At a certain point in your life you accept the fact that you need a tailorâ€”a real tailor, who makes a suit specifically for you. Itâ€™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 whoâ€™s learned his trade over decades; itâ€™s going to buy cloth woven in the finest mills; itâ€™s going to a cutter whoâ€™s refined his pattern to create a refined silhouette. Your money is not going to underwrite a luxury goods behemoth, itâ€™s not going to anybody who appears in his own adsâ€”itâ€™s not going to anybody who has ads. You seek a local tailor.
That equation is simple, but difficult to achieve. Thatâ€™s why New Yorkers are lucky to have Millerâ€™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 heâ€™s met suppliers, tailors, and methodically plotted his own venture. He opened Millerâ€™s Oath, late last year in a handsome narrow storefront on Greenwich Streetâ€”around the corner from the beloved Ear Inn. And the results couldnâ€™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 â€˜was designed for hunting on estates in Scotland, itâ€™s thorn-proof, and it appeals to a certain type of person.â€™ That would be a sartorial iconoclast with a creative disposition. He adds: â€˜Itâ€™s harder to wear if you work in a bank.â€™ Point taken. If youâ€™re looking for something more discreet, Miller obliges with a charcoal gray suit that combines versatility and understated style. â€˜These suits should look thoughtful and composed without looking designed,â€™ he says. Heâ€™s right, and youâ€™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 plaidâ€”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 difficultâ€”he sells a limited collection at United Arrows in Tokyo. On the home front, itâ€™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 heâ€™s created his pattern over years of thoughtful experimentation. â€˜People are surprised when they call the store and I answer the phone.â€™ But thatâ€™s as it should be. Miller also takes your measurements and pins your clothes for alterations. â€˜I want to have a connection with the men who come here.â€™ Thatâ€™s a connection the gentlemen of New York deserve to make.