With ample opportunities for cleaning or replacing blood-spattered or torn suits, detectives, whose salaries range from $68,000 to $93,000, share tips about favorite designers…
They also rely on Stewart H. Altschuler, known by detectives as the “Suit Man,” for advice. Most of his clients are detectives, and as a visit to his Midtown office suggests, his is no ordinary suit business.
Stewart H. Altschuler, top, is called the ‘Suit Man’ by detectives who rely on him to help them get the right look and fit. At Arnold Hatters, Arnold Rubin, above, reminisced about the homburgs worn by the flamboyant police official Jack Maple.
On one wall is a rack of suit samples and framed letters of appreciation from detectives who have bought them. On another are feng shui candles and mounted martial-arts swords, acknowledging a world of both calm and combat. “I want to make them feel comfortable as soon as they come in,” said Mr. Altschuler, 56. There are no set office hours. Mr. Altschuler operates on call to accommodate detectives after night shifts. He hauls samples to precincts, advising detectives on “power colors” like gray and black.
'Suit Man' keeps cops in style with custom-made suits for NYPD detectives, law enforcement officers - September 20, 2010
When he was growing up in Brooklyn, everyone called him Stew - but these days, he's simply known as Suit Man.
The Bensonhurst-born pitchman travels from precinct to precinct, hawking customized suits to fashion-conscious NYPD detectives.
"I'm the only Suit Man, the one and only, that does what I do," boasted Stewart Altschuler, 57.
His specially designed jackets have side and back slits that allow easy access to weapons - yet hang close to the body to hide the radio, badge, handcuffs and gun that detectives carry.
The pants have a second layer of fabric from the knee down to help keep them from fraying.
"In an Armani suit, you can't move like this," said Altschuler, a martial-arts fanatic with no law enforcement background.
Before detective garb, he sold raincoats.
"My suit's not going to tear and my shoulders are going to go with me when I grapple," Altschuler says. "It's not going to be too tight, and I can block anything, anywhere."
Scrutiny of Incoming Police Commissioner Begins. With His Suits.
Already, talk in the department has turned to reversing Chief O’Neill’s sartorial modesty. Stewart Altschuler, known as the Suit Man for outfitting legions of detectives, said he had received calls from three of those detectives alerting him to the incoming commissioner’s needs.
After appointments with a few chiefs at Police Headquarters on Friday, Mr. Altschuler plans to try to see Chief O’Neill. His specialty — making jackets with enough room to hide a holstered gun — may serve him well with Chief O’Neill, who, in a break from Mr. Bratton, plans to keep carrying his service weapon.
“I’m going to do my very best,” Mr. Altschuler said. “I don’t give up.”