Bespoke Menswear by Cibeline Sariano
by julie hatfield
|Sariano’s trousers come in four styles, with pleated or flat fronts.|
Men who move from off-the-rack to custom rarely go back. Once a man has seen what a custom suit, sport coat, trousers, even a shirt does for his body, he does not want to buy clothes that “sort of” fit ever again. That is why Beacon Hill designer and boutique owner Cibeline Sariano can barely keep up with orders for her new menswear line, launched late last year.
The introduction was quiet and understated: Sariano told only a few friends and family members that she had contracted with Dallas-based custom clothier J. Hilburn to be an “independent style consultant,” working out of her already successful Charles Street women’s boutique, Cibeline, to measure men for her new line of bespoke clothing. The idea started at the age of seven: She has known that she wanted to design for both sexes ever since she was creating clothing for both Barbie and Ken. The impetus came courtesy of the view from her Beacon Hill storefront, where Sariano saw the need for more menswear options— especially suiting—in a neighborhood where casual options prevail.
Customers can choose their fabrics from a large selection of luxury Italian wools, British cottons, and Himalayan cashmeres for the finished garments. (Funny how Sariano’s personal favorites always seem to be those with the highest thread counts.) While the fabrics are similar to those used in other bespoke and luxury lines—Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna use them for their menswear, Sariano notes—the end result at Cibeline is unique in that the boutique takes pains to match plaids. Aligning plaid, striped, and checked fabrics at seams, shoulders, and collars is a complex feat of tailoring that requires more fabric and more work, but the outcome is a much more polished look.
“I know fabric construction,” notes the West Medford resident, who studied fashion design at Syracuse University and worked for Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne and as head designer for Sigrid Olsen before opening her Boston boutique three years ago. As she speaks, she rubs a luxurious charcoal beaded stripe wool between her fingers for a suit she will be finishing in the next few weeks (from start to finish, suits take four weeks; shirts, three). She takes 10 measurements alone for a shirt, and she personalizes jackets and suits according to vents, buttons, pocket styles, lining, and collar choices. Her trousers can be made in classic, tailored, Euro or sport style, with pleated or flat fronts. She offers 125 different shirting fabrics, and each shirt comes with the owner’s monogram inside the collar.
Sariano’s client list now numbers in the thousands, with notables such as Dana Paille, wife of Boston Bruins player Daniel Paille; Channel 4 TV reporter Karen Anderson; Nancy Curtatone, wife of Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who wore her Sariano gown to a White House function; and actress Uma Thurman. This fall she will even pass on her experience to fashion students at Lasell College in Newton.
Prices for shirts, sport coats, trousers and suits range from $89 to $850. In addition to taking measurements at her boutique, Sariano will also fit clients at their office or home. 120 Charles St., 617-742-0244
photograph by Melissa Mahoney (siriano); ashley Jahncke (Shirts)