Personalised fashion: the update

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So have you been wondering how my 3X1 custom jeans turned out? Well I hope you like details because there’s a lot to take in. After my appointment at Selfridges with the 3X1 team at the beginning of August in which they let me modify their W2 Boyfriend jean with my choice of denim, thread, pocket details, buttons and zips, I took delivery of the finished article four weeks later. Like my Smythson experience, the choice was quite overwhelming at the time but the results are nothing short of superb.

I chose a  fabric called XX70, a Japanese denim from a mill called Kurubo (one of the oldest mills in Japan that has been around since 1888 – this is the kind of info they email you when you buy custom jeans) (Full disclosure: i didn’t buy these as I was trialling the service for the blog). They’re a 12oz denim in 2% stretch/98% cotton selvedge and they gave it a rinse to soften it slightly.  They’re still dark, dense and rigid, exactly how I wanted them. I chose beige thread, matte gold buttons and a ‘lock down’ gold zip that you have to actually push down like a lever for it to lie flat. Very fancy.

I chose a double needle stitch back pocket and could even opt to have my coin pocket (the hidden mini pocket that’s usually inside the right hip pocket) positioned on my left. The jeans arrived in their own denim garment bag, an additional touch that cements the indulgent, luxury experience of buying bespoke. Custom jeans from 3X1 are only available in America and cost from $525-$750. It’s a lot but if I had that kind of money I’d rather spend it this way than on show-off branding.

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Customisation is absolutely a mass thing now (You can’t get more custom than last summer’s ‘#shareacoke’ campaign) and fashion brands from high street to street wear are all dipping a toe in. Karen Millen recently had a successful three-week service at Selfridges, offering made-to-measure tailoring in which every one of its time allocated slots was booked up. From a curated range of suits, coats and workwear dresses (the tuxedo suit being the most popular), customers could personalise their picks with their choice of fabric, lining and buttons at the pop-up atelier. With jackets starting at £600, the option to have a Karen Millen piece tailored to fit (especially for the non-standard of size) was clearly very appealing.

Meanwhile, Harrods, purveyors of all things luxe and special is also jumping on the custom trend with a service for its discerning menswear customers. Its Made To Measure weekend will run from 4th-6th October, and will host master tailors from brands including Tom Ford, Kiton, Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni. Menswear is the fastest growing area at Harrods and this ties in with the current feeling for sartorialism and personalised attention to detail. The only drawback of going down the bespoke/custom route?  It’s a killer going back to off the peg…