Bespoke suits and custom men's clothing stores have been rapidly on the rise in and around Washington, D.C.
Several notable new shops have recently opened in the District, and bespoke suits seem to be emerging on a larger scale, as well. Consumers can buy tailored suits from online retailers such as Indochino and Astor & Black or shop from big brands venturing deeper into the world of accessible suiting, such as J. Crew, with their Liquor Store in New York City.
"The custom clothing business has been on an upswing for over a decade, as men have come to appreciate finer clothing and taken more interest in their appearance," explained Michael Andrews, owner of Michael Andrews Bespoke and newcomer to the D.C. sartorial scene.
The man might make the clothes, but a great suit will leave you looking and feeling your best, ready to take on the world. And when you want a high quality suit that can last a lifetime, made from the finest materials with the utmost in precision, care, and expertise, you'll need to visit the right bespoke tailor.
Here are the top bespoke suit stores in the Washington, D.C., metro area, new and old alike. Whether you're shopping for that first perfectly made, defining suit or simply the latest addition to your wardrobe, these are the places worth exploring.
Michael Andrews Bespoke, which opened a Washington, D.C., location at the end of 2012, provides an eye-opening experience for those still uninitiated with the world of bespoke clothing. They offer three levels of handmade suits, each with dozens of choices and options down to the smallest of details, and a fitting process with more than 30 exacting measurements.
"There are very few companies in the U.S. that do full bespoke suit-making," said Andrews. "The vast majority of custom clothiers sell a more simplified made-to-measure garment, and that is a big differentiator for us."
Of course, serving their clients drinks in a luxurious lounge atmosphere certainly doesn't hurt, either.
"We are deeply committed to delivering world-class client service. Tailoring is a relationship-based business, and we do our best to treat each of our clients like a personal friend," Andrews said.
Located in Reston, Virginia, Davelle Clothiers actually began as a tie and accessory kiosk called "Timeless Ties and More" in Union Station back in 1991. They expanded to several locations and began offering brand-name menswear, and by 2003, they launched their own collection of hand-crafted garments.
Davelle Clothiers also offers several lines of high quality women's clothing, in addition to services such as complete wardrobe consultations.
Sofio's is a family-run business located in McLean, Virginia, providing custom men's and women's clothing. Store founder Sofio Barone took after his mother and sisters, master tailors in Italy, before branching out on his own career decades ago.
Today, he runs his store with his son Michael. They provide several suit levels, along with accessories, starter wardrobes, and menswear packages.
Alton Lane is another relative newcomer to the Washington, D.C., market, but the store has additional showrooms in New York City and Boston. They strive to bridge the gap between mass-market, entry-level clothes that don't fit and the impersonal stores that sell them and the over-expensive, big-name fashion brands that tend to be sold from stuffy establishments.
Like Michael Andrews Bespoke, you'll find a comfortable lounge to relax in with a drink in hand. Other unique touches include a 3D body scanner for fittings.
Bonus: Find a Pop-Up Store
From international brands to the aforementioned Internet retailers, there have been a variety of recent pop-ups in the Washington, D.C., area -- basically super short-term stints and local partnerships where you can get fitted and make a purchase in person.
In March alone, Benson & Clegg held a bespoke event at Sterling & Burke on Pennsylvania Avenue, and Indochino had a D.C. stint with their "Traveling Tailor" in conjunction with LivingSocial.
Keep an eye out, and you can catch the next suiting pop-up in and around town.
Didn't see your favorite D.C.-based men's custom clothing store on the list? Have a different take? Join the discussion and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Jake Emen is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Maryland, with experience covering local news stories and events for a number of online publications. He also provides online marketing solutions for local businesses via WashingtonDCSEO.net.
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