You've worked for years on flattening your stomach and look marvelous in jogging shorts--but are you sure you deliver that same self-assured look in your dark-blue suit?
Capitalizing on that kind of doubt, a Beverly Hills outfit called the Executive Dressing Room is making a bundle by keeping busy executives literally in stitches.
The chic tailoring service, founded 18 months ago, designs and makes clothes specifically created for the individual client, both male and female. Leaving nothing to the wearer's whim, the company picks fabrics and styles based on skin coloring, life style and profession, not strictly on "what Paris says you should be wearing," says Noah Alexander, the Executive Dressing Room's president, founder and designer.
The company's philosophy is simple: Why should executives merely dress for success when they can be "wardrobed" to enhance their image with distinctive clothing?
To achieve that, Alexander says that he has developed a special system to evaluate and put a client "in the proper shades of brown, gray and blues."
"We're able to bring the strengths and power of the executive through our combinations of subtle nuances of color and texture," he says.
"These are not 'season' colors like winter and spring," he adds, "but colors appropriate to a person's business setting. We gear our clothes to the complete wardrobe."
In a typical presentation, the company will show a client a video where "we take a man who looks good and make him look great. We take him from a '5' to a '10.' " The company then makes such a precise evaluation of a client's characteristics that it can tell him everything about what he should wear, right down to details such as what kind of cuff or knot in his tie will look best.
These individualized threads come with a price tag, of course. A basic, custom-tailored outfit runs about $1,000 and includes a two-piece business suit, three shirts, a pair of shoes and a tie. Although the shoes in the basic ensemble are the only item not custom-made, they are hand-crafted and specially ordered. With that outfit as a base, the wardrobe can be expanded from there.
"We keep everything on file--swatches of cloth, measurements," Alexander said. "So we can discuss a person's wardrobe as we would discuss adding a wing on a house. We approach people as structures . . . . But we give each client what they want." The company has accumulated some 50 clients since it opened, 80% of whom are men.
Before starting the Executive Dressing Room, Alexander worked for a division of Evan Picone, marketing that company's line of tailored women's wear in the western United States.
"I found that people in California were very interested in high-tailored clothing but wanted advice on how to put it together," he said of that job. "People here look good in their bathing suits and jogging outfits, but they don't know so much about tailored looks. It's the climate."