Think handmade tailored suits are something that you can only get in England? No way. Cleveland’s men’s shop owner and suit maker, Davide Cotugno, has been custom making clothing for over 39 years and just celebrated his 16th anniversary of his men’s shop.
“I love taking a piece of raw fabric and creating a suit that is unique to that individual. When I take measurements, I can then envision what the suit should look like based on the customer’s shape because ‘one style fits all’ is not the reason he came to see me. The small details such as the coordinating lining, the color stitching on the edges or the buttons make that suit a piece of art. It’s amazing how a person’s attitude changes once they wear a suit that actually fits them. They see themselves in a whole different light” said Cotugno. “Of course, seeing him in the finished product and hearing that he has been getting compliments is always the icing on the cake.”
Davide Cotugno Executive Tailors
7027 Mill Road
Cleveland, OH 44141
Davide Cotugno Executive Tailors custom-makes all aspects of men’s clothing, primarily suits, jackets, slacks, shirts and topcoats. To complement the custom-made garments, it also offer Italian ties, belts, shoes, cuff links and various other accessories which are hand picked to match the season’s fabrics. Its showroom features a full working tailor shop and is a welcome refuge for executives to visit, relax and have an espresso while choosing their wardrobe. It also offers a service that is as old as the history of tailors – private visits to the customer’s office and home for clothing selections and fittings.
Davide Cotugno learned his skills from his father, Giuseppe Cotugno, who was once a shop’s head tailor. Giuseppe had been making clothing since he was eight years old. His insight and years of experience has been invaluable to Davide in learning the nuances of great fitting clothing. These artisans are few and far between and Davide has been very blessed to learn from one of the very best.
Before moving to the United States, Davide worked for a large custom clothing establishment in England where he managed five shops. He also attended a week-long managerial, measuring and fitting training session in Leeds. This training gave him the organizational skills he needed to be able to operate his own tailoring business.
With Davide’s unique skills and experience, he offers these six helpful tips when finding and buying the perfect power suit.
Know the reason for the perfect suit
Know your reason and relay that to your tailor. The tailor can then make qualified suggestions as to color, style and cut. Because most people buy a suit for a reason, whether for work, for a wedding, for a special event or just to have one, a tailor will have suggestions to ensure perfection. It is important to choose something appropriate or you are defeating the purpose.
Find a talented tailor
Find a tailor who has the correct training to not only measure their clients, but can also give clients style options and tips. Ask to see an example of their work to gauge if their styling is for the client and see if the tailor listens to the needs. Better still, look for websites that have examples of their work, though most good tailors should be familiar with a variety of styles (modern trim, classic, ultra traditional, English, Italian, etc.). Davide prefers to know a little bit about his clients before he can give the proper recommendations.
Know the difference between rack suits and custom suits
Embrace the difference between manufactured suits to custom-made suits. There is an enormous quality difference between rack suits and custom suits, however the price difference is surprisingly small. Research is important. Most rack suits are fused, meaning that the canvas that shapes the front of the jacket has been heat bonded or “glued” to the actual fabric. In time, this will deteriorate and cause puckering around the lapels and fronts. Always insist on front garments that are not glued. These garments will conform to the shape of your body and will look good for a very long time.
Set a budget
Set yourself a realistic budget. Looking great and feeling great isn’t always cheap. Be prepared to spend $1,200 to $5,000. There are no bargain custom clothes. Steer clear from advertised sales or buy-one-get-one-free offers. Customers are usually left disappointed with the results. The workmanship, time and details that go into a custom garment are too numerous to expect any less. The tailor offers different fabrics and construction grades with different prices that can fluctuate costs, keeping a custom-made suit affordable. Feel 100 percent comfortable in the suit chosen.
Listen to the tailor
Once a relationship is developed with the tailor, let him be the guide for styling, fitting and accessorizing aspects. Place trust in him because the bottom line is that the customer is a walking advertisement for the tailor’s creation. The tailor is sure to make every customer look spectacular. Buying a custom suit is not just purchasing the suit jacket and pants, it is combining those pieces with the perfect tie, dress shirt and dress shoes. There is no use in purchasing a beautifully fitting suit if you insist on wearing an ill-fitting shirt, 10-year-old tie and scuffed shoes.
During the final fitting, stand in front of the tailor’s mirror and make sure the dream and goal has been achieved. The customer should show 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch of shirt below your coat sleeve, pants should have very little break and when buttoned, the coat should not be pulling across the waistline. Be comfortable in the suit, but also ask the tailor how it should fit. The tailor is informed in all of the nuances of how a perfectly fitting suit should look and can give advice on how the current styles are worn. Ultimately, it’s the customer’s suit and each client should leave happy.
Danielle Coots has been writing since 1996. She has published short stories and articles in many publications. Danielle loves being active in the community and providing quality information regarding current and upcoming events in the Cleveland area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.