Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

October 26, 2005


Filed under: Men's Fashion,Shoes,Suits,Tailoring — Manolo @ 11:41 pm

Manolo says, the they have the latest in the long succession of the articles about the “return” of the bespoke tailoring.

Getting exactly what you want is the whole point of bespoke tailoring, which is undergoing a renaissance as younger men realize there is a world of exclusivity beyond designer clothing. Patrons can select a custom dye for monogram stitching, create a hiding place for a Luger pistol, or simply wallow in the tactile pleasure of wearing trousers that really, truly fit. The recent passion for custom items extends to shirts, shoes, fragrances, and even suitcases. (Beretta of Italy, which creates individually tailored luggage, lists among its customers Tom Ford, Andre 3000, Kiefer Sutherland, and Donald Trump Jr.) Naturally, the chance to swan about in a one-of-a-kind outfit appeals to style-setters like Kanye West, Tom Cruise, Jude Law, Tim Roth, and Hugh Grant. But makers of bespoke goods have been struck by the demand among non-famous men in their twenties and thirties.

“There’s been a rediscovery that a well-made and -cut suit can improve your look,” says Nick Hart, the 42-year-old founder of Spencer Hart, the London-based tailor of choice for West and David Bowie. “The fact is that you can’t find fitted clothes off-the-rack. All designers design for a particular body shape that suits their aesthetic. At the same time, they want to sell as much as possible, so that means cutting things for the average size. In both cases, their clothes are less likely to fit a given individual.”

Of the course, this it is not the news to the readers of the Manolo’s blogs. On more than one of the occasions the Manolo he has noted that there is nothing like the bespoke suit for the elegance and style.

Likewise, also on more than one of the occasions the Manolo he has linked to The English Cut, the informative blog of his internet friend the Thomas Mahon, who is the very gifted Saville Row tailor. If you wish to experience the best of the best, send the Thomas the email and make the appointment for the fitting.

There is more in this article, this time about the Manolo’s favorite booter, the John Lobb.

But the complications of custom-ordering a shirt or suit are nothing compared with the ordeal of buying handmade shoes. Expect to wait up to a half-year and to pay nearly $5,000 for a pair of wing tips from British cobbler John Lobb. Despite such inconveniences, or perhaps because of them, the venerable London outfit that once shod Winston Churchill is now seeing a record number of clients. Philippe Atienza, who holds the title of maître bottier at Lobb’s Paris outpost, visits America three times a year. After taking five measurements of each foot and tracing them on paper, Atienza makes a last, from which two months later he produces a pair of plastic forms he calls “les try-ons.”

Unless you are ordering the boots, the shoes of the John Lobb, they are not $5,000! They are only $3,500 of the American dollars at the current rate of the exchange. And trust the Manolo, like the bespoke suit, they are worth every one of the pennies.


  1. Oh me, the bespoke suit, shoes, and shirts. If you have the upfront money it is the way to go. The good stuff last so long both in style and wear, and you feel and look so good in it. It is economical in the long run to go this route. When the custom shoes and boots get worn they can be repaired and reconditioned. Right now I don’t have the upfront money. I’m working on my third million. I had to give up on the first two, (rim-shot). Hope springs eternal in the Wally World knock off.

    Comment by toad — November 20, 2005 @ 2:19 am

  2. Well, those bespoke shoes for $5000 are not by the John Lobb but by le John Lobb. There are two different John Lobb companies, JL (London) owned by the Lobb family and JL (Paris) owned by Hermès.

    Only the French house does fittings, first one in clear plastic, second one in scrap leather. And the Paris JL charges considerably more than the London JL. There are people who consider the Paris house the better of the two.

    But of course the Monolo knows that. He was just testing his readers.

    Comment by bengal-stripe — March 11, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

  3. And then there is the Berluti.

    Comment by danilo — March 12, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

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