DeCarlos Bespoke, A Suits + Menswear Designer in Jersey City

There’s something inexplicably special about slipping on a suit jacket that fits just right as if it were made for you. It adds a personal, unique touch and flair to a look. For those seeking that feeling, DeCarlos Bespoke does just that. DeCarlos Morse, owner of DeCarlos Bespoke, creates a personalized feeling for his customers when they try on their custom-made suit for the first time. It’s so much more than fitting people for a custom sports jacket, shirt, or trouser at Decarlos Bespoke, it’s about the experience.

Located at 150 Bay Street, Unit 919, in downtown Jersey City, right in the center of the Powerhouse Arts District, lies a time capsule of a design shop. This carefully curated antique haven is an old-timey menswear shop that offers one-of-a-kind tailored suits. At DeCarlos Bespoke, good friends and quality clothing are always made the old-fashioned way. 

From Banking to Designing

DeCarlos Morse was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is a Jersey City implant that has called Chilltown his home for over 20 years now. “The decision to move to Jersey City was based on its proximity to New York. I wanted to be able to move in and out of the city easily.” 

DeCarlos’ first experiences with design stemmed from his childhood. “My father worked as a computer operator, but also taught himself how to make his own suits. My mother made her own dresses and drapery.” However, it was Sunday mass that changed his perception of fashion forever. “Everyone was very well-dressed for church on Sunday. The men in the congregation looked very powerful in these colorful suits. They looked so confident in their outfits.” 

But before establishing himself in the suit-making industry, DeCarlos pursued a banking career in Virginia after graduating college.“It was a steady job, and I knew I would live a good life, but it wouldn’t have been a happy life,” he shared with Hoboken Girl. “I realized that it wasn’t my passion, I didn’t have a love for it, and decided to switch gears. I was very hesitant to pursue this new career, and asked myself how I could make a living out of it. But by that point, I had fallen deeply in love with it, it’s my creative outlet.”

In fact, while working at the bank, DeCarlos spent his nights selling suits for a company called Britches of Georgetowne, a well-respected brand. 

Post-corporate America, DeCarlos landed a position at Dunhill, a British luxury menswear design company that operated out of New York. “I started at that company from the ground up. During my five years there, I went from sweeping floors to selling their clothing, and finally to learning how to make the suits. I was fortunate enough to work directly under the head tailor and learned a lot about how to build a suit from scratch, the bespoke way,” he shared.

In 2004, DeCarlos took what he knew about suit making, put his own twist on it, and launched DeCarlos Bespoke. He initially landed a storefront on Monmouth Street where he operated out of up until a year ago and then moved to Bay Street.

It may seem impossible to believe, but there is a small team that pumps out all of the designs and marketing outreach, and that’s DeCarlos and Karen. “It’s just me and Karen who has been with me for many years. I have to change that because we could use the extra help. I had seven employees at one point but decided to clean house and start from scratch. We’re looking for suit makers, tailors, and social media,” he explains.

Bespoke Products

If you’re wondering what “bespoke” means, the term has been used for years in the design industry, it translates to “made for specifically you by us from scratch,” DeCarlos explains.

DeCarlos creates suits that will never go out of style. The classic construction methods allow for a timeless wardrobe staple that will likely outlive you. The cloth, silhouette, and style are chosen by the customer. DeCarlos takes all of that into consideration, including who the customer is at the core {their personality, quirks, and lifestyle}to create a one-of-a-kind suit. 

For those who aren’t looking for custom clothing, but still want quality pieces, DeCarlos offers a Ready to Wear collection. Customers can book an appointment to browse the designs, try clothes on, and chat with DeCarlos. Items from the collection include suits, sports coats, shirts, trousers, denim, ties, casual hats, scarves, hosiery, and umbrellas. 

If you’re an indecisive shopper or have trouble putting a full outfit together, DeCarlos offers personal styling packages. The first package is the Blueprint which includes six suits, one tuxedo, two sportcoats, one blue blazer, four pairs of trousers, and 16 shirts. The second package is the Bridge, which includes one Monument Avenue Suit, two suits, one sportcoat, one blue blazer, and two shirts.

And luckily, for those who like to social distance in style, DeCarlos also sells $27, made-to-order face masks that would complete any stylish outfit. When ordering, specify in your order notes if the face covering is for a lady or gentleman. 

They are 100% cotton with cotton twill tape binding, an adjustable strap, and buckle closure. The measurements are 7” wide and 6.25” height. The colors come in army green, desert tan, naval blue, coyote brown, and ivory white. “Our face coverings are lightweight, breathable, and designed for comfort. I wanted something that was hands-free,” DeCarlos explains. 

The Process

It takes six to nine weeks to make a bespoke suit, and custom shirts take about one month.Every detail, every stitch, every inch. It all matters. Our suits are built from scratch and are handmade on-site, and we take up to 60 measurements to get everything precisely right,” explains DeCarlos.

DeCarlos is a perfectionist, every detail matters. He shares, “That’s why our fabrics are sourced from some of England’s legendary cloth mills. We use all wool Super 100’s, and 130’s for a clean finish, soft touch, and durable weave.” If you’re looking for something truly unique, DeCarlos has a selection of rare, vintage fabrics from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. 

The Monument Avenue Blue Suit Collection is something to take note of, as well. DeCarlos explains, “The blue suit is a wardrobe staple. It’s my signature suit, my continuity suit. It’s versatile and can be worn to a wedding or a corporate office. We named it the Monument Avenue suit because I used to walk down that street in Virginia with my dog often.”

See More: Hoboken Style: Oran on Washington Street {Men’s Boutique}

It’s All About the Experience

At DeCarlos Bespoke, it’s so much more than just suit shopping. DeCarlos truly provides his clients with a full gentleman’s experience. 

“The first thing I do with potential clients is sit and talk about them, and their personal style over a glass of bourbon. It’s important for me to grasp their personality, and who they are. It’s also important that I create a space where they feel free to express their thoughts and move around freely,” DeCarlos shared.

Beyond interacting with his clients, the unique experience crafted at DeCarlos Bespoke is also communicated through the design of the space. Every piece of furniture and decor was hand-picked by DeCarlos during his antique shopping expeditions. Think army-green vintage bikes, antique mirror, a 1920s floor lamp, and even a vintage Singer sewing machine that he works off of.

And the best part is that some of the antique trinkets here are for sale! “It’s something that we just started doing. A lot of people showed interest in the antique pieces that I’ve collected over the years, so we decided to start selling some of them,” he explains.

His country-style, dapper, neutral-colored aesthetic also translates through his website and Instagram account. On Instagram, you can shop his collection, take a sneak peek of his drawings, and admire his impeccably-designed gentleman’s parlor of a workshop. 

And just so you know, DeCarlos has also hosted Bourbon sharing parties for his clients and friends since he opened his initial workshop. “I love bourbon, so I took that and created a way for like-minded people to come together to do a little taste testing, play some gentlemanly games like pool, poker or backgammon, smoke some cigars, and they can take home what they didn’t finish,” he shared. Of course, due to COVID, those parties have been put on hold, but DeCaros shared that he plans to continue them again as soon as he can.

Outside of the Workshop

When he isn’t designing in his shop, DeCarlos likes to hit up his favorite spots around town. “In Hoboken, I love Karma Kafe, it was the first place we went to eat since quarantine,” he shared.“The same people have operated it for years, and it’s the best Indian food around. I like the food and wine at Bin 14. I was a fan of Tutta Pesca as well.” 

Read more: Tutta Pesca in Hoboken Has Closed: What We Know So Far

In Jersey City, he likes to grab a bite at Frankie’s, an Australian restaurant, and one of his favorite local places is Saigon Cafe. He explains,  “I’ve been going there for Vietnamese food since I moved here.” For cocktails, like many of us, he’s partial to Dullboy. “I have a good friend who works at The Archer, and I love the food. It reminds me of my country-style food,” he says. 

DeCarlos isn’t just a suit maker, he’s a creative force that has found his niche in designing. Whether he is designing clothes, a room, or the perfect event, he does it all. At DeCarlos Bespoke, you don’t just get a custom suit, you get the confidence, style, and one-of-a-kind experience that comes with it.

The workshop officially reopened on June 23rd. Appointments are required via email or phone call. Capacity is limited to one customer at a time and face coverings are required for all staff and visitors. 

Have you been to DeCarlos Bespoke? Let us know how your experience was in the comments below!

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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.