by Boris Kodjoe
I did not own a custom suit until I was in my late twenties. Prior to that, I often found myself buying an ugly shirt just because the sleeves were long enough, or I would score a designer jacket and ignore how it was two sizes too small. Tailored clothes were far removed from my wallet, and I assumed for the longest time that the term referred to the process of producing the garment by hand and not machine.
Little did I know that custom tailoring defines a specific set of hand and machine sewing and pressing techniques first established in the 13th Century. These were unique to the construction of traditional jackets then, and are the foundation of any quality tailoring business today. A custom tailored suit is completely original and unique to each customer.
Buying a tailor-made suit gives the buyer the ability to create a suit that fits his own personal style. Many off-the-rack suits are styled to reflect current trends, but these trends don’t necessarily flatter every body shape. Although it’s possible to find an off-the-rack suit that fits quite well, custom tailoring ensures that the suit fits as perfectly as possible, or exactly as the customer wants it to fit. The same is true of the fabric and construction of custom suits, which usually boast superior quality. Other advantages of tailor-made suits, particularly when compared to off-the-rack suits, include durability, and even personalization like your name or initials on the clothing.
The most significant downside of purchasing a custom tailored suit is the cost. Prices usually range from $1,000 for entry-level models to more than $10,000 for high-end custom suits. Factors that can play a role in the price of tailor-made suits include the designer brand or tailoring service, differences in fabrics, and additional costs if extra alterations are necessary. Time is another factor in choosing between a custom-tailored suit and an off-the-rack garment. A custom-made suit requires time for fittings, selecting the suit’s material and color, and production of the suit. Most custom tailored suits take 60-100 days from first fitting to receiving the finished product.
All of these factors were considered when we launched World Of Alfa, a web-based revolutionary custom clothing company offering all the advantages of high quality custom-tailored suits and shirts, but at affordable prices. With custom suits starting at $220 and custom shirts starting at $39, we made it our mission to service the customer who previously settled for the off-the-rack suits and had to compromise on style and fit, as well as the customer accustomed to paying upward of $1,500 for a custom-tailored suit. Charles Barkley was wearing mock turtlenecks, but now wears Alfa custom-tailored suits and shirts on “Inside the NBA.” Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Rick Fox, Steve Smith, Dr. J and Nick Cannon are a few of many other celebs who wear Alfa suits.
Players such as Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Baron Davis and Amar’e Stoudemire have all lead the way in expressing their personality and creativity through the way they dress. Post-game press conferences have become a quasi-fashion presentation, a way to show the world another side of our favorite athletes.
These days I only wear custom-tailored suits and shirts. No more ill-fitting shirts or ugly suits that happen to be approximately my size. Why, you ask? Because I can afford it. And now so can everyone else.
Boris Kodjoe currently appears on BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and is founder of the custom-clothing line, World of Alfa.