Machete & Sons

FAQ

How do you ensure a perfect fit?

First we get a rough idea of your measurements. You can measure yourself or a suit that you have.

We would be glad to help you through this process and to mail you a cloth measuring tape, or, if you are in the Denver area, to measure you in person.

But even the most perfect measurements do not guarantee a good fit. All of our bodies are different shapes and sizes, moreover, we have different postures. A suit made from measurements is no better than a ready-to-wear suit…. it is unlikely to fit every aspect of your body smoothly. To remedy this, we first make the suit from a rough cotton muslin fabric and send it to you for feedback and (digital) pics.

Through examining the way that the muslin wrinkles and pulls, we can get an excellent idea of your figure and posture. At this point, we adjust the pattern based on your feedback and our knowledge and begin to create a suit that fits perfectly.

What is your return policy?

Of course, we cannot allow returns on custom tailored pieces.—They are cut exactly to fit the body of the customer in question and styled with unique details at the customer’s request.

In the rare event that a customer is not quite satisfied with the fit or some other element of our work, we will refund the cost of return shipping so that the garments can be sent back to us and either reworked or remade until the fit and every aspect of the clothing construction is to the customer’s satisfaction.

If a piece needs to be extensively reworked or remade for a client to be satisfied, we make a distinction between the “fit” and the “design” of a piece.  We offer any alterations to the fit at no charge.  On the other hand, if a client wishes he had chosen and signed off on a different fabric or lapel or pocket style after the garment is made, we would consider this to be a “design” issue and the client would be asked to cover some of the cost of the changes.  To avoid these sorts of issues, we offer our sketching process and also the muslin fitting where a client has a chance to preview the pieces before they are made.

With our dress shirts and vests (when not muslin fit) there is a slightly greater chance of there being fit issues. Nonetheless, the pieces are guaranteed to fit better than a store bought piece, and in cases where they do not, they will be altered or remade.

How do your suits compare with other bespoke or ready-to-wear suits?

We pride ourselves in three things:

1. Our ability to create pieces that are utterly unique and are styled in ways that make them as exciting and accomplished as those from the best designers.

2. Our ability to create a suit that fits far better than an off-the-rack suit even if one has chosen the best possible size and had the pieces professionally altered.

3. Our ability to keep the prices a bit more moderate than the most expensive design houses and hence to attract a wider clientele .

Our clients tend to be artists, performers, and business owners who have strong feelings about clothing and dress in general and tend to be dissatisfied with what is readily available to the mass market, often preferring a bolder look, that shows a distinct sense of taste that does not strictly line up with any particular “designer” brand.

Our fabrics tend to be more distinctive than those used for ready-to-wear clothing,—and to be of as high or (more often) a much higher quality than those available at any store or from any other bespoke tailor in the world.

The inner construction and detailing on our suits combine the best of modern and traditional techniques.  Our prick-stitching, finishing, and pocket tacks are done entirely by hand.  Much of the rest of the sewing is done using mid-twentieth century sewing machines that we restore and completely rebuild in house.  These incredible Italian machines produce the most beautiful stitches of any machines ever made.

Upon request, we offer our “15+ package” and our “completely hand-sewn buttonhole package.”  This adds at least 15 hours of additional hand-sewing to the jackets and many additional hours of buttonholing.  The result is a piece that is literally hand-sewn from top to bottom.  This level of hand-sewing adds additional human nuance to the pieces an brings them even closer to fine art.

For those who care about choosing the details and crafting the style of their clothing, we know of no comparable value.

Who makes your clothing?

We do. A.J. and Lianna work on every project, from sketching the designs to making the patterns, the muslins, and sewing the final garments.  Currently we have a team of 7 tailors in house including cutters, apprentices, and hand-sewers.

Do your jackets have functional cuff buttons?

We offer functional cuffs on our jackets at no additional charge.  For long distance clients, we often make the cuffs non-functional with the idea that they can be converted to functional cuffs locally, if desired.

What is the difference between a “Bespoke” and a “Made-to-Measure” garment?

The dictionary definition of a “bespoke” suit is a suit that has been “spoken for” before it is made. In this sense, a bespoke suit and a made-to-measure suit are one and the same.

But many people play up the difference between these two types of suits, arguing that the word “bespoke” should be reserved for those suits for which a completely custom and individual pattern has been made, which are fitted at an intermediary stage, and which are made using Victorian-era hand-sewing techniques.

Because we truly design suits for customers (rather than urging customers to recreate themselves to fit into a somewhat imaginary world of “taste”), our suits can lay claim to being bespoke in the truest sense. We work for hours crafting a custom design for every customer.–Because every customer lives and breathes in a unique place in the world.

We can literally produce any style of garment, with any set of details, and our custom patternmaking skills are quite nearly unmatched in the world.

We do, of course, make a wholly custom paper pattern for every customer and spend upwards of 5 hours crafting and revising the pattern for the body and style of the customer.  For most of our suits (which are fit via long distance), we do not do a “basted fit”. Instead we ship the customers a muslin version of the suit for feedback. This muslin, unlike a basted jacket, does not need to be returned to us. But the muslin (with digital photos) allows us to get a world class fit that goes far beyond that of any made-to-measure suit. And the couture tradition of muslin-fit garments is likewise one with a great history behind it.

What differentiates us from every other tailoring house that we know of is our informed (and playful) design sense. We do not believe that there is a right way to make a suit or a right way to shape a lapel. Instead, we stand inside a tradition of costume and formal dress and look toward the future.

Crafting the perfect style has nothing to do with following “the rules.” There quite simply are no rules.

Instead there are a series of cultural references that mean within context, and our job is to create a work of art that means something incredible and unique within the context in which it will be received.

Our relationship to Victorian sewing techniques is quite complicated. Particularly as we love the Victorian era and have been known to incorporate Victorian detail into our designs.

But the Victorian era that we love is one of technological innovation. One of science. One of progress. We believe in using the best methods possible, whether they were arrived at yesterday or 150 years ago.

We do use more modern methods of garment construction in some cases including machine sewing on most garments and serging on pant seam inlays.  But for clients who prefer that we use the techniques of 150 years ago, we can accommodate you also.

There is nothing more beautiful than the work of the human hand.

6 Comments


Chloe

Hi there,

I love everything that I’m reading. One thing I couldn’t find in the FAQ, though: I’m wondering how long the process usually takes? How far in advance (of a wedding, say) should the customer approach you?

Many thanks,
Chloë

June 07 , 2010, 10:28 am -
admin

Hi Chloë,

Thanks so much for writing. Part of the reason that we don’t have more about timing is that projects vary so much and that our schedule during wedding season can get backed up.

My advice would be to contact us at least three months before a wedding or big event for a full suit and about two months in advance for a vest or tailcoat. There is always a chance that we can turn the pieces around quite a bit faster, but for weddings especially we like to allow plenty of time so that the pieces can arrive a full month in advance.

Thanks for posting,

A.J.

June 07 , 2010, 12:54 pm -
Adam

Hi–

Looks great! I was going to ask about how long the process takes, but that was answered well. Thanks.

But I don have another question. Maybe I missed it in looking through your website, but what about choosing fabric designs? Stripes vs. solids, and also what about the lining options for a vest/coat?

Thanks!
-Adam-

April 19 , 2011, 1:32 pm -
admin

Hi Adam,

We can really make pretty much anything. So the first step is to drop me an email so I can put together some fabric swatches and sketches for you.

Thanks much,

AJ

May 12 , 2011, 1:50 pm -
clarence garcia

Do you make a wrap around collar vest in a single or double breasted? please let me know. clarence

May 30 , 2013, 4:12 pm -
admin

We can do them either way. For vests that are going to be worn under jackets, the tradition is to make the lapels end at the shoulder seams. That way you don’t end up with a big stack of collars against your neck. But for more sporty vests, we use a shawl collar technique so that the collars wrap around the back.

In any case, all of our pieces are custom and we can make them pretty much any way you might want.

Thanks so much,

AJ

May 30 , 2013, 4:34 pm -

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