How to Get Everything Custom-Made for You in Philly

Your guide to going bespoke.


Norman Porter’s Kensington workshop. | Norman Porter.

Off-the-rack doesn’t always cut it the age of custom everything. Here, six local services, from artisanal cobblers to jewelers, that forgo mass production in lieu of the ultimate luxury: made-to-order.

For Shoes: Perry Ercolino // Bucks County’s poshest cobbler, Perry Ercolino has been handcrafting made-to-order men’s shoes for three decades. The process starts with a consultation—at Ercolino’s workshop, your home or even your office—during which he’ll make custom molds of your feet. Choose from a bevy of styles and materials (from calfskin to saltwater crocodile) and, after about sixteen weeks and a final fitting, you’ll be a bespoke footwear convert. Starting at $3,850; 51 East Oakland Avenue, Doylestown, 215-348-5885.

For Jewelry: Bario Neal // All of the pieces by this boutique jeweler—which is committed to sustainability and fair labor practices—are effortlessly hip. Fill out their comprehensive custom design questionnaire (bezel or prong set? High-polish or satin?) to pinpoint your vision. And what you dream up is what you’ll get: They’ll—quite literally—go to the ends of the earth to snag the perfect stone. (They recently hunted down an ethically sourced aquamarine from Tanzania). Starting at $1,500; 700 South 6th Street, Bella Vista, 215-454-2164.

For Skincare and Makeup: Salon Blush // In her cute, kitschy salon, medical esthetician and beauty wizard Alanna Ralph will assess your skin for free and then whip up a custom assortment of all-natural masks, toners, serums and creams. Once your complexion is clear and glow-y, she’ll create lipsticks, glosses, eye shadows, tinted moisturizers and foundations that work with your skin tone. Come summer (and subsequent sunbathing), visit the salon for a for a free color adjustment. Starting at $12; 2407 East York Street, Fishtown, 215-634-1606.

For Denim: Norman Porter Co. // Helmed by brothers Mike and David Stampler, Norman Porter Co. serves up a frill-free assortment of handmade jeans. Using American and Japanese denim, the rugged duo will tweak and customize their cult-favorite fits to your measurements and tastes, filing away your preferences for future buys. Tip: Visit the workshop to see the pair in action and get first pick of limited-edition twills. Starting at $325; 150 Cecil B. Moore Avenue #301, Kensington, 267-908-4694.

For Light Fixtures: Bahdeebahdu // Sculptor Warren Muller repurposes everyday objects—think taxidermy, hubcaps and bowling pins—into spectacular pseudo-chandeliers. He’ll assess your space, consider color restrictions and object suggestions, and leave you with a one-of-a-kind, in-home art installation. Starting at $6,000; 1522 North American Street, 215-627-5002, Kensington.

The Lazy Man’s Bespoke: Todd Shelton // Choose a range of pant and/or shirt sizes online, and New Jersey-based Todd Shelton will mail you a comprehensive “Fit Kit” of samples that illustrate different fits and cuts (i.e. one pant leg is straight, the other tapered). Try it all on, note your size and style preferences on the included form, and mail it all back. Use these choices to order from the selection online. Then tell your tailor it’s over. Fit Kit is free with a $150 refundable deposit; pants and shirts start at $150.