Behind the Scenes: A Suit That Fits

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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.


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Simon Crompton is a journalist and a style enthusiast living in London, who blogs at permanentstyle.blogspot.com. He has too many suits.

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Simon, I’m incredibly jealous of you.

    I’ve always loved the thought of sculpting a gorgeous suit out of stunning materials, and you’ve managed to see it all going on for real.

    Can’t wait to hear what you hear about the finished suit.

  2. Christopher says:

    Where would one go about finding and identifying material of the type you are talking about?

    I’ll be a trainee solicitor in London next year and I’ve been thinking about ordering a few suits from A Suit That Fits for a while. If I’m going to spend a lot of money on a bespoke suit, then I’d rather spend a bit more and get the best quality material.

  3. E. says:

    @ Christopher

    Caveat: the suits will not be bespoke. You’re talking about made to measure with the advantage of better cloth. Although I can understand the longing for the best materials, one should keep the following in mind. Once a suit has been made, it needs to settle. Thus, during a month or so worth of use, the cloth will stretch and subsequently it will need to be returned to a tailor for final adjustments.

    I don’t know if the above company offers such a service. If it does not, I would wager a guess that investing in better cloth will not pay dividend, for it will still sag and need adjusting. In my opinion you’d be better off using the best tailor you can possibly afford and using lesser cloth.

    Lastly, for cloth I’d recommend Scabal (and Wain Shiell & Son, but that is owned by Scabal as well).

  4. Christopher says:

    @E
    Thanks for the info, I will check that out. I’ve yet to make up my mind as to what sort of suits I’ll be buying, but I do want to aim high, if only because of the sense of self-confidence it gives you.

    I’ve always found that if I know I look good, then I don’t feel so nervous in new situations. And that applies whether it’s wearing something tight-fitting and ultra fashionable in a club, or wearing my Timothy Everest blazer out to lunch (picked up for £10 from a charity shop).

    Hopefully having a fantastic business suit will have the same effect when I start my Training Contract!

  5. E. says:

    @ Christopher
    It most definitely will. You’ll be amazed by the number of people who will compliment you on your suit(s). You can expect your self-confidence to increase accordingly. ;)

  6. Simon Crompton says:

    Christopher and E – A Suit That Fits does offer a perfect fit guarantee that would extend to adjusting the suit over time.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are the best tailor in London though. And as I have yet to experience either Savile Row or the final suit from ASTF, I can’t make much comparison or make a comment on expensive tailors vs expensive cloth.

  7. Mallhi says:

    Does anyone know where I can find an enlarged picture of the suit displayed with the text? Thank you.