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ServiceIt's not just a word. It's an obsession...

Any retailer can sell clothes, but shopping should be a pleasurable experience. For nearly 30 years, we've built our reputation on making our customers happy. It begins when you are greeted at the door and continues even after the final pressing. We allow you to pick out the perfect garment and leave the details to us.

Our name was built on continuously making our customers look good. For years our customers have been the best dressed at many social gatherings and have not neglected to come back and make sure we knew it. It's simple, our main objective is to make you look and feel your best everyday and for every occasion. Why not, it's what we do best!

Who's Your Tailor?

I bet you never thought that you'd even need a tailor, let alone be asked to provide a reference.

But here you are thinking about fit. Maybe those days of grabbing a suit off the rack and only having to shorten the trousers and sleeves are gone.

That happens.

You're a little older and looking more ... let's say "affluent." That comes with working lunches.

Or maybe you're a little barrel-chested. That comes from working out at lunches.

Then again, you may look like Jimmy Stewart. In which case being well-tailored should be a given.

Here are a few things we've learned working with Italian-born and trained tailor Franco Ambrogi, owner of Franco's Fine Clothier, in Richmond, VA.

"Fit is everything," says Franco. "Without a good fit, the most expensive suit isn't going to wear well, feel comfortable or worst of all, look good on you. When you spend the money for a suit, you want to look as good in it as you can."

So how do you stack upin one of the trickier items to fit correctly, the suit coat?

In every better men's store you'll find a three way mirror that let's you see the back of your coat while you're thinking about color and whether the sleeves are too long. Take a moment and turn slightly to your left. Now you should be able to see your back reflected in the right wing of the mirror.

Look at the collar of your coat. Is it too large? Does it hang off to one side or the other? Or both? Then it needs to be shortened. That means taking it off the coat and doing some tailoring work before it is sewn back on. The deconstruction is the important point here. Many shops will apply a little steam and shrink the collar so that it fits tighter around the neck. It's cheaper and will last at least until your next cleaning. Then you're back to looking like you borrowed someone else's coat.

Look again. Does the coat hug your neck like your shirt collar? Even when you move your arms? Then you're in pretty good shape. If it rides up around your ears, there's probably not a lot you can do about it -- this is an armhole issue and you may want to try a different brand of suit. Pick a more expensive one, it probably fits better at the get go. Yes, you get what you pay for. Sometimes.

And then there's custom... but that's a different article.

Next check out the shoulders -- more specifically the space between your shoulder blades. Are there any ripples there? Do they run horizontally or is there enough excess fabric to make a pleat down the middle? We're aiming for smooth with a little play around the shoulder blade -- that's called drape and it lets you move your arms. Do the arms hang straight from the shoulder or do your deltoids stand out from the fabric so much that you can read your tattoo? As burley as that makes you feel, it's not a good thing. If this is the case, you need the next size up.

Last but not least, look at the seat. If the coat has a center vent, is it spread wide open? If so, it needs to be shortened, closed or have the "skirt" altered. It's easier than sticking to the diet anyway.

Alright, facing the mirror, look at the chest and waist. Are there mysterious ripples around the waist or pulling around the button? The way that the jacket fits your chest relates to the way that your shoulders are built. The waist.... well you can probably guess. And notice that we say "button." Depending on the cut, you may button the top two, but usually it's just the middle button on a three button. Button just the top button on a two button. As a general rule of thumb, double breasted suits either button at the number two button or the bottom button on the right row.

Sleeves. They're too long. Try to have them altered to show at least a half inch of your shirt cuff.

Once you've been properly tailored you start to really understand the appeal of the well-tailored suit and sport coat. No body is perfect, but that doesn't mean you can't look damned good.

Your clothes say a lot about you.   The least we can do is make sure that they fit.

At Franco's, our primary goal is to serve our customers.  One way that we do this is through our on-site alterations.  Our expert tailors will make sure that every item you buy will feel custom-made.  We offer free alterations on regular priced items at the time of purchase, but we can also alter other items from your wardrobe for a very reasonable charge.  We also add the finer touches to personalize your purchases, such as monogramming for jackets and shirts.  At Franco's, details make a difference.