Here’s an in-depth journey of my showroom experience with Knot Standard
From being stopped on the streets to countless emails, people continue to ask me about getting a custom suit and whether the showroom experience worth it. To answer your questions, I tapped my friends at Knot Standard at their New York (they have 8 worldwide showrooms) flagship showroom to go through their levels of the custom experience — starting with their Private Showroom Experience.
There’s something to be said about what makes a great retail experience. And, it’s my opinion that when anyone decides to get custom clothing made, the experience is what makes up about 60% that process. From having a drink at the showroom, looking through every fabrics, understanding the brand style ethos from the people who work in it everyday — you’ve officially began to indoctrinate yourself in the brand identity as if they’re your favorite sports team.
First Step: Talking Over Your Ideas (enjoy a drink)
So, you’ve made the decision to go custom, which means you’ve already decided that you want something that’s special (even if you’re going for something basic). You’ve got a ton of ideas, some good & some bad — but you’ve got idea nonetheless. Having the ability to meet with and talk to Knot Standard’s personal stylist is key!
For the sake of my visit, I met with Lewis (brand creative director) and someone who I would consider a master stylist. My goal was to create a blue suit in a summer fabric that would translate well to the fall. Outside of discussing suiting and having a drink (plus chat about the Sixer & Eagles), I was able to really discuss some issue that I’ve had with other custom brands in regard to mastering my fit.
There’s something extremely comforting about being able to talk to someone in real-time that truly understands style from a functional and creative perspective. As an avid purveyor of suits (an all things custom), I’ve had my fair share of experience where the goal of selling a suit was more important than figuring out the why of this purchase (why do i wanted/need this garment). This is the first step in creating a luxury experience.
The Design Process
What you don’t realize about the custom clothing process is that — you’re the designer. Well the designer within reason. Sitting down with a stylist, they’re very in-tuned with what’s going to work and what’s not. Obviously, you’ll have the final word in the matter, however; they’re aware of what the trends are and how they relate to your style. That’s a long way of saying, they’re not going to let you create something that doesn’t look good. The full customization process is only something that you can take advantage of during your showroom visit.
In the private showroom experience, you’ll have:
- 5,000+ fabrics choices (that’s a ton of fabric)
- Hundreds of lining options
- hundreds of buttons
- and there are certain customizations that only available in the private experience (i.e. using my personal signature as my monogramming inside my jacket)
Being able to touch fabric, compare buttons with fabrics, mix jacket & pants lining are all options that aren’t available online.
Last Step – The Measurement Process
During your showroom visit, you will finish off by having your measurements taken. This is the part you’ll really have a hard time doing at home. With Knot Standard’s attention to details, your measurement process will include 30+ distinct points. For example, not only will you have you outseam of your pants measured to your preferred length — your thighs, knees, rise, hips and even your desired leg opening will be measured as well. As someone with a small waist, large thigh and wide sloping shoulders, it’s not often that off-the-rack suits fit properly.
After 4 weeks, my suit has arrived! When ordering in-house, it’s best to pick it up at the show in case there are final adjust that need to be made. Alterations are a free service — so take advantage of it.
My idea was the take a blue cotton suit — which is familiar for most guys, but, amp it up using seersucker fabric for the fall. And I added a lined checked shirt to keep the outfit light because it can be pretty warm during early fall.
The First Try On
The best thing about working with Knot Standard is that they really understand the nuances of my body shape. When you’re paying for luxury items, luxury service & quality is expected — these guys never miss the mark for me (wasn’t paid to say that).
At the first try-on, I was impressed by the fit — especially the shoulders of the jacket. Lewis and I both decided to taper the leg of the pants, however; that was the only post product alteration that was needed.
After Lewis’ final inspection he concluded that he’d adjust the shoulders on my next jacket because my posture is slightly forward, but, not enough that warrants a new piece. These tiny & major details can only be addressed in a full appointment.
Once the final fitting was done, I walked out the door with my garment bag ready to rock my new suit (which you will see on the site next week).
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM