Tailored Menswear: What to Know and Where to Go

For savvy men of style, brands both classic and new are offering made-to-measure services that make customization seamless, exclusive, and fun.

It's been proven that the best way to stand out from the fashionable hordes is to sport something tailored perfectly—both to your physical form and your tastes. “Made-to-measure is suited to that,” says Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. “Pardon the pun.” While opportunities for customization extend far beyond suiting, these days that’s still where the most exceptional, wardrobe-impacting offerings are found. Here, some of the best.

Suits

Ultimate Power Dressing at Stefano Ricci

Six weeks; one or two fittings

The first choice for some of the most elite gentlemen on the planet comes with the attention that only a tightly knit family business can provide. Recently, it celebrated a customer’s 1000th order with a complimentary tuxedo (value: $55,780). “We did the buttons with gold and diamonds,” says creative director (and Stefano’s son) Filippo Ricci. The company has 67 shops, in business capitals like London and Milan, as well as in destinations more familiar to oil barons than bankers, like Seoul and Baku, Azerbaijan. It will send tailors all over the world, and soon VIP clients will be invited to spend the night at
luxe accommodations for fittings at the original Florentine atelier, where a warping machine designed by Leonardo da Vinci is still in active use for the silk passementerie—in shades once favored by the Medici family. Suits from $8,000; stefanoricci.com.

Unimpeachable Expertise at Anderson & Sheppard

Eight to 12 weeks; at least three fittings

At the legendary Savile Row tailor, it’s bespoke only. “We cut every customer his own individual pattern,” says Colin Heywood, the managing director of the 114-year-old firm whose loyal customers have included Cary Grant, Tom Ford,
and Fred Astaire. What’s delivered is traditional care and craft (making a jacket requires thousands of stitches, each done by hand) with a slightly more modern aesthetic: higher armholes, lighter canvas, minimal padding in the shoulders. The gents are the czars of tweed, working with top mills to develop proprietary fabrics like its glen-plaid merino from
the Johnstons of Elgin mill. They make biannual visits to cities like New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Seoul, as well as yearly trips to Chicago and Washington, D.C. Suits from $6,380; anderson-sheppard.co.uk.

Style on Demand at Ermenegildo Zegna

Four to six weeks; one fitting

Zegna creates workhorse suits for the man who needs to look elegantly pulled together every day and often into the night. The company is fully vertically integrated, “from sheep to shop.” Measurements can be taken at home, at the office, or at any Zegna store. Each year, Zegna takes on around 100 Personalization Projects, which allow clients to customize their own suiting fabrics. Suits from $3,495; zegna.com.

The Sky Is the Limit at Hermès

Eight weeks; one fitting

Under Véronique Nichanian, who was charged with bringing the storied house’s menswear into the modern
era, much of the work is still done in the atelier at 24 Faubourg St.-Honoré. In fact, 24 is the name given to the house’s most popular style of suiting— but if you prefer a look from an earlier collection, Hermès can make it. Before your fitting, during which ten points of measurement are taken, you can choose your suit’s lining from the fabrics used to make Hermès scarves. Suits from $5,350; hermes.com.

Real Innovation at Ring Jacket

Four months; one fitting

This 66-year-old, Osaka-based brand’s embrace of old-world style—full canvas, classic-width lapels, and Neapolitan
proportions, including a higher, softer spalla camicia shoulder—masks a deeply innovative approach to fabric. Suits from $2,350; ringjacket.com.

Sleek and Chic at Giorgio Armani

Four weeks; one fitting

You, too, can look like a movie star— that is, if you go for Fatto a Mano suiting by Giorgio Armani, who has dressed leading men like Christian Bale, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, and Richard Gere for decades, both on-screen and off. Armani’s house style varies, from Wall Street, a powerful silhouette that will cut a swath through any boardroom, to Soho, a sexier, narrower version, closer to that too-cool look that reinvented Hollywood glamour. Suits from $2,790; armani.com.

Red-Carpet Ready at Dolce & Gabbana

Eight weeks; two fittings

Suits (and more) for true peacocks and classic captains of industry alike. Dolce & Gabbana can accent your tuxedo in sequins or whip you up something in emerald brocade—however the spirit moves you among the 500 available fabrics, including some made with 24-karat-gold thread. Available in-store in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. Suits from $4,000; dolceandgabbana.com.

Timeless Style, Your Way at Prada

Six weeks; one fitting

It’s not only suits; at 48 stores worldwide you can also modify the brand’s shirts and legendary outerwear. Each shop contains a VIP room with a made-to-measure expert on hand, whether your garment be made from guanaco or guanashina. Suits from $3,260; prada.com.

New Guard, Old Tricks at Paolo Martorano

Twelve weeks; at least three fittings

The 27-year-old Martorano offers bench-made tailoring (a single tailor works on a suit, from start to finish), and provides a masculine silhouette with a natural shoulder and “the comfort of a cashmere sweater.” His team travels (Palm Beach, L.A., Chicago, Boston); he once flew to Miami for a ten-minute fitting. “Some people are nice, and they’ll send a plane.” Suits from $6,500; paolostyle.com.

Shirts

Turnbull & Asser

Six weeks; one fitting

This shirtmaker, founded in 1885, is famous for its collar—it has a slight curve over the collarbone—but what really appeals to customers is the attention to detail. Eighteen body measurements are taken at a single fitting at one of its stores in London or New York, during which clients can choose from more than 1,000 fabrics. Shirts from $435; turnbullandasser.com.

Charvet

Five weeks; one fitting

At the oldest shirtmaker in the world, color is everything: It has over 5,000 fabrics to choose from. Charvet’s Paris-based tailors record 20 measurements at a client’s sole fitting, as well as his choice from among 80 collar options. Shirts from $410; charvet.com.

Pink Shirtmaker

Eight weeks; one fitting

The company, which has more than 20 stores worldwide, has a workshop solely for its bespoke shirting, which involves a selection of 400 fabrics. Shirts from $430; thomaspink.com.

Shoes

Santoni

Three months

“Our typical customer is definitely a connoisseur,” says Giuseppe Santoni, CEO of the brand his father established in 1975. Take the coloration of shoes, for example: Santoni prepares the dyes in-house, so no shade is off-limits. After measurements are taken at any of Santoni’s 29 boutiques worldwide, shoes made entirely to the client’s specifications are constructed with “crust” leathers—colored not during the tanning process but by hand using water-based tints. Every detail is conceived and crafted in Italy. $6,700 (for non-exotic materials); santonishoes.com.

George Cleverley

Six to eight weeks

Though Winston Churchill once called the toe of Cleverley’s shoes “suspiciously square,” it’s actually got a roundness to it, says George Glasgow Jr., who took over the firm from his father. The Glasgows travel together to supervise every trunk show— monthly in New York City and quarterly in major cities around the globe. The dedication to quality is unmatched, starting with the leather. Along with near infinite customization on style, Cleverley offers more than 100 shades of brown calf, plus 50 other skins, including alligator, deer, and shark. From $4,885; georgecleverley.com.

John Lobb

First pair takes up to nine months, subsequent pairs eight to 12 weeks.

John Lobb’s boot-making roots may go back more than 150 years, but creative director Paula Gerbase is eyeing the future. “We’ve been developing a one-cut shoe,” she says. “There’s no tension, no seams around your foot. It’s really a glove-like sensation.” By appointment through the website—their shoemakers can come to you, and create any style you might like. From $7,000; johnlobb.com.

Everything Else

Jeans at 3x1

Four weeks for custom denim; multiple fittings suggested

No one knows jeans better than Scott Morrison (founder of Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn), whose SoHo flagship has its own glassed-in workshop. (Two bespoke directors will travel anywhere in the U.S. to cater to their clients, like top athletes and Silicon Valley titans.) His library includes more than 1,200 denims, which vary from five to 32 ounces per yard— that’s paper-thin to carpet-thick. First pair $1,500; subsequent pairs from $525; 3x1denim.com.

Casual Clothes at Stòffa

Around four weeks; at least one fitting

Founded by two alums of Neapolitan tailoring house Isaia, this five-year-old luxury sportswear operation focuses on made-to-measure clothes for beyond the boardroom, taking in your balance and posture along with the usual measurements to ensure a perfect fit. Fans rave about the outerwear—especially the field jacket in suede and the flight jacket in buttery plonge leather. Jackets from $700, trousers from $250; stoffa.co.