Let’s be honest – when was the last time the man in your life got really excited about shopping for a new suit? It’s certainly not a place you go expecting to sip bourbon, shoot pool, or play a hand of poker. Since their Raleigh debut in November, Alton Lane is giving the fellas a totally new experience when shopping for menswear.
Alton Lane’s Showroom Director Josh Imbriano says guys are often intimidated by shopping for menswear. It’s not a purchase that you make often, and while you want to look great, remembering your inseam length isn’t how you use your brain space. They’ve set out to change the vibe, offering the ultimate in personalized but pressure-free shopping.
The experience starts when you call or go online to schedule an appointment for an hour of professional time. When you walk in the door, you’ll find a classic meets modern aesthetic, with black ceilings, industrial style shelving and clothing racks, a comfy couch to kick back and chill. While you wait for your chance with the experts, shoot some pool or grab a drink. The bar and pool table are here for you to enjoy. Take a seat at the copper topped bar to flip through fabric books – the same fabrics from the same mills that are used in the biggest of big name suiting brands. Then, like magic, you push the bookcase behind the bar and suddenly it swivels open to reveal a hidden room with a feel that’s far more speakeasy than department store. Yep, there’s a poker table.
In the back of the secret room, you’ll step into the body scanner, which feels a little like something you’d find in the airport security line. But like magic, they capture the curve of your spine and the slope of your shoulders: 300 measurements in less than 30 seconds. Then you can try on samples to decide just how slim you want that slim fit shirt.
Classic navy blazer? There’s so much more to it than that. Josh and his staff will ask questions to guide you to the perfect fit: how often you’ll wear it, travel plans, whether you’ll be moving around or sitting at a desk, what feels good to you. There are dozens of fabric sample books to flip through. Fabric choices range from smooth cotton to linen to wool to cashmere, and even an earth-friendly bamboo with absolutely gorgeous trendsetting colors. The choices can be overwhelming, but they are there to guide you every step of the way.
Then, when you’ve made your final selections and swallowed the final sip of whiskey, they send your order off for their team of tailors. Those 300 measurements all come together to create custom garments that are truly a perfect fit. They will be ready in just a few weeks – 2 weeks for shirts, 3-4 for suits. They’ll call you to come in for a final fitting and make any adjustments that might be needed. But when you’ve already had 300 measurements before the first stitch was sewn, it might just be a perfect fit when you walk in the door.
Alton Lane opened in November and has already found Raleigh to be a hot market. The showroom on Daniels St is the lucky 13th, joining cities from Atlanta to New York, from Dallas to San Francisco. Every location has a slightly different feel, but each store focuses on making every detail of the shopping experience personal, professional, and actually, really cool. We’re thrilled to have them join us in Cameron Village!