How to Tie a Bow Tie & Happy Holidays

Looking dapper in a bow tie during your holiday celebrations is easy, knowing how to tie a bow tie is an essential gentleman's skill.

  1. Flip up your collar and lay the bow tie around your neck with one end hanging about 2 inches lower than the other
  2. Cross the longer end of the bow tie over the narrow end, and then wrap it from behind through the gap between bowtie and neck
  3. Now fold the shorter end of the bow over
  4. Pull the wider end over the folded part of the bow from step #3
  5. Wrap it all the way around back through the gap between neck and bow tie. Don’t pull tight yet, but create a loop in front of this wrapping. Take the bow tie and pull it through this loop
  6. Tighten the bow and give it a final adjustment to your liking and remember it should not be perfectly symmetrical, just like pocket square fold, the beauty is in the nonchalance of the added detail

How Much Does a Custom Suit Cost?

 Zach being measured and taking home his Chicago custom suit from Nicholas Joseph

Zach being measured and taking home his Chicago custom suit from Nicholas Joseph

How Much Does a Custom Suit Cost?

The cost of a custom suit varies depending upon fabric and craftmanship (labor & materials).  When purchasing custom clothing, the adage, "You get what you pay for", certainly applies, but there are a full range of cost options available, depending upon where you live, and what your budget is.

Who is Measuring, Cutting, Sewing, & Fitting?

If you are serious about your suiting, you'll quickly realize that it's about more than just the fabric and craftsmanship, it's also about the measurements, fitter, and Master Tailor making adjustments. After all, you could pay well into the thousands for a custom Zegna fabric and hand-tailored bespoke suit, but if the original measurements, the fitter, and the tailor making the adjustments don't have the experience, you could have bought a used Rolex, at least that would fit.

Bottom line: Ask how long the custom suit maker has been in business, and if they have a training program led by a Master Tailor.  Be sure to check their online reviews as well if you haven't been referred by someone you trust.

Where is the Custom Clothing made?

Most "custom clothing" companies you'll find online have all of their clothing made in Asia.  There are a few dozen companies in the States that are ordering their custom clothing from manufacturers in the USA.  And then there are just the handful of companies that have a Master Tailor make their clothing from start to finish in their own city - we happen to be one of those local custom suit makers, with other options as well.

At Nicholas Joseph we offer three distinct “makes” of custom clothing in order to accommodate varying taste and budget: Made in Chicago Bespoke, Made in USA (Knoxville, TN), and Overseas. We stress the importance of having a team approach for measuring and fitting, and to have locally made custom clothing available as an indicator of the seriousness with which your custom tailor approaches fit and quality. We also have a Master Tailor on site to assist with fittings and ultimately perform any adjustment required.

How much does a custom suit cost?

Custom suits vary depending on what you think is truly custom, or bespoke.  What's the difference?  A lot.  A custom suit currently means either a made to measure or a custom suit, which is when a company measures you and orders the closest fitting existing suit pattern to your body, and then makes small adjustments.  Most companies these days are using those words interchangeably.  The same goes for made to measure or custom shirts. 

Made to measure "custom" suits can start at a few hundred dollars and go into the thousands, based on the company that is making them, their construction method (fused, half canvas, or full canvas), and the fabric that will ultimately become the suit.

A bespoke suit is a suit based off of a new paper pattern made exclusively for that customer.  It is frequently hand cut by the Master Tailor, and then he, or a cutter on his team, will trace the pattern on the fabric with chalk, carefully aligning plaids or stripes.  The same idea holds true for bespoke or true custom shirts.  Fully bespoke suits frequently involve a few trips to the tailor for fittings so they can adjust the basted jacket and trouser and/or pattern along the way.  True bespoke suits usually start in the low thousand dollar range for quality construction and go up depending on the material used.

Our custom suits start at $795 and go up to about $5,000, depending on fabric and craftsmanship. We offer made in Chicago custom suits starting at $2995. We can make custom suits with Loro Piana, Zegna, Guabello, Vitale Barberis, and other fine wools, and you get the mill's label in the jacket as well.  See our custom suit pricing.  Then read How it Works to understand how to buy a custom suit.

Of course if you are an entertainment mogul we can make you a Vicuña custom suit for $20,000. If you were wondering...Vicuñas are from South America and produce small amounts of extremely fine wool, which is very expensive because the animal can only be shorn every three years, and has to be caught from the wild.

How can I learn more about Custom Suits?

The best way to understand is to make an appointment with a local custom tailor shop.  If you are in the Chicago area, Request an Appointment and meet with one of our Designers who will show you all the hundreds of fabrics, examples of construction, and you'll see dozens of finished garments to inspire you.  Beware, custom clothing can be come addictive.

Buy a Great Custom Suit (and know why it's great)

Great Custom Suit
Great Custom Suit

Modern gentlemen know that there are plenty of options out there for custom suits. They should also know what makes a great custom suit.We've put together an illustrated list of the most important elements that great custom suits should have, ours do.

These include the following, not that a custom suit should ALWAYS include whatever features you desire:

  • Fully Custom Fit and Construction
  • The Perfected Shoulder
  • Hand Picked Stitching
  • Built in Pocket Square
  • Hand Finished Inner Details
  • Working Sleeve Buttonholes, Standard
  • Jacket Fit, Your Preference
  • Trouser Hand Detailing
  • Trouser Leg Fit, Style, and Comfort, Your Preference
  • Trouser Heel Guard

How to Tie a Bow Tie

You know bow ties are back when women are looking to buy them for their men. Knowing how to tie a bow tie is an essential Gentleman Custom. Learn how.

  1. Flip up your collar and lay the bow tie around your neck with one end hanging about 2 inches lower than the other.
  2. Cross the longer end of the bow tie over the narrow end, and then wrap it from behind through the gap between bowtie and neck.
  3. Now fold the shorter end of the bow over.
  4. Pull the wider end over the folded part of the bow from step #3.
  5. Wrap it all the way around back through the gap between neck and bow tie. Don’t pull tight yet, but create a loop in front of this wrapping. Take the bow tie and pull it through this loop.
  6. Tighten the bow and give it a final adjustment to your liking.

Gentleman Customs - Rule #45, Buy a Great Custom Suit

Gentleman's Etiquette

Gentleman Customs is a campaign created to revive the gentlemanly manners and etiquette of days gone by.

RULE #45: Buy a Great Custom Suit...and know why it's great

Nothing instills confidence like a custom suit. Every man should have at least one and whether you have one or many, be sure it gives you the confidence you need to know that your look is perfect and you can concentrate on the business, event, or occasion at hand.

Gentleman Customs - Rule #49, Be Charming

Gentleman's Etiquette

Gentlemans Customs is a campaign created to revive the gentlemanly manners and etiquette of days gone by.

RULE #49: Be Charming, you will be surprised at the charm that is returned

A genuine smile, honest compliments, a sense of humor, display of manners, and learning to listen will take you a long way and are all virtues of a charming gentleman.

Gentleman Customs - Rule #27, Know How to Relax

Gentleman's Etiquette

Gentleman Customs is a campaign created to revive the gentlemanly manners and etiquette of days gone by.

RULE #27: Know How to Relax

A successful gentleman knows he needs time to disconnect and take time for himself.  Renewed focus and perspective are the rewards which will give him the edge when reconnecting.

Gentleman Customs - Rule #11, The Taxi

Gentleman's Etiquette

Gentleman Customs is a campaign created to revive the gentlemanly manners and etiquette of days gone by.

RULE #11 The Taxi: One of the few times the Gentleman goes first

The gentleman slides across the seats so as to minimize the lady's effort and potential for wardrobe malfunctions. A gentleman always goes first in taxis, revolving doors at rest, and boats.