Where to get a custom tailored shirt

Caruso's Custom Shirts

Do you think there's a custom shirt for that little guy hanging from the lapel?

By Kaitlin Resler

A custom shirt doesn't just fit like a glove, it fits like skin. Better than skin even, because a custom-tailored garment hides, flatters, and accentuates.

Countless magazines, style guides, and makeover shows sing the praises of having ready-to-wear garments tailored. It can be a great help for anyone who has trouble finding sizes that flatter -- and a really fun luxury for others.

There's a history in a custom-made garment. Like couture, it's special and infused with care and detail. I don't mean to be overly romantic or wax poetic about this, but custom garments are a funny kind of imprint of an individual. Because they're special they can be passed down through generations, like jewelry.

Custom shirts are also a kind of a mark of arrival, like the first suit, first little black dress, first grown-up perfume or cologne.

There are a few places in the Capital Region where you can go for custom tailored shirts. I checked out the process at Caruso's Custom Clothier in Guilderland.

Caruso's seems to be more guy-oriented -- suits and ties neatly arranged in inviting displays in a wider range of fabrics -- the kind of sartorial colors and cuts that make me want to abandon ruffles and skirts and roll my pant cuffs and shop in the men's department (or sneakily borrow from closets). That said, they also do women's wear.

Custom shirts at Caruso's start at $99. Considering most men's dress shirts at Express or J. Crew or Banana Republic can start at $59, that's pretty awesome for one custom made. Prices will vary above that depending on the fabrics. Kim Hoffman, who helped me out on my visit, described the difference in shirt fabrics as being akin to the thread-count for sheets. Higher thread counts allow for a silkier (ish) material, and would be more expensive.

Caruso Shirt.jpg

Measurements for the shirt, along with the fabric, collar, cuffs, pocket (everything!) of your choosing are done on premises at Caruso's. The resulting pattern is then sent out, and the shirt is constructed at another site. Custom suits are also handled this way. The suits are pricier, obviously, but they can last you a long time and will keep you looking as awesome as the guys on The Sartorialist for a long, long time. (Give yourself 3-4 weeks lead time for custom tailored shirts -- suits will take longer.)

Custom shirts make great gifts for a new job, first job, birthday, or even Valentine's Day, but If you want to give one you'll need to use a gift certificate so that the gift-ee can be measured at their leisure and pick their own fabric and cut.

You can also get custom tailored garments locally at Amore Clothing on State Street.

Find It

Caruso's Custom Clothier
1823 Western Ave. (Westmere Plaza)
Albany, NY 12203

(518) 464-6097

Comments

Starting at $100 bucks?

if you're going to buy enough shirts to have an entire wardrobe, you'd be better off flying to thailand and getting them made for 10 bucks a pop.

Try Amore's on State, near Eagle. Italian tailor has been in business for decades, because he knows what he's doing.

Simon's Mens Wear on State St in Schenectady....very very nice staff that treat the customer as if they were family. My husband has gotten numerous articles of clothing there, some custom and some not, and they have always treated him well. In addition, if something tears, or a zipper breaks, they have repaired it at no charge. They can accommodate all sizes and shapes.

Hong Kong Custom Tailors makes a nice shirt for less than $100. 1531 Central Avenue in Albany, (518) 456-1865.

My favorite is Chris Garabedian, Wardrobe of Image. Not cheap but impressive!
http://www.cgarabedian.com/

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