Custom suits and tuxedos provide added flair.
This story first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in June 2018.
For many grooms, a well-tailored, off-the-rack suit or a spiffy rented tuxedo is all that's needed to walk down the aisle in style.
Some husbands-to-be, however, want duds that stand out.
In planning his marriage to Ashley Turner in September 2017, Albert Watson sought the services of Persona Custom Clothiers. “We wanted to do something fresh, something exciting, something new,” Watson says, “and [to] switch it up a little bit.”
Persona fashioned a pair of suits for Watson. For the wedding, he donned an elaborately patterned green jacket with black lapels; instead of going the traditional route, he allowed himself to be inspired by the colors chosen for the wedding by his bride-to-be. “She had the color scheme that we put together, and so I just went from there,” Watson says. For the reception, he slipped into a gold jacket with black lapels. Both, Watson says, fit him perfectly.
In fact, pinpoint measurements are the hallmark of custom clothing. For example, Balani Custom Clothiers in the Short North makes note of 30 measurements, including the wrist and shoulder pitch, to create a suit—more than might be required to create a typical wedding dress, according to Balani president Christian Boehm.
“In any given day, someone can walk in the door that looks like Santa Claus, looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, looks like Danny DeVito or looks like Michael Phelps,” says Boehm. “We have to not just fit them but also listen, as part of the consultative process, to how they want to be perceived on their special day.”
Balani grooms have control over an array of details, including the fabric, lapel types and buttons. Carissa Abele, custom stylist at Balani, says that all tastes can be accommodated.
“I have a mix, actually, between very conservative, black-tie weddings and also some more fashion-forward, funkier patterns,” she says.
For clients who want the ultimate customization, Abele says she can design a suit or tux with a monogram or wedding date sewn under the jacket collar.
For their wedding in August 2017, Logan Smyth and Trent Stechschulte looked to Balani to craft custom, albeit very traditional, tuxedos. The decision “was really more so for the fit, to make sure they looked great,” Smyth says.
At Balani, garments can be made in six to eight weeks, but Abele advises planning early.
“I recommend people doing it as soon as six months prior to [the big day],” she says. “Typically, the grooms seem to be a little bit more last-minute than the brides, who have to actually order their outfits about eight months in advance.”
Approximately three weeks before the wedding, Abele says, a fitting ensures that any weight fluctuation since the measurements were taken is accounted for.
With the right planning, menswear made to order can have a life beyond the exchange of vows.
“It's kind of a keepsake thing,” Smyth says. “Ideally, we'll still fit in them for several years. Even if we outgrow them, we'll still have that to hold onto.”