When I graduated with my Ph.D. a few months back, I was humbled by how generous my friends and family were to me. Several people gave me financial gifts and encouraged me to “enjoy myself” or “have some fun.”
So, I spent some of the money framing my diploma. I spent a portion of the money on a pool-side graduation party with some friends. But I decided to spend the majority of the money on a clothing item I desperately needed: a black suit.
Prior to buying this suit, I only owned one suit. I purchased a gray suit off the rack at a men’s clothing store three years ago, and I only had the length of the pants altered. The suit fits me pretty well, and I have worn it to several events (conferences, weddings, inteviews, you name it). I figure a black suit will be a little more formal and give me another option for fancy occasions.
Other than my one gray suit, I feel incredibly uncomfortable and unconfident in all of my dress clothes. I don’t have the “typical” male shape, and thus most dress clothes just don’t fit me properly. Whether it’s pants that don’t have the right seat/waist combination or shirts that would better fit a body-builder than an athletically-challenged engineer, typical dress clothes just don’t fit me correctly. Given this, I decided to go bold and get a custom suit.
The next question: where should I get my suit? I first learned about Black Lapel from two of my co-workers a few months back. They were both happy with the suits/tuxes that they had ordered online, so I decided to give this custom-suit startup a try. The prices seemed reasonable to me (slightly more than rack prices), and I was excited to get custom dress clothes that fit.
The Black Lapel website was very easy to use and lead me through the process step by step. I ended up ordering a black three-piece suit and two dress shirts. After I chose the design of my suit and shirts, it was time to input measurements. There were videos and instructions to take all of the different measurements, and Allie worked the cloth tape measure for me. The Black Lapel concierge and I exchanged a few emails to confirm my order and their tailors started working on my suit the next day.
My suit and shirts arrived in the mail four weeks later. While I was unpacking my suit, Allie said I smiled like it was Christmas morning. I promptly tried on all of the different components. The pants, vest, and jacket all fit perfectly. I am most impressed with the dress shirts. I have never had a dress shirt that fit me this well. The sleeves are not too big, the shoulders hit me in the right place, and there is just the right amount of material around the waist.
I got to try out my new suit at my seminar at Virginia Tech. I got several compliments regarding my attire. More importantly, I didn’t have to worry about how I looked or how comfortable I was in my dress clothes. That realization confirmed that the custom suit/shirts were worth it.
Do you or your better half have any experience with custom clothing?
Neither of us received any compensation from Black Lapel.