Make Sure Your Prince Looks Like Royalty
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello! My name is Thomas Finney, I am a Brooklyn based custom clothing designer specializing in men’s tailoring, shirting, and tuxedos. I have been work in men's tailoring for the past 10 years, with previous experience as a designer at Thom Browne and Club Monaco. I launched my collection in 2016 with the goal to pursue custom clothing through a designer lens while providing the highest quality, fit, and experience in every category. I make all my tailoring, shirts, and accessories locally, giving me great flexibility and oversight with each order. Each piece is made with luxury fabrics, cut individually to the wearer's measurements, and constructed by hand in Brooklyn, NY. My suits and tuxedos are then refined through a series of fittings until both I and the customer are happy with the final product.
How did you start?
I got my start in menswear at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where I earned a degree for fashion design. After graduating I moved to New York to work for Thom Browne, and later Club Monaco. All the while I always had an entrepreneurial ambition to start my own collection and took the leap in 2016 when I developed a small capsule of suiting and began showing to stores and publications. Once GQ picked up on my collection the custom clothing business built itself and I’ve been sell custom suits, shirts, and tuxedos ever since.
My favorite part of this job is working with my customers. Part of this process is about having fun, enjoying meeting new people, learning their stories, and being a part of their wedding experience.
My favorite part of this job is working with my customers. Part of this process is about having fun, enjoying meeting new people, learning their stories, and being a part of their wedding experience. I like to learn about their music and drink tastes, put on some tunes, have a cocktail, and I strive to tailor the environment and the experiences just as much as I tailor the garments I make for them.
What are the most common questions that grooms ask you at the first introductory appointment?
Because fabric selection is the first step, and ultimately a decision that has the largest impact on the look and feel of your garment, I find grooms are most interested in learning about fabrics and how different fibers feel, tailor and perform. Once fabrics are selected the conversation always turns to process and the timeline with which we pattern, cut, tailor and fit your new custom garment.
Start to finish the process takes 6-8 weeks, with an optional 4week rush (fees apply).
What do I need to know when shopping for a tuxedo?
- When shopping for a tux it's important to remember that fit and fabric are kings. Above all else, these details will make or break a garment. Having a skilled tailor produce a custom tuxedo is the best way to ensure that you will not only end up with a garment that's made specifically for your body but that the fabric you choose will be the proper content, weight and finish for the climate and location of your upcoming event.
- Secondary to these details are the “guts” of the tux. It's important to talk to your tailor about the differences between full canvas vs. half canvas, natural shoulder vs padded, and natural sleeve head vs. roped, and how these details change the attitude of the garment.
What's the difference between a suit and a tuxedo?
While “suit” could be used to describe any set of separates with a canvased jacket and matching trousers, the traditional definition of “tuxedo” refers to a suit with a silk lapel, stripe down the leg of the trousers, and matching silk buttons.
Having said that, it's currently 2019 and the options for acceptable tuxedo details ave really expanded with details like non-silk combos, ribbon tipping, silk piping, or color blocking, and offer the wearer a greater chance for individuality in their selection.
Which is the best suit colour for the reception?
The best color for any event is the color you feel most comfortable in.
The best color for any event is the color you feel most comfortable in. Traditionally, a black tuxedo is the way to go for your reception. Dress that up by changing into a white dinner jacket after the ceremony, or dress it down by wearing a navy or grey suit. Whatever you choose, just make sure it makes you feel your best.
Why is a tuxedo so expensive?
Tuxedos are expensive because the materials and manufacturing are more expensive than a traditional suit.
This is a very common question with a relatively simple answer. Tuxedos are expensive because the materials and manufacturing are more expensive than a traditional suit. With the added cost of the fabric combo and silk buttons, hand cutting of multiple fabrics, construction of trouser details, and the hand finishing of jacket edges, every part of the tuxedo process requires additional labor and expense.
If you could ask one thing of the grooms that would make your job easier, what would it be?
It's great if grooms have opinions and ideas of how they’d like to look on their wedding day and I always work into their vision to make sure I come up with something that we both love.
Just be yourself! It's great if grooms have opinions and ideas of how they’d like to look on their wedding day and I always work into their vision to make sure I come up with something that we both love. Having said that, it's just as great to work with someone who wants me to take the lead and help them make the right decisions. So just be yourself and don't be afraid to speak your mind.
How much of a deposit is required?
50% deposit is collected at the time of order placement with the remainder due upon delivery. Your deposit is nonrefundable, however, I have not yet run into any issues of cancellation.
Since this is a custom process where the garment is in a constant state of fitting and adjustment from the time of order placement until delivery I work very hard to ensure you end up with a garment that fits exactly the way we want it to.
What was the most difficult request you have handled?
When thinking about this question I must admit “difficult” requests don't really come to mind. The ones that stick out most to me are the really great and interesting choices some of my clients have made… One that ordered a beautiful Super 150’s tuxedo and a white silk moire dinner jacket to change into for his reception… another asking for a black velvet tux jacket with British wool hopsack trousers… and another wanted an all crimson red tuxedo with matching silk faille lapel. None of which were difficult to conceive and produce but definitely had a lasting impression.