Washington, D.C.'s Best Menswear Designer
an interview with Claire Butler, Washington, D.C.'s Lead Fit Specialist
What’s your background in menswear?
My experience in menswear began with my tenure at Polo Ralph Lauren. During my 6 years with the company, I worked on Blue Label and Black Label brands for product categories including woven shirts, roughwear and outerwear. Working for such a large and iconic company, gave me the opportunity to experience textile sourcing and production from all over Europe and Asia. The design and quality driven brand principles were embodied in the artisanal development of beautiful and luxurious raw materials.
What are some common mistakes guys make when selecting a suit in terms of fit?
I find that a lot of younger men want to be on trend with a slimmer, more modern cut in their suits. The mistakes becomes evident when the cut is too extreme. They lose the timeless appeal of the suit and cross over into wearing a suit that simply is too tight and too small for their body.
What are some of your favorite fabrics for suits?
Any fabric with cashmere! Even the smallest percentage of cashmere blended into a fabric instantly elevates the elegance factor. Cashmere is lightweight, breathable, warm and creates a lush hand feel for any garment.
What are three key tailored clothing pieces that should be in a guy’s wardrobe besides the classic dark worsted wool suit?
First, a great fitting navy blazer is a versatility piece for any man's wardrobe. Wear it with jeans, chinos, or grey trousers for a more casual day at the office or weekend wear. It's a garment any guy will go to grab out of his closet time and time again.
Next, a beautifully tailored white shirt. A white shirt can be worn as a separate for more casual wear or under any color suit. Well tailored shirts always enhance the look and fit of a suit jacket, while also maintaining a polished silhouette when a man removes his jacket.
Finally, for a colder climate like D.C., a classic and well-fitting overcoat is essential. An overcoat constructed from quality materials, such as cashmere or alpaca, will withstand harsh elements and frequent wear. It is the piece that encompasses fit, style and functionality to complete his look during colder months.
Why Hall Madden?
A team of truly knowledgeable and supportive people who strive to make all our clients look and feel amazing. Hall Madden is a company with office locations in major cities across the country, yet the culture is that of a close and encouraging family. It is truly a unique and wonderful experience. I also took this position very seriously because of the year long training I undertook and the apprenticing factor.
What’s your thoughts on men’s style in DC?
The general style of D.C. men is classic and understated. The color palettes are more muted and reserved. The men of D.C. do put an emphasis on their style and outward appearance; they want to look good. Classic, yet refined is what D.C. men's style is all about.
To learn more about the Washington DC fit studio or Book a fitting please visit our DC page.
Hall Madden is coming to Houston, Atlanta and Sacramento in the upcoming months. Book now for the best available times.
When: afternoon/evening May 17
Where: Westin Downtown Houston
When: afternoon/evening May 31 and morning June 1
Where: Westin Buckhead Atlanta
SACRAMENTO **new location**
When: afternoon/evening June 6 and morning June 7
Where: Citizen Hotel Downtown Sacramento
Trunk show pop-ups happen at each location once a quarter and are by appointment only. We welcome new and existing clients and take orders for suits, blazers, tuxedos and trousers.
To learn more and book an appointment, click your city below. We look forward to meeting you!
designed and commissioned by our respective Clients. Take a photographic tour of SOME OF Hall Madden's most popular Fabric Collections.
FABRIC: Loro Piana "Summertime" wool-silk-linen blend (71-15-14). 250gr weight with slubby texture and great light reflection with a tonal blue plaid.
DESIGN: Two-button notch front with flap pockets and dual vents. Interior with silver grey Japanese bemberg lining and contrast piping pattern. Burnished blue buttons (5 on sleeve) with contrast stitching for buttonholes.
The perfect blue blazer for summer without being boring. A lighter blue shade mixed with a subtle pattern ensures the client has a unique sport coat that doesn't get lost in a room full of dark navy jackets. This blazer can be used for both business casual and events and has a seasonal texture that is both soft, light and breathable.
Jacket cOST | 1950
FABRIC: Loro Piana "Superfine" Super 130s jacketing. 260gr weight in grey-taupe plaid with blue overcheck pattern.
DESIGN: Classic business casual jacket layout with two-button closure and notch lapels. Dual-vented back with flapped pockets -- and in a unique twist, a flapped ticket pocket as well.
For business casual outfits, selecting a grey-toned blazer can be difficult. This is why a patterned fabric with blue color was selected to more easily pair with solid grey trousers in all shades (dove, oxford and charcoal grey). The blue in the plaid also allows a variety of blue shirts (solid, striped and small checks) to be worn with ease, making this blazer a versatile player in the wardrobe.
Jacket cOST | 1850
FABRIC: Solbiati "Nobel Lino" in 270gr weight. Boldly patterned rust red plaid with grey and blue overchecks.
DESIGN: Two-button front with notch lapels and rounded patch front pockets. Contrast stitched buttonholes and dark horn buttons.
Selected with unabashed boldness in mind to take on the summer heat, this linen blazer is more densely woven to provide a better drape than lighter and flimsier linens that reduces wrinkling -- instead, it "rumples" as good linen should. Perfect for weekends out and wears well with chinos of all shades and can be dressed up with navy trousers.
Jacket COST | 1300
FABRIC: Ermenegildo Zegna Summer Cotton mesh. 240gr weight in royal navy blue open weave.
DESIGN: This jacket is made for maximum comfort. In a superlight cotton weave that allows for airflow and softness, this new fabric from Zegna also works well here as an unstructured blazer -- meaning no shoulder pads and no interior canvasing.
This blazer's soft construction apprears more relaxed than rigid and formal. It also can be made with trousers to make a full suit that's perfect for the summer. You can wear it simply as we've styled it here, or use the brighter navy tone as a background to your bolder and more cheerful summer checked shirts. Paired with chinos and a multi-colored gingham, we think it's a go-to choice for the warmer months.
Jacket COST | 1250
Lanificio Di Pray
Summer Hopsack Collection
FABRIC: Lanifico Di Pray Summer Hopsack in grey. 280gr weight with an airy, open weave.
DESIGN: Two-button closure with notch lapels and dual vents. Patch rounded pockets and grey resin buttons with rust burnishing.
The goal for this jacket was a go-to piece to be worn with denim of all shades. The textured weave of hopsack leaves no doubt this is a blazer, not an orphaned suit jacket. Patch pockets make it more casual and the light grey color allows it to be easily worn with almost any color or pattern shirt.
Jacket Cost | 1150
Lanifico Di Pray
Summer wool jacketing
FABRIC: Lanifico Di Pray Summer jacketing collection. 230gr weight wool in taupe brown and Carolina blue plaid.
DESIGN: Standard two-button closure with notch lapels and dual vents. Flap pockets and five-button sleeves with contrast stitching and slate blue buttons.
If you plan to wear your blazer without a necktie, it's sometimes a good idea to have a pronounced pattern in your jacket to keep your outfit from being too bland. Despite being a bold pattern, this blazer is easy to wear with almost any blue shirt and over jeans, navy trousers or darker grey shades.