As the saying goes, fashion works in cycles. If you’ve walked down any given street in downtown San Francisco over the past couple years, you’ve probably noticed that it feels eerily like walking onto the movie set for a 1920s period drama: manicured beards, speakeasies, and antique barber shops. The legendary rock musician Nick Cave once stated, “a gentleman never talks about his tailor,” but in this emerging scene, there seems to be plenty of talk about a resurgence in the demand for bespoke tailoring in men’s formalwear and men’s tailored suits. In fact, demand has grown so considerably of late that many young professionals are willing to fly thousands of miles - from Los Angeles to Hong Kong - to get high-quality suits fitted to their own personal dimensions at competitive prices. However, in our brick-and-mortar, we’re providing the City and those miles away with San Francisco men's suits and women's suits, handcrafted especially for them.
A Stitch In Time...
So what is bespoke tailoring exactly? Bespoke tailoring refers to the art of crafting clothes (usually men’s formalwear) to the exact measurements of a specific person. The term bespoke literally means “spoken for;” historically, a garment in the window of a tailor’s shop was never for sale to the public, because it was already “spoken for” by a single individual. No two shirts were alike, because no two bodies were alike. In the earliest days of the profession, the tailor’s primary job was to design garments that could fit comfortably beneath chainmail and heavy armor. It was not until the Renaissance, when the advent of clothing as self-expression took hold, that tailoring took on the association with fashion it has today.
The concept of visiting a local neighborhood tailor may seem quaint, or even sniff of a bygone era when the bourgeoisie swung canes and twirled parasols in the park, but it is not difficult to see (and feel) the appeal of donning a suit that fits your every muscle and curve with the rare alchemy of comfort and class. Even before slipping into the finished product, standing with arms outstretched to get your own body’s dimensions, feeling the light tug of the tape measure across your shoulders, you can’t help but feel a sense of joy at being a small part in carrying on a rich tradition (of course, the joy of getting compliments on your new suit doesn’t hurt either). Beyond taking measurements and cutting fabric, tailors can also prove invaluable allies to make recommendations that accommodate your style, or to nudge you to discover new trends and tastes outside of your well-worn comfort zone.
Finding Your Fit
So yes, good old-fashioned bespoke tailoring is back with a form-fitting vengeance. But for all of its rich history and benefits, the idea of going through the process of finding the right tailor can still be overwhelming. It need not be: while modern day tailors may be steeped in the roots of their craft, they still operate in the confines of twenty-first century business realities.
We couldn’t help but to choose to do the same. At tailors' keep, our San Francisco men’s suits and tailoring begins inside our brick-and-mortar storefront in San Francisco.