[read more...]'>

Custom Continental feat. Tito Hill

May 30th, 2013

Tito Hill is a fellow style enthusiast and Columbia basketball alumnus. He’s lived all over the world, and his continental sense of style reflects it.

“I was born in Africa, raised in Germany and moved to the US in eighth grade. I spent the next five years living all over America, including Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles and San Francisco before moving to New York to play basketball at Columbia University. Post college, I spent 7 years in NYC working mainly in the financial services industry before taking a sabbatical in the woods of New Hampshire to get my MBA.

As for my style, I think it’s probably an amalgamation of all of those experiences. There is definitely a European influence…and some US prep too. It’s easy to navel gaze when it comes to style and let it drift too far north on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but I do believe that style is an outward representation of your inner state.”

Like many difficult-to-fit athletes, over the years Tito has accumulated plenty of experience with custom clothiers and alteration tailors. He’s also come to accept the golden rule of menswear: quality over quantity. As you can see here, he invests in quality pieces that fit properly and will last the test of time, no matter where in the world he ends up.

    1. Custom Business Solutions

    02fix copy

    “Long arms are a blessing on the basketball court, but a curse when buying suits or shirts.

    Carl at CEGO has been my go-to shirtmaker for years and I have spent many a late afternoon drinking Scotch and watching people as they pick out swatches.

    First lesson of custom or MTM tailoring, DO NOT bring your spouse or girlfriend. There is a reason you visit these professionals…for their expertise.”


    I love the simplicity of Tito’s looks.

    Less is more.

    No socks, no pocket square, no crazy bracelets or lapel pins… The law of diminishing returns can apply to dressing confidently as well.


    The double-monk loafer has been all the rage lately.

    This here is a case for the single-monk. A serious, beautiful, hand-made case.


    • Blue Suit by Kent Wang
    • Lavender Dress Shirt by CEGO Shirtmaker
    • Purple Striped Tie by Altea
    • Watch by Sinn 103A
    • Brown Monk Strap Shoes by Berluti

    2. Weekend Chill


    Having an unusual fit forces you to have experiences with tailors and seamstresses, which is always a learning experience in clothes manufacturing (so pay attention!). What can be done, what can’t be done, and most importantly with off-the-rack, how to think about creative solutions to your wardrobe issues.

    “A lot of my stuff has either been made-to-measure or tailored. I have been lucky in that I have always lived close to cheap alterations tailors…

    This Hickey rugby shirt, for example, fit well off-the-rack but had a very limp collar. I had a rarely-used oxford shirt laying around so I removed the collar [with a seam ripper] and had my local seamstress sew it on the shirt. Now it stands much better and I’m wearing the shirt more often (and more confidently).”


    I love Tito’s timepiece selection.

    Similar to my Montblanc, his Sinn chronograph is proportional in size to his wrist and can be dressed-up (see look 1) or dressed-down.

    If you’re going to invest a few stacks on a luxury watch, that’s the smartest way to do it.


    As a fellow basketball player, Tito knows the difference between basketball shoes and sneakers.

    Leave the high-top tri-color Lebron’s for the court, and invest in some simple, low-cut, monochromatic sneakers for the weekend runaround.


    • Grey Wool Driver Cap by Gant x Bastian
    • Grey Leather Jacket by CP Island
    • Navy Polo Shirt by Hickey Rugby
    • Khaki Cargo Pants by Incotex
    • Watch by Sinn 103A
    • Brown Leather Sneakers by Cole Haan x Nike

    3. Evening Investment


    Speaking of custom clothing, the industry goes beyond office suits and shirts.

    “This leather jacket was made at my friend’s now sadly defunct shop, Teddy Boy. We played soccer together and I always like the stuff they turned out so I sketched up a jacket, based somewhat losely on the Perfecto… He had some amazing reindeer leather, which is comparable to Lamb with regards to comfort and pliability, but is a lot more resilient…so he made it happen.”


    In the custom world, it’s not just about perfect fit. You can also co-design a one-of-a-kind piece exactly how you dreamed it up.

    If you’re thinking about making a potentially life-long investment in a quality leather piece, for example, this makes sense.

    Again, it’s about quality over quantity: better to have one beautiful leather that you wear day-in and day-out for a decade, than having 3-4 cheap leather jackets that you don’t love and eventually feel the need to replace.


    Another great example of simple, low-top, monochromatic sneakers.

    Get some.


    • Black Hat by Street Vendor
    • Black Leather Jacket by Teddy Boy LES Custom
    • White T shirt by Todd Snyder
    • Blue Jeans by Tim Hamilton
    • Watch by Sinn 103A
    • Black Sneakers by Puma Black Label

    Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Tito for participating!

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Re

      This was a great post. Would you happen to have recommendations for a similar style leather jacket?

    • Ty

      double break with the pants? Dude, roll those things up……sloppy!

    • Josh

      Hey TSB team, what do you think about light suede monk shoes with chino shorts? Cheers.

    • Colin

      Those Berluti’s in look #1 required a post-viewing change of undergarments.

    • Oliver

      I haven’t felt the need to comment on a shoot before but I absolutely loved this one. Classic pieces, perfectly tailored in a manner which is stylish without losing a masculine edge. Top class!

    • chris d

      Really great post. You featured someone with great taste+style. This drove home the point of realizing I need to alter more of my clothing. I’m similarly proportioned, but slimmer so I can’t fit a large in anything and a medium throws me in his boat (well fit but too short!).

    • http://dapperadvisor.tumblr.com Akil M

      Once again this is an outstanding post. I enjoyed all three looks but most importantly that custom made leather jacket. Although I will always be a fan of pocket squares and other accessories I really appreciated the first outfit because of the nonchalant yet elegant style it exudes.

    • http://undefined Vidal

      I really enjoyed this post. I always look for any features on athletic, tall or muscular guys because those are the most helpful to me, standing 6’8″ and over 3bills. You allude to Tito’s athletic frame and longer than average arms, but it is hard to even tell since everything fits him so well, and there is no point of reference or comparison in the pictures. He could be 5’7″ or 6’7″ but nothing gives it away, which is good, but out of curiosity, I would like to know his height etc.
      As always, amazing post!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Vidal. Tito is 6’4″

        • http://undefined Vidal

          Thanks for the reply Dan! That puts things more into perspective.

    • BF

      Good stuff here.
      I have a similar athletic build and sadly don’t have the patience or $$ to blow to get everything altered.

      • Brent Kuz

        Do a little here and there it is well worth it! Most places are pretty cheap especially if you build a good relationship with the tailor. The expense isn’t much and it is well worth the investment!

    • Gazman

      Love his ‘less is more’ philosophy. I see too many dandies on the web who just pile on the accessories as if too many is barely enough – and that includes so-called style icons like the Rubanacci and Elkan dudes. Its like: pocket square exploding out of pocket – tick; tie bar – tick; lapel broach – tick, spectacle frame hanging out of top pocket (even though they have 20/20 vision) – tick; scarf stuffed into hip pocket and hanging out – tick; fedora on head – tick; neck-tie tied in a moronic way with back blade hanging longer than front- tick; a dozen beady bracelets on wrist – tick…and on it goes. They end up looking like they should be in a circus.

      • http://www.perfectgentlemansa.blogspot.com Mxolisi

        Truth to power. Preach!!!

    • cam

      1st pic on 1st page is timeless…put that in black and white and you couldn’t pinpoint the decade…perfect

    • John

      Great tailoring on the suit. I’m glad he’s not wearing high waters like most of the features on here. And the pants are reasonably tapered. Not super skinny and tight like a lot of peeps.

    • TO

      Love the simplicity of his looks- it is obvious every item he wears is well curated. Great golf jacket in look number two.

      Really neat that he has had these unique clothing experiences, like the story behind that beautiful leather jacket. Kudos, Mr. Hill!

    • Ike

      That leather jacket is great. I looked up Teddy Boy Custom and it looks like its closed. Are there any other stores in NYC that you would recommend for custom leather jackets?

    • http://marcelvos.tumblr.com Marcel

      Might wel be the most stylish subject ever covered here…

      • Joseph

        Well, that depends. Do you count Dan as a subject?

    • Sergio

      This is AWESOME on so many levels. From the suit to the casual to the leather look screams him. Nothing looks forced and everything is on point!

    • John B

      I’m not really sure about that hat, but the leather jacket is perfect!

    • Blard

      Very clean style. I like it.

    • AK

      Hooooooly Hell. Those are some fantastic looks.

    • Jerome

      Phenomenal post, such confident dressing.

    • Simos

      After reading this post I feel the URGE to get my own custom made leather jacket! Damn you tsmen!

      Just kidding, Great job as always.