How to Be Stylish: Roberts’ Co-Founder Talks Finding the Perfect Suit
Having good taste and impeccable style doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, it takes learning from the best in the industry to truly perfect dressing like a fashion-forward, modern man. Welcome to our series, “How to Be Stylish,” where we pick the brains of some of the most respected figures in fashion for their ultimate style tips.
Unless you’re able to shell out thousands of dollars for a bespoke suit, finding a blazer or trousers that fit perfectly is impossible, right? Think again. Meet Jeremy Roberts, who co-founded the accessible, customizable suit company Roberts with his wife. The brand boasts an easy three-step process that provides a gentlemanly suit in six to eight weeks. While the starting price — $3,300, in case you were wondering — may induce some serious sticker shock, Roberts argues that when designed in a mid-weight fabric and neutral hue, a custom suit will last forever (and worth the price). For this installment of “How to Be Stylish,” we had the opportunity to speak with Jeremy about custom suits and his own style secrets.
The Cheat Sheet: How did you get to where you are now, career-wise?
Jeremy Roberts: I founded Roberts with my wife, Mihal Freinquel. We met about five years ago when we both lived in New York City. Now, we’re in Portland, Oregon and have a son together. Years before that, when I was in the Coast Guard, I also worked in retail as a personal shopper. I eventually studied fashion design and business at Parsons and FIT, which led to several apprenticeships and jobs around New York City: In tailor shops, alterations studios, and factories.
CS: In a world where everything is instant, what prompted you to start a company that focuses on made-to-measure?
JR: For years, I’ve been obsessed with trying to figure out a way to bring the craftsmanship and the fit of an impeccable suit to more guys. Roberts is my ode to the quality-connoisseurs of my generation, showing them that luxury suiting isn’t just for the old rich guys, and finding your suit doesn’t have to be a painful process. If you invest a little, the payoff is incredibly worth it. The demand for the “instant” exists, but I think people see the value in waiting longer for a perfectly pulled espresso, or the next album by their favorite artist that’s taking forever — or a piece of clothing made just for them.
CS: It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when shopping for suits. After all, there are so many fabrics, colors, and fit options. What is the one type of suit every modern guy should have in his closet?
JR: Yeah, there are SO MANY fabrics and colors and fit options! That’s partially why Roberts exists. We only offer a handful of each, so typically overwhelming and confusing decisions become easy and understandable. That said, I think every guy should have a single-breasted navy blue suit. If you can only afford one, it should be in a mid-weight so you can cheat the seasons.
CS: What is the one thing that every stylish man should invest in?
JR: The finest mechanical watch his money can buy.
CS: What are five things every modern man needs in his closet?
JR: Navy blue suit, white dress shirt, black dress oxfords, a shoehorn, and cuff links that mean something to him.
CS: Why should Cheat Sheet readers invest in a made-to-measure suits?
JR: Very few men out there are sample size: They might have broad shoulders, athletic thighs, longer or shorter arms, a fuller midsection, and so on. Unless you’re a sample size, an off-the-rack suit won’t look impeccable. It may be mostly right, but mostly doesn’t make you feel fantastic. It doesn’t make you walk differently or feel as confident. Nobody’s going to double take a guy in a suit that mostly fits. Our made-to-measure suits go from nothing to just-for-you. Meanwhile, off-the-rack is made for whomever and sits in the store ready to be plucked. It’s worth the investment for the fit itself, let alone how it makes you feel. And if it’s made well and you take care of it, you’ll wear that suit for a long time.
CS: Where do you see your brand five years from now?
JR: We’re working on a few concepts now. To be charmingly vague: They all revolve around making dressing and accessorizing as uncomplicated and understandable as possible, for as many people in as many situations as possible.