What does Bespoke mean?
be•spoke adj: said especially of clothes. Making or selling custom-made clothing. A bespoke tailor.
The word bespoke has its roots in Savile Row, where it refers to clothing made to a client’s exact specifications. Bespoke tailoring involves the creation of a unique pattern for each client, differentiating it from made-to-measure, which merely adjusts a standard preexisting pattern. The Savile Row tradition, which Michael Andrews adheres to, also requires that garments be sewn principally by hand, with only long seams finished on a sewing machine. Experience for yourself the difference true bespoke makes.
What is a "basted fitting?"
The basted fitting is a crucial step in the patternmaking process that ensures the most optimal fit possible. After taking your initial measurements, we draft your unique pattern and make a test garment that is “basted” together, meaning the pieces have been loosely sewn so it can be easily taken apart and adjusted to your body. Once we have fit you in this test garment, we revise your pattern as needed before cutting the actual fabric for your finished garments. The basted process enables us to make fit corrections that may not otherwise be possible on a finished suit.
How does the bespoke process work?
We believe ordering custom clothing should be as much fun as wearing it. When you first come in, we’ll start by asking a few questions about your tastes and preferences to get to know you better. Once we understand what you like, we’ll help you choose from our wide range of fabrics and styling details.
If you need a little extra fashion advice, you’ve come to the right place. We pride ourselves on our expert and honest style guidance. We’ll happily give you our suggestions on everything from the cut that works best for your build to patterns and colors that are most flattering on you.
Once you’ve designed your new clothes, we’ll take an abundance of measurements to ensure a precise fit. We’ll contact you upon completion of your garments to schedule a fitting. If any alterations are needed, we generally perform them on-site in about a week or two.
Should I make an appointment?
Yes, please. We encourage appointments so that each client receives the attention he deserves. We’re happy to accommodate same-day fittings whenever space is available, so don’t hesitate to call or email us, even at the last minute.
How long will my appointment last?
Generally speaking, your first visit takes about 90 minutes for the design and measuring process. Of course, this varies widely depending on the client and the nature of one’s order.
What fabrics do you offer?
We offer more than 20,000 luxurious fabrics from many of the world’s finest mills including Dormeuil, Zegna, Scabal, Holland & Sherry, Ariston, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis, Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson, Albini, Canclini and more. Our suiting fabrics include wool and wool/cashmere blends ranging from Super 100s to Super 200s, as well as seasonal weight and performance blend fabrics. We also carry exceptional 100% cashmere, camel hair, alpaca and vicuna fabrics for blazers and overcoats. Our shirting fabrics are generally 100% Egyptian cotton and come in thousands of patterns, styles and colors.
Can my suit be altered if I gain or lose weight?
Generally, yes. We leave extra seam allowance to allow our garments to be easily altered. We offer free alterations on your garments for six months from the time you take them home.
How should I care for my new clothes?
After each wear, hang your suit outside the closet overnight so that moisture and odor can escape the fabric. Hang your trousers long-ways from the bottom hem with a pant hanger – this allows the weight of the garment to pull wrinkles out naturally, thus reducing the need for pressing.
Your suits should be dry cleaned only if they become physically dirty, and generally should not be cleaned more than a few times a year. If your garment isn’t visibly dirty but needs a refreshing, use a hand-held steamer or have it hand-pressed by a reputable cleaner.
Although dry cleaning itself (if done properly) won’t damage a garment, far too many cleaners fail to adequately maintain their equipment and often use dirty chemicals in the “cleaning” process. Moreover, poor quality pressing can make your suits look old, tired and damaged after only one press. Invest in the best quality dry cleaner in your area to take care of your suits. While a good cleaner is expensive, they will keep your suits looking great for much longer than their mediocre competition will.
We highly recommend Jeeves (https://jeevesny.com). Their store is on the Upper East Side, and they offer pick-up service all over the city and in Westchester. The owner is a third-generation cleaner, and unlike many companies, Jeeves owns and operates its own plant here in New York. We have personally inspected their facility and met their staff – many of whom have been with Jeeves for decades.
Unlike suits, shirts can be laundered with water, although dry cleaning is also an option. Shirts should be laundered using warm, not hot, water, and hand-pressed with a warm iron. Find a cleaner who actually does their shirts in-house, as most send them to large commercial laundries that use very hot water and strong chemicals for soil removal. This harsh process will take away from the life-span of your shirts.
Refrain from using any starch on your shirts. It causes the cotton fibers to become brittle, which in turn can cause the fabric to wear out more quickly. Be sure to remove your collar stays before sending them to the cleaner. The stays will leave scorch marks if the shirt is pressed with the stays still in the collar. Of course, a good cleaner will remove your collar stays prior to the wash and replace them after pressing, but why take any chances.
If you have issues with underarm stains, ring around the collar, food spots, etc. apply Shout, Oxy Clean or a similar stain remover as soon as you take off the shirt and have the shirt laundered as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits on the fabric, the hard it is to have removed.
Keep in mind that some shrinkage will occur in new shirts. After one or two washes a new shirt will shrink approximately ¼ to ½ inch the collar and sleeve length. This amount is already built into your measurements, so if your shirt feels a touch big when you first get it, don’t worry.
I'm interested in building a wardrobe. What is the most economical way to do this?
We are experts at helping men build out great wardrobes. Our most satisfied clients are often those who work with us to design shirts to match their suits and pick accessories to complete the look, all in a unified process.
To help encourage this, we offer flexible wardrobe packages. If you buy any two similar garments, you get a third at half price. If you buy five shirts, you get a sixth shirt free. Check with your stylist for more details.
Can you tell me about your referral program?
We appreciate that most new clients come to us through word of mouth recommendations from other clients.
If you’re an existing client and send a friend to us, your referral will receive 10% off his first order by mentioning your name. Better yet, you’ll get a credit equal to 10% of his order.
What can I do with my old suits?
We have long supported Career Gear, which provides gently-used professional clothing (along with mentoring and life-skills) to help men in poverty become stronger contributors to their families and communities.
For each eligible suit you bring in, we will give you a $100 credit toward a new suit. For each shirt or pair of pants, we will give you a $25 credit toward a new shirt or pants.
You can donate as many garments as you wish and we will keep the credits on file for up to a year. Please note that only one credit may be applied to each new garment purchased.
All donated garments should be clean, on hangers and free of holes or visible stains.
Do you guarantee your results?
Absolutely. We stand behind each and every garment with a complete satisfaction guarantee. If you are not thrilled with the fit of your garment (and you tell us within six months of the garment being made), we will either alter it to fit your needs or remake it once free of charge.
Because our garments are specially made for each client, we cannot accept returns or give cash refunds (unless of course we made an irreparable mistake, which is exceedingly rare but mistakes do happen).
How does payment work?
For in-town clients, we request a half deposit at the time the order is placed. The remaining balance is due once your garments are made and ready for fitting.
For clients outside the New York area who are not subject to New York sales tax because their garments are being shipped directly to them, payment is due in full at the time the order is placed.
We accept cash, check and major credit cards.
Please note that unless prior arrangements are agreed upon, all open balances are payable within six months of an order being placed. Orders that are not fully paid within that time may be cancelled. Amounts paid for garments that remain unmade will be applied to your account as a credit (less a 20% restocking fee). Garments that have been made and remain unclaimed after one year may be donated to charity or discarded. No refunds or credits can be given for unclaimed garments that have have donated or discarded.
What if I decide to change or cancel my order?
We make every effort to accommodate our clients to the extent reasonably possible.
Once an order is placed and a deposit is paid, we immediately order your fabric. For this reason, if you decide to cancel a garment or change the fabric after it is ordered, there is a restocking fee of 20% of the garment cost. You can, however, change most styling details at any time before a garment is cut. Once a garment has been cut, no modifications can be made to the order.