I will tell you the truth. I want to buy an awesome, fitted suit. But I want a suit that those hot-shot celebs wear to the Grammy’s. All the suits I have aren’t ftted to me, some have a bigger belly area and others don’t have the ‘English Cut’ which I am a fan of. I typically buy Calvin Kelin suits mainly because they fit me well enough to look like a tailored suit. I decided that this summer, I would spoil myself and buy one custom made suit. After doing a ton of research on ‘thread count’ ‘what suits to wear during the spring’ and ‘most durable brands’. I found this company called Astor & Black Custom Clothiers. More importantly, I loved the quality (and high thread count… higher thread count means a way better suit) and customization you can do with your suit at a fraction of the cost of a normal custom made suit. I decided to introduce myself and see if I could get the experts at Astor & Black to help us with some fashion tips, mainly for the bankers in the audience.
No we were not paid off in suits to promote Astor & Black. I would however willingly accept a generous gift (maybe some ad space in exchange…) if I received one (maybe 2?) custom suits. Below is my conversation with the team at Astor & Black (great guys also!).
1. What is Astor & Black?
Astor & Black is old world tailoring meets the fashion forward style of today. All of our garments are hand-made and fully canvassed. They come standard with all options: handpicked stitching, functional buttonholes, a built-in pocket square that matches the lining of your jacket, embroidered name plate, and you have thousands of fabrics to choose from to create your custom look. What is fantastic about our product is that it is really and truly customizable. You can choose from any of the styles we have available or make your own custom creation. We recently made a casual blazer with a hood attached to it. Very young, hip, and urban. Great for an evening out or a weekend event. And of course, no one does traditional like Astor & Black. Our foundation is built on the quintessential and classic European suit.
2. Spring is just around the corner, tell us about some spring trends for men?
For spring and summer we are seeing an increase of mixing patterns in bold colors, especially with shirts and ties. What we love about this trend is that it can seriously breathe some new life into a standard suit you have in your closet. Take your classic navy suit for example. Mix it with great gingham shirt in either navy or bright green, and finish it off with an orange plaid tie. Definitely not for the faint of fashion, but most certainly the trend and an eye catching combo. Fabrics are another trend in themselves. When the mercury rises, you need a light fabric that is going to move and breathe with you throughout the day. We suggest seersuckers, linens, cottons, and bamboos. And don’t be afraid of those wrinkles the first time you sit down in your linen suit. It’s the nature of the cloth and we pick style over functionality any day.
a. Same question but spring trend for women?
Once again, spring and summer seasons call for a boost in color. Don’t fade into your office walls with pastels. Put some punch in your look with hot pinks, bright blues, and attention grabbing greens. Same goes for the ladies when it comes to fabrics. Some linen pants, a feminine cut blouse, and a matching linen vest is perfect for the office during the warmer months. Ladies have an even harder time finding clothing that fits to every curve, so custom is a great way to get that pulled together look without trying.
3. What new accessories should men and females consider this spring?
We love the new graphic pocket squares we have added to our collection of accessories. They just add that something extra to your entire look. As far as ladies accessories, we haven’t quite developed this line yet, but it is in the works. Keep in mind that a great rule to live by when it comes to accessories (for men or women) is that less is more. Pick that 1 standout accessory and let that be the focus of your look.
4. What does the ultimate banker suit look like?
You can never go wrong with a grey suit. It conveys authority, but at the same time keeps you personable and approachable. Ultimately, the fit of your suits really speaks measures about you as a person. People take notice of your overall look and will form an opinion of you in seconds. Having a suit tailor made to your body not only makes people think “Hey, this person has it together“, but gives you an extra boost of confidence knowing that you look great.
5. What does the ultimate casual Friday banker dress look like?
Casual Friday is usually not so casual when you are talking about a bank setting. The best bet is a sportcoat and slacks. Like we mentioned before, pick a great accessory (pocket square, watch, tie) to pull your look together and be the center of attention. As far as what NOT to wear, we advise against short sleeve button-up dress shirts. Not fashionable and not professional.
6. If one of our readers had $15,000 to spend on a wardrobe (company bonus, maybe?) what should they do with that $15,000? (they can only buy clothes with it)
Wow, with $15k, you could get a whole new wardrobe from Astor & Black! We have packages that include 3 custom-made suits, 3 custom-made shirts, and 3 handmade ties starting at $2,200. Even at our highest suiting level available in packages, you are still only looking at $5,500. If you are feeling extravagant, we offer beautiful custom-made alligator shoes by DiBianco starting at $5,295 as well as many other accessories including cufflinks, golf wear, casual clothing, and handmade belts, but being the Bank Nerds that you are, we suggest putting some of that in savings.