Bespoke… the holy grail of the sartorial man
And wouldn’t you know it, we have an amazing tailor shop right here in the DMV. I was first contacted by the Tailored Man a few weeks ago and was invited into the shop to explore their quality services. They have been in the DMV for over 40 years at their Alexandria location. As of two months ago, they’ve opened a second location in Tyson’s Corner which is the one I visited.
As you walk in the door, you get the distinct impression that this is man’s club, full of cherry wood floors and cabinetry, leather sofas, and marble counters. A couple of well crafted suits line the walls right by a picture of Mr. Sartorial himself: Sean Connery as James bond in a stunning three-piece suit. You can tell that thought and energy were put into making customers take a load off, relax, and chat with the friendly gents who run the place (Jason and Sanjay).
The Tailored Man carries an assortment of different fabric options including the luxurious Holland and Sherry and Loro Piana. For simplicity’s sake, the pricing is broken down to a tiered structure based on the quality of the fabric used. A vast array of styles and customization options from the classic to the modern are all included within the price. There are however other add-ons that you can choose a la carte, like monogramming for example.
The pricing chart is as follows:
The Tailored Man is more or less a brick and mortar shop for a Hong Kong based tailor. There are other HK based tailors that come to the DC area as part of a tour of the major US cities. Obviously one huge advantage for TM is that you never have to wait for a tailor to roll around because you have two locations you can hit up any time.
When you come into the store, there are volumes upon volumes of fabric swatches you can comb through to your heart’s content. But most likely you’ll have an idea of what you want before you even get there. Think about how/when you’re going to use what you’re getting (i.e. professionally, casually, at a club, etc). Think about what season you’re going to use it (year-round or not). Finally, think about your budget. That’s a good place to start. Sanjay is the fabric-wiz at the Tyson’s location so he can pretty much take it from there.
Once you’ve chosen the fabric, you start getting into the fun part: the details! What kind of cuffs do you want? What kind of vents? What about button options? Sanjay and Jason will help you figure out the perfect configuration for your use. They don’t push, they don’t judge, they educate you about the options.
Next, it’s time to take your measurements. Your measurements are stored in a customer management system, so even if you’re jet-setting around the world you can put an order in electronically and they’ve got all your measurements ready to go. Finally they’ll take a picture of you for their records just to have a record of your body type.
After three to five weeks the product will arrive to the shop. You’ll go in for the fitting, and any alterations needed will generally take about a week or so. It doesn’t go back to HK at this point because there’s an in-house tailor that’s on-site six days a week.
And for those vehicularly challenged readers, three times a month Sanjay also comes in to DC to conduct sales and fittings.
As if the prices, the quality, and the service weren’t impressive enough there are several perks that all aim at building your loyalty as a customer. Each article of clothing you purchase will have free alterations for 15 months! Not bad at all.
There’s also a kick-ass referral program. If you refer a friend to TM both you and your friend get one shirt made each… for free! No fine print on what kind of fabric either. Sky’s the limit! So tell ’em Aninda from Mens Life DC sent you 🙂
They’re also currently exploring a partnership with the Grooming Lounge (locations in DC and McLean).
Finally TM also has a corporate perks program with local businesses for discounts on their products and services. If you’re interested in getting your company involved you can contact them at 866-751-7868.
I saw the finished products and the friendly and informative service first hand. At these price points and with this quality it just doesn’t make sense to buy professional clothing off the rack anymore. The Tailored Man is a winner. And they get my coveted SWAG tag.