Pardon my recent absence, friends and fiends! Just finished a paper entitled “Do Looks Matter in Negotiation?”, which was a nightmare to write. Now, on to even more superficial issues.
My friends probably know it takes little to sway me — a perfectly tailored shirt and suit. Such is the magic of, ahem, bespoke. Really, why do all bankers, lawyers and other corporate rogues get so excited about being measured up and hand stitched down?
From an older Forbes article on The Most Expensive Suits —
What makes a suit cost upwards of $5,000 and sometimes considerably more? It’s a combination of material, labor, skill and not a little egotism. (You have to think you’re worth it, after all.)
If it is egotism, I like how it manifests itself in an understatement — no labels, no monogram (monogram monogram monogram), and probably not given to flashy details either. This, in spite of the illustriousness of Savile Row’s clientele, whose names are rarely released, in the spirit of things.
So, this thing about hand-tailoring — it’s only for those who can afford it (but are barred by good taste from explicitly telling you so). Little wonder the tailors are getting riled up about made-to-measure stores encroaching on their corner — they’re instituting measures to show customers they’re the Real Thing.
… The Savile Row Bespoke Association is launching a quality mark to distinguish its products from other companies who sell “made-to-measure” suits under the banner “Savile Row Bespoke”.
That would allow potential customers to at least know what they are buying when they pay for their hand-tailored suit.
I quite like the idea of a quality mark — it makes a point but doesn’t overstate it. I’ve realised this is something that comes with experience and maturity, and is something I’ve been working towards of late. This is also probably one of the reasons why I’ve come to respect bespoke a lot: it says a lot without talking too much.
On a separate note, this is rather amazing:
In reality, sales of high-quality bespoke suits, even in the current recession, have not fallen noticeably over the past year.