They say the suit makes the man, but is it really that simple? Put George Clooney in an Armani three-piece that’s five sizes too big and he’s going to look like a schlub. The suit needs to be pressed, cleaned and sharp. It needs to fit the wearer — both metaphorically and literally. If those boxes are checked, then the suit can indeed make all the difference in the world.
That’s the premise behind Sharp Dressed Man. The Baltimore-based 501c-3, run by father-son duo Seth and Christopher Schafer, gives suits (for absolutely free) to men who are applying for jobs. Often, these men are homeless or recently out of prison.
But it’s not just the giving of the suits that makes Sharp Dressed Man so special. It’s the fact that the Schafers — both expert tailors used to making suits for $1200 each — fit each suit to the man who will be wearing it. It’s this bespoke experience that makes their organization so special.
“I feel that it’s giving these guys a chance to see themselves in another light,” Chris Schafer says. “Guys will come in in their street clothes and as we take measurements and start to pick an outfit and talk about the importance of fit and they start to choose clothes… by the time they come out of a fitting room it’s like emerging from a cocoon.”