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Custom Men, LLC -Midtown
850 7th ave (Bet. W. 54 & 55 Streets), Suite 1105
New York, NY 10019 Tel: (212) 767 0545

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2011: Time To Trade Up To A Tailor
Custom Men to offer Ermenegildo Zegna fabrics for custom-made suits

Press Release

2011: Time To Trade Up To A Tailor

Go to NewYork.Nearsay.com for the article

Fellas, if your resolution for 2011 is to release your inner-Don-Draper and finally shed the hip-hop schmatas, then it’s time to educate yourself on the basics of buying and wearing finer suits. And it's not as grown-up scary as you're thinking.

Even as our cultural standards diminish daily and our idea of the lowest-common-denominator continues to sink to new depths, a man in a suit remains our symbol of sophisticated style, affluence and intelligence. Even if you actually possess none of these things, a custom-made suit will convey what your limited vocabulary and reality-show-drenched mind will not. 

Be a man. Put on a fine suit. Even if you are on a budget.

“Just go for the basics,” advises Vijay Tharwani, 30, owner of the upscale tailoring boutique Custom Men on West 57th Street. His showroom and website specialize in the young man who is taking his first steps toward suit planning. 

“The safest way to go is always solids," he says. "Solid charcoal gray or plain navy. Buy a suit that you can mix and match. If you are buying a plain navy suit and a plain charcoal suit, you can wear one on Monday and the other on Tuesday, and on Thursday, you can use the jacket from the navy suit and the pants from the gray suit, and use that as a casual outfit.”

Not rocket science, of course, but you will convey the image of having the togetherness of a rocket scientist, and that’s hot. The idea here is to buy one good quality suit as opposed to a closet full of cheapies.

“I always tell a customer, it’s better to have one good suit than three suits that are ill-fitting and will send the wrong signal,” Tharwani says. “First, I always ask a customer what kind of work he does. If he is a TV anchor, I won’t show him stripes that disturb the camera. If he is a lawyer just starting out a job in a law firm, I won’t show him stripes or a gangster-type suit that will throw the jury off. He will lose the case before he even starts talking. All of these things come into play.”

We’d like to think that we should not judge a book by its cover, but in Manhattan, the judges are holding grudges, and are on duty with their verdicts 24/7.

“It shouldn’t be, but most people judge you by the clothes you wear,” Tharwani says. “You could be a billionaire, but if you are wearing shorts or khaki, and you check into a hotel, even the bellman may not say hello to you. If you are a salesman and you are wearing a nice suit, you’ll probably get a lot more respect and/or attention from the same bellman, because they go by your looks.

“I will also ask a customer what his main goal is for wearing the suit. If his main goal is to look slimmer than he is, then I will never sell him a double-breasted suit because that makes a guy look bigger. I would never sell him the very wide, far apart stripe because that also gives a boxy look to the suit. If you are wearing stripes, then the slimmer the better; the closer together, the better. It makes you appear leaner and taller looking, for an overall slimming effect.”

If you like a slim-fit look, then you get one slammin' high five: you are in tune to the hottest fashion trend. Slim fit is the phattest thing going in the world of suits right now, according to Tharwani. 

“The top trend is slim fit,” he says, “followed by a three-piece suit [with a vest], and then a single breasted suit with peak lapels. Most of the suits you will see have notch lapels. They are lapels that go down. But when you buy a custom suit, you can play with styles as much as you like and get a single breasted suit with peak lapels, usually found in double-breasted suits. That makes for a sharp custom suit.

“There is no better way to get a slim-fit suit than to have one custom-made, tailored exactly to the way your body is built. If a young man has lost weight or he is slim to begin with, and he has been buying boxy, off-the-rack suits, maybe he should consider going the custom way and try a slim-fitting custom suit that makes him look leaner and shows off more of his body type than an off-the-rack suit does.”

Whatever your choice, the first thing you need to consider is the cloth.

“First, start with the fabric,” Tharwani says, “whether it is lightweight for summer or spring, or all year round, or for the fall and winter. If the suit is for a special occasion, like for a wedding or a formal event, I’ll show the customer fabrics that are more glossy that the suite comes out better in pictures and video. The majority of men buy all-year-round suits.

“Another good option besides a solid or a stripe is pattern called a herringbone. It’s a fish-bone pattern. The design is like a bone off a fish. The pattern looks like a shadow stripe, which comes out nice.”

Of course, no look is complete without the shirt, which should also be chosen with care.

“When a young man buys a shirt, he should always make sure the collar and the body fit him right," Tharwani says. "The collar is the most important part of the shirt. It should always fit not too loose and not too tight. A loose collar will always pucker when you put the necktie on. A tight collar will make you choke and you will not be able to work throughout the day.”

He adds, “Most off-the-rack shirts don’t fit an average person. If the collar fits, the sleeves are either too long or short. If you get really lucky and the collar and sleeves fit, then the body is either too big or too snug.  The body of the shirt shouldn’t be too big as that makes you look like a box. If you work out to keep yourself fit, you should wear clothes that fit as well. But the shirt shouldn’t be very snug either, or else it looks too feminine."

Finally, the care and cleaning of a suit is penultimate in keeping your investment lasting well past the next job interview or wedding.

“Never dry clean a suit too much,” Tharwani advises.  “Most people think that it’s better to take care of a suit if you dry clean them very often, that it will keep the pleat and the shape. But you should only dry clean a suit maybe once a season, maybe four times a year. If you beat it up too much, if you use it frequently, then you should tell the cleaner to press only.”

Speaking of pressing, it's now time for all young men to press on, up from hoodies and baseball caps. Now, it’s onward and upward for 2011.

For more information on Tharwani’s services, including his year-end two-for-one special, go to Custom Men.com

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Custom Men to offer Ermenegildo Zegna fabrics for custom-made suits

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