Walking along Caroline Street towards the train tracks in Downtown Fredericksburg, you might have noticed a storefront with a unique name – Aspetto – meaning “appearance” in Italian. Stepping into the store you are greeted with rows of suit jackets, blazers, ties, an antique table with a colorful array of pocket squares neatly folded and comfy leather seating beneath the Aspetto sign. At first glance it is a fine menswear store but Aspetto is much more.
In a time where bespoke is used synonymously with anything that is “made to order,” Aspetto adheres to the traditional meaning of the word by creating affordable custom suits and shirts tailored to fit any gentleman. One of these custom pieces would be the perfect gift for any Dad this Father’s Day.
Sitting down with Alex, the Design Consultant at Aspetto, was similar to taking a class in the world of menswear. Offering hundreds of fabrics for shirts and suits, a man can customize both according to his measurements and his taste. Add a monogram to his cuff, add a pocket on the left side, sew his name into the suit jacket – all of these are customizations that can easily be done.
Alex also began discussing the difference in an off-the-rack suit and a custom suit. The biggest difference between the two is the construction inside the suit between the fabric layers. Aspetto uses horsehair canvas that provides more structure and prevents sagging, while most off-the-rack suits use a fused interlining. This ensures that a suit will last anywhere from 5-15 years depending on wear and care of the suit.
The suits also are made piece by piece according to the measurements and selected style by Master Tailors in Aspetto. A little touch – Aspetto uses working buttons on each suit coat and jacket.
“Before you set a foundation, you put in the rebar –
horsehair is the rebar in our suits.” – Alex, Aspetto Design Consultant
The process of selecting a custom shirt or suit is of the utmost importance as quality customer service is non-negotiable to Aspetto Founder, CEO and President – Abbas Haider and to COO – Robert Davis (both UMW Grads).
Each suit consultation is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, during which, the client makes their selections, has measurements taken and is informed of everything regarding their custom piece. The design consultant will help pick out the proper color shirt and tie combination for the suit if you choose.
Interesting fact: if you are purchasing a custom suit, the client will have 18 measurements taken – add a custom shirt and that total jumps to 25!
Aspetto goes the extra mile for their clients, and Abbas, Robert and Alex all agree that there is no greater feeling that seeing someone feeling confident in their new shirt or suit.
“You buy a suit from anywhere else you are a sale – here you are a guest.”
– Robert Davis
Abbas, Alex and Rob – Aspetto
Aspetto is more than just suits and shirts, they have been dubbed “America’s First Bulletproof Clothing Line.” With great innovation, they worked with ballistic manufacturers to develop suit linings that would be “sharp looking attire that would save your life.”
A large majority of their business now is in government contracts providing suits, clothing and body armor to the Department of Defense, Metro Transit Police, Rappahannock Regional Jail and the NSA – to name a few.
Abbas, Rob and their team have worked tirelessly to help make a name for Aspetto throughout the world. This small, local Fredericksburg business isn’t stopping and they are continuing to push the boundaries.
Head over to their website to read a fabulous article on how the desire for entrepreneurship, hard work and great ideas propelled Aspetto forward.
“Every man should have a well-fitted suit for any occasion.”
– Alex, Aspetto Design Consultant
Stop on in to Aspetto at 619 Caroline Street to talk to Abbas, Rob or Alex about the perfect custom suit or shirt for your favorite Dad and see what makes Aspetto who they are!