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I recently got to experience the process of ordering a custom-tailored suit from Tien Son first-hand, and I'm indescribably excited about seeing it at the end of the week. This will be the first time I've ever had an item of clothing, let alone an entire suit, tailored exactly to my measurements and my stylistic specifications.

I met with Lan Do, who comprises the eighth generation of Tien Son's bespoke tailors, and we went down a list of customizable options. As I was choosing a color and pattern of fabric, she showed me a few suit jackets so I could get a better idea of what the finished product would look like. I was impressed with the sleek modernness of the prototypes, and I decided I would like to go for a similar fitted look in a faintly bluish charcoal color.

She was understanding about certain insecurities I had about my body type, and worked with me to figure out ways to improve the appearance of my problem areas. Overall, she made what would normally be an awkward or anxiety-inducing situation for me significantly more comfortable.

What was most unexpected about the experience was how involved I was in the design process. I've played around with making shoes or bikes on Timberland and Urban Outfitter's websites, and I've even tried constructing a custom pair of jeans online, but there were always only four or five options that involved choosing between a pre-selected palate of colors. In the case of the jeans, just about the only options that were customizable were the rise, the length and the wash. So really, I was just undergoing a normal jeans shopping experience with a much larger price tag. This was completely different, though. I had never even considered what I wanted the lapels to look like, so I took Lan Do's advice and went with a more unique design with buttons instead of a typical classic look. She explained, "If you're going to have your suit custom-made, you might as well stand out." I couldn't agree more.

Be sure to check back for part two. I'll include pictures with my overall impression of the suit's cut and quality. Also, keep an eye out for updates from Samantha. She'll be traveling to Italy in mid-June and will have some interesting information to share about European professional attire.
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