Aronow: The good news is that more dudes are interested in suits than ever before. The bad news is that this has given birth to a lot of questionable trends and awkward looks that should probably not be explored outside of magazine editorials. What are some trends that should be avoided?
Lewis: First, the "so I won't be naked" wedding/funeral/job interview throwaway suit.
Most people have done their research and invested in a killer pair of jeans, but every time a buddy gets married, they run out and buy something that just gets the job done. But he knows, and everyone else knows, that it kind of sucks.
A well-made suit may be the most expensive garment a man will buy, but if they add up all of the money they've spent on ill-fitting, shapeless and unflattering suits, a properly made, smartly fitting suit seems like less of an investment and more of a no-brainer. Before guys started dropping all their cash on designer t-shirts and $300 recreations of 20th century coal miner dungarees, the suit was the centerpiece of a man's wardrobe. Once you invest the time and money towards a suit that you love and feel confident in, you'll actually be excited to ditch the jeans and suit up — not only when you're required to, but just for the hell of it.
Second, the skinny suit.
There's a very big difference between "fitted" and "skinny." The trend towards slimmer silhouettes for men's suits over the past few years is overwhelmingly good news, especially compared to the pinstriped potato sacks that have been on the racks in years and decades past.
But as with any good idea, it can be taken too far. The key to a slimming silhouette is not to simply take it to the limit and squeeze yourself into a smaller and smaller suit, it is about creating balance and a flattering shape that complements your particular frame. You've heard enough times that the best dressed are those who make it look effortless.
To look sharp you need to look comfortable, and there's nothing comfortable about the guy squeezed into his jacket like a sausage. Make sure you have enough room across your chest and thighs to gesture and point and stuff. No need to do sit-ups in the store, but make sure the suit moves with your body and flows along its contours.
Aronow: Any last (or should I say first) words for the dudes looking to take the plunge and cop a nice suit?
Lewis: A suit should not be the problematic outlier in your wardrobe, the thing you cringe to put on for weddings, job interviews and funerals. Do a bit of hunting and find the suit that feels good for you, a garment you're excited to wear. Nobody is ever going to look down on you for being a bit more dressed up than the next guy in the office.
If there's any doubt in your mind about the need to put on a suit more often and sharpen your look, I'll give you one simple, all-important reason: the lady in your life. I've seen a lot of couples come through our shop over the years, and trust me, when the guy steps out in that finished custom suit for the first time…her eyes invariably light up.
About the brand: Brooklyn Tailors was founded in 2008 by Danny Lewis and Brenna Boyce. They offer custom, off-the-rack and bespoke suits and shirts, all of which are available at their shop at 358 Grand Street in Williamsburg. Most recently they launched a ready-to-wear collection that is now available at retailers like Barney's Co-Op, Penelope's in Chicago and Cassidy in Tokyo. Check out their online store here.