Most of the choices that are presented to you day by day are pretty straightforward. What socks to wear, what lunch to take to work, whether to stop and get petrol or not. Decisions that you can play it safe with, nothing that’s too important. But sometimes you come up against a choice which carries a bigger price ticket, and deciding whether or not to buy a bespoke suit definitely comes under this category.
Are you in the market for a piece of clothing which is high quality and will last for ages? Potentially years. Is there a picture of an ideal suit in your mind’s eye? Do you have a material and design in mind? If so, a bespoke suit could fit the bill. Well, not the bill because that’s always going to be expensive, but perfect in every other way though. Opting to buy a suit like this is a luxury and one well worth indulging yourself in. If this is your first time, then we have put together ten tips to help you come out with the suit of your dreams.
1. Firstly – know your budget. You can’t take even one step forward without having a firm figure in mind. As with most things there will be a certain range of prices, and it’s always going to be expensive, but how expensive is up to you. Work out how much you want to spend and then research what falls into that price bracket. Don’t get caught up in brand names, imagine the look of your suit and see where that puts you price-wise. Don’t be tempted to go over-budget because it very likely won’t be over by a small amount. Be firm with yourself; you’re still going to walk away with an exquisite suit.
2. If this is your first time, then it’s probably best to stick to the simpler colours this time. Like navy blue or grey, something timeless and classic. That way you’re ensuring versatility so you’ll get a lot more wear out of it.
3. Fabric options. For this you need to decide where and when you are going to wear this suit. If it’s year round then a lightweight worsted wool is ideal to strike a balance between the seasons. If it’s mainly summer that you’re looking at, then you’re best off with a breathable fabric – linen, cotton, silk-blends, that kind of thing. Something that isn’t going to turn your face red in the warmer months. But if it’s winter then you’ll want something warm and insulating. Tweed is probably the best choice here, but wool or flannel work well too.
4. Single breasted or double? The former has – usually three – buttons in the centre of the suit jacket which hold it closed. Straightforward. A double-breasted suit jacket has two rows of buttons, one as functional buttons and one as show. You can choose whether or not to have show or functional buttons on your cuffs. Functional is probably the best choice because that gives you the option of rolling up your sleeves if necessary.
5. Lapels. Be careful with your choice here because the lapels can really alter the whole look of the jacket. If you just want a straightforward, run-of-the-mill-jacket, then Notch lapels are the best choice. But if you’re after a more ‘showy’ look, then have a look at the Peak lapels because these ones are probably your friends.
6. “Padded shoulders, sir?”. Be wary when choosing whether to have these or not, because they create a ‘fuller’ look to your physique and if you’re looking to impress in the boardroom then they could be a good choice. They are quite heavy though, so if you’re likely to be wearing your bespoke suit a lot during the summer then stick to soft shoulders with little or no padding.
7. Identify your body type: if you’re shorter in height then slim fitting trousers with a minimum break will create the illusion of more height. If you’re muscular then do not go for anything that’s got padded shoulders or a cropped cut, you don’t want to look like Mr Incredible during your crucial meetings. If you’re tall and slim then avoid a too-fitted suit. Having a natural flow in the material highlights a more prominent physique.
8. The details. This is where a bespoke suit comes into its own. There are certain choices to make that will really customise your suit, and that you wouldn’t get to choose with a made-to-measure suit. The button colours, for example, lining, vent choices, stitching – they can all be chosen by you to make sure that your bespoke suit is exactly as you imagined it. If you have any doubts, or you aren’t quite sure what will work, then just ask your tailor, they are the experts after all.
Don’t be put off by having to make all of these decisions. It won’t be a troublesome thing and the clearer the idea in your head, the shorter the process to create the suit. These things are precision made though, don’t expect to have it in a couple of weeks. But if there’s one thing for certain – it’s that a bespoke suit is always worth waiting for.