The most iconic look a man about his business can ever pull off is a suited up look. The suit is the single most iconic ensemble in all of its variations; the three-piece suit, two-piece suit, pin-striped, peaked-lapel, plain suit and all. Suits match a variety of occasions, from big business occasions to weddings and even some more laid-back events, but the important thing is for a man to know how to wear it. It sounds silly that a man may not know how to wear a suit, but believe me when I say the streets are littered with traffic-stopping hot messes who cannot pull-off a suited look to save a drowning village!...
In the search for the perfect fit, men have gone from buying standard off-the-rack suits, to made-to-measure alterations and even over to the high end bespoke tailored suits which offer perfection in every aspect for any customer willing to bear the burden of the massive price tags. In recent times, some clever tailors and innovators have put into practice the art of catering to the lover of perfection, but at a more reasonable and ‘user-friendly’ price. What could I be talking about? Of course I am talking what has been coined ‘semi-bespoke’.
East & Lester headed by Sam Aderonmu and Yemi Spaine is a recent start-up in the semi-bespoke tailoring movement and is constantly building a solid client base. The question is what is it that they offer that warrants the name semi-bespoke? Well, here’s the thing, they offer you perfection in that all the suits are entirely a creation of the customer; you pick out the fabric, you decide on the design, and yet, it is affordable. Of course you will still have your measurements taken, but by appointment, they will visit you at your convenience and within a couple of weeks, your finished product is ready for pick-up or delivered to your address. This sounds exactly like the bespoke process though right?
Now this is where it gets slightly technical so pay attention. The ‘semi-bespoke’ term is an unofficial term and is not recognized by any governing body in fashion (not that there are many of those around). But the standards in the semi-bespoke regime are such that the customary three fittings and all the other traditional ‘ceremony’ surrounding the true bespoke process are omitted, and instead companies like East & Lester use patterns which they alter for each individual customer in order to meet their personal needs and as a result, this is a more affordable option which wouldn’t have your wallet in a choke-hold for weeks! Some people tilt their noses high up at the thought that semi-bespoke might be a cheap imitation, however, this is not the case as the semi-bespoke tailors still make use of some of the best fabric on the market! Don’t knock it till you rock it and look SUAVE, SOPHISTICATED AND SEMI-BESPOKE!