Suit Yourself

Talking classic style with Tony Palma, the master tailor at East Greenwich's Blueprint 5


Tony Palma, the master tailor at Blueprint 5, has a passion for the perfect fit. We chatted with him on his life-long commitment to the art of tailoring.

Tell us about your work at Blueprint 5.
I take care of all of the fittings, measurements and tailoring for all of the clients at Blueprint 5. Whether it is a simple hemming of a pair of trousers or a complicated fitting of a made-to-measure garment, I fit all of the clients.

You’ve had a storied career that started in Italy over 60 years ago. What do you love about men’s tailoring?

I have been a tailor since I was a little boy in Italy working as an apprentice.  I started when I was 12 years old and I am 72 now... so for 60 years this has been my life.  I am a perfectionist.  I love to help people look their best by making their clothes fit.  I have been fitting some of my clients for decades – from their first communion suit to their wedding to their children’s weddings. This is what I do.

You’ve seen men’s fashion trends come and go. What trend do you wish would come back? What do you wish would go away
I am not really interested in trends.  The best look is about updated classic.  No matter what, the fit has to be perfect.  Pleated trousers are something that I would like to see return.  It is happening now in Italy.  I think clothes that are too tight and too short look forced and trendy. It’s not a good look for a lot of people.

Fit is everything with suits. Tell us more about your philosophy here.
It depends on the customer.  I will offer my suggestions if it is asked for, but I am here to make the client happy with the fit they want.  Most people want some guidance in this area because they are not certain.

What type of clothing and service can we find at Blueprint 5?
Blueprint 5 offers some of the best clothing from Italy in the area. The owner, Jim Fortier, has a very keen eye for sophisticated fabrics, luxury goods and fit.  I know Jim offers a great deal of fine customer service.  He will meet people in their home, he will stay late or come in early to meet with a client.  In addition we accept outside alterations right in the store for men and women.  Blueprint 5 has everything from beautiful suits and sport coats from Samuelsohn to casual wear from Mason’s and great fitting jeans from Fidelity.

How do you prefer to dress?
I like to be comfortable.  At work I need to move and cannot be too constricted.  When I go out I prefer a jacket and tie.

Blueprint 5

631 Main Street, East Greenwich