Handmade to Measure

The economy remains shaky, but the bespoke business is looking sharp

On the gritty industrial streets of Chicago’s West Side, 1220 West Van Buren rises from a rust-stained sidewalk beside a filling station. The gilt hotels and oak-paneled clubs of The Loop are a good two miles away. Yet U.S. presidents, corporate titans and movie stars going all the way back to Humphrey Bogart have slipped into the front doors of this address, home of the 96-year-old Oxxford Clothes, each in quest of one article: a bespoke suit that will take six weeks and 20 tailors, placing every stitch by hand, to make.