Fashion / Shopping

Netherlands-Based Men’s Fashion Brand Brings Dapper Suits and a Tailored Experience to Dallas

Suitsupply Offers Custom-Tailored Suits in West Village and Online

BY Billy Fong // 03.18.20
photography Suitsupply

Author’s Note: I began this story before most stores we’re being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As of this writing, the Dallas West Village store will be closed from March 18 until March 28, but keep in mind that Suitsupply has a website that offers all of their suit options as well as a wide assortment of other items such as shirts, leisurewear, leather goods and accessories. I always say, the chic’est men dress for themselves. And perhaps now, in self isolation, it’s best to look as dashing as possible.

I generally hate sharing personal style secrets, particularly when it comes to cost-saving. Pardon me, but when I look like a million bucks, I don’t mind people thinking a million bucks was spent on the outfit. However, anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a high-low fashion mixologist. I like throwing together some Gap khakis with a J.Crew sweater (To quote the Devil Wear’s Prada‘s Miranda Priestley: “fished it out of some clearance bin”), but pumped up with an Hermès iconic H belt, Gucci Princetown mules, and one of my pairs of Tom Ford spectacles (the bigger, bolder, Bond villain-esque ones when I need to be taken very seriously).

But, I will share a new listing in my little black book of style weapons – Suitsupply. I had passed by the Uptown West Village location in Dallas numerous times, but admit that I had never gone in to take a look. I had heard that the company was a major benefactor of our annual TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art and arranged to meet with Nish de Gruiter, VP of Suitsupply, to discuss their longtime support of the event.

The exterior of Dallas' Suitsupply. (Photo by Suitsupply)
Dallas’ Suitsupply is located in West Village. (Photo by Suitsupply)

For last year’s event, the brand offered something unique: an exclusive set of limited-edition cufflinks (only 50 pairs were made) created alongside acclaimed American artist Evan Holloway. The Los Angeles-based Holloway, a sculptor, works in a variety of mediums and his work has been exhibited at museums around the globe. Based on his iconic head stacks, the pieces (all made from 100 percent sterling silver) were hand painted in pink and red, red and celeste, and pink and celeste. All proceeds from the cufflink sales were donated to TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art.

Suitsupply’s philanthropy goes beyond AMFAR and other arts related organizations to include global conservation via their decision to not use harmful chemicals and with 75% of their fabrics made with only biodegradable and renewable materials. In addition, 16,000 alterations per week are performed by their tailors to extend the life of clothes and reduce carbon and water waste by 5-10%.

With over 100 international locations (on five different continents), Suitsupply has become a powerhouse for men who want to look dashing (and let’s be honest, intimidating at times) by featuring quality construction and details, fine Italian fabrics and in-house tailoring. Call it sartorial splendor. The key here is tailoring and better-yet, in-house. You can actually watch their expert in-house tailor at work on your garment (if it is a minor one – more complex alterations may take up to three days which still a shorter turnaround time for many Dallas tailors) in the center of the store. It’s somewhat like a chef’s kitchen with a view to what is being created for all to see.

The modern interior of Suitsupply Dallas (Photo by Suitsupply)
The modern interior of Suitsupply Dallas (Photo by Suitsupply)

de Gruiter shared with me that Suitsupply was founded by their CEO Fokke de Jong in 2000, in the Netherlands. The reason, he explained, that they are able to provide suits for generally below $1,000 is due to “vertical integration, no middleman with fabrics being sourced and produced in our own factories.” With that in mind, you will likely spend anywhere from $399 to $999 on a ready-to-wear suit depending on the fabric and construction you choose.

The way to go from zero to 60 in terms of raising your polished factor (read: looking like you spent a fortune) is to have something tailored. In essence, save for a few items like T-shirts and jeans, almost everything can potentially be tailored. I take all of my shorts in to have them hemmed to my ideal length. You see, I am proud of the work I’ve done on my legs so I actually prefer an 5″ inseam, but most shorts nowadays come in at 7″ or even 9″. When you see Brad Pitt or George Clooney during awards season walking the red carpets in their enviable tuxedos, keep in mind, one of the reasons they look so incredible is that those weren’t taking directly from the rack, they were precisely tailored to fit and accentuate their bodies.

I went to have the full Suitsupply experience and was under the able care of sales expert, Austin Barrow. I was told by de Gruiter that every employee is trained in fit, cut, styling, and tailoring at Suitsupply’s Suitschool. Barrow walked me through the entire process (I have a closet full of suits, but wanted to get what most men, often coming in for their first suit, encounter at the store).

Given Dallas’ temperatures, I wanted to find a suit that I could wear most of the year. I ended up choosing a light wool blend that will likely be appropriate from September through early June (almost a solid ten months). They normally use bespoke Italian fabrics that rival some of the more high-end designers (who shall go unnamed since I don’t want to truly offend anyone – wink wink Zegna). Suitsupply prides itself on only using natural materials – no manmade fibers unless they’re specifically necessary to perform a purpose, and this is not for cutting costs.

The new Suitsupply collection. (Photo by Suitsupply)
The new Suitsupply collection. (Photo by Suitsupply)

My wardrobe is filled with neutral shades of blue, gray and beige. I honestly do not wear that much black anymore  as I feel that it ages most people over 40.  For my suit, after looking through swatches went with a light gray. The past few years I have been particularly intrigued by the double-breasted suit. The majority in my closet is single-breasted so I decided to try something new.

What I appreciate most about Suitsupply, beyond the incredible prices and beautiful suits, is the experience. Austin Barrow was amazing given his knowledge and ability to pull from a client what they want – in terms of their personal style and the image they want to portray. The experience is also tied to the stores themselves.

I remember the 1990s when I would go to a discount suit chain (since that was all I could afford) to buy something for job interviews and feeling like I was in a cheap store. The clothing didn’t feel special or sartorial in any way. I’ve now worn my impeccably tailored, gray double-breasted Suitsupply suit on two occasions and on both have received numerous compliments and inquiries as to what I was wearing: “Is that Ralph Lauren Purple Label or Tom Ford?”

And yes, I have been honest and responding, “It’s Suitsupply.” And with a finger held to my lips, “but don’t share.”

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