October 11, 2010

The Man Stylist

2E's and I walk into the formal-wear section of Large Unnamed Department Store (men's edition), and we're staring at hundreds of racks of suits at discount department store prices, and the salesman confesses,

"We actually don't have navy."

Gesturing to the thousands of jackets and pants on the hangers around us, at the suits and separates that seem to stretch for miles, 2E's put on her best huh face. "I'm sorry, you don't have navy?"

$11 well spent

I tried on a smoke grey suit per the man's suggestion, but I looked like a salesman. Like a jackass. Not at all like a groom. It just wasn't what I wanted. (Side note: My boys ended up wearing the same brand, style and color, sans jacket, on our wedding day, and they looked nothing like jackasses.) I had done my research, and I specifically wanted navy.

So we promptly departed Large Useless Department Store, and 2E's dragged me into Other Large Adjacent Department Store, Bloomingdale's. And that's where we met David Chan, official Man Stylist, who approached us while we were looking through some Theory-brand suits. David didn't need measurements. He brought me some options (yes, all navy), and they all fit perfectly. Within minutes, I had my suit. My suit. And it was navy. It was probably the easiest purchase of anything I've ever bought ever.

(Gross exaggeration.)

The truth is, in modern wedding planning, a good number of grooms will spend as much time debating their wardrobe as brides do debating "the dress." And they'll spend at least as much money. (Twice the amount, in our case.) And who better to steer you in the right direction than someone like David,  a connoisseur of men's clothing ... a wardrobe wizard ... someone opinionated who's less interested in making the sale and more concerned with making you look good on your wedding day.

Recently, Jacqueline Weppner from Merci New York paid a visit to Kleinfeld Manhattan's newest department -- Custom Menswear -- under the supervision of Man Stylist extraordinaire (and bow-tie enthusiast), Frank Jedda.

 courtesy of Merci New York

"A suit or tuxedo is not a uniform, it is made of elements that can all be chosen specifically to fit your needs ... If [a groom] is purchasing, and especially if he’s purchasing custom, the options are endless."

(Read the full article here: Kleinfeld Men: Custom Clothing for the Groom)

So what is it about men like David and Frank that makes them so invaluable -- aside from the fact that we grooms can hardly dress ourselves? Well, it's the attention to detail. It's the endless options that they can provide. It's the fact that these guys know far more about color and fabric and style and etiquette than we ever will. And it's the comfort in knowing that they're there to personalize your outfit and to make sure that you not only coordinate with your bride and "the dress" but that you also look far inferior to her.

(Not that you could ever look better than her. Fool.)

Bottom line is, we could all use a Pocket Man Stylist: a conveniently-sized man with a passion for fashion who can fit snugly into the pocket of your jeans and give you advice both at home and at the mall on what works and what doesn't. But until mini pocket edition David becomes available, you'll have to settle with the lifesize version. And no, you can't take him home.

(Los Angelenos -- if you are looking for a suit either for you or your boys, don't hesitate to contact David Chan directly at davidkchan@aol.com.)

(And no, for your information, David did NOT give me a free or discounted suit in exchange for this post. I'm just happy to refer him ... lifesize or otherwise.)


  1. interesting post. i think you're the second groom blog i've come across. no lie.

    my husband's suit search was actually a lot like what i expected my dress search to be like. we spent hours with his man stylist, phillip, and tried on suit after suit, cut after cut. my dress search? found something on a rack, didn't have my size so i couldn't try it on, had my size delivered to my apartment and had my own fitting by myself in our bedroom. both worked out fine, but i think a lot of people dismiss the man's experience in shopping for a wedding outfit.

    and yes, a pocket sized stylist for a gal would be a great thing as well.

  2. Thanks Angie -- and you're absolutely right. I did leave out the Purse Stylist. My apologies.

  3. This is really helpful as my groom starts looking around for suits! thanks!

  4. Such an informative and interesting post! Thanks for including our story as well! :)

  5. J is using a Theory suit he bought two years back... from Bloomingdales... with the help of a man-stylist (friend who was very well versed in menswear). And it is perfect and three times the cost of my dress. He looks amazing, and we didn't need to consider anything else when the wedding came around, because a great suit is really something stunning. Great choice and great post.