To see a truly elegantly attired man strolling about is rare. Though, when you spend your entire day discussing menswear, fitting guys, perusing men’s clothing websites and writing about style you can almost get lost in a viral bubble. To truly understand and appreciate the finer points of menswear, you have to come from behind the desk, put the laptop to sleep, close Instagram, and step outside. Find an expert and pick his brain. One can’t afford to get lost on web forums all day!
Recently, I was able to sit down with Angel Ramos, owner, founder and sartorial consultant of Angel Bespoke, on a lovely-but-not-ungodly-hot-yet, Miami Saturday.
Through the course of my nearly two-hour chat with the 2010 Esquire magazine “Best Dressed Real Man in America,” I couldn’t help but appreciate the vigor and passion with which he discussed everything from collar bands to trouser openings. (Note to self: when you love something, it needs to be apparent)
Miami’s fashion stock is rapidly rising. While it may not be the American fashion mecca that New York (Ramos’ hometown) is, that hasn’t slowed this transplant’s ascent from a clothier at Astor & Black to establishing his own label and making a name for himself, not just in sunny South Florida, but across the country.
“It’s hard work,” said Ramos about the grind of running his own menswear line, which includes crisscrossing the country to fit his diverse clientele. Right now, Ramos specializes in jackets, trousers, suits, shirts and belts, all custom. All the fabrics come from Italian mills and include Ariston, Loro Piana, and Vitale Barberis among others. Through social media, Ramos has built a sizable following, which serves to expand his reach. Followers comment on everything from the fabrics of his jackets to the beaded bracelets next to his IWC Portuguese.
A line of accessories is in the works as well. While the usual turnaround time for suiting may be a few weeks, it’s well worth the wait. In my experience, made-to-measure and custom is always worth the extra wait.
The impatient admirers of Ramos’ signature style will just have to learn to wait. ”I’m not in a hurry to put out a ready-to-wear line,” Ramos remarked while discussing the benefits of custom clothing.
Going fully custom is advantageous at every level. There’s a psychological and practical benefit of a piece being made entirely for you, your frame, your personality. Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to take inspiration and cues from others. Ramos’ clients come to him for certain a certain aesthetic that he, himself, promotes daily; natural shoulders (pictured above), slim, cuffed and tapered trousers, and two-button collar with a higher collar band, his signature, that stands up to any bespoke jacket. There’s a certain ease, a nonchalance about his clothing; the very definition of the oft-used term from menswear enthusiasts sprezzatura. The double-barrel cuffs and left undone, a few buttons on the jacket sleeve and unfastened. It lends an subtle air of informality to his look.
Through his line, in person and through his social media presence the goal is a simply one.
“I want to help men dress elegantly.” One needn’t spend time and money gathering empirical data to notice a dearth of truly well-dressed men. It’s been a half century slide from a blazer and odd trousers to cargo shorts and basketball sneakers for an evening out.
Ramos and I agreed, rather emphatically, that a jacket is always required when going out for dinner. It’s a clean look that indicates a level of respect for the occasion as well as one’s company. The same goes for airline travel.
“You never know who you’re going to meet,” said Ramos regarding his approach to dressing for all occasions. A simply blue blazer can elevate most looks with ease. For the more advanced, try some of the more bold jackets Ramos has made, paired with neutral trousers or dark jeans. Ramos, much like myself, attempts to keep his wardrobe simple. His closet is bursting with white and light blue dress shirts, with a sprikling of pink and gingham. The pocket squares are equally understated. “My wife always say ‘here, why don’t you try this one (usually a color)’ and I think about it, but then always reach for the white one.” What that creates is a consistent and immaculately tailored look, crucial to building a brand.
Next up for Ramos is the annual Pitti Uomo, the bi-annual menswear trade show in Florence. This is the men’s equivalent to fashion week. This is a gathering where the most influential voices in men’s clothing converge. That’s in June, for now, it’s back to the planes, back to fittings, back to helping men dress elegantly, one at a time.
For inquiries about his line, contact Ramos at Angel@AngelBespoke.com