Most men make the mistake of associating “custom menswear” with slick, three-piece suits that are only intended to be worn in the boardrooms of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms or any other organization aspiring to be such. It might bring up images of top-dollar execs who drink expensive scotch in their offices who can afford to splurge on clothing made from scratch.
Neither are bad aspirations, but they are limited.
In 2016, the average white-collar worker is much more likely to show up in slim dark jeans, a casual button-up shirt, and a pair of vintage sneakers. It’s the new uniform for the post-recession era, and it’s one that tends to reject the old ideals of dressing well for the job. This new uniform is not an accident. If it were, why would everyone make the same choices?
No, it’s a very deliberate, albeit naturally forming, manifestation of an attitude about blurring the lines between work and the rest of our lives.
And that intersection is right where custom menswear can best exist.
It allows a man to dress up his casual life while simultaneously dressing down his business world. It helps him develop a personal uniform—a brand—that markets him and his accomplishments just as well as a piece of well-written copy can do so for an international corporation.
Custom takes the idea that menswear—whether it’s a suit, jacket, or fine chinos—is only appropriate in the realm of dress codes and business meetings and spins it on its head. It says, “If you can wear jeans to work, why can’t you wear a jacket to the grocery store?”
In June, Beckett & Robb, a company who understands these principles and helps men curate their wardrobes as intentionally as their liquor cabinets opened its doors in downtown Seattle. It was started in 2009 in a city even less associated with fine menswear than Seattle —Salt Lake City, Utah.
In the seven years since opening, the company has grown to six retail locations: three in Utah and one in Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco. Production is done entirely from British and Italian materials in the best facilities in Italy, Spain, and Portugal and —with a starting price of $695 for a two-piece suit —pricing is more aggressive than any competitor in the market who offers the same cloth and construction quality.
At Beckett & Robb, a tailored fit works to compensate for the unique aspects of a man’s body. It also takes into account his personal taste, his work environment, his aspirations, his accomplishments, and how he wants to succinctly communicate to the world around him.
An executive may need a fine three-piece pinstriped suit, but that doesn’t mean he needs a custom clothier any more than the freshly-graduated student who’s trying to land his dream job by outperforming the competition in any and every way. (Although the latter may be better off in a well-fitted navy sport coat over jeans and sneakers.)
The goal of Beckett & Robb is to give the modern man the same level of quality —in both experience and product —that his grandfather or great grandfather would have received. Building quality garments is half of the puzzle, and the other half consists of the great one-on-one relationships that exist between B&R’s Style Consultants and their clients. After all, what communicates a comfort with success better than a well-dressed man who’s more comfortable in a tweed jacket than his peers are in their hoodies?
Beckett & Robb | 519 Union Street, Seattle | (206) 331-3744