I was a little anxious today, going with my colleague to pick up his suit from A Suit That Fits. Knowing I was going to review the result; knowing that they knew I was going to review the result.
Overall, though, the impression was very positive. Much of this is down to my colleague’s build. A rugby player with a big chest and shoulders, he has a rather extreme drop from chest to waist: something like 46 inches down to 36.
The standard drop on a suit is six inches. So a 40-inch chest comes with trousers with a 34-inch waist. I need a seven-inch drop (40 down to 33) but this can easily be dealt with in the adjustment of trouser and jacket waist.
Ten inches is a little harder to cater for. And although my colleague has always had his suits adjusted in the waist, it is pretty much impossible to adjust a standard jacket to those kind of proportions.
When I saw the silhouette of the suit from the back, it was impressive. That kind of drop creates a rather statuesque figure in a well-fitting suit. The Atlas silhouette, it is often called.
To my colleague it felt rather snug, both in the waist of the jacket and in the trousers from the knee downwards. I think that is probably because he has never really worn a jacket that fits that close through the waist and hips, and because trousers with a 36-inch waist tend to come with rather wide legs.
Then the waist button popped off.
As he was buttoning up the jacket, the waist button pinged onto the floor. I resisted the urge to make a comment about his girth. Well, almost.
The staff offered to sew it back on; I’m sure it will be as good as new. But it does make you think about the quality of the workmanship. This is tailors in Nepal, good as they are, and not Savile Row.
But then I have commented on the same thing on my suits made in Hong Kong. Buttons have come off occasionally and I have sewed them back on. One seam needed a little attention once, but that’s about it. In every other area the suits have worn well after four years. And sewing a button on is a small price to pay for perfect fit.
This point should be emphasised. For my colleague, it is his first experience with made-to-measure. He doesn’t know quite how slim he wants the fit. And with A Suit That Fits he can have his suit altered any time, as many times as he wants, for free. After a while he will know what’s right, adjust his template and have all his suits made according to that in the future.