It all started five years ago when Knot Standard co-founder John Ballay was living in Dubai. When his friends and family visited, they all made a point to get fitted for bespoke suits, taking advantage of the much more reasonable cost of custom tailoring. Eventually some friends started flying in to Dubai just for the suits. Ballay realized that there was a market in America for custom suiting that don't cost an arm and a leg, and Knot Standard was born.
2349 Bissonnet St.
The company started online, with customers providing their own measurements (or creating them using the site's webcam technology) to make a 3-D model of their body and choosing from about 50 fabrics, with fully custom suits starting at $495.
Now Knot Standard has opened their first showroom in Houston, inside The Mosaic.
"When someone comes into the showroom they are getting a one-on-one personal stylist and a library of over 7,000 fabrics," says Ballay. "They have guidance through the measurement process, in choosing the best fabrics and the best styles as well as a huge wheel of customization. Guys get most excited after they pick a fabric and start talking about customization, when they've come in for a blue suit and find out they can put in a light blue lining or a monogram or their child's name inside, getting more and more excited as it becomes his creation."
Knot Standard has seven showrooms now, including locations in Dallas and Austin. Ballay says the company decides where to open showrooms based entirely on customer demand, so Texas must be full of well-dressed gents. Lsat year the company started working with the University of Texas football team, exclusively outfitting the 150 players—most of whom would have trouble finding a well-fitting suit off the rack—with suits for team travel.
"It's no longer cool for guys not to care about how they dress," says Ballay. "What Knot standard sells are very contemporary, clean, well-fitted suits. They aren't super slim. We don’t isolate fashion-forward guys, conservative dressers will feel comfortable too. It means that our suits can be worn everywhere from a business meeting to a casual night out."