“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”
It’d be easy to read these words from Carl Jung and quickly give up any attempt to compile a list of the best suits for men. After all, it’s all relative, right?
Each individual is the ultimate arbiter of the style they believe fits best, but if you’re like pretty much everyone else, then you’ll find it helpful to explore what the consensus is before reaching your own conclusions. Suits are no exception.
Launching into a “best of” list for anything with as rich a history and professional pedigree as that of the art of tailoring can make anyone a bit hot under the collar, but there is a lot to be gained even from scratching the surface.
Many fashion sites will eschew custom suits in San Francisco in favor of readymade suits on the grounds that the latter take less of a toll on your wallet. While that may certainly be the case much of the time, if the potential for a partnership with someone who can work to bring out the best of your style in every aspect of a suit appeals to you, then it’s worth your while to give bespoke tailoring a try.
TAILORS' KEEP may be stationed on the West Coast, but it follows a rich global tradition in tailoring, and this list of top bespoke suit makers is a testament to that heritage.
So with that, we’re going to go on an excursion into what constitutes the top suit brands and trendy men’s suits the wide world of bespoke and detailed suits has to offer.
Sometimes, it’s the quietest man (or woman) in the room that stands out. If you’re inclined to agree, then you may be drawn to a more traditional approach to suits - defined by broad, strong shoulders, high armholes, and aa subtle flair at the hips. In which case, you should look no further than the heavy-hitters of Savile Row and the greater London area. Brands such as Gieves & Hawkes, Huntsman, Dunhill, Burberry, have become synonymous with the term classic (think James Bond or Gregory Peck).
Next, without straying too far from the epicenter of Savile Row, you can find slimmer, more modern, adventurous bespoke suits at British houses such as Richard James (famous for outfitting the Rolling Stones), Hackett, Thom Sweeney, and Edward Sexton. These tailors are known for keeping one foot firmly in the classical approach (many of the founders cut their teeth at the longest-tenured tailor houses), and another in the flow of modern style.
If you’d prefer to explore beyond the borders of England, and look for something with even more flair, and playfulness, then Italy may be your next best bet. Some of the best suit brands hail from Naples, Italy, where suit maisons such as Kiton, Caruso, Zenga, Isaia, and Brioni are lauded for their light padding, wide lapels, bold patterns, and singular devotion to downplaying the business side of the suit and expanding the stylish side.
While perhaps not as celebrated for their devotion to pure bespoke tailoring - many Americans are rightly enamored with the suit makers across the pond - there are still plenty of bastions of top suit brands and handmade ties in New York City.
If you’re looking to go the presidential route, the majority of those sworn into the highest office in the land did so in a Brooks Brothers suit. If you’d prefer a more carefree vibe, then Miller’s Oath or Martin Greenfield Clothiers may be a better option based in the U.S.A.
Despite the Western-centric nature of most discussions about business suits for men, there are a generous number of bespoke maisons in Hong Kong and other neighbors in the East equally devoted to the personal experience of bespoke suit-making. Many such houses started as outposts for colonizing nations, but quickly inherited flavors of the local culture to develop approaches and looks without debt to any other tradition. Raja Fashions, Ascot Chang, and WW Chan are all take the best from their British and Italian counterparts and fuse them into slim-fitting, soft-padded, but full-chested masterpieces in their own right.
It’d be easy to say that all of these different top suit brands are in competition - vying for you as a customer, but most, like TAILORS' KEEP, know that the secret to providing the greatest service and experience is to open up their customers’ horizons beyond the confines of their own shop, to play a key role in helping them find the best suit for them.
After all, the shoe that fits one person pinches another, and TAILORS' KEEP is in the business of making sure things fit both your physical stature and your personal sense of style.