Suit yourself

Brian Lindamood, Capital Style

Men's business wear gets a bad rap for being stodgy or dull. But the problem isn't the suit: it's the generic fit in the same humdrum style that makes you look like the Business-Bot 2000 in blue pinstripes. Boring.

Instead, skip the drab, off-the-rack looks for a suit with individual flair that's tailored to flatter your body. Custom suit-makers, like Columbus-based Astor & Black, let you choose from thousands of fabrics and hundreds of other personalized options. From pockets, cuffs and collars down to individual buttonholes, you can create a unique look that stands out.

Best of all is the fit. Astor & Black consultants visit your office or home (itself an indulgence) and take up to 28 measurements, making sure your suit fits in places you never before considered measuring. (Packages start at $2,500 for three suits, three shirts and three ties.) As a custom-suit convert, I can attest: Nothing is more comfortable than a well-made suit that's been cut for your body. And the confidence boost is what dressing up for work is all about.

Here are just a few of the other details you can personalize with a custom-made suit.

Jacket Lining

Jacket linings in complementary or striking colors are a subtle way to show this suit is yours from the inside out.

Cuff Buttons

Functioning buttons let you roll up your sleeves or just leave one unbuttoned to nonchalantly let everyone know this suit is the real deal.


Shirts can be personalized with dozens of collar and cuff styles and a dizzying selection of patterns and fabrics.

Lapel Buttonhole

Buttonhole stitching can be customized for a pop of color on the lapel or cuffs.


Jacket lapels are an obvious place to stand out, from this conventional notched look to trendier pointed lapels.

Outside Jacket Pocket

Jacket pockets can be customized for fun or function. On another jacket I added a small ticket pocket, a British affectation inspired by Savile Row.