New York’s Finest: Miller’s Oath. | A Continuous Lean.

New York’s Finest: Miller’s Oath.

Apr 19th, 2011 | Categories: Clothing, David Coggins, Made in the USA, New York City | by David Coggins

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.

Words by David Coggins | Photos by Foster Huntington.

Comments: 62

62 Comments to “New York’s Finest: Miller’s Oath.”

  1. Jeremiah Simmons
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 8:58 AM

    Looks exquisite yet very wearable for every man. Love the ticket pockets and size of the lapels. Anyone got $3200 I can borrow?

  2. Jat
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 9:38 AM

    Ha. I’ll wait to snatch one up at the thrift store for $10.

  3. Brandon
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:04 AM

    I’ve already accepted the fact that I need a tailor. Trouble is I live in Richmond, VA.
    Guess I’ve got one more excuse to travel upstate for the weekend.

  4. Tom Hemphill
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:08 AM

    First things first. I admire, respect and am devoted to following Continuous Lean. And perhaps it’s my mid-west sense of frugality (not envy), but three thousand and change for a suit? No matter how splendid and handsome (and I’m certain they are), that price seems somewhat extravagant. But this Miller’s Oath blog is indeed illuminating as to how how some people must live and clothe themselves.

  5. L.A.S
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:12 AM

    I think the most overlooked aspect of Kirk’s top notch operation is his one-of-a-kind cutaway/club collar hybrid. Classic innovation at its absolute finest.

  6. sam c
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:17 AM

    awesome. i like the looks of that wide wale cord jacket

  7. Ian
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:21 AM

    “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…”

    Is this a joke? Do you realize that 80% of households in America, with two earners, make less than $90,000 a year pre-tax? Are you that utterly out-of-touch with anyone who’s not in the menswear blogosphere?

  8. F.E. Castleberry
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:04 AM

    I am sick, absolutist sick of men like Ian and Tom who not only do not appreciate beautiful things, but go out of their way to express their disdain for how much beautiful things cost. A bespoke suit made by a great tailor is a beautiful thing.

    Shut the hell up about how much it costs. Today, cars are made of plastic, new buildings are intentionally erected with shorter life spans, and clothes are made in sweatshops in China. We, as Americans, have demanded sub par goods because we want everything cheaper, cheaper, cheaper. Some American men are waking up from that spell.

    Many men used to spend this much money on a suit (because it would potentially last a lifetime)…we spend money on those things we value. If you don’t value clothes or how you present yourself to the world each day, you won’t value a bespoke suit. Ian and Tom, this is New York—not some city in the Midwest. Men have money here. Men with taste live here. Men want to look good here. There is a market for what Miller’s Oath is offering. If you want a bespoke suit bad enough, go into your garage and sell some stuff on eBay. There is always a way.

    Ok, I’m done ranting. Carry on.

  9. Elias P
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:14 AM

    Sorry, I must be some sort of Philistine, but I just can’t see spending three grand for a tweed suit. Or any of these suits, for that matter. I mean honestly, that green and blue tartan thing on the end of the rack is an absolute abomination. No, if I somehow were to come by the means where I could get myself a tailored suit, I’d probably call Mr. Greenfield out in Brooklyn and see if we could work something out.

  10. Tim
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:28 AM

    3200? For real? Whoever can spend that much on material things better be spending just as lavishly for good causes.

  11. Ian
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:38 AM

    Yo, Castleberry, I didn’t say anything about the worth or the quality of the suit or whether or not anyone should buy it. Do they not teach reading comprehension skills at Exeter anymore?

  12. Isaac
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:42 AM

    Honestly, not a bad deal. A good MTM suit is $1400 and up, and that includes decent service, fabric selection (which can balloon the price, it’s where MTM shops make $$), and a myriad of choices. The difference here is that the pattern is being cut just for you – there’s no shortcuts. It’s also a guy WHO WORKED FOR THOM BROWNE AND HELPED CO-START BARKER BLACK! That’s style. Also, I think they’re fellow Minnesotans if I’m not mistaken.

    What I’d recommend is starting at MTM – find a good local person who people really use and like. Get a few MTM shirts and a MTM sportcoat or suit. Taste the difference, and then realize that there’s even another level above that. If that level appeals to you, go for it.

    I started with having a nice suit made for my wedding as my first foray into MTM (I’m only 26). I liked it, and I appreciate that a well-chosen, fully-canvassed and customized suit is like no other.

  13. Daniel P
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 11:49 AM

    As has been pointed out, bespoke is not for everyone. This doesn’t mean one is a Philistine; it simply means that for those who have the means — and there are those who do, even in the Midwest — there are, thankfully, still craftsmen who produce things of beauty and quality that will last a lifetime. Even for those who don’t have the means, a bespoke suit is something to aspire to. Perhaps what is most refreshing is to see younger men and women who have committed themselves to learning the craft of cutting and fitting. It’s nice to know that generations of sartorial wisdom won’t be lost to a world of mass produced goods.

    As for those who cry in disbelief at the cost, it would seem foolish to go into an Aston Martin dealership and wail about the price of a Vantage roadster. It seems equally out of place to do the same on a blog about custom tailoring.

    Hats off to Miller’s Oath. I’ll look forward to a visit on my next trip to the city.

  14. Andy
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 12:47 PM

    This looks like an exquisite place devoted to fine craftsmanship and bespoke tailoring.

    I cannot afford to shop here, but it is instructive to state that this store is but minutes from Wall Street, where the average salary, according to the NY Post, was about $400,000 in 2010.

    That works out to about $9500 a week in gross income. More than adequate to justify spending $3200 on a suit.

  15. Greg D.
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 12:56 PM

    Well Mikey, so much for your working “Middle Class” stint – short lived to say the least. Sniff.

    Mr. Castleberry – thankfully mid-western men aren’t defined by your standards, but all you hipsters can continue to try and emulate us. Then again, just because you wear the clothes, doesn’t make you so.

  16. Clifford
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 1:21 PM

    Savile Row bespoke suits start at the same price. What’s all the fuss about?

  17. Tim
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 1:37 PM

    If you can afford it, it is worth the expense, particularly if you love classic clothing. He’s not advocating this to the world, but those who appreciate it. Get off his back for reporting on him area of concentration. Thank you for bringing him to my attention. I’ve been contemplating (for 5 years!) a saville row suit. Now I know I don’t have to cross the pond.

  18. Elias P
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 1:46 PM

    Daniel, my self-referenced Philistinism was regarding my dislike for tweed as a suit material, not my feelings towards bespoke suits in general. I also don’t like ticket pockets, and probably would prefer more than one button. I guess I just don’t like these suits. Maybe I am just not the “sartorial iconoclast” these are geared towards.

  19. MJP
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:20 PM

    It should be some internet/maritime law that bloggers that get shit for free can never criticize the people that actually pay for things when they push back on price. Of course everything is “timeless” and a “great value” when you don’t have to pay for it. When this same press release was in GQ a year ago, the suits started at $2700. And the Fed says there’s no inflation…that said, $3200 for bespoke isn’t THAT bad…but is this true bespoke (as in a pattern is cut for you on site by the guy that measured you) or made to measure?

    I also agree with LAS though – the spread club collar is quite nice. Could probably swing that in a bank or law firm, if the rest of your rig is not too gaudy.

  20. Michael
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:23 PM

    F.E. Castleberry is absolutely brilliant. In just a few paragraphs the writer was able to communicate this character so perfectly.

    Very rarely do you see such a well formed character in blog comments. The name alone is perfect. F.E. Castleberry. The formality of using the first and middle initial has a very ‘elite private school’ feel. Then you have the last name that just permeates this sense of entitlement and seemingly endless generations of wealth. I do like the touch of adding ‘Castle’ to the name. Perfect touch sir, just perfect.

    The character is great but I love the little touches the writer adds. For example, the link on his name goes to a fitting blog, Unabashedly Prep. The wall to wall douchebags fit perfectly with the east coast elitist that is the F.E. Castleberry character.

    I don’t want to take up too much of your time but I wanted to give credit where credit is due. Well done F.E. (can I call you F.E.?)! You created a truly vivid antagonist in just a few paragraphs.

  21. LeRoy
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:23 PM

    LeRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYY JenKINSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Biggest bunch of nerds ever.

  22. Michael Williams
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:34 PM

    MJP,

    No one here got anything for free. I call bullshit on your whole comment. And when we do get shit for free, we let people know in the post: http://acontinuouslean.com/2011/04/06/computerized-574s/

  23. MJP
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:42 PM

    Forgot to mention that these suits actually look very nice, and quite different from Thom Browne or Paul Stuart – a good thing in my opinion.

  24. MJP
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 2:57 PM

    Was referring less to you than Mr Castleberry above. As nice as these suits look though, this post amounts to little more than a press release…..”you’re not going to find a more discerning option in the big town”. O really? Would love to see an objective review of the bepoke/mtm NYC tailors in this price range…that would be useful to guys thinking of investing more in their clothing. Otherwise all these new places look the same.

  25. jiheison
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 3:06 PM

    I’m sure Mr. Miller is doing fine work, but I fear that quality and patronizing something other than a “goods behemoth”, luxury or otherwise, is increasingly accepted as a luxury itself. It is simply assumed that if you want something made in America, by an American, you better be wealthy enough to shell out $3200 for a suit, $300 for a pair of jeans, etc.

    To be fair, many of the dwindling number of American manufacturers that have not been swamped by the garbage imported by mass-marketers have been mentioned on this blog.

    Nevertheless, who is kidding who with posts like this? Miller’s prices are partly due to higher quality and attention to detail. But they also have a great deal to do with his target customer and their particular psychology, a.k.a. what the market will bear. Thus we are told “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.” Why, because blog commentators will sneer at you if you profess no foreseeable circumstance in your own future that would require a tailored suit?

    Its just a suit. Its there to protect you from the elements and because you will be arrested if you don’t wear pants in public. Those are the only “needs” at play here. If you can’t accomplish what you want to do in life without a $3200 suit, its not proof of your substance — quite the opposite.

  26. Michael Williams
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 3:31 PM

    I just looked through their comment histories and it should be noted that jiheison and MJP have never said anything good about anything, ever. -MW

  27. jiheison
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 3:44 PM

    Quoting myself in this very thread, “To be fair, many of the dwindling number of American manufacturers that have not been swamped by the garbage imported by mass-marketers have been mentioned on this blog.”

    But that is probably too subtle a positive comment to spare me from being branded a “hater” along with anyone else who exhibits skepticism of the relentless drum-beating on behalf of consumerism — especially on a blog run by a marketing guy.

  28. Michael Williams
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 3:50 PM

    When not marketing to you jiheison I deal in mortgage backed securities and plant land mines for fun. I am the most terrible person on earth, obviously. Thank God you are around to save everyone from my evil!

    Also, if the “relentless consumerism” exhibited here (on a blog about clothing!) turns you off — then stop reading it. Simple. And to clarify, you are being branded a “hater,” because I just looked through your last 50 comments and they are all negative. So why don’t you go troll somewhere else.

  29. jp33
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 4:05 PM

    Looks like a great place with a high quality product…why knock it?
    If I could afford one I’d be in the fitting room already. Alas, it’s not in the budget nor could I justify the expensive based on how often I would actually wear it. Kudos to those who can afford the cost and would get great use out of the suit.

  30. Ray Hull
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 4:09 PM

    $3200 for a suit? Priorities?

    X-Gov Eliot Spitzer paid more than that to wear something above his black sox…for one night.

  31. Brian M
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 4:17 PM

    As someone who is getting a suit made by Miller’s Oath as we speak, I have to say, the experience alone is worth the cost.

    He’s an incredibly personable guy—I’ve been in 4 times now, once to check it out, once to choose a fabric (of which he helped find multiples, less expensive and more) and measure, once to check out the first cut, and another one later this week for a near-final slip-on.

    I would document my process, but he’s not keen on photography.

    Needless to say, I haven’t even gotten the finished suit yet, but the time I’ve spent so far has been excellent.

  32. JF
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 4:36 PM

    It’s all perspective – to some $3200 is a lot of money, but to those who understand and appreciate bespoke clothing, it is not shocking – Some people drive Nissan while others drive Mercedes…

    Mr. Miller has clearly created a specific point of view with the look of his clothing, especially the expression of the lapel and roped shoulder head. Although I personally am not a big fan of that expression, I appreciate that we have another talented artisan offering amazing product to a select clientele.

    Good post!

  33. MJP
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 5:12 PM

    Notice how MW goes ad hominem (“hater”, “troll”) than actually defending the product. My original point was it’s hard to judge a lot of these new menswear shops because the copy from ACL, GQ, Selectism, Urbandaddy, whatever, all use the same cliches. If you usually buy suits at Ralph Lauren or Saks and think you want something a little more personal how do you decide between Miller’s Oath or Michael Andrew bespoke or Freemans or Seize sur Vingt or….surely the answer isn’t which one has the best PR guy. I’m not a tailor and not really in a position to judge relative quality but then again it seems like neither are the people trying to sell you this stuff.

  34. Michael Williams
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 5:21 PM

    I don’t need to speak to the quality any more than I already have by putting it on the site. I know Kirk and know he is a stand up guy. Coggins, who wears a suit 99% of the time, knows tailoring. So why would I feel like I need to defend something that has already been vetted? At the end of the day ACL is just a discovery agent for people to find new things. It doesn’t cost anything to walk down and visit Kirk and see what he and his shop are all about. Quit trying to make this into some big overt scheme to manipulate you into buying expensive things you don’t want and clearly don’t understand. If you want to shop at the local Joe Banks and save your money, then do it if that makes you happy.

  35. chris
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 7:10 PM

    Can I afford to have my suit made here? No. Can I afford to appreciate what this man does and the article that has brought him to my attention? Yes.

    Some people just have to complain about something.

  36. Anonymous
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 7:18 PM

    Some of the people commenting sound a little out of touch regarding bespoke suit pricing. It’s makes sense, considering not everyone can afford a bespoke suit. So if you haven’t had a proper MTM experience, you really wouldn’t know what you are talking about. Real life experience vs. reading blogs and online forums, there is just no comparison. However in this instance, you are better off asking questions, sans scarcasm of course, rather than shooting off at the mouth (keyboard?).

    First of all, if you read this blog I’m sure you all know there are differences in the quality of fabric, but it’s not just the fabric quality that gets factored into the price of a custom suit. Think of a suit the same way you would a car: there are engine parts inside of the attractive, aerodynamic shell. In addition to the various parts, there is the cost of labor, and of course you must factor in the variance in quality of the labor.

    Mr. Miller, Seize sur Vingt, etc. use the best parts possible, combined with excellent labor, and their own tailoring aesthetic and personal styling that makes them stand out from the rest.

    For the comment on Greenfield: If you think you’ll get a full handmade at Martin Greenfield with the same level of canvasing, padding, linings, fabric etc for any less, you just don’t know what you are talking about. Martin Greenfield has different tiers of quality, and the better the parts get, the more expensive the suit will become. If you wanted those same engine parts that go into the other suits, Marty may be able to do it, maybe even special order those parts, but good old Marty will charge you for it. It’s simple economics.

    All in all, if you can afford it, it’s worth it. If you can’t, don’t be mad about it. Do your research and figure out the best quality for your buck. I can tell you from experience, that a proper bespoke suit is well worth the cost as far as cost per usage. I great suit will last you forever. If you can muster up the money, trust me, it’s worth the cost. I’m sure you all aren’t swimming in money (neither am I), but if you can afford a home computer, you can afford a bespoke suit. Maybe it’s time to think about selling off your valuable comic book collections, or baseball cards or rare kung fu vhs collections etc. so you can get a proper bespoke suit, becuase it may be time for some of you to finally grow up and look the part.

  37. Rick Steamboat
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 8:36 PM

    I am in agreement with MJP…and if a shop is vetted or not, the end result is to gas something up. Oh, and then hate on it once its up in flames.

    Fail.

  38. e-RICHIE
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:08 PM

    michael –

    despite the comments from a few detractors, i want to add that the clothes and their presentation are beautiful atmo. i don’t have the occasion to dress for work, but if i did, miller’s oath would be on my radar.

    i’ve never heard it articulated this way, but your description of ACL as a “discovery agent…” is exactly why i tune in here every few days. i may never shop for, or own, most of the goods you expose here, but knowing about them, that they exist, and that folks reach for higher standards – all of this enriches my life.

    many thanks.

  39. Brad
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:54 PM

    Good things cost money. If you don’t want to spend 3200 on a suit, go and find an ancient tailor in a tired rust city like Cincinnati who doesn’t have a beautiful shop or awesome men’s fashion cred and get one for a quarter of the cost. I don’t understand people ranting on this thing about stuff like this. I suppose the comment section is for that always. But this is art. And art you can wear. We all have different values. A new TV is a considerable cost, a pair of decent season tickets to a major sport will set you back a few thousand.

    I think the sentiment expressed is really the most important thing: buying something ubiquitous you used to take for granted from the people who crafted it, for an investment. This comment board blew up when Raleigh Denim cost 250$. I live in Raleigh. I’d never spent more than 40$ on a pair of jeans. It was hard to do it. But now, 18 months on, I’ve built it into my budget to buy another pair. It has been the best investment I’ve made on clothing in my life. I see those cats around town, when people ask me about the jeans, I have a story.

    I really appreciate what this blog has opened me up to. And I can’t afford a $3200 suit, but I’m glad some people can so things like this can exist. I’m glad Ferraris exist, I don’t get mad they’re so sexy I want one.

  40. jsqfunk
    on Apr 19th, 2011
    @ 10:59 PM

    Let’s say an el cheapo suit is $80
    A low end suit mall suit not on sale is approx. $250
    Jos. A Banks is $500
    Brooks Brothers is $800
    Polo is $1500
    Zegna is $3000
    Miller’s Oath is $3400

    The cheapest Ford F150 sold recently on ebay was $380, the most expensive was $39,498
    Different folks – different strokes

  41. JRF
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 2:35 AM

    My lord. The critics on this thread shouldn’t be embarrassed that they won’t pay 3K for a fine suit. They should be embarrassed that they were unaware that a fine suit costs thousands of dollars. And that they didn’t know that 3K is at the lower end of that spectrum.

    I cannot afford a suit from Miller’s Oath, and never will be able to, but appreciate very much the quality apparent here. Just because you personally can’t afford something doesn’t mean it is overvalued. In the same way, many things that are cheap or free aren’t necessarily valueless, and often quite the opposite. There isn’t one rule. And that’s the problem here – folks thinking their value system should be everyone’s. Well, everyone is different, as you may have heard.

    I’m sure there is a blog that celebrates men’s wearhouse. Go find it.

  42. Monkini
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 3:57 AM

    Your post resonates, particularly difference between (1) something made to fit you and (2) off the rack suit made to fit as many people as possible made by global fashion brand where you have to pay for advertising, promotions, famous models, etc.

    After you buy the first mtm the differences with off the rack are so clear that you start noticing the suits of everyone you see.

    The cost of suits in Spain (from $800 to $4000) depends mostly on cloth chosen, location (a real high street shop vs non descript 3rd floor appartment), fame of tailor, etc. My tailor is on the affordable end but still such quality of execution, such fit that no brand name suit even comes close. And the pleasure of the fittings, of talking to a knowledgeable tradesman is another bonus.

  43. Dan
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 4:20 AM

    Stumbled across this because a friend of mine loves fine clothes and posted the link on his facebook page. Just caught my eye. Was reading the argument in the comments (rich! poor! excess! craftsmanship! etc…) and one thought came to mind: Isn’t the actual craftsman here Miller’s tailor? You know, the guy who isn’t named?

  44. Dan
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 4:22 AM

    Ah, perhaps never mind. Just reread — I guess Miller does the lion’s share of the work and the “tailor” in this context does the refining, final fitting?

  45. Johnny
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 7:32 AM

    These tailors are really the only guys who should be allowed to carry pocketknives in the city. They might actually use them to “cut stuff,” though you could make the argument that everyone else carries them around to cut through the pretentiousness perpetuated on the internets.

    I rather enjoy this ongoing documentation of our sad, crumbling empire.

  46. Phoebe
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 8:00 AM

    Kirk is one gloriously attractive male.

  47. Tom Hemphill
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 8:26 AM

    Whew. What a response. And just so you all understand my feelings (“three thousand and change seems “extravagant”), I still feel that way. But that in no way diminishes the obvious quality of Miller’s Oath suits. Their work seems to be impeccable. It’s just my personal feeling. And, Michael, your description of ACL as a “discovery agent” is terrific. I may not always agree, but here’s to diversity. Thank you.

  48. JLL
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 8:45 AM

    So many poor people on ACL these days.

  49. K.A. Adams
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 9:03 AM

    It seems that Michael Williams can’t win.

    If he posts something about J Crew, he gets blasted for selling out the American aesthetic and / or production base to China. And even then, some of his readers complain that J. Crew is too expensive.

    If he posts something about an artisanally based American brand like Miller’s Oath, he’s accused of promoting pretentiousness or elitism.

    Is it any wonder that old school American craftsmanship is rare as hen’s teeth and that the requisite skill sets are dying off ?

    With customers and clients like the readers here who needs enemies ?

  50. Observer312
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 4:57 PM

    Another thread to add to the Clusterf*ck pile here…

    The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is the true value of a product needs to be viewed from a life cycle cost perspective.

    $3500 for a suit is A LOT of money. But if you break it down in terms of how long you would own said suit how much is it really?

    If the suit is as well made and hardy as what this blog professes I would think the rest of your life.

    I will never own one of these suits and I will never step foot into that shop, but the craftsmanship is fantastic.

    Thanks for sharing, M.W.

  51. great zamboni
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 6:29 PM

    Wow, quite a blog storm ignited by a cool guy who makes suits. Lighten up folks, is an american made shop really a bad thing? I’ve probably spent 3000$ on coffees and donuts, if only i’d known……….keep on tailoring blokes.

  52. Bob Corrigan
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 6:43 PM

    Did You Know that this fine tailor will slip a Smythson Panama jotter refill into the breast pocket of each new suit, so the owner can plot strategies for saving drowning babies in Burkina Faso?

    To those readers of this website who recoil at the cost of certain things, I say phooey. A hand-tailored suit purchased in Manhattan is not a black plastic bag with holes for your arms and head. You get what you pay for, where you pay for it, when you pay for it.

    You *can* go to a tailor in southeast asia and have a suit made for you for a fraction of the cost. Who knows, it might even be as nice. But you can’t get a hand-made suit in Manhattan made by *this guy* unless you’ve got $3k or so. Who knows, maybe he’ll have a sale and offer a one-time discount of $3k to a random customer. If the haters were that customer, would they still complain?

    Keep up the good work.

  53. Zach
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 7:03 PM

    People who complain about the high-cost of something are usually just venting their inability to afford something they want. This is an important activity I suppose, to release one’s own anger and disappointment, but it is also a shame, because part of the American spirit should be about finding a way to get what you want. I don’t bitch about the price of a Porsche, even though I know it is expensive, because I don’t give two @#$%s about cars.

    Think about it, if you wanted to buy one Miller’s Oath bespoke suit a year, you’d have to make an extra 3200 per year, that isn’t a lot of income on the side. I make about that in profit over a month or two with my hobby selling vintage on Etsy, precisely so I can afford to wear nice suits to my day job.

    You haven’t lived until you’ve sorted the mail in a bespoke suit.

  54. Michael
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 7:14 PM

    Really people? Michael, I understand why you allow these comments to post, but I feel like at this point you shouldn’t let people like this take part in your blog.

  55. Sc
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 10:22 PM

    Gorgeous suits, but Dan cut to the quick-who builds the suit? That’s key info, esp. Since this is a start-up

  56. TMH
    on Apr 20th, 2011
    @ 11:44 PM

    …and that pocket square is bad ass too. I have a feeling
    those are going to be a seller.

  57. Elias J
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 12:05 AM

    Honestly, MW…. If I were you, I would disable the comment links and go to a like button similar to EDC. As someone who doesn’t always post, but reads daily. It seems as though almost every other post lately has turned into fight club in the comment section. Outside of some of the admiration that comes out of the comment strings, seems as though you are more often than not being caught up in some drama of one of your readers who posts something negative or takes your article out of the context that you meant for it. I think the comment wars are personally starting to detract from the great posts. I have a personal policy that I started a few years ago of deleting the drama out of my life… whether it be friends, family, work or personal issues…. if it’s drama, it’s gone. I think you may do your health some good to remove the ability to comment. I for one don’t think it would detract at all from the site. Just my humble opinion.

    Best,

    EJ

  58. mksolid
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 10:11 AM

    I believe that the negative (cost) reaction that many are having is a result of the phrasing and tone of this blog entry –

    It was written in a manner that would suggest that spending $3200 for a suit is “almost inevitable”, when hardly this is the case.

    That being said, I believe that you should all keep in mind that the vast majority of everything that Mike suggests is somewhat expensive (compared to the economic standards of most average Americans).

    The fact of the matter is that you’re going to have to make some fairly serious money and spend it to satisfy any desires to “buy American” or “buy serious craftsmanship”. If you don’t like it – you can go to Walmart.

  59. Rocky
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 12:54 PM

    ACL-thanks for the post. I think people are missing the point. He’s making a beautiful collection that might not be for everyone. If you have the money and want a different look from some of the older more stodgy brands than maybe Miller is for you. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it. Nothing to stress about. Why all of the harshing on this? Seems like wasted time. He’s making immaculately tailored pieces. Something that you should pay a extra for. If you want an off the rack suit, there are plenty of those as well. I like the car analogy used above. Some people buy Nissans and some Mercedes. To each their own. That’s what makes the world go ’round.

    Michael-Is Barker Black still going?

  60. Timmrush
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 1:24 PM

    I check this blog everyday, and always find the posts informative, interesting and aligning my style (if not the flushness of my wallet). MW, in my opinion, has had a positive impact in the world of men’s style.

    If you don’t like the blogs point of view, don’t fucking visit it. Its like a vegetarian complaining about meat at McDonalds. don’t go in the first place.

  61. jiheison
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 2:48 PM

    @mksolid

    “It was written in a manner that would suggest that spending $3200 for a suit is “almost inevitable”, when hardly this is the case.”

    Exactly.

    “The fact of the matter is that you’re going to have to make some fairly serious money and spend it to satisfy any desires to “buy American” or “buy serious craftsmanship”. If you don’t like it – you can go to Walmart.”

    Disagree here. You don’t have to be wealthy to buy American, though you might have to buy less when it comes to things you don’t need. If you follow the current “Americana” trend as presented by fashion and style focused websites, it would be easy to get the impression that American Made now only exists as a premium brand. If you shop at Walmart or other major retailers, you might get the impression that everything affordable is made in China. Neither is completely accurate.

    Granted, American Made can command a premium these days, and that is a fine thing. You can buy a pair of jeans meticulously designed and constructed of rarified materials on antique machinery and pay what it costs to make it worth an artisan’s while to produce such a product.

    But you can still buy a pair of regular jeans made in Tennessee or Oklahoma for only slightly more than a pair of regular jeans made in Vietnam or Bangladesh and sold by a national chain.

    Likewise, you can buy a Filson made-in-America canvas tote for $175. Or you can buy ab L.L. Bean made-in-America canvas totes starting at $18. There are plenty of reasons for the price difference — the point is that the former is not the price of entry for supporting American manufacturing, and it is unfortunate that few people realize this any more.

  62. MJP
    on Apr 21st, 2011
    @ 3:14 PM

    Guys my main point was there are a lot of MTM options in NYC in this price range (including say Tom Ford, Zegna & Isaia) and guidance on websites such as ACL is thin. And the general commenter response is “well just go buy your suits at Wal-Mart you cheap bastard”? If any of yall have a suit from here and any of the places I have mentioned please chime in and let us know how it compares instead of flaming me.