City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Looking Sharp

How Commonwealth Proper suits the individual

Years ago, Craig Schroeder visited England for the first time and found himself inspired by London's Savile Row, a district known for men’s bespoke tailoring. Though he’d grown up in a stylish family, including a brother who modeled haute couture, Craig hadn’t quite grasped the nuances of how clothing looks on the individual until that moment. “Everyone has something they don’t love about themselves, and custom clothing can minimize what you don’t like and highlight what you do like,” he points out. “I saw people getting measured, getting outfitted for their body types — and it was imprinted on my brain.”

Though he had his hands full as an attorney, Craig returned from Europe with new plans for his clothing company, a side business he’d maintained to keep his creativity sharp. The new company, Commonwealth Proper, started with men’s customized shirts and soon forayed into other sartorial elements as well. “I thought to myself, a shirt is just one part of a wardrobe puzzle for men,” he says, “so we started creating other elements: jeans, tuxedos, anything a man would wear, all through American tailors we have either hired or contracted.”

Today, Commonwealth Proper has four locations, including Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and the flagship in Craig’s native city of Philadelphia. Men who shop with Commonwealth Proper are provided an elite experience. Shopping is done by appointment, and each of the four locations delivers the brand promise. Because the company uses its own fabric and creates its own seasonal collections, nothing is mass produced. 

Craig and his business partner, Doug Martin, who is also a longtime friend, both ensure the company adheres to its original vision: each tailored piece is completely American-made — no fast fashion and no cheap fabric. “It’s one of our tenets,” Craig says. “I don’t know if the average consumer cares about it, but we do.” 


Dress for the Occasion: Expert Advice 

Casual Lunches 

“Because it’s a laid-back lunch spot, wearing something that speaks to this relaxed atmosphere is best,” says Craig. “Think jeans, a t-shirt and one of our Citizen Coats, which is essentially a “chore coat” —  an unstructured, patch-pocketed jacket that is versatile.” 

Weekend Dinners

“Since many spots are dark, moody and elevated, your clothes should be too,” Craig notes. “I favor a black dress shirt with black buttons, navy or black blazer paired with dark jeans (yes, we make custom denim) and chelsea boots. Think a little New York City, badass and exciting. It’s also a great jumping-off point to your next spot post-dinner.”

Special Events 

In such a situation, you want to look your best,” Craig points out. “A sharply tailored suit (try one of our “tech suits” made from Swiss-imported stretch fabric), t-shirt and sneakers works.”


Businesses featured in this article