10 Tips for Getting the Best Tailored Suit
If you’re going to spend the money on getting a specifically tailored suit, you really should make sure it’s the best one possible. When you’re young, you may be able to get away with a slightly ill-fitting suit. But as you grow and mature, there’s nothing that looks worse than a suit that’s way too tight or way too loose. As the saying goes: the suit makes the man, and you really should ensure it’s ‘just right’.
1. Trust the tailor
First things first, you need to be able to trust the tailor. There’s no point going to someone who you’re going to be second-guessing the whole time. Remember, they’re the expert, not you. So if they’re recommending something, it pays to listen to them. On the flip side however, not all tailors are created equal and you don’t want to be forking over money for a suit that simply isn’t good enough. Ask around for personal recommendations. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, check out some fashion blogs and do some reading.
2. Enjoy the experience
Buying a suit takes time. It involves measuring, choosing fabrics, buttons, styles and everything in between. It’s by no means a quick shopping experience. So you may as well enjoy it. Find a tailor you not only trust, but can easily talk to. It’s your suit after all so you need to be comfortable talking to the tailor and giving your honest opinion. It’s also a good idea to find a shop where you feel comfortable. You’re much more likely to feel relaxed in a reputable shop than you are in a dingy hole in the wall down an alley.
3. Be honest
There’s nothing worse than wanting something specific and coming away with something completely different. But the only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by being honest. If you want a certain style or fabric, be open with the tailor. He is not a mind-reader so the only way he will know what you’re after is if you speak up. Talk to your tailor about what you’re going to be using the suit for – is it for work? For your wedding? For a special occasion? Or a multi-use suit for all of the above? This may impact the overall look and feel of the suit so best to discuss it at the beginning.
Also, be honest with the tailor about how much you can spend. And be honest about this right from the get-go.
4. Know your budget
It’s not just about being honest with your tailor about your budget, it’s also about being honest with yourself. Whether you’re having one suit made or five, there is likely to be a cap on how much you can or want to spend. Your budget will likely dictate the fabrics that are available to you and whether you can have the bells and whistles (if you want them). It’s also crucial to remember that bespoke wedding suits don’t come cheap. If you have a limited budget, do your research and find somewhere that is within your price range but still good quality.
5. KISS – keep it simple stupid
If in doubt, as the saying goes – keep it simple stupid. If it’s your first time purchasing a bespoke suit, sticking to neutral colours of black, grey and navy will give you versatility and style. It also means you’ll most likely be able to wear the suit as separates if and when the occasion arises. There are other ways to play around with style so keeping your suit simple means you’ll probably be able to wear it a number of different ways.
6. Keep it comfortable
Who wants to sit all day in an uncomfortable outfit? No one, that’s who. It’s highly likely that at some stage while you’re wearing the suit, you’ll be sitting down. When measuring up for the suit, consider how you’ll be using it and how often you’ll be wearing it. You don’t want it to be so tight that you have to hike up the pants every time you need to sit down. You also don’t want the jacket shaped in a way that it’s not comfortable to move in. You need some flexibility in a suit so it’s versatile and can be worn for a number of uses.
7. Take risks
If you want to keep the suit simple and understated, there are ways to still take risks. Whether that’s choosing a fun button or getting some shirts made up with patterned or coloured trims. You can line the area where the buttons go so people only see a sneak peak of it, or line the cuffs with a fun design. If you are going down this route though, be subtle.
8. Don’t feel pressured
When you first walk into the tailor, don’t feel pressured to walk out with a deal to make your suit. Also, don’t feel pressured to act in a certain way just because you’re getting a bespoke suit made up. As we said before, you need to be comfortable with the shop, with the tailor and with the deal you’re making. Ensure all of these things before you start getting measured up.
9. Wear the right shoes
There’s no point getting measured up barefoot or in sneakers. Your dress shoes will be a different height to both of these options. Be prepared and take the shoes you’re most likely going to be wearing with your suit. That way, the tailor can ensure the length of your pants is correct.
10. Plan for the future
Just because you plan on wearing this particular suit to work or a special occasion now, doesn’t mean that’s all it’s going to be used for. Suits last, especially well made ones, so you don’t want to get a suit that only suits that specific occasion. Choose a fabric, style and pattern (if you go down this route) that’s going to last the long haul.