Famed Chicago Custom Clothier Opens in River Oaks
Famed Chicago Customer Clothier opens in River Oaks to tailor to Houston’s Modern Men
Walking into Balani Custom’s River Oaks showroom, you feel like you are walking into a men’s custom clothier that just gets it. From the second you enter, there is a nice pour of liquor and questions from the Clothier that make the custom experience, well, comfortable and easy. Balani Custom is the best custom clothier in Houston.
Balani Custom was originally founded as a family business in Chicago by Peter Balani in 1961. He began the business to make custom suits for the well-to do business men of Chicago. Peter made suits for celebrities such as the Rat Pak and even The Big Bambino – Babe Ruth. He was trained in both London and Milan and brought his son, Sonny Balani, into the family business in 2003. With the knowledge he gained within the family, Sonny worked to develop and grow the brand which became successful in six different cities, including Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Los Angeles, Orlando and now Houston. Balani Custom’s success has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Chicago Tribune, and many others. They have also been recognized as “One Of The Top 6 Tailors In The World” by JW Marriot and awarded ‘Best Custom Suit’ from Chicago Magazine.
What exactly is the Balani Custom experience you ask? The experience is as follows:
Step 1: Scheduling Your Appointment
This step is the beginning of the amazing experience you will receive for these two reasons. One, you can schedule an appointment for one of the Custom Clothier’s to come directly to your office. Or, two, you can schedule an appointment to leave the office and experience what the Balani showroom has to offer. Although we are all very busy, and time means money, I highly recommend experiencing the showroom.
Step 2: Meet Your Personal Custom Clothing Stylist
This step allows you to meet, in person, the individual that will be creating the look that will put you at your next level. During this process, you will be asked many thoughtful questions as the custom stylists really dig in to give you great advice whether you are considering adding a professional suit, a formal suit , a dinner jacket, a fantastic sport coat or just freshening your pant and shirt rotation. Did I mention this is when you are offered a fine single malt scotch or one of their craft brews …just to take the edge off.
Step 3: Pick Your Fabrics
Please step up to the fabric bar sir. This step has got to be the best one. This is when you will be able to select fabrics from Balani’ Custom’s luxury wool, cashmere, silk, and cotton fabrics from the world’s most renowned mills including: Holland & Sherry, Scabal, Loro Piana, Fintes, Marzoni, and Dormeuil. This step is where the Clothier really shows their knowledge. They have the ability to show you the best colors and fabrics that will compliment your skin tone and your build, while taking into account your preferences such as travel-ability, being lightweight, having a subtle luster or matted finish etc.
Step 4: Design and Styling
Ok, this might actually be the best step! Why custom clothing you say? Because customizing your clothing allows you the ability to style every detail of your new garment. At this step, you can design everything from lapel style, interior lining, pocket style, thread color, the personalized inscription within the jacket, and the list goes on and on!!! Don’t worry, if you are like me you can take part in every step. But, if you want to rely on the custom stylist to pick all the details, they will make the process painless and seamless.
Step 5: Measurements
Let’s do this thing! Your Custom Clothier will take over 30 different measurements, with hi-tech calibrated devices and 5 tailor mugshots of your body to make sure your suit looks like absolute perfection. Christian Boehm, President of Balani Custom, maintains this is their “secret sauce”, as all your measurement and tailor information is sent to their cutters who will cut a paper pattern on each of their clients by hand, not by computer. “It’s old school in a good way”, says Christian, and it is definitely evident by their outstanding reviews on sites like Yelp, Google etc.
Step 6: Fitting Process
Usually each suit takes no longer than 6 weeks to detail, design, and be made. Once the suit has been created, your Custom Clothier will contact you for a final fitting. This stage is where you will be able to see the suit, put it on, and see if there is any fine tuning that may need to be done. One of Balani Custom tailors and Modern Gent Houston’s personal stylist and friend, Adam Leibold, was pickier than I was, which again made me feel confident in the garments and brand experience.
Custom clothing for men is definitely an investment in yourself. While you may spend slightly more on a custom made suit, your suit will be uniquely yours. There will be no other man in the world who owns the same suit that you do. If you are having any more trouble deciding to move to that custom look, remember this: “A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men”.
“Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter.” – Dean Martin.
Photos Courtesy of: Shannon K Photography