See it. We all thought the suit business was gone when the pandemic broke out. After all, who needs a made-to-measure suit when everyone is at home?
Well, as it turns out this summer, we’re going to dress up and go out. There are many weddings and graduations and funerals. (Maybe too many funerals.)
This fall is sure to bring a generous dose of special events – in our view everyone deserves an award to reach that point in 2021. There will be charity galas and christenings and Christmas parties. Oh, how are we looking forward to these Christmas parties.
We’re going to party and hug and be so happy to see friends and family we haven’t seen in a couple of years. But circle around our closets and everything seems to have changed. Perhaps that’s why Jim Rieser, head apparel maker at Hunter & Lords, got in touch again.
Rieser, a resident of Central Ohio, oversees the tailoring of suits for CEOs, senior executives, and anyone else who values bespoke products. That’s what he has to say these days.
What changes can we expect from the suit industry this fall if you have a penchant for a more casual style?
Even in the rush for the casual style 10 years ago, we experienced a parallel renaissance of suits. Back then everything went into slim fit, shorts and coats, but the nuts and bolts of the suit were still there. Now casual is more oversized, and we see the same trends carry over to the suit: wider lapels, fuller silhouettes, pleated pants, etc.
What is the most important aspect of looking good in a suit?
Fit, fit, fit. Also good stuff, great 120s [the quality count for woven wool] or higher.
Did the suit business slump at the start of the pandemic?
“Quiet” would be an understatement.
Where are your suits made and have you experienced a procurement delay due to the pandemic economy?
Since 1932 [they have been] Made in our Knoxville, Tennessee store by our very skilled Italian and Turkish tailors. We are now fourth generation family owned and will never outsource our inheritance.
How long do you need to make a bespoke suit?
Typically, measurements are taken six weeks from the day.
What does a good suit say about the person wearing it?
It says, “I respect myself and I respect you.” When you walk into the most beautiful restaurant in town in your workout clothes, you don’t show that you appreciate the chef, sommelier and all the other professionals who are giving you a great experience. When a salesman walks into your office in his golf outfit, do you think he will make your business his priority? Or is he on his way to the driving range? Dressing on purpose shows the world in which you live your life the same way.