Have you ever thought about getting a bespoke suit before? If you haven’t bought one yet—or if you want some tips on how to choose the best tailor for you—read on.
It’s in the Details
Bespoke suits are special—the highest quality suit that you can buy. Each bespoke suit can take up to eighty hours to complete by hand stitching. Each suit is completely handmade from over twenty separate measurements. A personal pattern according to your measurements and specification will be made from scratch, and kept on file for your next suit. Bespoke suits range from $3,000 up to no limits.
Bespoke suits have some details that truly make them special. One detail, for instance, is a “floating” canvas, which is between the facing and the outer part of the jacket. If you can’t feel this floating canvas, ask about it. It is invisible but essential. Jackets of inferior quality have their inner parts fused together. A fused canvas will look great but won’t wear well, and will take years of life off of your garment. Bespoke suits will also have the best horn buttons and completely hand-sewn details.
It’s not only the exemplary details in bespoke suits that make them so special, but the fit, too. A suit will fit your perfectly—imperfections and all. Bespoke couture has details to aid the fit that will never be seen, just appreciated, from the tiny stitches made to balance the fabric’s tension and drape, to the carefully shaped collar that resists any gaping.
Finding Your Tailor
If you’ve decided that a bespoke suit is something that you’re interested in, choosing a good tailor is essential. Bespoke suits are of the highest quality, so make sure that your tailor is the best, too. Ask him if he makes the actual patterns, because some “cut, make, and trim” shops use pre-existing patterns with slight alterations to get the same effect. Although the fit could still be very good, it is not truly bespoke.
Check the fabric and trims available at your tailors. It’s rare to find a tailor who cuts and makes his own garments today, so if you do find someone who does that, then you’ve found a tailor for life. With your patterns saved in his shop for decades, you’ll be able to return again and again when you need a special suit. There will be individual details to your tailors’ work that will create an individual look to your suit. If you find a particular tailor you like—one who tends to make a more relaxed fit or one who has a more precise, sharper effect—continue to use the same tailor. In bigger houses, suits are given to different tailors each time, and there could be a different look to the same suit every time it is made.
Bespoke suits are special, but not really an option for those of us on a more restricted budget. A made-to-measure suit is a good compromise if you can’t afford the cost of bespoke. This type of suit uses an existing pattern with particular adjustments made to fit you. You will still have the opportunity to personalize your suit, so if you are partial to special pockets or detailing, you can still have the details for a middle-of the-road price—and a far better fit.
Lastly, trust your eyes and your gut reaction to a tailor’s work to find the right garment for you. Do some research in magazines, catalogues, and the web, but always use your personal opinion as your final say. Bespoke is all about personal taste.