So here I was..... stuck at home in Washington, DC under strict quarantine - just like everybody else in the world. At first it was novel - no pun intended - catch up with work, knock some things off my AT HOME to do list, get into a Zoom funk - again just like all of us.
After about 30 days it became quite clear that I WOULD NOT be making good use of this time without addressing the mishegas that is my closet. We moved into this apartment 3 years ago and I've been up and down in weight (mostly up) and sartorial taste. I'm an Advertising guy so I spend a lot of my time commuting between New York and DC - but my evenings are generally the same no matter where I am - total 'Mad Men' mode - entertaining clients and / or schmoozing potentials - at least I convince myself that I am.
Anyway back to my closet - It's no surprise that it was a disaster. I began the painful and tedious task of purging. Coming face to face with " I'll never wear this again " or more likely - " I'll never fit into this again" I recently turned 50 and so my body has been shape shifting a lot. After separating Fall | Winter from Spring | Summer - I then went through the decades ......too 80's, 90's, 00's, all the way to current day. Although I had a total of 30 suits and 15 sport coats - I really only had eight of each that I would wear with regularity and confidence. Not a lot in my line of work and even less for for someone who consider's himself somewhat of a 'Beau Brummel'
Done! Now what? I went back to the best sartorial experience I've ever. This was summer of 2016, I believe. It was with Manu "Sam" Melwani from Sam's Tailor in Hong Kong. He had come to DC for bespoke fittings for his existing clientele in the US - which are many. My partner travels to HK a lot for business and is a long standing client of Sam's - so I had an 'in" - it felt exclusive and I loved it!
Manu was holding court at the famed Willard Hotel. It was like stepping back in time to a place of sartorial splendor - the beautiful suite, the gorgeous fabrics, shirting, suiting, and the gentleman tailor with the bedside manner of a man who has 'seen it all.' There I was having this bespoke experience - being fitted by the man who has fitted so many of the men I admire; The Windsors, Roger Moore, Pavarotti, Coldplay, W, HW, Clinton, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece (Zito Hellas!) and General Petraeus. The latter was able to squeeze in an appointment just after mine.
It was now official - I received my very own 'Client Number" - which would be my ticket to Sam's for eternity - sewn in every garment they would craft for me. Anyway - fast forward to now and I've been fortunate enough to acquire several suits and a few tuxedos from Sam's Tailor over these past four years. Tuxedos are super important - almost critical - in New York and D.C. You never want to look just like everyone else - quality and fine tailoring speaks volumes in a sea of black and white.
ENTER ROSHAN - throughout my Sam's virtual experience I have come to get to know Roshan Melwani pretty well. He's definitely the man! With a solid understanding of fabrics, design, and fit - he has guided me out of my comfort zone into a more elegant and modern look that really suits my personality. Both he and I came up in family businesses, became the heir apparent, and were no stranger to the absence of child labor laws, while under the strict management of our fathers. "This is not a democracy..It's a dictatorship" was one of my Dad's usual top down responses. When I first met his Dad, he said to me " You remind me of my son, nothing matches but your wear it with the confidence that it does." The difference a generation will make.
So it's here that my "Bespoke In Place" comes into play. Throughout this Pandemic I've been blessed to be able to stay at home and maintain good health with my Fiancé, work a bit, and look towards the future by working with Roshan to create some great new looks for the Back To Business environment, that is upon us all. It's was such a pleasure to leverage our digital tools to make this happen. Through Zoom, WhatApp, and email correspondence, Roshan and I didn't skip a beat !
Any here are the three looks we created. Flawless!! Thanks so much to Roshan and Sam's Tailor!!