First Look: The Inspiration for the 2013 Collection


Hart Schaffner Marx looks back to move forward

The year:  1906

Hart Schaffner & Marx was the first company to recognize that while “all men are created equal,” they don’t fit into their clothing the same way. With an uncanny understanding of the wants of their customer, the Chicago-based company introduced the first proportioned suits on the market, offering a variety of ‘basic body’ types that recognized the individuality of the wearer.  “Tall, Short, Stout, and Thin” fit suits joined the ranks of the undiscerning singular fit that crowded the sales floors across the country. The innovation was well received at the time, and the foresight is evident given its a practice that still dominates the market place more than 100 years later.

Today, more than ever, we understand that same sentiment Joseph, Harry, and Max had: men are different. Today we recognize that men vary in more than just their physical size and shape, they differ (perhaps more importantly) in their motives for dressing well to begin with; not all men wear their clothing the same way, nor for the same reasons. Men rightfully demand more out of their clothing today.  Just as we did in 1906, we feel compelled to meet those demands.

While a long time in the making, we came to the precipice of this conclusion during 2012, the year of our 125th anniversary.  Focusing not only on what we perceived to be the strengths of our previous collections, we gathered feedback from retailers and consumers alike on what we could improve. We learned much and acted upon it.

We focused on a contemporary look without abandoning the DNA of the brand, nor the comfort, softness, and balance Hart Schaffner & Marx has developed over the decades.In some instances we offered only minor tweaking, primarily on established garments in an effort to evolve with the times. However, the bulk of our efforts were spent on thoroughly updating product to meet this new standard, and in an unlikely move, we created an entirely new model in an effort to push ourselves ahead of the times.

In addition to the basic body types we developed, those that became the industry standard at the turn of the 20th century, we continue our legacy of innovation and introduce our 3 latest models for 2013: The Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.

Each model, much like their namesake cities, continues to evolve with their own distinct personality. The silhouettes not only accommodate the wearer’s body, but fits his renewed attitude towards what he wears.

Our next post will give you an insider’s look at our first 2013 prototype garments & detail the new Hart Schaffner & Marx collection

How Much Can You Alter Our Garments?


In a previous post we showed some of the typical points of measurement used by the tailored clothing industry. While we attempt to create sizing options based on extensive studies of anthropometric data, the reality is that no two bodies are alike and sometimes alterations are necessary to make a ready-made garment fit better.

In the next series of posts we will show what allowances have been built in to every Hart Schaffner Marx suit to allow for these alterations.  The first is the sleeve length.


Measuring tailored clothing

The explosion of e-commerce sites has created a dilemma of how to address fit in a virtual environment. The focus of next week’s convention of the International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives will be on this subject and I am sure I will have lots to report when I get back from it.  We are also working on a special project which may revolutionize online shopping and is set to launch as soon as this summer.

One thing I will bring to readers now is that the methods and terminology used in sportswear is slightly different from that used for tailored clothing, and terms you may have seen used online at sites like e-bay may not be used the same way by tailored clothing manufacturers.  Having a basic knowledge of these terms will come in handy when talking to alterations tailors or when ordering made-to-measure garments, as it helps to be speaking the same “language”.

Below is a guide to the terms and measurement methods we use at Hart Schaffner Marx, and are also pretty much the industry standard in tailored clothing.

-Jeffery Diduch

HOW WE MEAS 1Measuring the jacket Back Length: lift the collar and measure from the base of the under collar to the hem of the jacket.

Measuring the Point to Point:measure from the intersection of the armhole seam and the shoulder seam, across to the same point on the other side of the jacket.

Measuring the Half-Back: measure from the armhole seam at the level of the elbow seam on the sleeve, across to the center back seam.

HOW WE MEAS 2Measuring the Half-Waist: With the jacket laid flat on a table, measure from the front edge to the center back seam, about 3″ above the pocket.

Measuring the Sleeve Inseam: Measure the inseam from the armhole to the hem.

HOW WE MEAS PANTS 1Measuring the trouser Inseam: measure the inseam from the crotch to the hem.

Measuring the trouser Outseam: Measure the outseam from the top of the waistband to the hem.

Measuring the Rise of the trouser: subtract the inseam measurement from the outseam measurement.

HOW WE MEAS PANTS 2The trouser Waist measurement is obtained by laying the garment flat and measuring from edge to edge inside the waistband and doubling this measurement.  It is common to allow 1/2″ wearing ease so a size 34 will often measure 34 1/2″.

The trouser Seat measurement is obtained by laying the garment flat with pleats open, and measuring from side to side around the level of the base of the fly.  Double this measurement.

This trouser Thigh is taken 1″ below the crotch, and doubled.

The Knee is measured 14″ below the crotch and doubled.

The Bottom (or Hem) is measured at the very bottom of a finished trouser or 6″ above the bottom of an unfinished trouser and doubled.