Los Angeles was the bookend destination to an epic and extensive week-long vacation westward. After the bawdy shows, secret adventures — and amazing food, family, friends — it would prove hard to compete with the first leg in Vegas. Los Angeles never seems to fail me. Filled with road tripping, wedding crashing, honey tasting, karaoke’ing, and bromancing, I managed to squeeze in something more amazing than any Julia Roberts shopping sequence.
Hosted by my brother-from-another-mother, NiK Kacy (who uses the pronouns ‘they/them/their’), I knew that Megan and I were in for a first class experience. NiK and I first met after they ‘crashed’ my Vegas wedding in 2015. Our cyber-bromance began with their KickStarter campaign — which I lovingly supported — and grew over hours of countless private messages and texts leading up to the big day. I proudly walked down the aisle in a pair of NiK Kacy monk strap boots. NiK introduced me to a world of amazing artists who are constant sources of inspiration, passion, and growth. One such talent is Thúy Nguyen of Thúy Custom Clothier.
I first met Thúy about a year ago. We chatted at Harlowe Bar in West Hollywood over a few classic cocktails. We soon got lost in tales of style, fashion, and fit — finding so much shared vision. This past visit cemented that vision and I knew it was time to take the next step. We scheduled an appointment before an evening of brilliant karaoke.
I’ve had the privilege of creating suiting in 3 other scenarios — one in which I partnered with a friend in Shanghai via Pinterest and Google docs. Due to our total inability to meet face-to-face, the end product whetted my appetite but was not of the quality or specifications that I soon realized I desired. My next 2 face-to-face missions were reasonably successful though I was still looking for the perfect fit not just in the suit but also in the service. Thúy and I sat for about an hour talking through the process and flipping through several books filled with swatches. (I’m a fabric/content junky!) She then began measuring me as we discussed my vision.
Right away I knew that this was the right fit for me. As she was taking my measurements Thúy made recommendations and listened for my feedback, anxieties, concerns. What resonated with me was that Thúy understood the challenges with which I’ve struggled. I enjoy male-styled suiting that fits my frame and figure. My height also poses a unique challenge when it comes to suiting. The fit of jacket, length of sleeve, style of cuff can make or break the look. Each new measurement — and they seemed to be blissfully endless — came with caveats, questions, recommendations, and finally agreement. Thúy educated me about custom suiting in a way that was uplifting. She gave me a vocabulary with which to explore my instincts and inspire me further. I was instilled with the confidence that the creation would be my own.
After the measurements were in the books, the real fun began. Guided by my pre-ordered pair of NiK Kacy derbies I fell in love with and a recent binge of Boardwalk Empire, we designed a double-breasted Chalky White/Nucky Thompson 3-piece suit — including a double-breasted contrasting vest. I could just see myself pulling my Betty Boop pocket watch out of that vest pocket — as if checking on the next train out of town.
My mind wandered in a Fantasia-like fantasy sequence. The patterns and fabrics danced in symphonic harmony. I lucidly dreamt of the custom contrasts in my pockets and vest-backing. Thúy guided the possibilities of my imagination, even building toward our next collaboration. I watched as she jotted down my specifications commingled with her insights from second generation industry experience. I felt like I could already almost touch the fruits of our labor.
In the past when I’ve focused so hard on the destination I’ve missed the time-capsule-worthy instances along the way. The trust that Thúy instilled in me enabled me to savor each moment and immerse myself in the suiting expedition. The tailoring process takes up to 8-weeks which means I should get my suit on the heels of summer’s end. While we began the design in Los Angeles I will be receiving the suit in Atlanta. Since minor alterations may be needed, for added comfort, Thúy Custom Clothier covers up to $50 toward the cost of my preferred local tailor for any final tweaks (‘Thúy’ks?).
Now that I have the taste for bringing my suiting dreams to life — pret a porter feels like much more of a constraint. My suit will be the manifestation of a conversation over cocktails, trusted consultation, and a sealed deal over a bromantic karaoke trio performance of Erasure’s “Oh L’Amour.”
That’s the way I need it.