By this point most of you should have realized that I may be perhaps addicted to made to measure (and some would argue custom) suiting, could be worse… On my ever growing quest to compile a solid list of makers I have encountered various business models, price points, levels of quality and fit and most importantly happiness in the balance of each of these (for other MTM makes see Alton Lane, Black Lapel, Indochino, My.Suit and My Tailor). Soon after I moved to New York City in the fall of 2010 I heard of a ‘custom’ suit shop called Mr. Neds. I heard they delivered well made and decent, but often boxy fitting suits; all at a sub $1,000 price point. It was also said that all of the production occurred in house at Mr. Neds 5th ave shop (more on this later) another thing I liked was that you could only get a Mr. Ned suit by going to the store, there was no online ordering/fitting system. I remember visiting the shop in the winter of 2011, unfortunately, I could not justify the expense of an $800 plus suit at the time. However, I vowed to return. My interest was again turned to Mr. Neds when I visited the workshops of Cifonelli in Paris and Henry Poole in London (I have pictures, I just have not posted them yet, even though its been nearly a year…). To see the suits, pants and vests being made by a harmonious combination of man and machine was inspiring and elegant. I knew Mr. Neds offered a similar experience at a fraction of the cost. I had to try it. My patience was rewarded circa Christmas 2011 when I was gifted a suit from Mr. Neds by my parents. So, four short days after Christmas the process began.
The initial visit to Mr. Neds consisted of choosing the fabric, taking measurements and discussing the various characteristics the suit would have. I can only imagine I was and have continued to be higher maintenance than most customers. Anyway, I decided on a solid blue suit, the blue to be lighter than navy, somewhat akin to the blue of the Air Force; but not quite as bright as the blue that took menswear by storm last summer. I decided to put the project on hold for a few weeks to think about how I wanted for the other characteristics of the suit. Eventually I opted for a 1 button notch lapel design with natural shoulders. Straight flap pockets and four working cuff buttons were also selected. Lastly, I wanted the suit to be primarily for warm weather wear so I choose to have the jacket half lined. For the pants I opted for a no cuff, no pleat, slanted pockets and side tabs; as per usual. But much to my regret, we did not discuss the color of the stitching around the button holes and pockets. One would assume it would match the color of the suit. Unfortunately, this was an improper assumption (see note below).
After a few weeks time the jacket was ready for the first of what would be five fittings. The main point of the fitting was to get the lapel, body, shoulder and armhole measurements set. As you can see, the sleeves were not yet attached, nor were the lapels faced. It was quite a fun experience, to be honest; to see the jacket at such an early stage with the basting and exposed inner parts of the jacket. Clearly, that’s the clothing geek side of me coming out. The pants were not to be ready until the second fitting which will be discussed in the second post in this series.
Note: The second fitting is when I found out that a navy blue thread was used on the stitching and button holes of the pants and would be used on the jacket as well. The result is a high contrast between the color of the stitching and the color of the fabric; which although it can add a nice touch I am not a fan of it. I hesitantly decided to proceed using a slightly lighter thread that looked to better match the color of the jacket. However, it is still too dark for the jacket and upon seeing this I am hesitant to finish and pay the remaining amount on the jacket (see pics below and feel free to leave any thoughts you may have). This said, there may only be a second post in this series which will discuss further fittings. The third and final post would not occur as there may be no final suit purchased.
Subsequent note: Since the original posting of this material the buttonhole stitching color issue has been resolved. Details will come in later posts.
Note: FYGblog has received no material compensation from Mr. Neds or any associated entities in exchange for discussion on FYGblog.