At a certain point in your life you accept the fact that you need a tailor—a real tailor, who makes a suit specifically for you. It’s going to cost more than $3000, and you respect (perhaps grudgingly) the fact that that quite serious amount of money is going to a craftsman who’s learned his trade over decades; it’s going to buy cloth woven in the finest mills; it’s going to a cutter who’s refined his pattern to create a refined silhouette. Your money is not going to underwrite a luxury goods behemoth, it’s not going to anybody who appears in his own ads—it’s not going to anybody who has ads. You seek a local tailor.
That equation is simple, but difficult to achieve. That’s why New Yorkers are lucky to have Miller’s Oath in our fair city. Kirk Miller, formerly of Paul Stuart and Thom Browne, ran Barker Black with his brother, Derrick. Over the years he’s met suppliers, tailors, and methodically plotted his own venture. He opened Miller’s Oath, late last year in a handsome narrow storefront on Greenwich Street—around the corner from the beloved Ear Inn. And the results couldn’t be better.
His signature cut is a one-buttoned sport coat with a soft, natural shoulder, usually in a bold tweed (often from a family-run mills, like Fox). Miller explains that one particular 21-gram tweed ‘was designed for hunting on estates in Scotland, it’s thorn-proof, and it appeals to a certain type of person.’ That would be a sartorial iconoclast with a creative disposition. He adds: ‘It’s harder to wear if you work in a bank.’ Point taken. If you’re looking for something more discreet, Miller obliges with a charcoal gray suit that combines versatility and understated style. ‘These suits should look thoughtful and composed without looking designed,’ he says. He’s right, and you’re not going to find a more discerning option in the big town.
For those keeping in mind the big picture, consider a double-breasted overcoat in a wool Donegal glen plaid—you will stride with confidence into Minetta Tavern, the Met Gala, or your trial for insider trading.
You know the drill: three fittings, sport coats starting at $2200, suits at $3200. Shirts? Evening Wear? Tartan trousers? Miller is there for you. Off-the-rack clothing is more difficult—he sells a limited collection at United Arrows in Tokyo. On the home front, it’s entirely custom, (aside from cashmere sweaters and accessories), at least for the time being.
This is an intimate operation. Miller employs just one tailor, and he’s created his pattern over years of thoughtful experimentation. ‘People are surprised when they call the store and I answer the phone.’ But that’s as it should be. Miller also takes your measurements and pins your clothes for alterations. ‘I want to have a connection with the men who come here.’ That’s a connection the gentlemen of New York deserve to make.