Wear More, Pay More?
When your stage outfit consists of a basic t-shirt and jeans, it comes as no surprise that the budget allows a few bespoke tweaks to justify the stylist’s services.
And when you’re in the biggest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, performing for millions of people for millions of dollars, on tours that last years and take place in the biggest arenas around the globe, it makes even more sense.
Famously particular, Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, may not be the most flamboyantly dressed of stage performers, but he certainly knows what he likes. Off stage, he is renowned for his sharp suits and being immaculately dressed, often making industry best dressed lists, while on stage he has a job to do.
His performance t-shirts are specially made for him by Sunspel in Nottingham. They are designed slightly longer at the back, so he can lean forward on the drums in comfort. Unfortunately, Sunspel doesn’t offer this bespoke service to the general public, yet, but the brand does do a nice line in pricey sea-island cotton, which is finer and softer than cashmere.
During the European leg of the 2007 Rolling Stones tour, Watts wore a t-shirt that matched the colours of every country’s national football team strip which they played in. Last year, for their epic Glastonbury show, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood all wore Sunspel’s Egyptian cotton t-shirts. In fact, Mr Wood liked his so much he used it as a canvas for his next artwork.
This got me thinking about how we often give the least thought to the items in our wardrobes that get the most use. When you’re Charlie Watts you can spend money on everything. For those of us more financially challenged, wouldn’t it make sense to spend more on the items we wear the most, rather than trend-led or statement pieces?
Modern Made-To-Measure & Bespoke Services
Brands are now offering wardrobe staples tailored specifically to the individual. We all know about made-to-measure suits and shirts, but did you know you can now get bespoke Dr. Martens or Levi’s?
These things aren’t cheap, but if you’re going to be wearing them day in, day out, they offer much better value than that tuxedo you only wear once a year.
Bespoke Levi’s Jeans
Levi’s are offering a new jeans service called ‘Lot No.1’. Based in their flagship store on Regent Street, London, the jeans are made, start to finish, by the in-house tailor on site.
This bespoke service, soft-launched just before Christmas, offers you, the customer, a choice of three fits, five types of the best premium selvedge denim, twenty different thread colours, twelve leather patches and seven button and rivet colours.
The jeans cost £500 and Lizzie, the tailor, is happy to go through every step and decision with you. This is only the third place, after Levi’s stores in New York and San Francisco, to offer this service.
Every pair is ‘editioned’, takes between five and six weeks to create, and you can watch her in store making your very own jeans. The final product offers a truly individual take on a wardrobe essential that can be dressed up and down and will last you for many years to come.
Levi’s London Flagship
269 Regent Street / 174-176 Regent Street,
Tel: 020 7292 2500
Levi’s Lot No.1 London Video
Paul Smith Bespoke Jeans
Paul Smith offers a similar service to Levi’s in his Beak Street men’s store. There is a choice of drainpipe, tapered, standard or classic fit jeans in your exact waist size and length, available in raw or rinsed denim and eight exclusive cloths, from classic indigos and super heavy slub denim to cherry red and rainbow selvedge.
You can further customise your new jeans with a range of trims, including picking the stitch thread colour, leather back patch, rivet and stud details, plus six custom designed pocket bags in classic stripe/geometric prints and a specially commissioned Soho illustration.
The order is sent to Hong Kong to be made, then returned and any final alterations carried out by a local tailor. Prices start from £250, depending on the choice of denim, and are delivered within four weeks.
Paul Smith Soho
46 Beak Street,
Tel: 020 7287 9998
Reiss Personal Tailoring
A label that is no stranger to the FashionBeans reader, Reiss launched its ‘Personal Tailoring Service’ back in 2010. It has gone on to become an unequivocal success, offering the everyday male a chance to own a luxury, made-to-measure suit at an affordable price point.
The service is a seventeen stage customisation process that is extremely easy to follow, even for tailoring novices, with Reiss’ expert staff helping you make the right decisions, based on your lifestyle and individual requirements.
Starting with the all-important fabric choice, you are able to pick everything from jacket and lapel style to lining and trim colours. A coordinating six-button waistcoat can also be ordered for an additional cost, for those that want the versatility of a three-piece.
“We make it our mission to exceed expectations with the uncompromising level of quality and service that we are offering”
Prices range from £550 to £895 depending on the fabric choice, with all customisation options included. Expected delivery lead time is between four and six weeks.
This exclusive service is available at Reiss UK flagship stores, including locations in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds.
Zegna Personalised Cashmere
None of us are perfect. Hard to believe, I know. But when it comes to off-the-peg sizing, it’s often a case of trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
At Ermenegildo Zegna’s impressive new store on Sloane Street, their made-to-measure service offers personalised cashmere jumpers.
It guarantees a perfect fit compared to standard sizes and can be individualised further with the addition of elbow patches in nappa or suede (different colours available) and your name embroidered on the label or initials on the lower edge of the sweater.
The starting price for Zegna personalised cashmere is £955 and it is made in their knitwear factory in Northern Italy.
Zegna London Store
203-204 Sloane St,
Tel: 020 7201 7000
Dr. Martens Bespoke Shoes & Boots
Dr. Martens bespoke shoe and boot service is exclusive to their Carnaby Street, London store.
The appointment-only service offers a choice of the classic 1460 eight-eyelet boot or 1461 three-eyelet shoe in many different leathers, linings, eyelets, laces and sole colours. This pair of boots or shoes is then hand-crafted and made to your exact specification within the Dr. Martens factory in Northamptonshire, England.
Initially, a basic ‘fitting’ pair are made in plain black smooth leather to ensure the sizing is perfect – this pair is complimentary for the customer to keep, as part of the service. Once these are approved, the final pair is made. The brand can even create a customer-specific last on request, which will be safely kept in their factory for those who choose to come back for future pairs.
The choices on offer are almost limitless, starting with a premium selection of leathers, including genuine Cordovan and Ostrich, for the construction of the upper. Accent details are also completely customisable, with six lace colours, eight eyelet colours, nine leather heel tab colours, three colour welt options, three colour stitch options and four different soles available to pick from.
There is even the opportunity to select the colour of the famous Dr. Martens heel loop and welt stitch. Prices start from £225.
Dr. Martens Carnaby Street
48 Carnaby St,
Tel: 020 7734 4751
With trainers now an integral part of the modern male’s wardrobe, it has become increasingly important to search for styles that are unique.
Being the world’s largest sportswear brand, many of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes are now ubiquitous on Britain’s high streets, which makes their iD service all the more appealing.
NIKEiD offers customers the chance to customise the sizing (including width), colour combinations and detailing on some of their most popular trainer models – including the Blazer Mid, Free 5.0, Air Max 90, Air Pegasus and Air Force 1 Hi – with prices starting at £90.
The entire process can be completed online at the Nike.com or within specialist NIKEiD Studio stores. The majority of iD products will be delivered to you within five weeks.
If you want something special or find it difficult to get the perfect fit off the rack, the services showcased today are all great, albeit slightly pricey, ways to finally get what you want.
They are also the antithesis of the quick-fix, fast fashion we’ve become accustomed to. While these items do take a bit of time and effort, it’s always worth remembering that good things come to those who wait.
But now we want to hear your view: have any of you used bespoke, made-to-measure or customisation services before? If so, were you pleased with the result and would you recommend it to others?
Let us know in the comments section below…