05.10.2012
By Terry Flanagan

At Michael Andrews Bespoke, Tradition Lives On…With Edge.

A perfectly cut suit–it’s the one thing that’s tougher to find than a flattering pair of jeans. When alterations or made-to-measure clothiers don’t quite make the cut, there is always one other, and shall we say, fitting, option: bespoke.

 

Of course, that’s not to say that made-to-measure, where a preexisting pattern is altered to better suit a client, or off-the-rack is a less desirable option: if you can fit perfectly into an off-the-rack suit because your proportions are that of Ralph Lauren’s or Zegna’s fit models, or if you are of balanced, average proportions and simply need some tailors to make a few made-to-measure nips and tucks (like Alton Lane or Louis Purple), then go for it. But if your fit preferences or measurements require a bit more specificity–maybe you like your pants to be more fitted or a bit shorter than usual, or maybe your torso proportions are unusual–then bespoke is your way to suit salvation. Bespoke can be pricey, however, so it hasn’t been as popular of a choice.

Enter Michael Andrews Bespoke. A boutique, single-location shop on an obscure street in New York’s NoHo neighborhood, this shop specializes in the kind of tailoring one could only expect to see in London’s elite Savile Row shops–the kind of tailoring that requires a client to be hand-measured over a series of fittings before the pattern is traced, with tailor’s chalk, on some brown paper. The pattern is then cut into fabric before the paper is stored for posterity (because, after the first suit, you’re going to want more). That pattern, as it goes, is “spoken for”–yours, and yours alone. And then (just like at Savile Row), an in-house master tailor, most likely the same one who took your measurement, gets to making your suit…entirely by hand.

The process is long–over the course of 6 months, you will likely return for 2 or 3 more fittings while the roughly cut and sewn fabric is further adjusted to your preferences–and the price, which starts at $995 for a basic suit at Michael Andrews, is a bit more than made-to-measure, but the results are well worth it, and with a plethora of fabric options from premium mills, it’s certainly a much better value for the money than spending 3 to 4 times the amount at the actual Savile Row.

Just like any other premier men’s clothier, the process at this shop, founded and owned by former “recovering corporate attorney” Michael Andrews, as he calls himself on the store’s website, involves starting off clients with a drink and a conversation: who are you? What do you prefer? What are  you looking for in your next suit? More importantly, the two tailors at Michael Andrews are experts who’ve mastered their craft: one had his own menswear tailoring shop in Hong Kong (the other bespoke mecca of the world), while another has worked as a tailor for over 30 years.

Michael Andrews Bespoke is by private appointment only and is open from 2-9 p.m. from Wednesday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Call 212-677-1755 to make an appointment. www.michaelandrewsbespoke.com

Photo courtesy of Michael Andrews Bespoke

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