Classic, Contemporary, Custom: Suits by Malcolm Alexander

What do the Kingsmen, James Bond, and Barack Obama have in common?  They all wear great suits.  In a time when shopping online is becoming the norm rather than the exception, Malcolm Alexander approaches the suit industry with a personal touch. The business exists as an appointment only model to ensure that each meeting is focused on the client.  Malcolm Alexander, the founder, and head of design said he wants to provide clients with a “Curated personalized experience.  When you come to our shop you are the only person in the store.  You are dealing with someone who is experienced and trained in the realm of fashion and suiting.”

Shopping at Malcolm Alexander feels like picking out the options for a high-end car.  In the store, you get to touch and feel the fabrics which are sourced from Italy.  You start by choosing your jacket style, which can be double-breasted, one buttoned, or two buttoned.  Then you continue by choosing the number of jacket vents, the style of pockets, the lapel style, lining, buttons, pant cuff, waist strap, and monogram.  With so many options available, one might need a little help.  Geoff Wahlman, a partner at Malcolm Alexander, said, “A big part of the process is education, for example, lapels.  These are the parts of the jacket that fold down in front of the collar.  There are different styles of lapels for different jackets and occasions.  All double-breasted jackets should have peak lapels.  Shawl collars are for formal events.” Indeed, a big part of what Malcolm Alexander offers is expertise.  Unlike shopping online, Malcolm Alexander’s staff will tell you not only what looks good on you but why it looks good on you.  Alexander said, “Many people think skinny ties are what’s trendy and what’s in. They might work for you, but not for everyone.”

Ultimately, the style of the suit comes down to the individual client.  This is the philosophy of the company and one that stems from its origins.  Malcolm Alexander started the company while in Law School, and ultimately transitioned into fashion. He says that he made the switch because he “wanted to be true to himself.”  This idea of being true to one’s self is embodied by the style of his clothing, which he describes as bespoke.  Bespoke means that every aspect of the clothing is made to order.  In other words, clients receive a product that is uniquely theirs.

Alexander says a comment he frequently hears is, “People in LA don’t usually dress like that.”  A comment with which he agrees.  He said this style is “More of an Italian or new york or east coast thing.”  According to Alexander, LA is a city that in the midst of a downtown renaissance and Malcolm Alexander is there to provide menswear for the new young urban professionals.  Alexander says that “People generationally in the 1960s thought you needed to wear a suit to work.  In the 70s and into the 2000s people started to dress down; maybe because of the music or because it wasn’t affordable.  More people are starting to swing back the other way.  Now the cool guy in the room is the guy wearing the suit and the blazer.  We have the response to that.  We want to give men the tools to understand what looks good on them and what doesn’t.”

For many young professionals, job interviews are ahead.  In such settings, looking your best can be the difference between getting hired or looked over.  Malcolm Alexander is here to help.  He said not to be“too flashy. Blue is good.  It’s an inviting color.  Any time the president is trying to unify he wears a blue tie.  I would suggest wearing a blue tie to seem welcoming and friendly.  You also need to take into consideration your skin tone.  More often than not a guy will look good in a darker suit with a lighter shirt and a darker tie.”

Looking to stay ahead of the fashion curve?  Malcolm Alexander has you covered for this fall/winter season.  Alexander recommends something “Double-breasted, you don’t often see fitted double-breasted jackets.  Also, I’m seeing more color in terms of tuxedos.  Tuxedos are a classic and I think men are starting to step outside the box.  We’re Doing more blues as opposed to blacks.  So, more color and flair in your wardrobe is going to be big this fall and winter.”

Malcolm Alexander’s showroom is located at 529 South Broadway Suite 302 Los Angeles, CA 90013.  They also do in-home fittings.  Contact fittings@malcolmalexander.com to schedule an appointment. www.malcolmalexander.com

 

Ryan Kazemaini

Ryan Kazemaini is a student at the University of Southern California.