Home Back Issues May 2011 Businessmen once again invest in custom suits

Businessmen once again invest in custom suits

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Article Index
Businessmen once again invest in custom suits
Custom suits Page 2

By Susan Hauser

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the market for European custom suits is bursting at the seams. Bespoke tailors on London’s famed Savile Row are chalking up a huge surge in business, as are custom tailors throughout Italy, France and Britain.

 

Bespoke: Made from scratch. The suit pattern is made from the customer’s measurements and style preferences. Garments are partly or completely made by hand.
Made-to-measure: A standard pattern is altered to fit the customer. Numerous style options are available for a custom-made suit.
Ready-to-wear: Also known as off-the-rack or off-the-peg.
0511_SuitingUp
Mile Djuric, a made-to-measure specialist with the Kiton clothing company (left), and Jake Hanover of Mario's in downtown Portland review fabric swatches at a recent trunk show. Hanover is the director of made-to-measure clothing at Mario's. // Photo by Teresa Meier

Does this European bespoke trend translate into Oregon-speak? At Portland’s fine menswear shops, owners and managers briefly set aside their measuring tapes to share the news that yes, indeed, Oregon businessmen are again investing in their own suave style as the economy improves.

“We’re seeing a tremendous increase after a two-year drought,” says Tony Spear, owner of Este’s Men’s Clothing in Northwest Portland. “People were holding on to their clothes, so alterations were up. My tailor was making money, but we weren’t.”

Spear says business was off by 20% in 2007 and 2008, “and we were in better shape than most.” But it got even worse in 2009, dipping down 35%.

Now, he says, “There’s a huge resurgence in clothing sales because these guys didn’t buy stuff for two years.”

John Helmer III, third-generation president of John Helmer Haberdasher, reports the same at his store. “Sales of suits are way up, 47% above last year,” he says. “Of course, that’s from being kind of down.”

At Mario’s in downtown Portland, made-to-measure director Jake Hanover says men are apparently again willing to spend a considerable sum for a good suit. Even with an “entry-level” price of $1,400 for an Italian made-to-measure suit, Mario’s is seeing what could be called a boom — at least when compared to the past few years.

“Flat was the new up,” says Hanover, recalling the industrywide slump, when the recession brought losses from 35% to 50% to menswear specialty stores. “If you equaled the year before, it was a win. But now we’ve gone into a few quarters of actual gains — a steep enough slope that you could ski on it.”

 



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 Bespoke Tailors manchesterGuest 2013-12-15 04:34:54
You may want to look for a seamstress or tailor who works close to where you live or work.Bespoke Tailors manchester the secret of many well-dressed people is that they take their moderately priced clothing .
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS