It is always rewarding to get a look behind the scenes of a company. Nothing beats it for an insight into the philosophy, working practices and dedication to detail present in the production process.
I was fortunate enough to peek behind the scenes at A Suit That Fits this week. Having seen my recent review of their customer service and initial measuring session in the Liverpool Street branch, they invited me to come to the headquarters in Bermondsey, where the tailoring and adjustments of suits is also taken care of.
Co-founder David Hathiramani showed me round, as the staff finished off their weekly breakfast meeting. The racks of swatches were there, ready to be given to customers and replenish supplies at the various offices – Liverpool Street, Canary Wharf and of course the roaming tailor that serves the rest of the UK. Suits were waiting to be picked up, and mannequins featured a few special orders.
One of these, a cashmere jacket in a tweedy yellow, caught my eye. It was made for a customer that specifically wanted something made using a bolt of luxurious cloth he had bought. This prompted the question – can anyone do that? Yes, replied David, they can use any material a customer supplies, though obviously most prefer to use the stock offerings A Suit That Fits has on order.
This led to a discussion of the breadth of the company’s offering. After all, the choice of materials ranges from £160 to £320. A ready-to-wear suit would get you material of a similar quality – though obviously it wouldn’t be personal or fit you. How about if I want to spend £500 or £600 on a suit? The kind of material I would get at Zegna, Canali or Ralph Lauren, but made-to-measure for me?
There are plans to offer more luxurious materials at some point in the future, says David. There are also plans to offer fittings with a basted suit if the customer requires – this may help a man of an extreme figure, whether large, thin or muscular. These are only suggestions at this stage, but it’s great to see the company is looking at where it can expand. In the meantime, bringing along a length of your own high-grade cloth might be the best option.
My review of the finished suit on my colleague, its fit and quality, will come in around three weeks when his order arrives. Watch this space.