The Best Custom Suit In New York City is a new series that highlights our experiences at tailors throughout the city. We curate the best for you. After all, you can only highlight your shoe game if your suit is in check.
We can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy Monday afternoon than with a tailor, a scotch in hand, with an eyeful of fabrics at our fingertips. Like any age-old custom, we like to keep routine visits like these something to look forward to—like quality time at the barbershop or settling into a good read on the commute home. Pleasantries aside, Warren Bennett runs a one-stop shop that takes care of all our tailoring needs. By running a vertically-integrated business, A Suit That Fits sells its product at attractive price points that represent excellent value. Plus all their clothing is ethically-produced in Nepal. Read on to discover a new custom tailor imported from the United Kingdom.
Paul Evans: Tell us the about your story, how you got started.
Warren Bennett: In England we have gap years, usually a year before university. I went out to various countries and I always had suits made wherever I went. The first time was in Africa where I got a massive suit with baggy pants. On my way to China I got a suit. And eventually, I ended up in Nepal. I volunteered there and was introduced to a family of tailors. They made my first proper suit: an olive green three-piece with the biggest flares I could imagine. I brought it back to the U.K. and called my friend David over for a drink. He asked where I got the suit and I told him. He loved it except for the flares. Furthermore, he thought it’d be a great idea for a company. David had a computer science degree and we put it online in essentially 24 hours. We took the suits I made down to Hampstead Market, a place in London, and we sold two in twenty minutes. And that was sort of the start of the business.
PE: What’s different about suits made in Nepal?
WB: We still get our suits made in Nepal from the same family of tailors. The suits in Nepal were the suits I could really wear. That’s why I brought it back. The difference between off-the-peg and A Suit That Fits is that it fits you, your budget, and your personality. Take Evan’s suit for example, a sort of loud pinstripe. It says a lot about him. Also, we pay 50% over the local rate for tailoring in Nepal. We’re very proud to support the school over there as well by contributing 5% of our costs back to the school. We pay for various projects, including a science lab, a computer lab, and an adventure playground as well.
PE: What are the top attributes you look for in a suit?
WB: Fit is definitely one of them but there are so many different areas of fit. I would say the two most important areas are the shoulders and the jacket length itself. Waist would be the third. The other thing I think is really important about a suit is confidence. It’s not actually about what you’re wearing or what you chose or what I’m wearing, it’s that you feel really confident in what you’re wearing. Otherwise, whether it fits you or not, it just won’t be a good suit. It changes a man. It makes you walk a little bit taller.
PE: What are your clients usually looking for when they come to you?
WB: The biggest occasion for us is normally a wedding. We’ve got the two different types: the occasion suit and the business suit. The occasion suit people are more about the details and getting it just right, making sure that the colors are perfectly spot-on. Whereas the business customer, they want something that fits them. They’ll certainly be interested in getting something that fits right the first time. Then afterwards, it’s the convenience of buying it online. We’ve got their size, they can now easily pick out another one.
PE: Is there any difference between how men dress in the UK and New York?
WB: I say they’re fairly similar, actually. I’d say New York is very European in its style. There are a lot of people with Italian or British style suits: much more fitted, slightly shorter jacket length and shorter pants length as well so you can see a little bit of the ankle. That’s why it’s such a good market for us; people understand that fit is important and it’s important to them. We’ve barely scratched the surface in New York. The key for us to get a real presence here. Back in 2006 when we started in the UK, we had one studio for at least 1.5 years. We really started to snowball after that 1.5 years. People started to care about us. We built off that reputation to 10 to 20 studios. Now we’ve got 30 studios in the U.K. We’ve been in New York since May.
PE: When it comes to men's styling, how important is accessorizing?
WB: Great question. It’s important to get that right because a lot of people struggle. That’s where we come in and where Paul Evans comes in. Where a lot of people go really wrong is they try to put too many colors in. You’ve got to try and keep that to a minimum. For example, I’ve got my oxblood shoes today and my red tie and my white shirt. The suit pattern usually has 2-3 colors so I would stick to that. If it’s a solid suit, 2-3 colors and a white is the best rule to go by.
PE: Best piece of style advice? Style icons?
WB: James Bond, but he doesn’t really talk to me much. That sort of British gangster film.. those kinds of suits. You’re looking at very little color, always a pocket square.
PE: Celebrity clients?
WB: Alan Cumming, Nigel Barker, Nick Frost.
PE: What are some of the trends you hate and love in menswear?
WB: I like the style of shirts buttoned up all the way without a tie. I also like the shorter collar lengths and shorter trouser lengths, very fitted. Obviously because it fits what we’re trying to do. I really hate a low-slung waistband; I think that just looks ridiculous. It looks like they’re about to fall down, kind of silly. In America, I really want to champion cufflinks and the French cuffs. The cufflinks give you a chance to accessorize again. It’s also quite a nice way to accent your suit. Don’t just wear colorful socks to make yourself stand out, it just looks ridiculous. It can’t just be a stand-alone color; it has to work with the rest of the outfit.
PE: Tell us about your personal style.
WB: I really like British suits and cuts: double vents, the single button. I’m wearing one now. More than anything else, I really like a subdued, subtly-patterned check. I like a bit of interest in the suit, nothing too colorful but a flash of color somewhere. I think everyone should wear suits all the time. It should be dress-up Friday, no dress-down.
PE: Season dressing?
WB: For summer, I recommend a much lighter suit for sure. Linen is good but it wrinkles very easily. We have a nice range of seersuckers and cottons. You could also go for lightweight wools or other natural materials. The other trick is to just go for an unlined or half-lined jacket.
Multiple pieces have been purchased from A Suit That Fits, including suits, trousers and shirts. We highly recommend Warren and his team of stylists. If you're in New York City, schedule an appointment and tell them Paul Evans sent you.
A Suit That Fits
200 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10166