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An American Tailor

Michael Andrews left behind behind a legal career to outfit Manhattan in affordable bespoke suits.behind

Author Mike Albo

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YOU KNOW SOMETHING has become an obsession when you can’t stop doing it, even on vacation. For seven years Michael Andrews was a mergers and acquisitions lawyer on Wall Street, but whenever he got a break, he “would go to Thailand or India and try out different tailors,” he says. “After five or six, my travel partners started getting a little annoyed.”

So in 2006, Andrews left Wall Street, took a few classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and opened Michael Andrews Bespoke—a reasonably priced custom-tailoring boutique in lower Manhattan for guys who aren’t Gordon Gekko (suits start at $895). “I don’t care if you’re a construction worker or a tech guy. You still need one good suit,” Andrews says.

He measures every client himself, offers fabrics from fine mills like Zegna and Dormeuil, and works primarily with two factories in China to keep costs down. A wide range of guys in all shapes and sizes come through the door, including some athletes. “There’s a former center for one of our local basketball teams who is walking around in a whole lot of powder blue fabric,” says Andrews with a smile. “We try to give style advice, but if that’s what they want, that’s what they want.”

It turns out a lot of men want their suits made by a former “suit.” The boutique recently moved into a new 4,200-square-foot space in a secluded Lower Manhattan alley. The new shop has a vintage bar that gives it a speakeasy vibe. (Note: “Make sure you stay sober through the whole fitting.”) Andrews’ success is a sign that fine tailoring is catching on with American men. As for his own collection, “I have about fifty suits.

I should probably have more, but I have a one-in, one-out policy.”

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