screen. After choosing from over 500 fabric options by mills like Caesar Romeo and Marco Polo, you’ll select alterations (which wall calls “goldilocksing”). As evidenced by racks of custom floral, denim, and seersucker jackets, AG isn’t known for basic black and blue. Because the suits and separates are produced in san francisco, the wait time here is half that of other made-to-measure brands. $2,000 and up for suits, $325 for shirts; two to three weeks

PROPER SUIT
Firehouse 8, 1648 Pacific ave. (near Van Ness Ave.), 872-228-9910"
The Staff: Maximilian Andreae, who does it all, from measurements to personal shopping.
The Vibe: Set on the second floor of a former firehouse, the loft is strewn with velvet chairs and hulking wooden desks. One-on-one appointments here are chummy, unhurried affairs, often paired with beer. Your measurements are fed into an Autocad system for more precise tailoring—a step that lures Proper Suit’s sizable tech clientele. Wool and cashmere come from mills like Zegna, Loro Piana, and Guabello, and the suits are made in China. Personalized touches, like monogramming or vegan fabrics, are available, and alterations are on the house. $850 to $1,650 for suits (with a $150 deposit); four to five weeks

BECKETT & ROBB
One Embarcadero Center, Street Level, 415-685-0848
The Staff: Alan Maramag, formerly of Barneys New York.
The Vibe: Decked with wingback chairs and taxidermy, this glass-walled shop projects an air of country club civility. Maramag takes 30 measurements by hand, then fits you in a template suit to run through custom options, which include variously sized interior pockets and canvassed or unstructured jackets. Because B&R’s factories are based in Portugal and Spain, the company buys directly from European mills rather than from wholesale sources. In addition to custom suits, topcoats, and separates, the brand also offers its own line of shoes, sweaters, braces, pocket squares, and ties. $695 to $3,000 for suits, $150 to $350 for shirts; four to six weeks

 

Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco

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