10 Tips to Get the Perfect Custom Suit
Every stylish man needs at least one sophisticated, unrivaled suit. While most businesses have instituted "casual workplace wear" these days, there is no debate that a well fitted suit will instantly make any man look better to women, as well as being more respected by other men. In fact, possibly even more important is that when you look good you feel good and that confidence boost will make EVERYTHING you do better and more effective. Whether you wear it to work or don it for a special occasion, you definitely want to have that one suit in your wardrobe which sets itself ... and you, apart from the rest.
A lot of men think buying a high-quality suit implies rushing to the nearest high-end store or bespoke tailor, and purchasing a suit which costs a ton of money. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting a great and a well-fitted suit is easier and more personalized when you get it custom made.
Are you ready to move up in the world ... or at least look like you are? Here's some tips for selecting the perfect custom fitted suit.
1. Select the Fabric with Care
There are several ways to sew a suit, but ultimately, it will turn out to be only as great as the raw materials used. Herein lies the importance of choosing the perfect fabric. Apart from choosing the right tailor, this will probably be one of the most important decisions you will make. It will go a long way in determining the final outcome of the suit in terms of not only the look and the feel, but also how it will perform over time.
Most fabrics work well, but you will do well to avoid a synthetic blend. Look for 100% worsted wool from a trusted mill in a super 110s – 120s thread count to get a mélange of luxury and durability.
2. Get to Know the Shop’s "House-Style"
Every sartor tends to have his own opinion on how a suit should be cut to best suit a man’s body. Certain tailors prefer traditional styles and cut with larger allowances (the differences between your measurements and that of the finished garment) for a spacious and a smoother fit.
Your tailor may suggest a suit in a heavier cloth, a lower gorge line and adding more structure to the suit jacket using a stuffer chest canvas and thicker shoulder pads. Conversely, other tailors may prefer using a lighter cloth, a higher gorge, smaller allowances, and lesser padding.
The difference in the cut can vary greatly, depending on who you choose as your sartor. It is, therefore, recommended that you understand his style and approach as doing so can help you achieve the fit you desire. You can get a good idea of this by trying on a sample garment in a size closest to yours and asking for the tailor’s opinion.
3. Get In Shape
Before you get a custom suit, do take one aspect into consideration – are you planning to undergo any kind of major body transformation? If yes, it is suggested that you wait until you achieve your desired weight/body structure, and only then go for a custom fitted suit. Do make sure you maintain your transformed physique.
4. Work on Getting the Fit Right
When getting a suit custom made, getting a suit that fits well should be your top priority. Whether it is your first suit or the fifth one, only a good fit will ensure that it is wearable. Hence, make sure you spend some time working on the fit and get it right the first time around. Once the tailor understands your fit well, you won’t have to spend that much time again, and all your future orders will be quick and hassle-free.
5. Be Open to Expert Advice
Most tailors are extremely skilled at what they do and some of their suggestions can go a long way in making you look your best. Being open to their expert advice and opinion, and discussing your styling preferences and decisions with them will be more helpful than assuming you know better.
6. Cling to the Classic
Custom suits can be quite expensive and you would want your investment to last several years. It is, therefore, advised that you steer clear of temporary trends and stick to classic designs which will always be stylish and relevant. Following trends would imply that while you do end up with a garment that looks fashionable at the moment, it will lose significance in a few months from now and will be left unwearable.
Of course, certain aspects such as the hemline of your trousers is a different matter as it can be altered (shortened or elongated) in minutes.
7. Look for Durability
Avoid getting too preoccupied with thread counts and focus on the durability of the cloth instead. A lot of men tend to be under the impression that the higher the thread count number, the better is the quality of the cloth, which may not necessarily be true.
The number only points to the number of fibers spun into a unit measure of cloth. In fact, it can mean that while the cloth will feel great to touch, it may not be as durable.
A cloth in the Super 110 – 130 range should hold you in good stead as this range is considered the perfect combination of extravagance and durability. Super 180s (and higher), on the other hand, are very delicate and best for men who own several suits which are worn in rotation.
8. Build from the Basics
Do not think that your first visit to the custom shop will be the last one. Think of it as more of a step-by-step process towards building yourself a new wardrobe. You can start with the basics and then build further from there.
If you already have a good core of the basic navy, black or gray suits, and are looking for something different or specific, you will do well to bring a reference picture to show to your tailor.
9. Be Realistic and Reasonable
Refrain from having unreasonable and unrealistic expectations from your suit. It is meant to complement your personality, not overhaul it overnight. Use it with respect and it will sit on your body like a dream, else it will only crease and wrinkle.
If you're looking for a slim look, there are trade-offs that can be made, which would probably cost you your comfort in terms of loss of room. The only way to make a suit roomy is to make it slightly bigger, which may cause it to lose shape.
10. Look after Your Suit
The longevity of your suit depends on how often you wear it and how well you look after it. Your tailor may be able to help you understand this by offering you proper care instructions. Avoid dry cleaning your suits as much as possible as it will negatively affect the quality of the fabric. Do so only if they get dirty from spills and/or sweat. Have your suits steamed or pressed as these are more effective (and cheaper) ways of keeping them clean and well-maintained.
Owning a custom suit can be great as you can finally have a suit that fits you to a T. Knowing how to pick a great one is a matter of experience, as well as the skillfulness of the sartor you work with. The above tips should help you choose your custom suits with care and make the most of your investment.
- Written by James Hills
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