A Simple Life
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.
My morning routine consists of a very meticulous process of choosing and color coordinating these garments. Specifically:
- Wake up.
- 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.