Tailoring aficionados know that one of the most important parts of the made-to-measure or bespoke process is ‘wearing the suit in.’ A tailor who sends a customer off into the world without apprehension or even a simple ‘see how it goes’ isn’t doing their job properly. If something has been made for your frame, it needs to be worn at least four or five times before a full analysis of the product can be delivered.
I have now worn the mid-grey wool suit from Massimo Dutti Personal Tailoring six times, with only minor pressing applied to the trousers to correct creases obtained through sitting down for extended periods. There was a distinct curl to the body of the jacket when it was first worn that has since flattened out. This was where the front of the jacket would stick out in profile when unbuttoned which, admittedly, was rather disappointing. The waistcoat is also ever so slightly asymmetrical on me when worn, but this is something I have experienced in full bespoke waistcoats too, so it is not particularly surprising.
The ‘Tube test’ (boom, boom) results – raising my arms towards the ceiling bars on the Underground train – were positive. On adjusted OTR suits, the entire body of the suit jacket would shift upwards during the test; bespoke suit jackets, by contrast, would not shift at all. The Massimo Dutti suit did shift slightly in the shoulders, but only by an inch.
An item that needs adjusting is the back of the waistcoat, which is made in the material of the suit lining. It ripples excessively at the top due to the need to secure the buckle rather tightly. This causes a ridge in the top of the back of the jacket, which is unattractive.
The trousers are pretty good. The rise is both elegant and comfortable, and the extra width in the leg means that a seated thigh does not stretch the seams. When worn with braces, they sit a little better on the waist, but generally they look and feel like a job well done.
As far as details are concerned, I am fairly happy although the external breast pocket is a little wide; I think Massimo Dutti should offer the option to reduce this, as it is not quite proportional to my chest width and rather swallows some of my smaller pocket squares. Being a basic made-to-measure suit, it is rather obvious that certain things aren’t up to the standard of a full bespoke. Compared to the majestic horse-hair lapels on my chalk stripe Cad & The Dandy suit, these feel papery and artificial, although no worse than an OTR from places like Ede & Ravenscroft or Hackett.
I would definitely consider another suit from Massimo Dutti Personal Tailoring. The product represents great value for money, considering that it fits well and offers the multitude of options for personalisation in the final product. You would struggle to find a an off-the-rack three-piece suit in 100% Cerruti wool with details like working cuffs and real horn buttons, let alone one that fits well, for less than £400, which means that the Massimo Dutti prices are very attractive.
However, they are also fair. £380 feels about right for the product. If it was £580, I would be a little disappointed; if it was £680-700, I would feel cheated. Some of the fabrics in the premium range command these prices, so I would need to fall utterly in love with a swatch to part with the better part of £1000. I’d like to see more options – including double-breasted and peak lapels – and double-breasted waistcoats, not to mention an increase in the number of basic fabrics to choose from. At the moment, it is rather light on variety and the fabrics are very plain and European; you can forget your thick English chalks and natty window checks.
Fit: 8 out of 10 – pleasing, but not perfect.
Fabric: 9 out of 10 – way above the standard of the high-street.
Service: 9 out of 10 – lightning quick, friendly and efficient.
Quality of finish: 8 out of 10 – elegant, but there are a few kinks.
Overall satisfaction: 8 out of 10 – consideration my trepidation, this is an unexpectedly high score.