1812 Society's Patrick McMeans shares the secrets behind crafting the perfect suit

Patrick McMeans got his start in the custom clothing industry just shy of a decade ago. "I always wanted to look good, to put my best foot forward," he says. "I was actually buying suits for myself, and the guy selling me a suit said I'd do really well in this industry. So, I started working at the store." After four years with the company, McMeans decided to branch out on his own, and 1812 Society was born. He explains to Capital Style how to get the custom suit of your dreams.

Appreciate Quality: Details make the difference; at 1812 Society, suits come with a reinforced, hand-stitched collar, hand-stitched seams and hand-sewn, Italian-style lapel buttonholes.

Get Creative: "The main difference between us and an off-the-rack suit company is the personalization aspect," McMeans says. That includes a selection of more than 5,000 fabrics, lining and pocket-square options, as well as special extras like name and initial stitching on the inside of the jacket.

Find the Perfect Fit: The No. 1 benefit of a custom suit is the fit. At 1812 Society, McMeans and his team take 36 measurements that go well beyond height, weight and inseam. These measurements note your posture, your shoulder width and more. "A lot of guys think the measurement process is just like '42 long.' Well, that's not how this works," McMeans says. "We're building a specific pattern just for you."


At 1812 Society, there are five major steps involved in creating a custom suit.

Step 1: Consultation

McMeans and his team want to know who you are, where you work, why you're looking for a suit. Have a picture of what you want? Bring it in. Bonus: The showroom has a cigar lounge and a full bar.

Step 2: Wardrobe Evaluation

If necessary, the consultation stage also includes a visit to your closet during which a member of the team will determine what needs replaced, what's in good shape and what needs altered.

Step 3: Measurements

From head to toe, the 1812 Society team will conduct 36 measurements to make sure everything fits exactly right.

Step 4: Design

Once you've been fitted, the fun begins. Choose the fabric, colors and details you like. Overwhelmed? McMeans will help you narrow down the choices before determining how many buttons you want, how to position the pockets-Slanted? Angled?-and more.

Step 5: Construction

Finally, it's time to create your look. The longest part of the process, construction takes an average of three to four weeks. The company's tailors construct the garment to specs and then there's a fitting. Any minor adjustments are done by a local tailor.