Remember The Sims? (If you're anything like us: Yes, you do, because you played last weekend.) You could always choose a hairstyle and outfit in create mode, but later versions let you customize your Sim down to the chunky highlights or ill-placed tattoo, if you were feeling like a particularly vindictive god. Click on a T-shirt or pair of shoes and peruse a whole menu of options, from color to fabric, to transform the default offerings into something totally unique.
That's pretty much what it feels like to take advantage of Balani Custom Clothiers' new virtual design program. Purveyors of men's custom-tailored suits since 1961—and since 2014 in Houston, with showrooms downtown and on West Alabama—the Chicago-based company has now expanded their offerings further south to footwear, meaning the Balani man can now be custom-outfitted from head to toe.
The virtual design program offers clients options on everything from shoe shape and pattern down to type of leather and color of soles and piping. Once a design is chosen, Balani makes a mold of the customer's foot in its showroom and sends it off to Spain, where the magic happens—shoes are crafted there from high-end materials resulting in a one-of-a-kind shoe for each customer.
Square-toe blue suede loafers with a tassel, bow, or Albert mask? Why, yes indeed. Cognac burnished Chelsea boots or multicolored military brogues? Yes and yes again. The options are nearly endless, and endlessly fun to tweak.
You don't have to go to the Sims route, either—you can peruse swatches and styles in the swanky showroom, too, specifically with a glass of complimentary Scotch, and try on sample sizes and design options with the help of a Balani personal stylist. Custom shoes start at $550 and take about four weeks to make.