martin greenfield clothiers


Dana Tanamachi created this hand-lettered chalkboard piece to christen The Boardroom at Ace Hotel New York for Fashion Week – Dana also lettered room 1021 last summer. The Boardroom is the site of a three-day tailoring atelier of Martin Greenfield Clothiers. Mr. Greenfield himself will be hosting fittings for bespoke suits and garments through Sunday, by appointment. Spirits, beer, coffee and comestibles from The Breslin, Heineken and Stumptown. Find out more and RSVP here.

My First Custom Suit - Martin Greenfield in New York (pt. 2)

I get asked a lot about what ended up happening after this post about my first custom-made suit…well here goes:

I went back for a fitting about 8 weeks later and the two suits were basically complete - the only things missing were buttons (cuffs, chest, etc.) and the hem of the trousers. This means that basically I got measured once on my very first time in and a suit was cut to 95% completion based off that first visit, without much room for change/improvement on said commission.

So, if I were to pinpoint one single let-down with the experience, and maybe this is a fault of made-to-measure in general, it would be this: improvements appear to be done over the course of various commissions, not various fittings for one commission. So I ended up with two suits, that I liked, definitely, but which could’ve been improved upon easily and right off the bat had I started by just commissioning one coat and having some more patience.

So my tips for fellow beginners in custom-made clothing are as follows:

  • Get one coat/suit, not two like I did.
  • Be very firm with what you want, a tailor will listen to you, definitely, but just be sure to voice your wishes and ANY doubts/ideas you have in the first visit because there won’t be much of a chance to improve on things during the fitting once the coat has been cut. Even if it means your idea gets scratched in the end, bring it up to the tailor so it can be explained to you. I really, really wish I had done this and talked through everything I had in mind with these guys who had a lifetime’s worth of experience.
  • Really take your time during your fitting(s) when you’re trying on the suit. They’ll put it on you, mark the buttoning point and the hem of the trousers and will basically be ready for the next customer - take your time in front of the mirror; check the collar, check the sleeve-length, length of the coat, how loose/tight it is, etc. and try to get any alterations marked and done at this point. Again, ask to be talked through everything. I do this now to the point that I’m sure I annoy the tailors (I even e-mail them days after fittings to ask for explanations of certain things), but every time I come away with a newfound appreciation for their craft, their eye, their sense of proportion and cut, and why things are being done a certain way.

I fully admit I didn’t (and still don’t) know shit about getting clothes custom-made and what/how to order. These are just the lessons I took away from that first experience, which are more important than those suits themselves. It’s a process after all.

As you know, we’ll be hosting a vernal tailoring atelier with Martin Greenfield Clothiers, makers of bespoke suits and menswear in Brooklyn NY, for fashion week in a few days. Heineken will kindly grace one lucky gentleman or gentlewoman (come one, come all) with a complimentary hand-tailored suit, to be made to measurements gathered at our event with Greenfield February 10 through 12 by appointment in The Boardroom at Ace Hotel New York. You may submit your name and birthdate no later than midnight Wednesday for a chance to win.

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