Five Questions with the founders of HEYWOOD & RINGO, husband and wife team Jay McPhaul and emmy nominated costume designer Jessica Wenger McPhaul.
When it was time for our publisher, Andy Manz, to update his suit wardrobe, he called upon husband and wife duo dream team and friends, Jay McPhaul and Jessica Wenger McPhaul. Made to measure suits and made to make your life easier. Jessica is a Emmy nominated assistant costume designer for the popular netflix show House of Cards and has been in costume design for the last twelve years. Together with Jay, who is also well versed in the hollywood scene, they are rapidly gaining popularity one seam at a time.
ccl: How did you come up with the concept for H&R?
JWM: It really was born out of necessity. Facing the typical rental tuxedo horror for our wedding a few years ago, I was at my wit’s end. The salesperson at the big box menswear chain we were checking into barely knew how to take my measurements, plus all of the styles there were so dated. My then-future wife Jessica, a costume designer for film and TV, suggested we meet with one of her show menswear suppliers who made tuxes in the latest styles for easily a third of the cost the big chain rentals were producing. After doing our wedding and several of our friends’ weddings through these showbiz clothing suppliers, our families sat us down and said, “You guys are onto something. Make it a business.” We launched our website in early 2017 with several made-to-measure tuxes and suits as well as a custom suit options.
ccl: Explain what made-to-measure means vs. custom.
JWM: Made-to-measure (MTM) is taking your body type and creating a suit from it using a pre-existing pattern. MTM is leagues above buying a suit “off-the-rack” in that once it is tailored, it should to fit you perfectly.
Custom in our business means taking your exact body measurements and crafting a suit that is made only for your body as opposed to using the MTM tenet of matching your measurements to a pre-existing pattern. Custom suits come at a higher price point, but the colors, styles, and fabric choices possible for your look are endless!
ccl: Interesting. Where did you guys get the name “Heywood & Ringo?”
JW: (laughs) One of us (points to Jay) notoriously butchers song lyrics. He actually thought the opening line of Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, which is “Hey where did we go?” was “Heywood and Ringo”! After hearing it, I thought that’s the name of a future company. And here we are.