At its worst, tailoring makes you look like a suit—a conformist salarymen afraid of standing out among the pack. From Mad Men to Sloan Wilson’s novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, the wearers of such somber, staid tailoring are depicted as soulless sell-outs willing to trade their integrity for a dollar and their happiness for a promotion. These representations, among others, lent the suit undesirable connotations that scared off several generations of potential wearers.

At its best, tailoring is a way to look good at the intersection between work and leisure. As society slumps toward a perpetually dressed-down state, we’ve lost much of the elegance and poise that tailored clothing conveys. We can return to an age of dressed-up swagger without conservative cuts and excess shoulder padding; a new age where bold plaids and stripes abound and the traditional mixes with the modern to inform a daily uniform. For the labels that seem to place cut, finesse and quality on equal footing with what’s defining style for the contemporary guy, you don’t have to look too far.

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Tags: tailoring, united-arrows, sartorial