If somebody said they could make you any suit you wanted, that fitted perfectly, simply by sending a few photographs of yourself, you’d be sceptical, right?
That’s how I felt when “The Drop” got in touch. The Drop is a startup that allows men to create their clothes, in their sizes at a price which suits their budget.
I’ve seen many apps, come and go, that allow you to take a picture of an item you see in the street. Like Shazam for clothes, they let you know where you can buy it from. Unfortunately, this only works for clothes in season and available in your size, so can be a disappointing search. It also doesn’t allow for you imagination or dream item.
Left - TheChicGeek smiling in his finished suit
The Drop business was founded on the premise that lots of men know what they want when they see it (whether on Instagram, Pinterest or on the street) but often find it hard to locate it in stores, in their size - a fundamental disconnect between supply and demand.
Right - Inspiration - Burberry - But I wanted it cut like a Tom Ford
The Drop enables customers to submit an image of their ideal suit (from styles they've seen online, in store or on the street) along with images of themselves so that correct measurements can be assessed. Their suit is then made & delivered in their size in under three weeks. Prices start from around the £300 mark.
They can make a single item in Asia, and then they allow a small budget for you to take the finished item to be altered, if it needs any additional work, at a place of your choosing.
I wanted something different yet also something that I knew they could make. It would be pointless going all out Gucci if they didn’t offer those kinds of fabrics.
I wanted a brown flannel suit as it’s really hard to find a good chocolate brown suit. I found an old picture from a previous Burberry campaign, but I wanted a longer jacket and wider lapels.
I also wanted the fit based on a Tom Ford suit that I already own. After a couple of e-mails, swatches were sent through, which is difficult to choose online admittedly and they said they didn’t have brown flannel, so I just asked for a plain chocolate coloured suit.
I sent three pictures - front, side, back - of me in fitted clothing and then chose the lining and other details on the suit. I went for a peaked lapel two button wool suit with a pink lining.
They may get in touch to ask a few further questions and just to clarify the order.
Far Left - Tailored Made - Chic Geek - Pink lining with green lettering
Left - The Edward Sexton/Tommy Nutter/Tom Ford lapels that I wanted
A few weeks later the suit was ready. It was shinier than I envisioned, but not detrimental. The lapels were good, very Tom Ford/Edward Sexton like - move over Harry Styles! As for fit, the waist on the trousers and the jacket was too tight. They kindly had this altered for me, when in reality you would do this yourself and then bill The Drop.
Overall, the suit is good, I know I couldn’t buy another brown wool suit with a pink lining for the price they are asking.
Verdict - For the price of a high-street suit you get something individual and one-off. You could get something for a special occasion or if you find it hard to get standard suits to fit, but at these prices you could use this service everytime you want a new suit. This concept has the potential to play around and copy designer items quickly if the choice of fabrics allows.
I think The Drop needs to brand their name more on the items, as I couldn’t remember the name throughout the process, and they should also offer more inspiration and fabric choices to capture the more experimental and directional customers or for those guys who know what they want, but want a few images to base it upon. It would also be good to photograph the suits they make to give you more of a feel of what they do and create a community of passionate guys wanting something individual.
Left - Brown & pink suit from The Drop from around £300
See the full The Drop OOTD here
A well fitting suit of classical proportion in simple English cloth forms the foundation of a good wardrobe. An English Bespoke tailor will cut you a good suit. If your suit is going to last you twenty years it is best to avoid fad or fashion.
Patrick Grant of Norton & Sons
How to choose a suit
I would advise a gentleman to follow three simple rules.
1. Few suits but good suits.
2. Favour simple suiting but splendid Linen
3. Always let ones clothes be correct, never too formal nor too casual, never too worn nor too new.
I favour a single breasted two button jacket with a notched Lapel, straight pockets and side vents, and a higher cut flat fronted trouser. If your finances allow start with the following; dark navy flannel, dark charcoal flannel, navy Worsted, charcoal worsted, Glenurquhart check worsted, navy cable stripe worsted. For warmer days add a couple of fresco's, again in navy and charcoal.
Armed with his simple suits a gentleman can set forth to create his look with shirtings and silks as simply or as flamboyantly as his tastes allow. It is with his linens that an Englishman expresses his sense of dress. Ones shirts must be well cut and should be classically proportioned. Experiment until you find a collar shape that works. A good shirt maker will assist in your choice of cut, and help you guide you through the many thousand Cotton shirtings and tie silks that he will offer.
And one should neither overdress nor underdress. Dress for the occasion and avoid looking contrived. According to the wonderful George Frazier 'No well-dressed man's clothes should look either old or new'. I wear a dinner suit of my grandfathers, cut in 1936, which age and wear has rendered perfect. The Norton & Son's suit that I am wearing today I have worn at least one hundred times before. It took about fifty wears before it really Felt worn in. Purchasers of inexpensive suits will never experience this joy.
Norton & Sons is one of Savile Row's finest Bespoke Tailors. Established in 1821, the house made its name tailoring to the young and sporting amongst Europe's elite.
The firm gained eminence making sharply cut suits for rugged and robust gentlemen, such as Lord Mountbatten and the young Winston Churchill, for whom the firm made everything from dinner suits to racing silks. Lord Carnavon wore a Norton suit when he discovered Tutankhamun's tomb.
In recent years Norton & Sons has worked on clothing collections for British menswear Designer of the Year Kim Jones, British Designer of the Year Giles Deacon, young London designers Richard Nicoll, House of Holland, Christopher Kane, and New York's Rag & Bone.
Norton & Sons still hand cuts and hand sews every garment on Savile Row, using the traditional techniques perfected over centuries of tailoring in London.