I'm all in favor of what are called custom clothiers, consultants who help their customers put together wardrobes that work for them. Clothiers represent themselves as more than retailers or tailors. Their services include wardrobe consultation, image analysis, and appointments at the client's home or office at his convenience. I do a bit of that myself for clients.
Like Manuel Martinez of Martinez Custom Clothiers in Baton Rouge, the man on the right in the photo, many custom clothiers belong to the Custom Tailors & Designers Association. CTDA, as it is abbreviated, is the oldest trade association in America. It was established in 1888 as a venue for members to exchange ideas about tailoring and has stayed relevant by shifting into the custom clothing arena. Which brings me to the September issue of Robb Report, which contains a piece titled 'Clothiers Make the Man' featuring Mr. Martinez as well as several other CTDA members.
The theme of the Robb Report piece seems to be "patronize one of these men and you'll look unlike anyone else." Not better than anyone else, or well dressed. Just different. And that's a half truth if I've ever heard one because there's different as in better and then there's different as in odd. The Robb Report story is about odd.
Now I am not talking about over the top dandy stuff like Hamish Bowles might wear but the distinguished members of the CTDA represent themselves wearing ensembles ranging from mediocre to awful.
He's not awful but Mr. Martinez, who's been elected the best dressed man in Baton Rouge and who probably doesn't deserve to have me pick on him, appears in the magazine wearing a fairly outlandish combination that pales next to the red and white checked odd jacket and bright green necktie worn by his business partner. They definitely don't look like anyone else.
It used to be said that an Englishman could count on his tailor for the make of his suit but shouldn't depend on him for recommendations about his daily dress, as many tailors don't have the experience to make the best choices. Robb Report tells me that adage still has run left.
I hope all the featured gentlemen gain clients from the publicity but I'm not looking forward to the clothes we may see around America's private jet terminals next year because of it.