ASK DAN: Re-Weaving, Content x Commerce, Fabric Swatches

March 30th, 2016


Patching a Fabric Hole

Q: So I bought a new suit, with the tags still on, at a discounted price ($4500 original down to $430 – great find) but there is a tiny hole or cut in the fabric on the back of one of the sleeves. What are my options to fix this? I’ve taken a similar a problem to my regular tailor in SF, but wasn’t thrilled with the results. I think something like a stitch over the hole is almost cool like a scar, you know, give it some character… But what would you do? What are some of the options?

A: A Frankenstein scar on a $4500 suit?? C’mon my man. I can’t think of a better way to let everyone know that you bought the suit in the damaged goods section, other than wearing it to the grocery store and slamming down canned goods to pick-up the dent discount. A tailor is not what you’re looking for here. What you need is a fabric re-weaver. These magicians have a rare, specialized skill that can fix holes in many different types of fabrics. It’s not a perfect science – there is usually a visible discoloration or texture difference (especially on plain worsteds – it works better on textured fabrics), but it’s your best bet for sure. I don’t know the SF fabric magician market, but you could always send it to these guys. Good luck brother.

The Evolution of AoS

Q:  Hey Dan! Personally I love the direction that you are taking with AOS. What you said in your interview with Gentleman’s Journal about making content tangible and experiential definitely struck a chord with me. There is so much “inspiration” out there (instagram, tmblr, blogs, etc) – it’s refreshing to see someone combining original content with online service & experience for guys who are looking for more than just visual cues… With that said, it seems you’ve been getting a lot of push-back on the content side (from blog commenters who I assume are not tailoring clients of yours). As an entrepreneur myself, I’m interested in your long-term strategy, and more so, how you handle the push-back on some of these changes you are introducing to your loyal followers… Maybe good fodder for a written piece?

A: Very thoughtful and well written question, sir. Thank you. The truth is, there is no such thing as free content. Creating great content (well styled & shot editorials with written substance) is time consuming and takes a great team. The publications and influencers you follow have to make a living, otherwise they will take their talents elsewhere or find real jobs. For bloggers, that means selling more ads… Increasingly, online ads have become more aggressive (multiple large banner spaces, screen takeover pop-ups, pre-roll videos, etc) to the point where the ads that pay decently are no longer adjacent to the content, but within the content itself. This is when the pure content play started to go down hill for me – when “sponsored content” became the monetization model. I couldn’t stomach doing another “advertorial” for Kenneth Cole or Banana Republic. Our vision was always bigger than selling ads for big box brands – and it always centered around the end consumer (how could we create the best experience, with the most residual benefits, to our readers). The answer came from combining years of experience blogging with years of experience in the bespoke menswear business – in order to fill the giant hole in the market for actual tailoring expertise online (instead of “self-measuring”) and create a platform where content and commerce could be combined in a meaningful way. We set out to create a “full service” experience where you can not only learn, interact and find inspiration – but also hire us as your personal tailors, stylists and wardrobe planners. It’s about combining services into one convenient platform… Anyway, this is a short answer to a complex question! More on this later…

Fabric Swatches

Q: Dan, I’m very interested in a couple of your suits! Having a suit personally fit by you has been a goal/dream of mine ever since I started following you years ago when you were working in the bespoke shop… My question: I know you operate exclusively online, but is there somewhere I can see/feel the fabrics in person? I just want to confirm the color/texture before jumping in… Maybe you can send me some swatches?

A: Absolutely. Shoot us an email ( with the fabrics you’re thinking about, and we’ll have them sent over right away. I can also help you put together fabric combinations or a little capsule wardrobe to get you off to a good start. Looking forward to having you as a client!

Thanks, as always, for reading. Got a question? Hit me here

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


Take me to the Shop

  • Miguel

    I’m looking forward to more editorial articles but it comes a time when you have to bear fruit to your hard work, years of blogging and learning has brought AOS to what it is now, keep up the good work and make that money.

    I do miss the old articles though, good luck everyone.

  • Seth

    Why not feature a blend of advertorials / AOS suit promotions and content like the site used to run? Why has everything else suddenly died to be replaced exclusively by AOS suits?

    • Sean

      Time is a limited resource and is always strained most at the start of a new business venture. People with the experience and knowledge to create blog posts in the old style or people with the experience and knowledge to run other parts of the new business to free the old people up to create blog posts in the old style are not dime-a-dozen, can-be-instantly-found-and-hired. It will shake itself out. Just take literally ten seconds to think about it before complaining and it should all make sense.

      • Seth

        It doesn’t require any extra time to swap out an AOS pair of pants for some jeans. Or to model an AOS vest and trousers with a chunky cardigan, or a Barbour jacket, or a Schott leather piece. The idea is simply to integrate, as opposed to feature AOS suits to the exclusion of other brands and styles.

        The old site essentially did this to a lesser extent with Michael Andrews Bespoke suits, and in the process served as a fantastic platform for that brand. I was offering a suggestion, there is really no need to get defensive and shut yourself off to productive ideas.

        • Sean

          I don’t work for AoS or have any editorial input, so whether or not (I’m not) I’m “defensive” or “shutting myself off” isn’t really relevant, but to provide more context to my remarks: What you just suggested was not at all clearly conveyed upthread if that is what you truly meant.

          Because of this, I (and possibly to the editorial team; unclear feedback is unlikely to lead to the desired results) conflated your comment with the majority of other complaints since the rebranding which have been focused on the lack of profiles of people with strong individual style, which of course is a whole ‘nother load of things than switching out a sweater here and there (which I highly doubt would stem the complaints).

          If your reply here had been your original post, I wouldn’t have bothered saying anything at all.

          I’ll fully admit my last sentence in my original post was venomous, but especially as a businessmen it was growing quite tiresome to read so many complaints about the current site content—complaints which were for the most part incredibly dismissive of the intelligence and capability of the AoS staff and completely ignorant of even basic business concepts.

          • Seth

            In that case allow me to clarify: in the TSBmen days, the vast majority of the site’s content was editorial pieces featuring Dan, Towni, Wes, Marwan, Alex, and other friends of the team. Most, if not all, of the tailored clothing featured was produced by Michael Andrews Bespoke until relatively recently.

            In the latter TSBmen stages and the previous AoS iteration, spotlight articles on various men with unique style became part of the site’s regular content. This, I realize, is difficult to continue to produce as the team makes suits.

            However, I see no reason why the same editorial content featuring the TSBmen / AoS team and their friends should be discontinued. Simply replace the Michael Andrews Bespoke suits with AoS suits. Increase the relative proportion of tailored clothing featured to a level that allows for other pieces to shine through while maintaining a healthy promotion of the AoS brand, and it will be the best of both worlds.

            In the old days, MAB benefited tremendously from the interplay featured between their suits and other pieces that the average man had in his closet. More people are inspired by a blazer and jeans or trousers and a henley than they are by the jacket-and-tie looks featured almost exclusively these days. AoS could leverage the same effect, if only the editors were so inclined.

            • Steve E

              Forgive me for my input in this conversation. I want to defend Dan and continue the conversation or debate on the matter. I’m not a regular poster but I felt compelled to write in. Forgive the bad punctuation and spelling as well.

              The previous site (TSBmen) seemed VERY reader friendly because a lot of the content was aimed towards a demo that wanted to look good, but didn’t want to spend too much. (seems like this is you) It became much more of a stop to gain inspiration (Like Dan mentioned in his response) and less a place where people were buying. One of the biggest things with online businesses is converting a reader to a buyer. In the later stages he began doing that with the EBay finds and featuring them in posts. Everything was great. And then like most people, Dan evolved.

              Everyone style is an evolution. Dan’s explanation is very telling with the dismissal of advertorials. I can recall the one with some boots (Aldo?) that he style and got some serious hate for them. Everyone has his or her own opinions on the content. Dan is the one who has to produce it. This takes hour upon hour of work and dedication. Why see the fruits of your labor pushed to someone else?

              At one point Dan, like most entrepreneurs realized that to have a business you need to treat it like a business. He invested in himself by going to SVA in their menswear program. He invested in upgrading the website and eventually he felt it was in his best interest to steer his audience through an authentic experience that he could control. Instead of MAB benefiting from his readers and clients, He could further his business and aspirations as a designer.

              While I agree that the content of the site has changed, so has his demographic. He’s trying to introduce the loyal readers that have been with him for all these year into loyal customers. Not just as customers, but to help them keep grow stylistically. That’s been the point of the site all along. I think what he’s done is something to learn from. Like style your goals for your business need to change as you grow.

  • TO

    Nice to see positive feedback start rolling in :)