Designed to Be Dapper

DeCarlos Morse fashions classic handmade menswear with fine details.

Taylor Made: DeCarlos Morse, owner of Decarlos Bespoke in Jersey City.
Photo by Rose Callahan

A purple-and-crimson-striped sport coat in the window of DeCarlos Bespoke epitomizes this outpost of exquisite cool. Located in Jersey City’s Italian Village neighborhood, the 5-year-old shop is a pocket-square-sized mecca of custom menswear.

In the shop, decorated with photos of Astaire and Sinatra, console radios and framed silk swatches, DeCarlos Morse, 48, and his assistant, Karen Pancho, bring his classic-inspired yet modern two- and three-piece suits to life. The average two-piece is priced around $2,600, depending on the fabric. Using select vintage and new wools from around the globe, as well as high-quality cottons for his signature shirts, Morse, in the bespoke tradition, essentially makes clothes on the customer’s body. We visited with Morse recently to learn more.

New Jersey Monthly: To what do you attribute your sense of style?
DeCarlos Morse:
My parents. My father was always dressed and tailored properly. He pressed his own suits and always had a perfect crease in his trousers. My mother wore the best color combinations and a hat to match.

NJM: What makes DeCarlos’s different from other bespoke shops?
Color and details. We combine modern and bold colors with traditional cuts that are inspired by the ’70s, hence the wider lapels. DeCarlos Bespoke is known for its shoulder. Most people don’t realize, but it makes a big difference in the silhouette. We prefer to design around the customer’s natural shoulders.

NJM: What should men look for when buying bespoke fashion?
Find a tailor who listens and one you trust to style the suit around you and your personality—we have done special details like Rolling Stones patches and traditional Indian fabric for lining. Our customers are a wide spectrum from all walks of life. Many of these gentlemen are young and intrigued by bespoke life. We also have more discerning clientele who have experienced bespoke many times before. They all share one thing: They appreciate suits made with quality craftsmanship and made-to-fit service.

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