Brides often ask us where their groom can find high quality yet affordable menswear for their wedding. We love telling them about The Bespoke Edge, a custom menswear company in Colorado that believes in the same things as Little White Dress - second-to-none service, quality, and a personalized touch for all their clients. After all, men shouldn't have to leave all the fun to the ladies - your fiancé should have a great experience planning and purchasing his wedding attire, too! We chatted with owner Ron Wagner about The Bespoke Edge, what grooms should know, and about all those stylish Colorado men out there - and we're excited to share the conversation. Enjoy!
How does The Bespoke Edge work? Tell us a little bit about the business, how it got started, and how it got to where it is today.
In a nutshell, we are a custom men's clothing business that operates by appointment at a customer's home or office. And we're a small, family-run business - it's myself and my two sons that make it all work. I was in men's retail for 30 years at a traditional shop in Fort Collins, but when the recession of 2008 hit, the store I was with became an unfortunate victim of the economic downturn. Fast forward a couple years and my sons encouraged me to go out on my own with what would become The Bespoke Edge. The concept of custom just made a lot of sense to me because I was beginning to realize that men are shopping differently for their clothes. They want more control over what they wear and they don't want to have to go to a big store with an aggressive salesman that may tell them they look good in anything.
What we've found over the past six months or so is that men really do like the idea of buying custom clothes. They are always surprised to learn that yes, they can design their clothes! It's always fun to see a guy who is used to off-the-rack clothing get excited over picking out a unique jacket lining and accent stitching for his wedding suit. Guys don't really realize that our affordable custom clothing is just that - custom!
In your opinion, why should a groom choose a service like yours over going to a department store or chain store?
Well, a groom can choose to buy a wedding suit wherever he wants. The man always makes the suit, not the other way around. However, a great fitting suit or shirt definitely helps!
Our process is very different from what a guy will encounter in a department store. My customers can choose from hundreds of suit and shirt fabrics. For instance, I have 44 fabrics of just white shirts to choose from. Also, BE allows a guy to select from working button holes, accent stitching, train ticket pockets, colorful linings, the list goes on and on. But one of the most thoughtful things a man can do with his wedding suit is to use accent buttons or stitching to match the color of his brides flowers or the wedding colors in general. It's just a really cool detail that neatly reflects all the thought and planning his bride put into the wedding. This sort of service is difficult to find at the mall.
But what really makes my service unique and is the very reason I choose to stay in this industry for 37 years now, is that I enjoy helping men look their best. We find that a lot of guys want to dress better and show some style, but don't really know where to begin. So I consider myself a mentor to help men understand things like when they should wear a single button suit or how their shirt should really fit them - the subtleties of men's style. We want to be a source of education for men's style - that's why we started the BE blog. When someone shops with BE, they aren't just buying a custom suit or shirt, but they are going to learn something.
The first step is to make an appointment via our website or to call me directly at 970-231-4588. I'm more than happy to chat and learn about the type of wedding the groom and bride have in mind. To be on the safe side, a wedding suit should be ordered around 8 weeks (or more) prior to your date. I like for the suit to arrive a couple weeks early such that if in the rare case small alterations need to be made, I have time to get those completed.
Once an appointment is made, I will visit you at your home or office and I'll have with me all the fabrics, shirt collars and jackets linings that you may want to choose from. You and your bride will be able to feel the fabric, hold it up in the light, compare it to your bridesmaids' dresses - anything you like. This way you know exactly what you're getting. Plus, it’s a fun experience for a groom to share with his bride.
Once the fabrics are chosen it is time to get measured! I take up to 20 measurements for every suit to ensure you get the fit you want. In some cases I'll even take a look at your best fitting pair of pants or jacket to ensure that we get the best possible fit. Finally, when the suit is finished in about 6 weeks, I'll personally deliver it and ensure the fit is just as you expected.
Do you find that men are becoming more interested in fashion and more knowledgeable about quality and options?
Absolutely, I do. There is a bit of a revival in menswear right now and it's beginning to gain momentum in Denver. Most importantly, guys are realizing that having a great fit doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg like in times past. Much of my clothing is made in the USA and priced comparable to what a guy will find in a higher-end department store.
I think Denver men are starting to learn that having a great fitting suit or shirt is not only the mark of a gentleman, but a way to show off their physique, eliminate bagginess in their clothes and reflect their personal style - to promote the brand that is oneself.
What are some of the top menswear trends you're seeing this year?
So, menswear changes at a snail's pace when compared to women's fashion. And so many of the trends of the past couple years are holding steady. A slim fit in a man's suit is now mainstream. Pant pleats are out, as are wide lapels and wide ties. I think it's a great look. It creates a very refined appearance, a sort of no-nonsense approach to menswear. It helps us guys to appear taller and more organized. But with suits, it's all a game of geometry: The width of your tie should match the width of your jacket lapel. So you can't be wearing the tie you wore in high school if you want to wear a slimmer suit.
And in Colorado I'm seeing a more fun, lifestyle based approach to how men are dressing. I think it's because of our outdoor roots and mountain lifestyle. For instance, a great look I see is men wearing refined plaid fabrics with some color. This isn't your grandpa's plaid, but rather an updated look on an old classic. When paired with a great fitting pair of pants, this look can carry one through the workday and on to happy hour seamlessly. I think it's another example of how men are seeing the fun in fashion and learning to play a little bit with their personal style.
Thanks to Ron, Ryan, and Brett Wagner for sharing your business with Little White Dress brides!