I’m a software engineer. Like many others of my chosen profession, I work in a small home-office (aka Nerd Hole) surrounded by multiple monitors, glowing backlit keyboards reminiscent of Neo’s apartment in the first Matrix movie (we don’t speak of the other Matrix movies). In this dark and comfortable environment, it’s difficult to offend the fashion sensibilities of my co-workers who, in my case, consist of an ill-tempered cat who leaves huge mounds of fur all over my basement floor. Don’t get me wrong, I like to look my best and I have a large collection of cargo shorts from elite retailers like Target and Kohl’s. To augment this formidable collection, I have several hundred T-Shirts accumulated over the years at various techie and software conferences. The colors range from sensible black to a lot of colors resembling the color of mulch. sexy dresses
My morning routine consists of a very meticulous process of choosing and color coordinating these garments. Specifically:
Shower…don’t brush hair but put some goop in it so it stays strategically messed up.
Grab jeans or shorts on top of clean pile.
Grab T-Shirt on top of clean pile.
Put on carefully chosen ensemble.
Life is good.
A Disturbance in the Force
My business partner and I have historically dabbled in more techie SaaS ventures and products. Recently, she got her MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. This is a great school and she came out of there with a very dangerous thing known as “knowledge”, which I’m pretty sure is what got Adam and Eve kicked out of paradise. As part of that experience, she did a semester abroad kind-of-thing in China. She took her husband to Silk Street and got him a custom tailored suit. Since then she’s been obsessed with the understanding that having a made-to-measure suit is critical to looking good. The fit is way more important than who designed it or how expensive the fabric is. Cargo shorts do not have this severe shortcoming. Long story short, she wanted to launch an eCommerce venture to deliver these made-to-measure suits to the common man (presumably basement dwellers in cargo shorts), and after my begrudging agreement we launched 7 Regent Lane with our other partner, who actually does wear suits for a living.
Suits in the Nerd Hole
Needless to say, since she’s a girl and I’m not, I get to try out our prototypes and have a strict mandate to own and wear one of our suits on various occasions. I’m writing this to share my experiences with my fellow codists, so here they are:
Made to measure suits really do look better. I have a few off-the-rack suits, and sure enough having one made to fit my somewhat doughy software engineer exterior gives me the ability to look presentable, even good, when meeting with the significantly more-uptight East Coast investment and entrepreneurship community.
They’re comfortable. Compared to my other suits, the custom fitted one isn’t too tight or loose in the wrong areas so I don’t feel awkward and geeky in it.
They’re not that expensive. Most of my disposable income goes to gadgets. I’m particularly fond of camera gear and Linux single board computers. Unfortunately you can’t wear those to formal occasions, but we were able to arrange our cost structures so we can deliver custom fitted suits at about the same price of your typical off-the-rack Men’s Warehouse stuff, but with way less polyester.
There’s no way I’m going to be wearing suits for my job every day, but I do want to let all of the other pale subterranean code monkeys know that it’s really not so bad, or difficult, to take it up a notch those times you have to actually don business attire.
Kickstart Your Wardrobe
Just a shameless reminder that we have a Kickstarter campaign going on to help fund product line expansions at 7RL. Please give it a look if you want to give the Cargo Shorts a rest and take your significant other out to dinner at a fancier-than-normal place. Enjoy!
7RL is happy to announce that we’re going to be doing some major product line expansions. To help us fund this, we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign. In return for the support of the Kickstarter community we’re offering some great deals on our current and hopefully future products.
The one place everyone thinks of when one mentions custom tailored or bespoke menswear is Savile Row. This is a fascinating introduction by Alexander Lewis of Norton & Sons on what makes a bespoke, made-to-measure suit and off-the-rack suits different.
The finishing touches of our web site are being completed and we’re looking forward to going live this month. In addition to our collection of custom tailored suits, we’re already hard at work introducing the 7RL Dress Shirt. This shirt will come with a wide selection of extremely high quality fabrics and a variety of custom options allowing you to create a shirt for the most formal occasions or just a day at the office. Keep an eye out for this soon after our site launches!
We had a major thrill today. This ad was placed in the season finale of Pioneer One. Pioneer One is a unique and very compelling web drama distributed over the Ineternet. 7RL was very proud to be one of their first ad sponsors with this hastily cobbled together 30s spot. The imagery was taken from a photo shoot of our launch collection in Manhattan a few months ago.
If you aren’t familiar with Pioneer One, check it out. The production quality is amazing especially considering that it wasn’t backed by a big studio and huge production team. Have a look! And if you get to Episode 6 (the season finale) you’ll see this spot about 18 minutes in.
There is nothing sexier than seeing a man in a perfectly fitted suit. There is also nothing worse than seeing one in a suit that doesn’t fit him. I can’t count the times I’ve been on my way to work and a man has caught my gaze…as I begin to give him a once over, I notice it; the shoulders on his suit are too big, the jacket too long, and the number of buttons isn’t right for his body and height. It actually hurts to look.
This is sometimes the difference between an off-the-rack suit and custom suits— off-the-rack just can’t always cut it.
I think everyone man needs at least one chic, perfectly fitted, high-end suit in their closet, and there are many reasons why you should consider buying one. With a custom suit, you get a myriad of options:
The cut: The most important element of all. Your measurements are taken for your specific body type to fit you perfectly.
Fabric choices: You literally have hundreds of choices.
Personal styling: You can personalize or customize everything. Your choices are unlimited:
The jacket; single-breasted or double-breasted? Length, etc.
Number of buttons
Lapels and lapel buttonhole
Do you have a longer torso? No problem. Want more room for your thighs? They’ll make sure you get it.
Price range: The best part is, you can find your comfort zone and stay within it.
Ok, so custom clothing isn’t for everyone. There are a very small percentage of you that fit into ready-to-wear suits with no problem. If you’re part of this group, lucky you. But if not and you’re interested in customization, concerned with quality and don’t want to waste a bunch of time looking for a suit that fits perfectly, then you may want to walk into the world of bespoke suits.
Not only will you feel more comfortable—as it’ll hug your contours and proportions, but you’ll look like a million bucks…and will most certainly hold my gaze.
There’s nothing quite like your first sale! Here at 7RL we’ve been putting our operations in place, finishing off web site design, running experimental marketing campaigns, etc. in preparation for our upcoming launch. We never expected that we’d get sales traction prior to having the web site up though! Nevertheless, our customer had need of a new suit for a very important event and word-of-mouth brought him to us. Since we have all the operations and manufacturing in place, we figured why not? So, if you need a suit prior to the web site going live, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll send you information on our collection and see what we can do!
What do custom tailored suits have to do with saving the environment? Well, at first glance, nothing. However, here are some things we’re trying to do to keep the planet we share green.
As an Internet business, this blog and 7 Regent Lane is hosted on power hungry servers in an air conditioned data center somewhere. It’s shocking how much power the Internet needs to keep running! 7 Regent Lane placed our servers in a data center who uses low power servers, invests in wind power and energy credits which more than offset the carbon footprint of the servers they host, including ours.
We try to stick to natural fibers. While some of our suits have synthetics, it is generally a minute quantity. Our products favor worsted wool and cashmere. Polyester, while versatile, is not readily biodegradable and recycling processes tend to reduce the quality of the fabric and it will wind up in a landfill anyway!
Our packaging is as efficient as we could achieve. There’s no wasted paper or cardboard and everything is a perfect fit. Even the box we ship the 7RL suits in is reinforced so it can be repurposed for quite a few things. No need to toss it into the trash like a typical gift box…use it for storage!
We’re a virtually paperless enterprise. Even our mobile apps allow you to send us your measurements electronically. Our manufacturing processes are highly automated up to the point where a very human, very skilled tailor will make your suit. That’s on place where we’ll never skimp on the human touch…:).
Finally, we’re researching the use of ‘green’ fabrics in a future line of suits. These range from hemp to recycled polyester. While we’re committed to keeping our Earth clean and green we’re going to do our homework on these technologies before taking the plunge. We need to make sure that we will still deliver a quality product and that the environmental footprint of these alternative fabrics is well understood and truly a benefit to our planet. We’re very excited about the possibilities, so stay tuned on this one!
Any other suggestions on keeping green? Please comment here or send us a Tweet!