If men are creatures of habit when it comes to clothing, it’s because a certain reassurance is often needed – not just on what to wear but how to wear it. American made-to-measure specialist Stòffa, which was founded a few years ago, has accumulated a cult following by providing just this guidance, in both an accessible and an inspirational way.
Stòffa offers relatively simple clothing: suede jackets (from $1,300), rollable hats (from $200), trousers (from $275), bags (from $500) and accessories (from $60). They come in a few materials and a fairly tight range of plain colours, with some items available to buy online and the outerwear and trousers made-to-measure. Trunk shows are held every few weeks in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Stockholm and London.
The quality is high, and the design thoughtful. But the real genius is the way the pieces fit together. A pair of light-grey wool trousers can work equally well with a suede asymmetric jacket (for the weekend perhaps) or a navy coat (for the office on Monday). Creams and taupes combine into a young, fashion-forward look; but swap in a brown or navy piece and it’s a lot more classic.
These ensembles are all well illustrated on Stòffa’s Instagram account. Glancing through it, one thing that’s particularly striking is the way the felt hats work with any combination, from the most casual to the most formal, a deep-mint-green flight jacket to a taupe-coloured coat. Stòffa founder Agyesh Madan might have inadvertently done more than anyone in decades to resurrect the fedora.
“Colour has always been very important to me,” Madan told me when he visited London for the first time, in early March. “I’m colourblind – but rather than that being a hindrance to designing clothes and picking colours, I find it makes me concentrate more on the subtle shades and casts. For a long time I carried a small green stone in my pocket with me everywhere, to help me confirm green colours. It makes you think about colour every day.”
Stòffa’s clothes are all made in Italy, including the fabrics (the sole exception being Irish linen). And Madan often visits when the raw materials are being finished, to oversee the precise tones being produced in the suede or the wool yarn.
Madan visits London again on April 21-23, and appointments for trunk shows can be made through Stòffa’s website. Generally, he aims to visit each city every 5-6 weeks, with made-to-measure pieces completed between one visit and the next.
I have a navy suede flight jacket in the works, which I’m very excited to see. It will go with everything.
Simon Crompton is a men’s style writer and consultant. He is the founder of the award-winning website Permanent Style (permanentstyle.co.uk) and author of Le Snob Guide to Tailoring (Hardie Grant, 2011) and The Finest Menswear in the World (Thames & Hudson, RRP £24.99).