When I was a young fogey in my mid-twenties, I had a number of vests so that I could sport a pocket watch and chain. It was an absolutely fobulous time in my life.
Recently I got the urge to break out the watch once again, but this time I wanted not just an odd waistcoat, but a three-piece suit. Turns out it’s a small world, and my alterations guy at Alterations.com introduced me to his distant cousin Joe Hemrajani, who runs MyTailor.com with his son Divij. We worked out a deal, and I’m here to present the results.
Hemrajani is popular with a number of clotheshorses — such as Will of A Suitable Wardrobe — who are obsessed with the Apparel Arts era of the 1930s. He’s based in Southern California, travels the country frequently, and the clothing is made in Hong Kong. When he came to New York for several days of appointments in his hotel suite, I went in with some sample Ivy gear and illustrations from a vintage Brooks catalog to find out if he could nail the trad details. I’ve worn the suit several times and it’s gotten great feedback, so allow me to introduce you to Joe and a custom option you may not have been aware of.
First off, while you could send something in and have it copied in the fabric of your choice, Hemrajani wanted to give me the full experience. This suit is full bespoke, meaning a custom pattern was created for me; in the interest of time, we skipped the basted fitting. By the time the suit was ready father and son were again in New York and we tried it on. The minor alterations necessary were done in Hong Kong, which sounds like a lot of shipping back and forth around the world, but they wanted all the work done by the same hands. At this point I should say that their communication and service was terrific throughout the process.
I chose a 13-ounce charcoal flannel by Fox Brothers. This was a fabric upgrade and would run $1,799 for a two-piece suit + $549 for a vest. The entry-level option runs $1,079 for a digital pattern that is half hand made and half machine made, while next up is full hand made with paper pattern at $1,279. Whatever you choose, all jackets are full canvassed.
The Ivy details include:
Tapered, plain-front trousers with full rise
“Natural angled shoulders” on jacket
3/2 roll, no darts
Two-button sleeve with working buttonholes
Hook vent, lapped seams
Matte finish charcoal horn buttons
I’m immensely pleased with the suit, which can double as a two-piece when I don’t want to go pre-heyday Ivy. Now I just need to get grandpa’s watch running again.
Visit the My Tailor website to find out when Hemrajani or one of his associates is coming to a city near you. Mention Ivy Style when you purchase a suit and they’ll throw in a free custom shirt valued at $120. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD