In the United States, we tend to call the best business and formal
looks and fits “European” or “Italian” or “British,”–

Edwardian Cut Brown Flannel Sport Suit

sometimes for good reason, and sometimes merely as a shorthand for saying that a look is “good” or “exciting” or somehow intangibly different from the basic relaxed New England look that we are used to seeing in the shops.
But if there is one area of tailoring that is truly American, it is sportswear.

To a certain extent, we inherited our love and notions of “sports” from the British. But sport always meant something a bit different to Americans than it did to the Brits.

Crown Shape Pockets and 1920s Style Cuffs

To the Brits “sport” centered around the country estate and the hunt—activities that one would do as a gentleman of leisure when outside of the city.

For Americans, this idea of sport was quickly eclipsed by the idea of strenuous activities that one did often for the sake of health and entertainment.

Crown Shaped Breast Pocket with Embroidered Crowsfoot Tacks

The tennis court, the golf course, the beach. Sailing, skiing, riding, fishing and even flying.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries men wore sport jackets for all of these activities.

Slim Fit Box Pleated Pant

Jackets with “action backs” to allow for a freedom of movement.

Jackets with throat latches to keep out the cold.

Shawl Collar Hand-Stitched Vest

Jackets from linen for the heat and sweat or from waxed cotton to keep out the rain.

The ideal man was not a man of leisure but a man of activity who needed to be ready for anything!

Suits made from matched cloth were replaced by separates.

Plaid Seersucker Sport Jacket

A jacket in one fabric, and a pant in another. Plaids, houndstooths, herringbones.

Eventually sportswear evolved into our basic everyday casual clothing. And in the late 20th Century came to mean nothing more than  jeans and a t-shirt.

Linen Moto Vest

But now, when more and more men are trying to dress up and look good, an older, more authentic vision of sportswear has become relevant again.

Linen Back on Tweed Vest

We want to dress better.  But we don’t want to be limited by the way that we dress.

We want durable fabrics that we can wear anywhere.

We want a full range of movement so that we can drive, throw a ball, or put away a bottle on the top shelf.

Most of all, an American aesthetic is about not being constrained.

Shawl Collar Donegal Tweed Vest

We buy big trucks instead of little cars, so that we can (at least in our imaginations) drive a rocky road to a forlorn mountain cabin or pack up all of our belongings to move to a new town.Vest and Pant In Japanese Wool
Part of what Denver Bespoke and AJ Machete and Sons are about is a striving after an authentically American vision of tailoring.

We aren’t interested in recycling English and European fashions, either as a vision of James Bond or a British gent, or that perfectly spontaneous and romantic looking fellow at the Italian cafe.

1920s Style American "Swoosh" Breastpocket

We want something a bit more rugged.  Maybe a bit more rustic.

Copper Stitching and Buttons with Herringbone Shirt

Something that fits in with the Rocky Mountains and the American West instead of the postcard version of a European capital.

Retro Tweed Pant with Wide Waistband

Retro Tweed Pant with Wide Waistband

So we call our suits “American Suits”.  But basically they are just suits for men who do things and who want to look good doing them.

All of our pieces our completely custom made.  And we are one of the few tailors anywhere who work in a sportswear aesthetic and can make any detail that you have seen anywhere.

So contact us with all of your questions and ideas. We would love to make something for you.

Denver Bespoke Pants

I love traditional tailoring.Jean Fit Dress Pant
But traditional tailoring can mean a lot of different things on different occasions.

Clients often ask me, “What do you wear?”  And my answer tends to be, “Well, I have a very interesting sort of job.”Denver Bespoke Pants

I meet with clients—where it is expected that I look as well dressed as possible.  I do a lot of work sitting—when sewing or writing emails, which wears out the seat and crotch of the pants.Jean Fit Colorado Made Pants

And I also do lots of active work—cutting, fixing machines, unloading boxes.

Vegan Dress PantsThis has meant that the clothing I make for myself has to have a durable activewear fit and to be easily cleanable (as the pants especially are often very dirty by the end of a day).

The pants in the pics show some of the pants I wear on a daily basis.

These “jean-fit” pants are trim and tailored and are top-stitched through the inseam, seat,and crotch.Denver Bespoke Suits

Furthermore, the front pockets are L-shaped jean style pockets that don’t gape open when cut with a trim and fitted seat.

The fitted seat and higher crotch make it easier to kneel (for example when taking measurements) and to spread my legs apart to a wider angle.Jean Fit Flannel Pant

The top-stitching means that even with a snug fit and a fine fabric, it takes longer for the pants to wear out and they are relatively “tear-proof” even when I am lifting something heavy.

These pants look great as part of one of our custom tailored suits.

But they are equally wonderful when worn as separates with a vest, a blazer, or one of our Editions ‘36 unstructured jackets.Bespoke Pant Colorado

The pants can be made from classic worsted wools, flannels, cottons, or even our vegan-friendly poly fabrics (that have the extra virtue of being washable as separates.)

Colorado Bespoke SuitNot that many of our clients have jobs that are quite like mine.  But many men today, especially creative professionals, enjoy an active lifestyle where movement and durability are of the utmost importance.

Each of our suits, pants, and vests is handmade one-at-a-time here in our studio in Denver, Colorado based on a unique pattern that we create just for you.Denver Bespoke Pants

This is particularly great if you are looking to have many pants made.Custom Pants Colorado

For long distance clients, this means that we first send you a cotton mock-up of a pair of pants.

Then you send us digital pics of yourself wearing the “muslin” and we refine the pattern to fit you exactly.  Then we can further refine the fit and detailing with each additional pair of pants until we get a pant that does exactly what you are hoping for it to do.

Contact us to discuss the perfect pant for you.

1920s Tweed VestWe are famous for our 1920s style vests.
The 1920s were a high point for waistcoats.1920s Tweed Vest
The vests of the period contain all of the classic details that would become more codified in the 1930s.
Linen Back Tweed VestBut in this earlier period there is still a wonderful flexibility and richness in style.
The images show some of our favorite 1920s style vests with emphasis on the “Workingman’s Style” pieces.  
Scottish Tweed Vest

Tweed Workingman's Vest

These pieces—that we make from heavy weight tweeds and melton wools—are perfect for an active lifestyle.Tweed Workingman's Vest

The pockets hold your tools (or memory sticks), the fabrics don’t rumple or crease, and the styles can be cut with linen backs for the ultimate breathability and comfort.
Moreover, each of our bespoke suits and vests is made one-at-a-time here in our studio in Denver, Colorado.
Not only do we take care to make sure that each piece is a work of art, but we can work with you to cut the vest exactly to your measurements and to pick the perfect style and fabric for you.
1920s Style Herringbone VestThe classic fabrics we use—which are often woven by hand in Scotland and Ireland–are built the way that fabrics were meant to be and make up into garments that weigh twice as much as made-in-Asia pieces where the only concern is making sure that the garments pack flat and weigh as little as possible for overseas shipping.
The process of making one of our classic “Denver Bespoke” vests, begins when you contact us by email (aj@denverbespoke.com) or through our Etsy shop (www.machetensons.etsy.com) to tell us a little bit about your sense of style and how you will be wearing the waistcoat.
Green Melton Workingman's VestThen we sketch up a vest just for you.

With A Custom Cap

The piece can be identical to something we already offer, or something totally and completely new.
Add or remove pockets, change the shape of the lapels, the fabric of the back or belts, the number of buttons—-work with us to get the design that is perfect for the way that you dress.

Next we send you a selection of fabrics and we keep looking until we find the fabric that is right for you.  

We can get thousands of fabrics for the vests.  So if you know that you want a flecked herringbone tweed in a cranberry color, for example, just let us know and we can likely find this for you.
We can also make many other garments.  So if you want a matching pant, fedora, or workingman’s cap, just let us know and these pieces can be created in virtually any style to match your vest.
Contact me (aj@denverbespoke.com) to talk more.