Taylor and Paul celebrate their wedding, she in her designer gown and he in his bespoke suit from Balani Custom Clothiers. (Stephanie Rogers Photography
Balani Custom Clothiers includes three-piece suits in its menu of bespoke clothing for gents. (Courtesy photo)
Corrie Domingo of Balani Custom Clothiers
The wine-colored tuxedos are part of Balani Custom Clothiers' repertoire. (Courtesy photo)
Navy Seersucker Blazer from Balani Custom Clothiers (Courtesy photo)
Tan Zip Sweater from Balani Custom Clothiers (Courtesy photo)
Paul sitting pretty on his wedding day in a bespoke three-piece suit from Balani Custom Clothiers. (Stephanie Rogers Photography)
(Stephanie Rogers Photography)
Check Custom Shirt from Balani Custom Clothiers. (Courtesy photo)
Teal Sport Coat from Balani Custom Clothiers. (Courtesy photo)
Let’s just say what’s good for the bride is good for the groom. We’re talking wedding day attire. Interestingly, since the onset of COVID-19, the demand for custom wedding suits for gents has steadily increased.
Just ask Corrie Domingo, professional clothier at Balani Custom Clothiers.
“Especially during COVID times our wedding business has really gone up, which is interesting. We’re very fortunate,” she says. “I really believe that because of this time, people are scaling back on the scope of the actual wedding. So now they have more budget for other things, such as a nicer outfit. Maybe before, they were thinking of just renting. But now they would like to invest in a nicer suit.”
And, as we all know, a bride is investing four or five figures in a gown she will most likely never wear it again. Whereas a custom suit or tux inherently can provide numerous uses.
“For men, it’s really a great investment,” Domingo notes.
An interesting aspect of the Balani business is serving the needs of men with disabilities. Case in point, the dashing wheelchair-bound groom, Paul. His fiancé, professional photographer Taylor, knew the difference a custom made suit could make so she reached out to Balani.
“Every time we look at wedding photos — of course, we have the eye for it — when we see the bride, she looks so flawless and when we see the groom maybe the trousers are baggy or maybe they are the wrong length,” Domingo says. “We kind of cringe. These photos are forever.”
When Paul’s suit arrived from the overseas tailors, the fit was perfect. Balani is accustomed to working with clients with disabilities and Domingo says that she has at least one regular wheelchair-bound client.
The company was founded in Chicago in 1961 and has had a showroom in Houston for some seven years and has additional showrooms in Cleveland and Denver. In addition, there are Balani reps in a total 0f 14 markets.
Domingo explains that Balani offers a “true custom experience.” That means taking 30 measurements, the use of calibrated devises that measure shoulder slope and posture, photographs of the client and the input of a stylist.
The measurements are shipped overseas where the suits, jackets and shirts are made with a delivery time ranging from six to eight weeks. When shipped back, the suits are tried on by the client for a consultation and any minor alterations are done by in-house tailors.
Balani has created a three-tiered wedding package for the groom and his attendants. If the groom orders an additional suit, such as one for the rehearsal dinner and accessories, he receives a 30 percent discount. The gold package offers a 20 percent discount and a silver package provides a 15 percent discount.
If the entire wedding party is ordering their attire from Balani, they can secure the showroom for two or three hours and enjoy the scotch bar as opposed to the bride’s mimosa or champagne fete used when the bride and bridesmaids are selecting their wedding gowns.
Also due to COVID-19, Balani is adding more casual clothing to its offerings including jeans (not custom), polo shirts, short-sleeved button-down shirts and the like.
Another aspect of Balani’s dressing grooms is its commitment to serving the gay community, which sometimes offers another aspect of wedding attire. Domingo, who is an LGBT Chamber ally, has handled a variety of gay weddings, which can provide interesting alternatives to traditional groom attire.
“I’ve had grooms who wanted matching outfits from head to toe including shoes,” she says. “I’ve had grooms who want to compliment each other so one had a forest green suit and the other a suit in navy blue. And others who had matching suits with contrasting colored vests.”