Dear PoPville – Custom Tailor/Best Spot to get a New Suit in DC?

by Prince Of Petworth May 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm 80 Comments

Photo of Georges de Paris by Danny Harris

“Dear PoP,

Im in the market for a great suit, up till now mine have been jos banks, not terrible but I can afford a little better now and was winding if there were any good tailors in dc I could try before ralph lauren or something something similar for my first real suit (probably for a wedding as well as general use), hope the readers can help.”

I’d say you have to go to Georges de Paris. Any other recs?

  • BF

    Adding on to this question, and one that I suspect is more difficult to get a good answer – Where to go for custom tailored women’s suits? Anyone with that answer will have my undying respect.

    • Anonymous

      I would love to know this as well. Unless you have a boyish build you simply can’t buy a suit off the rack that fits properly.

    • Kim

      It’s pricey, but Tom James Company will have a tailor come to your house or work. I’ve never used them, so can’t attest to the quality of their women’s work, but can say that their men’s suits (based on experiences of family members, friends, boyfriend, etc.) are great. I’m guessing the women’s suits are the same quality.

      • Marcus Aurelius

        I can attest to Tom James as well. Good quality men’s suits that last a long time. Very convenient – tailor/salesperson comes to your office, does initial measurement, and does 2d measurement with finished product. Sells dress pants, dress shirts, and ties as well.

    • LadySuit

      I got a suit at a super discount in a department store, but the jacket was terribly large. I took it to Field English (recommended much below), and he did a good job. In the torso, the jacket fits perfectly. However, once I wore the suit beyond just trying it on in his shop, I wasn’t thrilled with the sleeve length. As a woman, the sleeves were just a hair too short, unless you wear oxfords under the suit every day (which I do not).

      Also, he doesn’t give quotes on the price, so I was in a bit of sticker shock when I picked it up. If it weren’t for the slightly short sleeves, I’d say it’s well-worth the price, however.

    • sk
      • sk

        Cheryl does both alterations and custom clothing. Here is the link to the custom clothing.

  • Rick

    My goodness, that fellow has some fancy locks!

  • MB

    On a related note, what tailors are good for alterations on things like custom suits purchased from Indochino and vintage jackets got off ebay?

    • B

      I have heard amazing things about Ginger roots on 1530 U St NW for alterations of vintage stuff. Apparently other people have too because they have a crazy long wait list for alterations.

  • Florista

    George de Paris is FANTASTIC. He took a fairly complicated vintage silk dress that was 2-3 sizes two big entirely apart, cut it down to size and re-assembled it perfectly. Wonderful for women AND men.

    • Irivng Streete

      He did a simply terrible job on the suits I brought him. I would never advise anyone to go there.

  • Anonymous

    Baytok Bespoke Tailors in Glover Park.


  • Scott in Shaw

    Field Custom Tailors on Wisconsin Ave. (near the Whole Foods) is fantastic.

    • Anonymous

      +1 on Field. Best in town.

    • CH

      Field. Not cheap, but never have to worry about how my alterations will turn out, and you can’t put a price on that.

  • MichelleRD

    Where can one find George? The link above doesn’t work.

  • 17thSter

    I haven’t bought anything from George de Paris but I did talk with him for a long time and he invited my sister and I to a drink. His custom suits start at $3000 and go up depending on the fabric. He does both men’s and women’s. You could try Nordstrom or Saks or the like for a Hugo Boss suit or Armani if you want something of that caliber.

  • PG

    That picture looks like a David Lynch movie.

  • Scott in Shaw

    By the way, PoP and others shouldn’t act as if this George de Paris dude is the only guy who ever made a suit for a president. Joe Sauro has done it for decades as well:


    • KenyonDweller

      Sauro doesn’t make suits anymore. He still does alterations.

  • Jessie

    Mr. Kim is GREAT! He is not cheap, but he is the best tailor I have ever used. He has tailored fur for me, vintage dresses and even made my husband a stunning tux. He has a great eye and does impeccable work. If you get it back, and it’s still not right, he will fix it again, with no additional charges.

    Also, he has suits there, where he does free tailoring. I can’t say enough good things about him. OH, and he is open on Saturdays, which is GREAT.

    He is located downtown at 2000 M Street, NW.

    Christopher Kim’s Mens Wear & Custom Tailoring
    2000 M Street NW Washington
    Washington D.C., DC 20036
    (202) 955-5467

    • TG

      Mr. Kim reconstructed a jacket for me lengthening the sleeves, not easy because it has to be recut. He did a great job.

    • Anonymous

      Mr. Kim is great. He’s altered a bunch of suits for me and rented tuxes. His store has a pretty huge selection of suits too.

    • agree

      I’ve used Mr. Kim for alterations (never had him make a new suit to order.) I found him to be excellent.

  • TG

    G de P is a laugh riot too. I have run into him at the back bar at Old Ebbits grill before.

  • DCer

    He is off the corner of 15 and F NW across the street from the W.

  • Anononymous

    Perhaps the OP should stick with JoS. A. Bank for the time being and spend the extra money on an assistant to proofread his messages? Perhaps a course on appropriate punctuation?

    That aside, I’ve heard good things about Christopher Kim’s at 20th and M NW.

    • caballero

      I made a similar comment about the OP’s writing, but PoP deleted it. IMHO, If you are soliciting advice from a potential pool of hundreds of readers, you should have the decency to submit a grammatically sound sentence or two. I’ll go away now and quietly lament our declining standards….

    • REN PEN… who’s in control?

  • LB

    While not in the city, have had decent luck at a place in Alexandria located on Duke Street.


  • TG

    My god, sir/madam, it is a blog not the New Yorker. Get a grip. Anybody else strongly dislike criticism of grammar in this exceedingly informal format?

    • GDopplerXT

      I do not strongly dislike it at all.

      • They have issues with control… and clearly a lack of RED PENS.

        Yes we get it, you know grammar and you need the world to know it.

        • GDopplerXT

          I actually don’t think it’s about control. My theory is that it’s about respect or courtesy.

          • caballero

            I made the same point above. The guy wants free advice, which could save him thousands of dollars, but he can’t be bothered to write a proper sentence. To me, that’s a sign of disrepect to the host of this blog and the readers.

          • Whadeber… I be for sure no one yall hit’s sending before yus checks the spellen n gremmer so their be no runsons and missen punk marks.

            Speshally the aNONemous fools.

            Did your eyes just twitch?

    • Stavros


    • Emmaleigh504


    • Anononymous

      Yes, but blogs have become increasingly influential/important/whatever. If everyone shrugs and accepts garbled syntax and lack of punctuation in an “informal” format, how long before it bleeds into the formal?
      Also, when soliciting advice from a larger audience, shouldn’t you go back and glance over your message before hitting send, if only briefly?

      • Alice

        So you really mean no.

        • Anononymous


        • TG

          I thought that the post was totally coherent. That is my major objection. The critic seems to be splitting hairs. Plus if the Prince was offended by the format he would not have posted it in all likelihood.

  • KGDC

    By far the best in the city. I go to Bryn Keith @ http://www.brynkeith.com/

  • Anonymous

    There’s a huge range of quality between Jos Banks and Georges de Paris. I’m going to make the assumption that the OP is on the younger side. Based on that, I would not recommend spending $3k on a super-nice custom tailored suit. Unless you have the metabolism of a ferret, you’re going to change sizes through your 20s and 30s and, in a few years, your $3k suit won’t fit like a glove the way it did when you first tried it on. My tailored suits from a while back are always painful reminders of that.

    If you have enough time to query the POP-ulation about this, you have enough time to do some shopping. So upgrade from Jos Banks, sure, but I wouldn’t go straight to the absolute top-shelf. You could get a nicer suit at Filene’s and take it in for $150 worth of tailoring at a reputable tailor. Or just check out a step-up store, like Brooks Brothers. Saks Men’s Store has a great sale a few times a year, and they have really good tailors. But for crying out loud, don’t go from Jos Banks to a $3000 tailored suit overnight. If you’re going to spend that kind of money, take a week vacation in Bangkok. The travel will cost you $2000, and you can get 2 really nice tailored suits for $1000.

    • Sherman

      This answer is spot-on. The OP should not spend 3k on a suit.

      Rather, go to Filene’s, purchase an excellent fully-canvassed suit for somewhere in the 500-700 range. Then take it to Baytock and have it altered to fit. This should be quite doable for under $800-900.

      A fully bespoke suit is unlikely to be of any much greater quality.

    • anon_

      best advice. Don’t make the jump from Jos Banks to a 3k dollar suit. Any store like Banana Republic, JCrew and Brooks Brothers will have nice tailored and modern suits for a fraction of the cost.

      • Eric in Ledroit

        Not correct to include Banana Republic in this list. J Crew recently started carrying suits of reasonably worthy quality, but BR does not.

      • Anonymous

        Brooks Brothers > J Crew > Banana Republic. I think we all can agree on that when it comes to men’s suit options. If for no other reason than BB focuses on suits and the other two do not.

    • victoria

      80% of a good suit is how you wear it – Good posture, impeccable manners and intelligent conversation.

    • Tom

      Decent advise, except for the implication that you can get a “nice” suit in Bangkok. If you want to take a step up from Jos. Banks/Brooks/Z Zegna without spending $3k, go with WW Chan out of HK (wwchan.com, as mentioned below) and get something that’s actually well made for $1100-1600/suit. Their next visit to DC is July 15-16

      • Tom

        “advice” Ugh.

  • K

    Seconding the earlier recommendation for William Field, Field Custom Tailors in Georgetown. My husband bought a bespoke suit from Field before our wedding and it was the best money we’ve ever spent on clothing. The suit was very expensive, no doubt, but is one that he will have and wear forever, and of course fits him like a glove, since it was made just for him. It was a wonderful experience all around and yielded a beautiful, timeless suit.

    • steve

      +1. this guy is reputed to be the best in the area.

    • Anonymous

      My friend got beautiful custom shirts from Field, but it took forever. Like, months and months.

    • Tom

      +1. Field is in a different category than everyone else mentioned in this thread. The vast majority of “custom” suits are low-quality outsourced products that are inferior to what you’d get in a department store (both in terms of fit and build quality). Field, on the other hand, is an actual bespoke tailor whose father (I think) trained on Saville Row.

      Field also is great for alterations.

  • Andy(2)

    For what it’s worth – Brooks Brothers has their big sale in June (suits half off, 3 shirts for $150, ties 50-70% off…) and would be a good place to upgrade the wardrobe for less than a custom tailor.

    Nordstrom also has their 1/2 yearly sale around the same time.

    • GDopplerXT

      Thanks for the tip, I didn’t know about this one.

      • Irivng Streete

        Nordstrom’s half-yearly starts on Fathers Day (or maybe the day after) every year. Worth getting to early.

        Bear in mind that neither BB nor Nordstrom’s puts everything on sale, but both are worth checking out.

  • Anonomi

    Men’s Warehouse has always worked for me.

  • Ali

    Recently, I found some really nice off the rack Italian suits at Riccardi in Georgetown. Note, though, that they are ‘slim fit’, and he has had a great, prolonged sale (80% off)!

  • 13th St NW

    Geoffery Lewis. On H St. Great job on custom work and well-priced.

  • Jrs

    I recently purchased a suit from Geoffrey Lewis Ltd. http://www.geoffreylewisltd.com/ and had a great experience. I wanted a suit that fit, wasn’t baggy, but not hipster skinny either. They listened, gave me some sage advice on fabric and color, and delivered on time. My suit was about $700, and although fairly expensive (for my budget), was money well spent. After owning it for a year, I accidentally tore some of the interior lining and they fixed it for free. Definitely recommend Geoffrey Lewis. They’re downtown, about a block from the Whitehouse.

    And to the grammar nazis policing local blogs: kindly take your illustrated copy of the Elements of Style and shove it. There are more productive uses of your English degree than correcting grammar. ….At least that’s what the english department brochure said.

  • JenDC

    I can’t speak to whether or not the OP should splash some cash on a bespoke suit, but I am very grateful that he asked the question. I’ve never found a good tailor, and now I have many recommendations to investigate.

    Thank you!

  • Schadenfreude

    I had a great experience buying from Astor & Black. (Suit connoisseurs might argue the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure with custom features, but if you’re a rookie you won’t care.) They have plenty of options such that you don’t have to spend $3k for a suit.

    I did a package deal for three suits with some custom shirts and ties, but if you want a single suit, you can probably get out for $800-ish.

    Molly was awesome. Came to my place after work for measurements and so I could pick out the fabric, lapels, buttons, liner, etc. Only caveat is that they are made overseas, so you might have to wait awhile to get them. Took about 6 weeks for me.

  • PETE

    Take a vacation. Fly to Bangkok. I go there to see Sonny Singh of “Majestic Tailors” at the Ritz for my suits. Last time I was there, I picked up two suits, one tuxedo, a sport jacket, four shirts (all bespoke with multiple fittings) for the majestic price of $1200. Hell of a bargain. And, even with hotel and airfare, it is a FAR better deal than the local option.

  • cs

    my favorite tailor in DC is Do’s in Georgetown. He is good and fast.

    unless you are really tall or big no reason to get a custom tailored suit in my book. If you want to move up from jos banks I would try some more fitted suites … if you want to go up to $1200 go for a Z Zegna and if you want to go up to $2000 get a regular Zegna suit … great fabric, great cut (not this US balloon cuts).

  • Eli

    Sign up for WW Chan the next time they visit. Excellent work: http://www.wwchan.com/

  • victoria

    Would love more recommendations for someone to alter a vintage dress. Not a difficult alteration (changing a neckline) but needs to be perfectly done (it’s a neckline.)

    • anonymous

      this woman http://thegowndoctor.com/ did an amazing job on my wedding dress. you might get scared by her basement shop and frenetic ways, but she really knows how a dress ought to fall. she’s ‘spensive tho.

  • jcm

    I’ve never had a suit made for me, but I’ve had several tailored by Cheryl Lofton in Shaw, and she’s always done an excellent job. I think she charges around $100 a suit, depending on what you need.

    • sk

      I second Cheryl Lofton. She does great alterations and makes lots of custom clothes for women. She altered a dress for me for an inaugural ball and came up with a very creative solution when it wouldn’t zip up the back.


  • hat

    Victor Dash at Dash’s of Old Town.

    Victor is awesome.

    I’d been wanting a custom suit for years and years, but had been given funny looks at a lot of places here (Christopher Kim’s on M, in particular) and elsewhere because I’m a big ole’ dyke. I found an article about Dash’s on soyourengayged.com and decided to give it a go.


  • Edward

    One does not need to spend “$3K” on a suit in order to get made to measure. There are a number of tailors in this city who will cut you a suit for $1k.

    If you would like to save money, skip having Tom James come to you, and go to them at their factory in Edmonton, MD. They have significant discounts off their regular prices. You can get a made-to-measure suit for as little as $600. http://www.englishamericanco.com/ is their website.

    Do not listen to those who say buying off the rack with alterations is the same as a made to measure or bespoke suit. That’s simply not true unless off-the-rack suits have generally fit you well in the past.

  • Irivng Streete

    I changed jobs and had to buy a lot of suits. Because I’m unusually sized (largely in a good way), off the rack suits take a lot of work. In the last 18 months, I’ve been to:

    George de Paris: sucks! — so sad, it would be such a good story if he didn’t;

    Field Custom Tailor: good but not great work, takes forever, quite pricey. But if I ever need a tweed hunting jacket for $2,400;

    Geoffrey Field on 13th and H: Excellent work, moderately pricey, quick turnaround. Despite the name, some Italian guy named Aldo does the work. You can also get good deals on bespoke suits — starting at $1300, though the fabric is not the most luxurious.

    If you like good menswear enough to worry about your tailor, btw, twice a year Saks in Mazza has a consolidation sale (December/January and August) and you can pick up a $2000 Italian suit for about $800, and have Aldo cut it for you (better than the Saks guy, though they can be very good for a department store)

  • Irivng Streete

    Geoffry LEWIS, not Field.

  • Brian

    Any bespoke suit with decent fabric and a flattering cut is going to cost you at least two grand, unless you somehow have a great relationship with an Asian outfit and will be satisfied with the house cut. It’s an investment, and not just for a “wedding.” You get what you pay for.

  • Andy

    I have a great tailor I use for handmade custom suits and shirts. He does amazing work and the price is just right (last time I went it was 400 for a suit a 50 for a shirt).

    Ulsang Na from Swank Custom Tailoring Co., in Seoul, Korea comes to DC two or three times a year. He sends an email a few weeks before he arrives and stays for about two weeks in a hotel downtown. Once he takes your measurements you can order suits from him anytime (he keeps a template of all his clients) just shoot him an email.

    Just email him if you want to get on his mailing list.
    swank1214 (at) yahoo.co.kr

  • Pierre

    Again Georges de Paris is not French!!! I don’t understand why he is trying to pretend to be so… He can’t even speak two words… That is shameful.


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