Founder of Dressed By Christopher Cuozzo- clothing etailer
Born and raised in Woburn, MA
What made you decide to go into your current field?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been into menswear. I’d save my allowance, along with some help from my parents and a great aunt, and would make trips to DeeJay’s and Scribbles at the Burlington Mall.
I wasn’t eyeing fashion as a career. I graduated from Merrimack College with a degree in political science and thought about going to law school. After taking the LSAT I quickly realized I don’t like to read anything that isn’t men’s fashion related. So law school wasn’t going to work. Though I still fantasize about being a sports agent.
Why choose custom?
Especially when it comes to suiting – custom is the only way to go. Custom is all about fit. The biggest most important word in menswear is that three letter F word – FIT. This is where so many guys go wrong. You’re not rowing a boat in your suit, so it’s okay to have it not fit like a windbreaker. Your pant length should not have a full break nor should the crotch go halfway down your thigh, your jacket sleeve should not even come close to hitting your knuckles, your jacket sleeves should not be able to accommodate Hulk Hogan’s biceps if you’re built like Michael Phelps, there’s no need for a man’s suit jacket to allow room for a pregnancy – men can’t get pregnant.
Custom can separate you from the herd. About a year and a half ago I had 9tailors make me a custom short sleeve French cuff shirt. To this day, I’ve never seen anyone else wear one, yet I receive tons of compliments when I wear it.
What would be your style advice to other men?
Confidence. If you don’t have it, get it. You can have all the clothes in the world but if you’re not confident and comfortable then you won’t wear them correctly.
Fit is just as important as confidence. See my answer above on how I feel about that.
Less is more. It’s not about owning 25 dress shirts that sort of fit. It’s about owning the few right timeless pieces or staples, which fit perfectly. Good will is your friend – donate.
It’s about taking it to that next level. Remain from getting bored with your style by throwing a pair of bright blue dress shoe laces on your dark brown wingtips, for example.
Details, details, details. It’s what gets you noticed in all the right ways. On a recent flight to Vegas I was heavily complimented by the flight attendants on my pocket square and again by strangers at the roulette table. Something as simple as a $20 pocket square can make the difference between looking awesome and looking just okay.
Color. Do not fear color. Black is for funerals and formal events. So many guys reach for blues, whites, and black because that’s what’s safe. I’m not saying that guys need to wear fuscia colored shirts, start off with muted pinks to ease yourself into new colors.
Patterns. There’s more to fabric than just solids. Consider a pinstripe suit, or a paisley pocket square, or a bold silk repp tie, or a gingham dress shirt. Don’t be afraid to go pattern on pattern. Rules were made to be broken.
Shoes - so very important. If you can only afford one pair of dress shoes, that is perfectly fine. Invest in a nice dark brown or tan leather pair of lace up dress shoes, I like Grenson shoes. Spend the extra money and get them with a re-craftable leather sole, this way they will last for a very long time with the proper care.
Suit up, and not just on special occasions. If you can only buy one suit, make it a solid medium grey 3 piece suit. Grey can be worn with tan, dark brown, or black leather shoes. White shirts, pink shirts, blue shirts, and purple shirts all go nicely with grey. Grey compliments any skin tone. Just remember, fit reigns supreme. Without the proper fit, it’s all for not.
What is your favorite piece from 9tailors?
How do your wear your 9tailors tweed suit?
The versatile options of a 3 piece tweed suit are plentiful. There are 7, I repeat, SEVEN ways to wear it:
- Pants with a sweater.
- Pants with a shirt, tie, and vest only.
- Jeans with a shirt and vest.
- Pants with a shirt, tie, and jacket.
- Jacket with shirt and jeans.
- Jeans, shirt, tie, vest, and jacket.
- Pants, shirt, tie, vest, and jacket.