Gone are the days of purchasing ill-fitting suits and clashing shirts. With help from Kingford Bavender, men can receive personalized, face-to-face style consultations in the comfort of their own home.
Because Bavender is one of the few local clothiers that operate in bespoke clothing, clients will be outfitted for a suit that is perfect for them, from the choice of buttons to accent stitching to lining color. And all customized pieces are tailor-made to fit the client’s exact measurements. “I use clothing as a part of your communication tool,” Bavender says. “How you look is a part of what you communicate, and I figure out if you’re communicating the right message.”
Bavender’s designs are all made-to-order, as opposed to a custom clothier, who may simply add a specific color or button to a suit, or a made-to-measure clothier, who uses a pre-existing pattern that may not take into account the client’s adjustment for posture or shoulder slope. “In the bespoke process, the client is king,” says Bavender on his website. “He gets to choose everything. Not to mention, each garment literally suits each individual to exacting specifications.”
Chaska-based Bavender outfits men of every profession; from TV anchors to attorneys and financial advisors, there’s a style match for everyone. And although Bavender creates pieces mainly for professional and business-casual wear, he also creates custom-made suits for formal events such as weddings and black tie affairs—just make sure you spare enough time before the big night. “It typically takes me 30 days to five weeks to create a customized suit,” Bavender says. “It’s based on a consultation to see what they have, and understanding what their career and lifestyle needs are to make sure those two come together, and solve the problem.”
Bavender has always had an eye for style and design. After graduating with a degree in architecture from Iowa State University, Bavender found there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for architects, but he became more appreciative of clothing and what goes into a well-made piece. “There was a demand for it, a need for it, and there weren’t many people doing it at the time,” Bavender says. “There was a market opportunity, so I started Bavender Custom Clothiers in 1996.”
Since then, he has become a master of knowing what works for men stylistically, down to how the color, texture and fit mix to make for a custom piece that showcases the client’s unique style. “We create a pattern for each client, which allows us to create the best possible fit,” says Bavender. “Style-wise, you’re never going to find this selection in any store, because you’re not going by what some designer says you can select for the garments’ style.”
Looking to invest in one of Bavender’s unique creations? Prices start at roughly $795 and go up from there, depending on fabric. For those looking for a customized shirt and tie, Bavender also sells packages. “Some clothiers charge as much as $3,000 to $5,000 for custom-made suits,” he says.
Bavender says a close-fitting suit is on trend with a two-button jacket and a shirt that fits snug to the body. “Not everyone can wear that, but when people can make their own pattern, it can fit close to their body but still be comfortable,” Bavender says. “Plaids have also been very popular, as well as solid, shark-skin fabric.”