A couple of weeks ago, we had an in-house visit from the Editor of the online magazine StyleWhipped, Alison Stewart. She brought along photographer Andrew Werner and model Kaolin Bass to help her show us off. She just posted the article, check it out below!
January 28, 2013
Letter From the Editor: Custom Menswear from Clifton Charles
Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Clifton Berry, who along with Wayne Taitt, is one half of Clifton Charles, an amazing custom suit & shirt destination. According to Clifton, who I finally had a chance to sit down and chat with (there we are in the photo below), they are “selling confidence.” And there is nothing more of a confidence-booster to a man than a perfectly fitted suit and shirt combo. And here in NYC, Clifton Charles is THE place to go to buy some confidence…
In 2008, Clifton and Wayne, who were college friends that both ended up working in finance for 12 years, realized there was a major missing piece of American menswear, quit their jobs, and launched Clifton Charles. Not only were off-the-rack shirts not fitting them the way they really wanted, but while on his honeymoon in Shanghai in 2005, Wayne had discovered how quickly you could get custom suits made. But being the business-savvy guys they were, both Clifton and Wayne also knew that they had to somehow straddle both the luxury and value markets (we all remember what happened to our economy in 2008…).
So they did their research and talked to endless potential clients. And they came up with a way to provide all made-in-the-USA suits and dress shirts from fabrics sourced from the UK and Italy (all of their shirts are made from sumptuous full Peruvian pima cotton) that can be made in a shockingly short amount of time (10-15 business days for shirts; 4-6 weeks for suits). There is no minimum of how many pieces you have to buy, and those shirts? 100% custom for $100-$150 (Seriously!) Wait, it gets better…their suits will run you anywhere from $895 to $1295. And in terms of quality, attention to detail and fabrication, a Clifton Charles suit at $895 is comparable to a $3,000 designer suit you’d find in a department store. Oh, and don’t forget…theirs is custom…which means it is made from scratch according to your measurements…with your choice of fabrics, finishes, and free-of-charge extra perks like fabulous linings, monograms on your shirt cuffs, and more. The guys will even act as personal stylists, helping you to make your choices (wider leg or narrow? what kind of lapels? single-breasted or double?) with your lifestyle and preferences in mind.
I know you are wondering if you fit into the average Clifton Charles customer. And while some of their clients are in fact CEO’s of major banks, professional althetes, and the like, their clients are also lawyers, bankers (who aren’t the CEO…) and every other type of suit-wearing executive. They come from all over the world (from as far as Australia) and flock to trunk shows the company hosts in other cities like Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. And because once your measurements and preferences are in their system, you can order new suits and shirts anytime online. No need to be in NYC…you just need to be aware that you need more of these beautiful pieces in your wardrobe! And just how beautiful are they? Well, I was personally excited enough to want to share the company with our readers here. The fabrics feel like the finest air. The details are perfectly tailored and finished. The cheeky extras (like purple iridescent silk linings…) will make you feel like a rockstar in a suit.
My suggestion? Pay Clifton Charles a visit online or at their Manhattan showroom at 30 West 18th Street. Because that confidence? Yeah, you will have just bought it.
(Check out our model starting the process of ordering a custom suit with Clifton’s help…I have a feeling he is going to be very happy with the result!) Model: Kaolin Bass / All photos: Andrew Werner Photography