Spoiler alert: It was pretty effing fun.
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How does one buy jeans for seven-foot-one-inch-tall basketball player Tyson Chandler? You don’t. You make them from scratch at the 3x1 denim boutique in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. “We’ve made jeans for Karlie Kloss, actresses, models, athletes, collectors, billionaires,” says Scott Morrison, co-founder of the custom jeans operation where they let customers fine-tune each pair. “In many cases we work with clients who have every detail in their mind designed. We’ll have to go through multiple rounds of fitting and spend time to get it right. One celebrity who has built 12 to 14 different jeans with us was so exacting, he would ask us to change the threading stitches on different portions of the jeans to be certain stitches per inch.”
When you walk into the 3x1 boutique on Mercer, you’ll see a wall with giant bolts of denim (which includes only 70 of the 250 different types they have in the building), a glass-walled room with a team of cutters and sewers at work, a rack of ready-to-wear, and a million little details from which you can customize your pair: cuts, colors, washes, pockets, buttons, thread, patches….
To make a pair just for you, you have two choices: You can go with the Custom process starting at $625 where you choose your favorite of several designs available that season, find your perfect size, and then customize all the little details. Or you can go for the Bespoke process, which starts at $1500, during which your every measurement is digitized and saved in their database, and you design the exact cut and fit (go ahead, recreate those super-wide bell-bottoms from middle school) plus all the little details. It takes 3 to 4 try-ons and happens to be a favorite among the Silicon Valley millionaires. In the interest of time and sanity, I went with a Custom pair with dreams of a high waist to, you know, hold things in, plus a few cute details to make the whole custom experience… custom.
Here’s how it all went down: