00:00 Kurt Baker: You’re listening to a podcast of Master Your Finances with me, Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional, Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM on 1077thebronc.com.
00:08 Kurt Baker: Good morning and welcome back to another edition of Master Your Finances, presented by Certified Wealth Management and Investment. I am Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional, located in Princeton, New Jersey. I can be located through our website, which is www.cwmi.us. Or you can call me directly at 609-716-4700. This week, we’re very pleased to have with us Jeffrey Scott, who has always had an interest in men’s style and custom suits. After working at a men’s suit retailer for over 10 years ago, he grew a passion for the industry and knew that this was something that he wanted to do and pursue. After many years of learning and growing, Jeffrey Scott brand was born. Jeff finds that most interesting aspects of the custom suit process are the attention paid to details, as well as the ability to continually create perfect-fitting unique garments suited for each individual. He has a passion for bringing his expertise and style to every client and making each experience special. He prides himself on providing the best possible experience and a custom garment that will always make you feel and look your best. Jeff, very pleased to have you come on today. I know there’s been a lot going on. I guess we’ll start off with a little bit of your background because that’s an interesting area to be in. So how far back can you trace your desire to look nice? You always look good. Every time I see you, man, you always look…
01:38 Jeffrey Scott: Thanks, Kurt!
01:38 Kurt Baker: You’re always the best-looking guy in the room.
01:40 Jeffrey Scott: I appreciate it, man, that’s my goal.
01:43 Kurt Baker: Well, you certainly accomplished that. So yeah, I think I mentioned it to you once, and you ago, “Oh yeah, now… Yeah, I make these. I styled and made this.” And I go, “Oh, okay, well, that makes a lot of sense.” [chuckle] But you’re always looking good, sir.
01:53 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, people are always… Thank you, thank you.
01:56 Kurt Baker: So how did it all start, man?
01:56 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, I appreciate you having me on.
01:58 Kurt Baker: Oh, my pleasure!
02:00 Jeffrey Scott: You’re a natural, your voice is perfect for radio, I think. [chuckle]
02:02 Kurt Baker: Well, thank you.
02:03 Jeffrey Scott: They need you on 97.5.
02:05 Kurt Baker: Alright, man. [laughter] Hook me up.
02:07 Jeffrey Scott: So yeah, yeah. [chuckle] So as far back as I can remember, it’s tough, but I know my father always suited up very nicely. He worked in the city as an accountant for a big firm, and he was always dressed up, always had the tie and shirt buttoned up real nice, so I guess it came from that. And I later heard that his father, my grandfather was in the fashion industry, I don’t know many details about it. So I think that’s where I get my inspiration and passion from, but it’s something that I’ve always been into. And I remember wearing the slim fit skinny jeans before it really was a thing, got made fun of for it, but I still owned it ’cause I liked it. [chuckle]
02:51 Kurt Baker: Okay.
02:52 Jeffrey Scott: But from the bio 10 years ago, it says I started in menswear, and that was part-time in a suit shop in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. And I learned a lot from working there. I sold a lot of different suits. And that’s really where I started to grow my passion for suiting and luxury menswear. And at the time, I became very close with the manager there, who I stayed connected with over the years, and I had left, I worked there for a couple years, but stayed connected to the industry, stayed friends with him. And six years ago, I started a career in sales, selling to small businesses. And at that same time, my manager from that store started this business. And I helped him out on the side for fun ’cause I enjoyed it, he was hooking me up with suits.
03:45 Jeffrey Scott: And after three years had gone by working in sales and learning so much about the business world, and the ins and outs, and what goes on behind the scenes, and asking all the different business owners for feedback, and how they became successful, I felt comfortable doing my own thing. So at that point, I approached my friend and I said, “Hey, look, Chris, this is my absolute passion. I really wanna build this brand and make this my full-time job. How do you feel about me helping you out?” And he said, “I am absolutely on board. I would love to have your help.” So at that point, that was three years ago, I came on board took half the company and partnered up with him. And after a year of working with him, I took over completely, rebranded, and that’s where Jeffrey Scott started. So that was two years ago, and it has been just me working extremely hard to make this full-time, and follow my passion. It’s still not my full-time gig, but that’s the goal.
04:39 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s amazing. I think you’ve done something really smart that I hear from other entrepreneurs, is they work in the industry first because you learn an awful lot working for somebody else in the same business before you step out. Because being an entrepreneur adds its own level of stressors, I guess, once you’re out there on your own. So if you can just walk back a little bit to when you’re working for somebody else, what were your experiences there? And what were the things that you felt were the things you had to do and stress as an employee? And then transition that to when you actually moved into your own business, and how you maybe had a different perspective on things when you step out on your own? I think that’s a little bit of a transition. A lot of us, when we go out on our owns, we notice some differences. When you’re working with somebody, that’s one thing. When you’ve got it on… When it’s all on your plate, you’re everything from the top to the bottom, so to speak.
05:31 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, when it’s your baby and your business, it’s just a totally different outlook, and no employee will ever feel that same way. As much as I love what I do and enjoyed working there, I still didn’t have the same drive and passion to grow it and be successful there as I do building my own brand. I still went out of the way to make sure the customers were happy and this and that, but yeah, it’s a completely different mindset. And you really don’t understand it until you have your own business, I think. But while working there, I definitely… Definitely, yeah, had a different mindset, if that answers the question, yeah.
06:19 Kurt Baker: Oh, absolutely. So what do you think were some of the key things that you were learning while you’re working for somebody else that maybe helped you when you stepped out on your own? Some of the basic expertises that came along with… ‘Cause you have to know the business first before you can run it yourself.
06:33 Jeffrey Scott: Yes.
06:34 Kurt Baker: So were there some opportunities there where you could learn… I don’t know the suit business, but I assume there’s lots of different manufacturers, there’s different qualities, there’s different supply chains. Deliver it to the client…
06:44 Jeffrey Scott: Yes.
06:45 Kurt Baker: It’s gotta fit right. If it doesn’t, you’ve gotta fix it. And you’ve got tailors involved. There seems like there’s a lot of different aspects that you would need to learn before you go out on your own. I remember talking to somebody at a seminar once and he was telling us all, “I import my stuff from,” I don’t remember where. It’s like India or somewhere, “And I bring it in, and some guy in Indiana makes my suit and sends it to me, and… ” I’m like, “Oh, my God! That sounds very complicated to me, I don’t know why you do it like that.” Because he liked to have really nice suits, they’re all customized. But I was like, “Well, that’s a lot for me to digest.” But so…
07:16 Jeffrey Scott: Yup. [chuckle] It is, there are many pieces…
07:19 Kurt Baker: It’s a big world, right?
07:21 Jeffrey Scott: It really is. So yes, I learned a lot there when it came to the tailoring aspect of the suit, how to chalk mark the suits, how they should fit, what the lingo is for alterations, and speaking to the tailor, and connections with manufacturers. So I’m actually working with the same manufacturer as I did there. So that helped to have that connection, and to get familiarized with that aspect of the business. But there are so many manufacturers out there, and finding a quality provider is hard to do. And I have suits from back then that were made for me nine, 10 years ago that are still in excellent condition and look brand new, so I know the quality is there. So that was easy. I didn’t have a lot of trial-and-error.
08:11 Jeffrey Scott: And then as far as the learning curve, I’m still learning, and I don’t think I ever will stop. There’s just so much to learn. And when it comes to making a custom suit, which is what I do, everything’s fully custom, you go through the measurement process with the client, you spend two hours during the first fitting to measure them and design the suit from scratch. It’s like a work of art. There’s so many different aspects of the suit that you look at to determine whether or not you need to make a tweak on the shoulder slope so that it sits on their shoulder properly. Or adjust the pitch of the sleeve so that it drapes down their arm and there are no wrinkles. Or the balance of the jacket at the bottom, you wanna make sure it’s somewhat level, and that’s all based off of their posture. So there’s so many different aspects that go into it.
08:58 Jeffrey Scott: And in the beginning, when I started my business, I knew a good amount, definitely not as much as I know now, and there were mistakes made that I fixed, I had to fix, and it’s just a constant learning process. But it was definitely helpful being in the industry and learning a lot from working there ’cause we did do custom at that store. And then the fact that my buddy had started this business and taught me a lot over the years, as well, was really helpful. So it wasn’t… I can’t imagine just going straight into this, starting the business knowing nothing about tailoring and alterations and fitting and… ‘Cause it’s a lot to learn.
09:39 Kurt Baker: Oh, no, I could imagine. One thing that comes to mind here is what’s the difference between a tailored suit and you just go down to the large department store and you pull it off the rack and they make one or two…
09:54 Jeffrey Scott: Right.
09:54 Kurt Baker: They make it a little shorter so you’re not stepping on the bottom of the pants, and that’s pretty much it, right?
09:57 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. [chuckle]
10:00 Kurt Baker: What number are you, you throw it on, and then you put the pants on, and then they hem that up, and that’s pretty much it, for the most part.
10:06 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, yeah, I think…
10:07 Kurt Baker: Maybe one or two things they do, and then you walk out, right?
10:10 Jeffrey Scott: Exactly. And when you buy something off the rack, it’s key to have a good tailor to doctor it up for you because well, 99% of the time, it’s not gonna fit properly, you’ll have to shorten the sleeves or taper the sleeves, shorten the pants. There’s a lot of tweaks that could be made to make an off-the-rack suit look its best. However, nothing is gonna compare to something that’s bespoke and custom-made to your body, to your shape, your fit, your posture, your shoulder slope. All of that is taken into consideration when creating your suit. And that’s what goes into the whole fitting process: Take over 25 different measurements and pictures of the client and determine the fit based off of that. So for my bespoke suits, the first fitting involves the measurements plus designing the suit. So you get to choose the fabric, the lining that goes on the inside, the buttons, the lapel style, the pocket style, the width of the lapel, how many buttons you want on a suit. It’s endless and sometimes, overwhelming, but…
11:17 Kurt Baker: I wanna definitely get into that. Yeah, let’s get into how you actually lay out what you’re gonna do, and what materials you’re gonna make, and how you actually go through this process with a client when we come back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, we’re gonna be right back.
11:29 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m Kurt Baker here with Jeffrey Scott, and we’re talking about suits. You have a passion for looking good, and I know you’ve always looked good every time I’ve seen you. So why don’t you walk us through the process of getting a suit? I know I’m probably… I don’t know if I’m an average guy, but I’m certainly somebody who doesn’t know a whole lot about suits. So when I go in, I’m like, “Okay, give me a reasonable brand and tell me something that’s a reasonable price point. And if I look reasonably good and my wife doesn’t think I look awful, then I’m good to go.” That’s pretty much as far as I go. And I know there’s some differences, but I’ve actually, like yourself, every once in a while, you see somebody like, “Wow! They really look good!” Some people will be like, “Oh, that’s fine,” but every once in a while, you’ll see people that you just know that somebody did that for them because it fits perfectly, it looks really good on them, and you just… Yeah, you just step back for a second. Even people who aren’t into fashion. I’m not a fashion person, but I definitely notice somebody who has a nice suit on with a proper tie and all that stuff, you’ll be like, “Wow! I wish I looked like that guy,” right?
12:30 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
12:30 Kurt Baker: So walk us through that ’cause we’re all different. I know that I’ve got my complexion, I’ve got my size. Some people are taller and shorter, and things like that. So how do you blend all of that together to make somebody… ‘Cause some people could wear a suit that looks good, and if I wore the exact same suit, I’m probably not gonna look good ’cause I look different, I’m a different person. And you even pointed out things like their posture, and things like that. Some of us stand up a little straighter than others, and others might…
13:01 Jeffrey Scott: More slouched, or more…
13:02 Kurt Baker: I get all that at the gym all the time, I’m not… “You’ve gotta put your back… ” You’ve gotta stand up straight, right?
13:07 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
13:07 Kurt Baker: You gotta take care of yourself. So all of that fits into it. So can you walk us through? You had mentioned, I think 25 different aspects of the measurements, and I guess start us from top to bottom, they’ve got the materials and the linings and all this other stuff you’ve gotta talk about. How do you fit all that together?
13:22 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, for sure. And I completely agree, you notice it when you see somebody walk by with a well-tailored suit, even if it’s a solid, simple color, the fit makes a huge difference. And usually, when somebody’s walking around in a custom suit, they feel so confident and they’re walking tall and they’re walking like they’re a CEO because that’s how you feel. It really makes a difference with how you dress and how you feel. But as far as the process, as I mentioned, the first fitting is very detailed with all of the different measurements, waist, hip, shoulders, bicep, arm length, pant length, your thigh, your knee, your ankle, all of that. And then the posture, and the pitch of the arms and shoulder slope. So all of that is taken into consideration. And then when it comes to the design, you’re really building it from scratch, you’re picking every single detail. You’re creating the suit from the fabric and picking every aspect of it. Even the color of the stitching on the button holes if you wanted.
14:30 Jeffrey Scott: So during that first fitting, it’s very involved, takes about an hour-and-a-half to two hours. And once that’s complete, about three to four weeks after, we make what’s called a toile, T-O-I-L-E, which is a canvas. It’s an early version of the suit in a lighter, thinner fabric, which we use to test the fit, based off of the observations I made, the measurements I made. And when we throw the toile on, we look at how it fits and make any and every adjustment we need to. If we need to heighten the armhole so it’s closer to your armpit so you have a little more range of motion. Or slope your right shoulder a little bit more than your left shoulder. Or raise the shoulders because maybe you have a higher shoulder stance. I rip the sleeve off and look at the armhole in that aspect as well. That way, when we make the final garment, we don’t have to make any tweaks, and it fits absolutely perfectly, and will feel like it’s made for you as well. Almost like a leather jacket. Over time, it’s gonna form to you, it’s gonna fit better, it’s gonna drape nicely. And a big part of that is the quality of the fabrics.
15:44 Jeffrey Scott: So all of the fabric I use is sourced from Italy and the UK. I think they’re the best fabrics out there, that’s all I use. And with that, you get a very nice drape of the fabric, a very nice feel, a quality bounce back on wrinkles. A lot of these fabrics, you can really crush them and they’ll bounce right back. Or if it’s something that has a little bit of wrinkling, hang it up for a day or two and the wrinkles naturally fall out. And so that’s another aspect of what you get when you go with a custom-made suit, and the money that you’re spending, is the fabric, the fit. The construction on the inside is a big aspect of it, too. So everything is hand-sewn, it’s fully hand-made, the buttonholes, the shoulder. The canvas on the inside, we use a floating horsehair canvas. Floating means hand-sewn, versus fused. So if you hear a garment is fused, run away. That means it’s glued together.
16:42 Kurt Baker: Glued?
16:43 Jeffrey Scott: Yes.
16:43 Kurt Baker: So floating, why horsehair? That’s interesting. Floating horsehair. I’m trying to envision this when I look at my suit.
16:47 Jeffrey Scott: Horsehair. [chuckle] It’s hard to envision, but I could send you a picture of a canvas so you can see what it looks like. But just the quality of the horsehair gives it a nice shape and a nice structure, and it’s really tightly-knit, sewn together. And that gives it the body inside the garment.
17:05 Kurt Baker: I see.
17:06 Jeffrey Scott: You can have a classic canvas, which is a little bit heavier and a little more structured. You can have a lighter canvas, which is a little less structured, a little more casual of a jacket, which maybe you would make as a sport coat. Or you can go completely unconstructed where there’s no canvas on the inside, and it’s basically just the fabric, and that’s almost like wearing a shirt, very casual. But the sewn-in canvas makes a huge difference versus glued because something that’s fused and glued will separate over time. And that’s what you tend to find in the more affordable, made-to-measure suits.
17:45 Kurt Baker: Okay, well, that makes sense. So can you… I’ve heard fabrics… I remember people talk about fabric, “Well, this may wear well. This might be softer.” So can you, I guess… Are there… You hear about wool, you hear about… Are there any particular types of materials that are better than others, when you’re… I know you like the Italy and the UK, so are there any particular materials that are better for different types of applications? Or is wool a good thing or a bad thing? That’s what I’ve heard. Or that are better nowadays.
18:15 Jeffrey Scott: Well, no, wool is a great thing, and that’s what most suiting fabrics are made of. And if it’s not 100% wool, it could be a combination of wool and silk, or wool, silk and linen. So you can wear a wool suit all year round as long as it’s the right weight. So when it comes to the weight of the fabric, it’s usually in grams or ounces. So for example, you can have a wool suit that weighs 250 grams and at that weight range, you can get away with wearing it all year round, or you can get a wool suit that’s at the low 200s and that’s good for summer, or your heavy tweeds that you see in England, those are in the 300s, maybe 400s, and those are the winter suits. So wool is not a bad thing. And there’s some super fine wools, there’s more rough-to-touch wools like the tweeds and the heavier English fabrics.
19:15 Jeffrey Scott: However, summer, linen is very good for summer ’cause it’s lightweight and you won’t sweat as much. But the downside of linen is it wrinkles a lot. However, in this sartorial world, someone who appreciates it, looks at that as a character behind the suit. So actually, I’m sitting here with this tobacco-colored linen fabric which I’m about to use for a suit to make for myself, and I haven’t made a linen suit yet, but I love the look of it and the casual vibe it gives off, especially with the wrinkles in it. It’s just something about it. And yeah.
19:55 Kurt Baker: And you mentioned the fitting. So I know that… I’ve seen these things like online now. They talk about how they basically video you or take a picture of you and they go, “Now we know your size.” Is that a legit thing or not, because they said, “Oh, well… ” I think I’ve seen it with pants or shirts or things like that, maybe… Do you have any idea what they’re doing and what’s the difference between… It sounds to me like in-person would be better, ’cause you’re actually measuring and then you… What do you call it, toil? Is that right?
20:25 Jeffrey Scott: It’s called toile. Toile.
20:30 Kurt Baker: Toile.
20:31 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Almost like there’s a W in it, but there is…
20:33 Kurt Baker: Oh, oh… There… Oh. T-O-I-L though, right?
20:36 Jeffrey Scott: T-O-I-L-E. Toilet without the T.
20:38 Kurt Baker: Oh, E. Okay, okay. Got it.
20:41 Jeffrey Scott: Toile. Yeah.
20:43 Kurt Baker: Toile. Got it. Okay.
20:44 Jeffrey Scott: Toile. Yeah.
20:47 Kurt Baker: So how does that… Is that legit, I guess, ’cause you’re in this? What are your thoughts about these, doing it through the computer almost type deal?
20:56 Jeffrey Scott: It works, and I think it produces a quality fit. Definitely better than off the rack, but nothing is gonna compare to an in-person tailor, an in-person custom made suit with a human eye to it. I don’t think there’s anything that’s gonna compare to that. It’ll come close. But also a big part of getting and creating a custom suit is the experience with the tailor and building that relationship. Every one of my clients become friends, because you’re connecting with them for two hours at a time, and there’s two or three fittings after the first one. So it’s a fun process, and you don’t get that with the online measuring.
21:44 Kurt Baker: No, I agree. No doubt about it. ‘Cause you’re gonna literally tailor it to yourself. Yeah. I wanna get into the different styles of suits that maybe are going on out there now and what your thoughts are about that. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, we’re gonna be right back.
22:00 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening Master Your Finances. I’m Kurt Baker here with Jeffrey Scott and we’re talking about custom suits, and you’ve got this great process where you do it, write down these different measurements, very, very specific, and then you make the… Is it toile, is that right? Am I gonna get that right now?
22:18 Jeffrey Scott: That’s right. You’ve got it.
22:19 Kurt Baker: And then you get it exact, which I never even heard of that before. And then from that, you cut the suit, and that’s why some of these people we see out on the street, so to speak, just… You can just tell that that suit was made for them and it looks awesome on them. I’ve seen some… Some that come to mind are like The Rock. Every once I see him… Obviously, he can’t get it off the rack ’cause his body is three times the size of mine. It’s all muscle. [chuckle] So somebody like that, if they wanna look decent they’re gonna have to do it regardless ’cause…
22:50 Jeffrey Scott: Of course.
22:50 Kurt Baker: But even other people, it’s like, “Wow, they really fit that thing nice.” So I guess my question now is, what are some of the styles that people use and how do you determine what kind of suit you get, especially somebody who’s like new to it? What should I have in my closet? What are some of the basics I should make sure I have and for each of us? What are your thoughts about that?
23:12 Jeffrey Scott: That’s a great question because a lot of people don’t know where to start. And a big part of it, you wanna also pay attention to is the complexion of your skin, the color of your hair. You want a fabric that’s gonna complement you and contrast nicely. So that’s something to pay attention to, but also your build. Certain patterns work for certain people and some and vice versa. So you wanna keep all that in mind. But when starting out, I always recommend a blue suit, a nice navy or a deep blue or gray in a solid color with maybe some texture to it, very subtle pattern, if you want. But the reason I recommend those two suits is because they match with everything. You can mix and match the gray pants with the blue jacket, or you can wear the blue jacket as a blazer with jeans, blue jeans, tan khakis, white jeans if you’re going on the boat or on a vacation to Greece. [chuckle]
24:13 Kurt Baker: Sounds like fun. I’m in. [laughter]
24:15 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you can really do a lot. It’s very versatile. And once you have your solids in, maybe after those two, you can go for a tan or a brown and then start to branch out into some patterns and have some fun with it.
24:30 Kurt Baker: Wait a minute. I thought I read a long time ago. They said, “Don’t ever wear a tan suit.” Is that not true?
24:36 Jeffrey Scott: No. That’s not true.
24:37 Kurt Baker: Okay. [laughter] You hear about these things all the… The power of suit colors and the power of this and that. If you’re in business, you don’t wanna wear certain colors because it’ll look like you’re not the boss.
24:50 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Also a big factor is your line of work.
24:54 Kurt Baker: Oh, okay.
24:55 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. So it can be true in that sense. If you’re a financial advisor in a corporate office and you’re wearing a real light tan suit, maybe it doesn’t fit in. And typically for that industry, something more professional, like a navy or classic pinstripe, a plaid. A tone-on-tone plaid, which means maybe a dark blue against a slightly lighter blue, where you have some pattern but not a lot of bold contrast, would work for an industry like that. Unless you just simply don’t care and you love the fashion, the style behind it, and you just wanna wear what you love…
25:35 Kurt Baker: Yeah. I’ve definitely seen people that are wearing stuff that are really loud. They’re really in in your face, so to speak. But honestly, every time I meet some of those people, it matches their personality. So I go, “Okay. Yeah. That makes sense.”
25:46 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. [laughter] Yeah. Yeah. That’s the fun with custom, I think with the customs too, you should go with a fabric that you really can’t find off the rack ’cause you want it to be unique. And with the financial industry specifically, I was talking to a client who said, once he started wearing custom clothing, his business skyrocketed. And a big part of it was his confidence, but also it acts as a conversation piece. When you’re out somewhere, and you’re wearing a nice tailored suit in a fun pattern, people are gonna naturally come up to you and compliment you. And it starts a conversation.
26:28 Kurt Baker: That is actually true. You’re right. I’ve come up and talk to people just for that reason. [chuckle]
26:34 Jeffrey Scott: Yes. Yeah.
26:34 Kurt Baker: They have interesting shoes, interesting suit, interesting tie. Something that’s a little… But it looks good. It has to look good, obviously.
26:42 Jeffrey Scott: Yes.
26:45 Kurt Baker: So what kind of style… Are there any particular styles people should have? I know years ago, they had the double-breasted and then they have the… Aren’t there different styles? Are some of these more appropriate, or it doesn’t matter as far as what we should be wearing these days?
27:01 Jeffrey Scott: There are definitely a handful of different styles. My inspiration in my brand is based off of a timeless style. Something that you’ll be able to wear forever. Versus fashion, which is typically a trend. You’ll see trends in different designs, and shapes, and fits when it comes to suiting or anything in that regard. But style, I think, is something that you create and you build over time, based off your preference. And when it comes to the suiting, I prefer a fit that is timeless. A style that is timeless when it comes to the width of the lapel, or the length of the jacket, or the taper of the pant on the bottom. And there are double-breasted, like you had mentioned, which is more formal, and I think goes in rotation in and out. It is making a come-back. I’m seeing it a lot. I like it, but I have yet to make myself one only because I feel like I wouldn’t get as much wear out of it as your standard two-button, single-breasted suit. Which I recommend as the most timeless and wearable option.
28:19 Jeffrey Scott: And then you have your single button. Which works for sport coats and suits, but more on the formal tuxedo side is where I would recommend it. And then there’s what’s called the three-button roll over. Where, it’s shaped just like a two-button suit. However, that third button is rolled and it’s underneath the lapel. You’ll see the button hole on the lapel, and the button underneath the lapel where it rolls, if that makes sense.
28:49 Kurt Baker: It does, actually.
28:53 Jeffrey Scott: I don’t recommend the three-button suit ever though.
28:56 Kurt Baker: Yeah. I can’t recall seeing one of those. That’s interesting. So once you get the suits, how long do we expect these to last? Once I put a suit together… ‘Cause that’ll be the other argument. If I go down to ABC Warehouse to buy a suit for $79, is there a difference between that and spending maybe a little bit more for a custom suit?
29:20 Jeffrey Scott: Absolutely. [chuckle] 100%.
29:22 Kurt Baker: So how do we justify that? ‘Cause you see a lot of people who are actually fairly conservative with their money, tend to buy nice suits. So how do they do that math? Can you walk us through the math of just doing… And then the other aspect of that is, unfortunately sometimes we change over time as far as our body goes. Like when I was 45, I might have been slightly different than I am when I’m 55, or 65. [chuckle]
29:50 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. [chuckle]
29:52 Kurt Baker: It could be better or worse in some cases. Some cases it’s better.
29:54 Jeffrey Scott: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So investing in a custom suit is motivation to keep your weight consistent.
30:02 Jeffrey Scott: ‘Cause, yes, we can… If you gain weight, ’cause you’re having fun and enjoying life, we can let it out, maybe a quarter inch to a half inch at most in certain areas, but there’s not much wiggle room there. Versus taking it in where there’s a lot more wiggle room. So if you’re cutting down on weight, we can absolutely alter that. And I cover alterations for life for my clients.
30:23 Jeffrey Scott: But when you’re buying something off the rack at $79, you’ll probably have to replace it every six months to a year. And a big reason is just, it’s not made well. The stitching will probably fall apart, the fabric is probably not great quality, and also the inside construction of the suit, as I mentioned before, is most likely glued together and will fall apart over time. So it’s just like anything you get what you pay for. A luxury car versus the most affordable car in the market, or a high-end luxury Rolex versus a Walmart watch. It’s an investment. It’s something that’s gonna last you for more than you can imagine, longer than you can imagine, especially if you take good care of it. And that comes with just not rolling around on the ground in it…
31:16 Kurt Baker: Right. You don’t want to see like the… Maybe that’s a good subject, actually, as far as how you care for it. I mean, are there certain environments you should put them in and you kinda have to… I know with shoes, you’re supposed to put them in… Put the shoe trees in them and things like that. Is there anything about a suit? I’m assuming you don’t want to put it on a wire hanger where it’s gonna put dents in it, right?
31:35 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. No, you don’t. [laughter]
31:39 Kurt Baker: So… [chuckle] I mean, any thoughts about… I mean, should you be rotating them? I mean, should you wear the same suit every day, or should you alternate them a little bit and things like that? And how you clean them and all that kind of thing. Do you wanna walk us through a little bit about what the best practices are for taking care of the suit? Since you’ve made a pretty good sized investment, you want to keep it around for a while.
32:00 Jeffrey Scott: Of course. Yeah, it’s very important. So I definitely recommend alternating if you have enough to do that. And keep it in a garment bag in your closet, is okay. With a nice hanger made for suiting that has a bulky end on each to keep the shape of the shoulders. Don’t use a thin hanger if you don’t have to. And you can find hangers made for suits, anyway. Make sure you know how to fold the pants and you drape it over properly over the hanger, that’s an important factor. But after wearing it for the day, I always recommend hanging it up out in the open in your bedroom for a day or two. And with a quality suit and a quality fabric, the odors will naturally disappear and the fabrics will naturally… Or the wrinkles will naturally fall out. And then you can put it back in the garment bag, throw it back in your closet. Now, if you sweat a lot and you have a lot of BO, obviously you’re going to want to get it dry cleaned. But I always recommend limiting dry cleaning your suit to once, twice a year max. It’s not needed. And a big, big reason why I recommend not doing it is because the dry cleaners ruin the suits. They ruin the fabric because they take high heat, metal presses directly to the fabric most of the time, which melts the fibers of the wool and creates this shine, this sheen along the lapels and the elbows and the shoulders, which you might have seen over time on your suits from dry cleaning.
33:40 Kurt Baker: Mm-hmm.
33:41 Jeffrey Scott: So the direct high heat is never good for it. If you do dry clean it, make sure they know it’s custom, make sure they use a low heat, cloth-covered press and no direct metal to your suit. And that will help with the lifetime of it.
33:57 Kurt Baker: Wow, that’s interesting. Only a few times a year. And so, you basically hang out… You kind of let it air… Basically air out, right? So if you let it air out, it’ll kind of… Because you’re talking about mostly natural materials like wool and things like that, I’m assuming that has something to do with it. Right? Because the material you’re using. I don’t think we send the sheep to the dry cleaner twice a year, right? So I…
34:19 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
34:19 Kurt Baker: Guess the sheep has kind of a natural [chuckle] ability to stay in pretty good shape. And one thing you mentioned, which I was always wondering about is that I’ve seen like the two types of hangers for the pants, some where they clip like the ends of it and the whole thing hangs straight and then you obviously can loop it over.
34:36 Jeffrey Scott: Yep.
34:36 Kurt Baker: I know whenever I loop it over, I always have to be careful because if you don’t line it up just right, you’re gonna create your own little crease right there where you put it over. So what are your thoughts about the two different types of ways you can hang the pants up?
34:48 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, I think the clips for it to hang straight down are great. And if you’re gonna fold it over, I recommend a hanger with a felt bar because that will hold the pants in place and keep them clean. And when you fold them, you wanna make sure you match up the front and back crease of the pant. There’s a natural crease in the front and the back of the pant so that it lays flat and then drape it right over the hanger. It’s tough to explain without showing, but you can kinda get the idea. If you drape the pants…
35:24 Kurt Baker: I do. I think the felt’s a great idea because I know with mine, they don’t have the felt. I guess I need to get felt on there because they kinda slide a little bit if you’re not really careful. Unless you balance it just right, it’s gonna slide right out if you’re not careful.
35:36 Kurt Baker: Yeah. [laughter] Yeah.
35:36 Jeffrey Scott: That’s the worst.
35:37 Kurt Baker: Absolutely. Yep. So you’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’re gonna be right back.
35:42 Kurt Baker: Welcome back, you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m Kurt Baker here with Jeffrey Scott, and we’re talking about looking really good. And you’re helping me out man. You’re getting me inspired here. I just want to just look better, you know, which is a good thing. Because as you pointed out early on, is I know when you dress up nice, you feel better. You have a little more confidence because you just feel good about yourself. So it’s kind of nice. And if you have something that fits properly, you’re gonna wanna wear it. I know… I don’t know about you, but I’ve had things that don’t fit quite right and you’ve gotta wear it, you’re not really too pleased about it, but it’s better to have something that fits you right. So I want to talk a little bit about…
36:18 Kurt Baker: What’s that? I’m sorry? Yeah.
36:21 Jeffrey Scott: Oh, no. I was agreeing. I said absolutely.
36:24 Kurt Baker: Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve got some… I mean, some interesting things have been happening recently and I wondered what your thoughts were on it. As an example, Brooks Brothers just filed for bankruptcy not too long ago, Lord & Taylor, some of your higher end kind of places, at least… I mean, not high high end, but at least ones that people go… Kind of a go to place for suits and things like that. And, I mean, they’re having… They’re struggling right now. And so, of course, we’re in lockdown for a while, but I know, people are going back out, things are happening. So I just wondered, what… How you first found out about… How this affected you initially, and maybe some of the things that you’ve done, as an entrepreneur in this business what you think is gonna happen going forward. So what are your thoughts about… I guess when this all started to roll out, what was your initial response when we started closing everything down, and then the adjustments and then what do you kind of think we have going forward from here?
37:21 Jeffrey Scott: I think it’s a shame and surprising that those big brands have gone bankrupt. You would think that with so many years of success they’d be okay, but no. So that makes it better for us smaller guys, if they’re not there.
37:38 Kurt Baker: Right, yeah. Well, they’re certainly struggling right now.
37:40 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Yeah, unfortunately. So in the beginning, I shut down for three months. I didn’t do any fittings, especially because what I do is very personal, I go direct to my clients’ homes and offices. And I just wasn’t comfortable doing that, and I don’t think anyone else was. And within just the last month, once we kind of figured things out a little bit more, I started doing fittings again, and following protocol, wearing masks, keeping distance as much as I could, even though I’m still measuring them up-close and in the homes, but I just keep clean and stay as safe as possible. And it has definitely taken a hit, and a big part of it is because even before this, the corporate dress code has become more casual. Most of people are getting blazers, which is totally fine and maybe wearing those with jeans, but since COVID everybody’s home in their T-shirts and underwear. And you know if you’re wearing a suit, it’s just on the top…
38:44 Kurt Baker: Yeah, you’ve just gotta wear half now, right?
38:45 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
38:45 Kurt Baker: Like, you watch the evening news, they get up and they’re wearing shorts. [chuckle]
38:48 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, I’m guilty of it. [chuckle]
38:52 Kurt Baker: It’s great. So are you gonna sell half suits now? [chuckle]
38:55 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, that’s it. [chuckle] So I’ve definitely taken a hit. I am doing fittings, but it’s at a slow pace. And it’s more weddings and people who are passionate about it and enjoy dressing well, and wanna dress well. Not many people who wear it for work and have to wear it for work like the financial advisors, and the attorneys, and the sales guys who really aren’t going out right now. There’s opportunity out there, a lot of people saying, “I’m interested just not right now because I’m not wearing my suits, so let’s touch base in a few months, once this thing is figured out.” And that’s been the big challenge lately.
39:39 Kurt Baker: Yeah, no, I think that’s important. And I know… One thing I always think about when there’s any kind of adversity in the market, or even… This is really enormous, is you’ve gotta try to find the opportunity, right? So any time… There’s gonna be winners and losers, we’re gonna continue to operate at some level in some way, shape or form, so I think it’s great. In my opinion, you kinda have an advantage a little bit because you do have kind of a personal relationship… I mean, just like an advisor as an example, somebody who deals with someone in a very personal integrated level, you’re gonna build up a nice relationship, you’re gonna build up a nice network. And so the big boys, so to speak, they don’t have that. If you dial an 800 number, you’re not gonna get the same service, you’re not gonna get the same understanding of what they really want. ‘Cause that’s a lot about what a close personal relationship is about, is not just giving them a suit or giving them a particular service, but giving them the appropriate one, one that actually they wanna have. Because you can go down… And like I mentioned, the 79… If you buy the $79 suit, you don’t ever wear it, then you just wasted 79 bucks. Right, so it’s kind of worthless, you just wasted money. And I know we’ve all done something like that. We went, “Oh, that’s really a nice deal.” You buy it and then you get it home, and you’re like, “I’m never gonna use this ’cause it’s not… It just doesn’t work.”
40:55 Jeffrey Scott: Right.
40:56 Kurt Baker: So you’re better off… And they’ve shown that through… Even through like an advisor side, is you wanna make sure you’re gonna buy something that is actually gonna outlast the things that… You’re gonna keep it longer, right? You might invest a little bit more money in something, but you’re gonna keep it for a long time. So if you amortize that over the period of time you’re gonna own it, many times you’re coming out ahead. And so I think that…
41:18 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
41:18 Kurt Baker: Is that kind of what we’re seeing? I mean, if you own a suit for 10 or 20 years, that’s a pretty significant period of time to amortize something over.
41:28 Jeffrey Scott: Oh, absolutely. You know, take the amount you spent divided over that time it’s minimal. But I tell all my clients, it’s a dangerous, dangerous thing to get into because once you start spending on custom, you’re never gonna wanna wear your other suits. [chuckle] You’ll put them on and be like, “Wow, what was that? What’s going on?”
41:49 Kurt Baker: And then you’re gonna get rid of your other suits, that you spent a lot less money on. Maybe 100-200 bucks on.
41:53 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, exactly.
41:54 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause now you’re gonna see the difference, right?
41:55 Jeffrey Scott: Oh, yeah.
41:56 Kurt Baker: And you’re gonna notice that, “Wow, this is better.” So what about… I mean, we talked a lot about the suit itself, but how do you coordinate the tie and the shirt and all the things that go with it, obviously. You’ve gotta put the whole thing together. The shoes… I mean, do you talk to them a little bit about how to match all that stuff up as well? ‘Cause you wanna look…
42:15 Jeffrey Scott: Yes.
42:15 Kurt Baker: I know when I see you again, you look really nice, so the suit looks great, but everything looks good. You kind of put it all together, nicely.
42:22 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, it’s all about matching and complementing. And when it comes to that, you have to look at the pattern of the suit to determine… For example, a solid suit, you can have some fun with the pattern of the shirt or the tie because the suit is solid and it’s not as loud. Or if you’re wearing a very bold patterned suit, like a windowpane, a red suit with a blue windowpane, that speaks for itself. So in that case, I always recommend keeping everything else solid. You don’t wanna go overboard on patterns, I always say two patterns max. So keep that in mind. With shirts, I personally keep my shirts solid or a very subtle stripe or a very subtle check pattern. I don’t go too bold with the patterns of my shirts when I’m wearing them for suits. I think the bolder check patterns and such work better for something more casual. And then with the ties, you can have fun. But you know it would all depend on the color of the suit, the pattern that’s going on in there. And there’s a lot, a lot, that’s a whole another conversation. And then when it comes to shoes, blue and brown, the best combination, favorite color combo. With a grey suit, you can wear brown shoes, you can wear black shoes, you can wear blue shoes. A big fan of blue suedes, Elvis’s go-to shoe.
43:51 Kurt Baker: Oh, is that right? Actually, I should mention that, a friend of mine is an attorney, he came in with some nice blue suede shoes, and it was like they just popped. That I hadn’t seen in a while. I was like, “Wow, man, you look really good.” He goes, “Yeah, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on these shoes.”
44:04 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
44:05 Kurt Baker: Plus he had a nice suit too. [chuckle]
44:06 Jeffrey Scott: Of course, yeah. Oxblood is an underrated color for shoes as well, like a deep red is really nice. That works with everything.
44:18 Kurt Baker: Oh wow. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that. So how many suits should we end up having here? What’s your recommendation? Start off with the basics, right? What should be my goal if I’m… Let’s assume we’re going back to work most every day. Wouldn’t this be a good time… On the other side, wouldn’t it be a good time to think about it? Getting it taken care of while we’re kind of still in relatively slow motion in some cases.
44:46 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah.
44:46 Kurt Baker: They, might wanna think ahead, right?
44:48 Jeffrey Scott: Right.
44:48 Kurt Baker: You’ve got time to do things. You’re like, I never had time to do that. Well, now would be a good time. Right?
44:53 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Revamp your wardrobe.
44:55 Kurt Baker: We’re already sitting at home, most of us.
44:58 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. [laughter] I know a lot of people have been clearing out their drawers and selling stuff and replacing stuff and going, “I don’t need this, I don’t need that.” Yeah, it’s a great time to think about it and revamp. I know a lot of personal stylists that have helped people with that lately. Just going into their wardrobe and saying, “No, you need to get rid of this” or “This works with that” and helping them put outfits together and upgrade their wardrobe. So, yeah, I think a minimum of two suits. Blue and grey. If you can afford it and you want to, five to 10. You can have as many as you want.
45:37 Kurt Baker: Right. [chuckle] I’ve seen some people’s closets on the Rich and Famous, where they’ve got a whole room full suits. [laughter]
45:44 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, that’s my goal.
45:47 Kurt Baker: So I could see that, ’cause if you had… If you had five, right, you can literally have one every day of the week, if you wanna. You could rotate them out.
45:53 Jeffrey Scott: Exactly. Exactly.
45:55 Kurt Baker: Having a minimum of two, you could swap them everyday, so at least you could switch them out in that way. You’re kind of resting them. I heard you need to rest. I’ve never heard that before, rest the fabric?
46:05 Jeffrey Scott: Yes. [laughter]
46:06 Kurt Baker: It’s like, “Okay.” It gets tired too, right? [laughter]
46:08 Jeffrey Scott: If you really pay attention to the suits that you’re making, when you start going over the two suit mark, you can look at fabrics that all work together. So for example, I’m building a fall winter wardrobe for myself now, and I’m making maybe five different blazers and trousers that all work together, so I have multiple different looks that I can put together, if you wanna kinda strategize in that sense too. So you get the most use out of it.
46:44 Kurt Baker: Oh yeah, so you can mix and match them then you can…
46:46 Jeffrey Scott: Mix and match.
46:46 Kurt Baker: Get different looks with really the same clothes, but you come out… Piece them together differently, so you’re all set, and then the accessories and everything. Yeah, so you could build on top of that, right?
46:56 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah. Yeah…
46:56 Kurt Baker: I guess guys don’t think about it as much, but we really can’t do a lot of that fashion stuff. There’s a lot more we can do than we think about.
47:02 Jeffrey Scott: Of course, but most guys don’t want to. And then most people… Most people think you buy a suit, “Oh, you have to wear it with the pants.” But absolutely go mix and match if it works together.
47:14 Kurt Baker: Oh, amazing. Well, Jeff, this has been incredible, man. I love it. It’s always good to look good and to feel good. Any final thoughts before we go? [chuckle]
47:24 Jeffrey Scott: No, just wear what you love.
47:27 Jeffrey Scott: Life’s too short to wear boring clothes. That’s what I say.
47:31 Kurt Baker: Exactly.
47:32 Jeffrey Scott: I can’t take credit for that slogan. I’ve seen it somewhere but I like it.
47:36 Jeffrey Scott: Yeah, and that’s it man. This is what I love.
47:40 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
47:40 Jeffrey Scott: If want to find me you can go to jeffreyscott.com. J-E-F-F-R-E-Y-S-C-O-T-T. And then from there you can find my Instagram and Facebook and all of that good stuff.
47:51 Kurt Baker: All right man, you’re amazing. Thank you much, I appreciate it. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. You can subscribe to this podcast and all our podcasts by going to masteryourfinances.us. Remember, together we can master your finances, so you can enjoy financial piece of mind.