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looking the part: michael andrews bespoke [Page 1 of 1]

On your wedding day, more likely than not you'll be wearing a tuxedo. If you don't already own a tux and the thought of renting one causes flashbacks to your high school prom, consider stepping up to buy one.   After all, a well-made tux that fits you properly will ensure that you look your best on the big day, and unlike the bride's wedding dress, you'll get years of future wear from it.   While there are countless off-the-rack options that can fit the bill, if you're willing to spend just a bit more, GroomGroove.com suggests checking out New York City-based custom clothier, Michael Andrews Bespoke, for a tailor-made tuxedo that will fit you to a tee.

Michael Andrews Bespoke

The word bespoke comes from London's Savile Row, where it refers to the practice of making an original pattern for each customer so that no two customers' suits are ever exactly alike. Founded by Michael Mantegna and Andrew Wells in 2006, Michael Andrews Bespoke follows in the Savile Row tradition, giving customers plenty of input into the design process and delivering a tuxedo (or suit) that fits in a way no ready-made garment can rival.   Headquartered in Manhattan's trend-setting Lower East Side, the company emphasizes designer detailing and a contemporary fit that is often missing with more traditional custom tailors.

Why not just rent?

Renting a tuxedo can be economical if you wear one infrequently, but if you find yourself needing a tux more than once or twice a year, buying simply makes more sense.   Besides, renting can be terribly inconvenient since you have to get measured each time and then pick up and return the rental when you're done.   When you own your own tuxedo, the biggest headache you might face is getting out that wedding cake you sat in.   "While there is nothing wrong with renting," Mantegna explains, "the tuxedo is a fundamental part of a man's wardrobe, and there's probably no better time to buy one than in preparation for your wedding day."

Custom versus off-the-rack

According to Mantegna, the two biggest reasons to choose custom-made over off-the-rack are fit and quality.   "Unless you happen to be that one person in a thousand who matches the pattern used to mass produce an off-the-rack suit, you'll never be able to achieve the fit of a tailor-made garment."   And while a ready-made tux or suit might appear to be well made, there is no true guarantee of the craftsmanship.   According to Mantegna, the vast majority of off-the-rack suits and tuxedos employ a "fused" canvas that is glued to the inside of the jacket to give it shape instead of using a traditional "floating" canvas that is sewn in by hand.   "Most consumers don't realize that mass production has replaced the work of a tailor with something akin to Elmer's glue.   It's a travesty."   Fine tailoring is clearly a passion for Mantegna, who is quick to grab your jacket to demonstrate the sure signs of good craftsmanship.   With a fused jacket, you may not notice the difference at first, but once you've had it dry-cleaned a few times, the glue can begin to break-down and the jacket will start to sag.   "If you take proper care of a hand-made jacket with a traditional canvas, you should be able to pass the suit down to your children."  

Michael Andrews Bespoke offers a range of prices for almost any budget.   The company's Brown Label Collection is manufactured in its Hong Kong workshop using only skilled tailors trained in traditional bespoke techniques.   Michael Andrews' Signature Collection is hand-made in the company's New York workshop under the direction of master tailor Nelson Arriaga, whose clients have included members of Aerosmith and the Forbes family.   Tuxedos in the Brown Label Collection range from $745 to $1295, and those in the Signature Collection begin at $2,200.   Garments typically take six to ten weeks for delivery.   Wedding season is a particularly busy time for the company, so be sure to call well in advance of the big day.    "We bend over backwards to accommodate almost any groom's request," Mantegna adds, "but you shouldn't try to rush perfection." GroomGroove.com heartily agrees.


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