To get a good understanding of tailoring and what service is right for you, you need to consider the options available. Most people reading this will be thinking of upgrading from ready to wear and deciding to give made to measure a go.
It is a well known fact that Tailored suits fit better, have more style options and have fabric choices that give better quality and options than you get with ready to wear, here I will cover these briefly.
They fit better. This is because ready to wear work on a template based method and a nearest fit will do basis. They have limited sizes ranging in 2" increments 38",40",42" etc meaning that the 50% of customers who are an intermediate size have to compromise. Additionally, most are regular fittings presuming that customers are all the same height. No wonder we see so many ill fitting suits!
Made to measure suits have many measures taken to ensure that the suit fits properly and looks like it should. It is the sum of all these parts that make tailored suits stand out in the crowd.
Made to measure suits have lots of tweaks for different shapes of body, these are called figurations, something as simple as having larger thighs than normal can effect the cut of a pair of trousers. All in all, there are more than 50 figurations tailors use ranging from a low shoulder to a square back neck. You do not need to worry too much, a good tailor will know exactly how to cut your suit.
When you get measured It is preferable that you either wear a suit that you like or at least wear a suit when having measures taken and ideally do a little research before. Considerations include: how fitted you like your suits based on comfort and style and how much shirt cuff you like to show.
Many people these days have images on their phones that they show the tailor, however, it is important that unless you are the same size and shape as the person in the photo, the tailor will need to cut the suit in that design but also to work around your size and shape.
The style options that come from made to measure are vast but once again, depending on your age, size, image and the purpose you will wear the suit for. You can work through each option in a simple process and have a suit that is configured for you. Basically you can have just about anything you want as long as it is practical. The options are explained and the benefits and other considerations are discussed in full, for example, a single button jacket works better on a shorter person and a three button on a taller customer - two buttons are the standard. As your tailor builds up a profile with you the design evolves, choosing lining options and style touches can personalise your suit further.
When it comes to fabrics the world is your oyster. Most tailors source fabrics woven in the UK. British is sold out over the world and recognised as the best you can buy. Most tailors buy fabrics from merchants (stockists of cloth) who in turn buy from textile mills.
Merchants I use the most are, Holland & Sherry, Scabal, Dugdale and Bateman Ogden . There are many more, with each merchant having hundreds of fabrics organised in ranges or collections with around eighty fabric designs in each range. These patterns are usually organised in pattern bunches.
They are generally organised by weight and quality allowing the customer a vast choice across different price bands with each range having its own benefits. Lower priced fabrics are aimed at longevity and are ideal for those with only one or two suits - the more expensive luxury cloths are ideal for those with a large range of suits or for that special occasion when price is not a major factor in choice. My advice is to compare different ranges and ask your tailor to explain the benefits of each.
Most people who buy a tailored suit never go back and the key to getting good tailored suits is to have a good relationship with your tailor ensuring you feel comfortable discussing your ideas. In my opinion, some older tailors tend to be set in their ways and are better at cutting classic suits. Some can be a little stuffy and some can be a bit pushy. Once you find a good tailor the best advice is to stay with them.
If you need any more advice please drop me a line.