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Indochino’s Traveling Tailor Is Back in NYC… Twice

Indochino, my favorite online custom suit shop, is back in Manhattan with their pop-up tailor for not just one visit, but two. The Traveling Tailor is in midtown from March 22 to March 30 at the Sofitel Luxury Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, then back again in the Financial District from April 11 to April 16 at the Broad Street Ballroom.

Ten years ago, one would have been challenged to find a quality made-to-measure suit for less than $1,000 – especially online. Since pioneering the online custom clothing business in 2007, Indochino has arguably become the smartest online option for affordable and well-made custom suits, shirts, jackets and pants today. For less than a half a grand, a man can have a quality custom suit at his door in four weeks. (See my article “Who’s the Best Online Custom Tailor?”)

Operating all online without any permanent brick and mortar retail space, Indochino invested wisely in what is perhaps the best-executed website in the men’s wear industry. The handsomely designed site enables you to browse, select, customize and even measure in a sleek online application that works beautifully on all devices and screen sizes. Over the years, I’ve ordered and customized several suits effortlessly with my iPhone. The website is a virtual case study in how online clothes shopping should work.

The only possible kink in the online made-to-measure process is the self-measuring thing. Though they take extremely considered effort to make the measurement process as easy as possible, including explicit written and video instruction with every step, self-measuring can seem like a daunting prospect for many men, even with help. Their Traveling Tailor pop-up events take the pain away.

Staffed with fit experts, the Traveling Tailor can get a man measured up and suited up with time left for lunch. In addition to solving the measuring problem, the pop-up shop also provides an opportunity to experience the merchandise and feel the fabrics in person. You can see (and feel) huge swatches of every fabric in their collections, see finished suits made with a range of customization options, and see their jackets, shirts, pants, ties and their impressive selection of other accessories. For a company that chose to invest in online vs. physical retail space, the Traveling Tailor is the perfect meeting point. And they also serve good coffee.

I strongly suggest booking an appointment. BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE.

And if any of you New York men want help or suggestions with style or fit for your custom suit, I’ll be happy to help. Contact me on Facebook, reach me on Twitter or send me an email.

Traveling Tailor Midtown:
March 22-30
Sofitel Luxury Hotel
Grand Ballroom
45 West 44th Street – MAP

Traveling Tailor Financial District:
April 11-16
Broad Street Ballroom
41 Broad Street – MAP

Read more stories I’ve written about Indochino.

The Wright Brothers™ Limited Edition Runwell

The Wright Brothers™ Limited Edition Runwell Bike from Shinola

As an avid city bicycle rider, I’ve learned a lot, observed quite a bit and grown to appreciate specific things about bicycles over the years. The standards of a great looking bicycle are like the standards of a great looking suit: the design is well-established, works really well, and won’t be re-invented in our lifetime (nor does it need to be). Sure, there are mechanical advances with things like shifters, hubs, brakes, tire strength, etc. that have made bikes more durable and efficient, but one really needn’t fuck with the beautiful aesthetic of the classic, handsome utility bike that was perfected many decades ago.

Raleigh DL1Look at a vintage Raleigh, Huffy, Ross, Schwinn or Flying Pigeon. Along with requisite trimmings like a simple leather saddle, fenders, a chain guard and even a headlight and a bell, they have that basic diamond frame with the top bar running parallel to the ground. Some brands have successfully put their own stamp on the classic, though all the flourishes, for better or worse, are essentially remixes of the same hit song.

Shinola in Detroit successfully put their spin on the classic utility bike with the Runwell. Recently they took it a step further with the ridiculously handsome Wright Brothers™ Limited Edition Runwell. It’s stunning.

The Wright Brothers™ Limited Edition Runwell

The Wright Brothers™ Limited Edition Runwell

This sleek and sturdy made-in-Detroit supermodel comes loaded. It features a lugged frame, custom cast crown fork, backswept alloy handlebars, leather grips, Shimano shifters and hubs, polished rims, stainless spokes, aluminum toe-clip compatible pedals, a Shinola chain guard and a Shinola leather saddle.

Some of the nice extras with the 11-speed Wright Brothers Limited Edition include an aluminum bell, a Shinola chainguard, a stainless water bottle cage, a Kleen Kanteen stainless bottle and a Torpedo headlamp. And one of my favorite touches? Bamboo fenders. Elegant to the last.

The $2,950 price tag sounds hefty, I know. But this timeless, thoughtfully built, tastefully-designed American-made classic should be considered a one-time investment to be enjoyed and cared-for for a lifetime.

Since it’s made in Motor City, one might think of it as the 1964 Mustang GT Convertible of bicycles, destined to become a collector’s item (if it isn’t already). Bravo, Shinola.

Detail images:

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Surgeon’s Cuffs

It wasn’t until two years ago when I got my first custom suit that I learned that one could get actual working, functional sleeve buttons. These jacket cuffs with functioning buttons, known as “surgeon’s cuffs,” can literally be unbuttoned and rolled back like shirt sleeves, unlike the purely decorative, non-functional buttons that are attached to most suit jacket or blazer sleeves.

Prior to the influx of tailors over a century ago, Savile Row was filthy with surgeons. When tailors started to move in, they accommodated their local clientele by making jackets with functional sleeve buttons that could be unfastened and rolled back, enabling a surgeon to work on a patient without removing his jacket. Hence, surgeon’s cuffs.

Obviously, it would take much less time to simply remove a modern day jacket, making surgeon’s cuffs as ornamental as fake ones. But they’re such a fun detail. Most jackets today come with four sleeve buttons, some come with three (or less if a designer is playing a trendy card). On my own jackets, I often leave the last one unfastened as a subtle flourish or to make room for a bulky cuff link.

surgeons-cuffs-hero

Nowadays, bespoke or custom tailors offer surgeon’s cuffs as a standard option. Most off-the-peg offerings do not, usually sewing the buttons onto fake “stitched” button holes that don’t open. (Though Suitsupply‘s off-the-peg suits have functional sleeve buttons.) J.Crew does even less on their jacket sleeves, forgoing the fake stitched button holes, which enables a tailor to detach the buttons and alter sleeve length easily. Once the sleeve is altered, a good tailor can even make the buttons functional if one wishes.

As I said, surgeon’s cuffs are technically just as cosmetic as non-functional buttons. They’re almost purely decorative, like ties, pocket squares, lapel pins or even tie bars. But they provide a subtle accent and detail to a jacket that I absolutely love.

Raising the bar without raising the budget.