ISSUE 57  |  Haberdashery

The Revival of the Suit: Freemans Sporting Club

January 30, 2013 4:30 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

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A good friend of mine says "you are not a real man unless you own at least one really great suit." I think that Martin Greenfield, who has been called "America's best living tailor," would say the same. Today, when they're not creating suits for shows like Boardwalk Empire and movies like Argo, Martin Greenfield Clothiers works closely with a younger generation, the gentlemen of Freeman's Sporting Club.

With a cross program of readymade (fully canvassed and finished by hand by Greenfield's) and benchmade suits (at their bespoke workshop located just above Freeman's Alley Restaurant), Freeman's Sporting Club (F.S.C.) has cultivated a strong following. The owners are fixated on reviving the art of American handmade goods, starting with the suit. On the second floor studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, head tailor Felix Aybar takes measurements and conducts four fittings with clients over a four- to six-week period. The process starts with a muslin mockup and ends with a fully custom-tailored suit that's both functional and long-lasting (the idea is to keep it for life). Beyond their suits, F.S.C.'s collection (everything from outerwear to shirting to selvedge denim) is all manufactured within 10 miles of their New York location.

With a bi-coastal presence, visit F.S.C. at 8 Rivington Street and 343 Bleecker Street in New York, or their latest spot at 696 Valencia Street in San Francisco.

Above: Yards of wool next to a quilted leather sofa in the bespoke studio.

Above: A look at the fitting room above Freemans Restaurant in New York City.

Above: F.S.C.'s spring ready-to-wear collection from Martin Greenfield's. For more on Greenfield, take a look at Galen Summer and Ed David's documentary Lessons from a Tailor.

Above: The suit features a green Bemberg lining and pinstripe wool sewn together with silk thread. The suits are available in three cuts: the Standard, the Slim, and J4.

Above: A tailor's chalk sharpener, a design unchanged for 75 years.

Above: The initial stage of the custom suit process begins with measurements and patterns.

Above: Stitching canvas for a custom suit by hand takes 780 hand-stitches per side.

N.B.: Looking for more stylish ideas? See 39 more Style posts in our archive.