Answered by Simon Skottowe
What is a bespoke suit?
A bespoke suit is one that is crafted from a unique pattern. This is created by a master cutter after thoroughly measuring and assessing the body: size, shape, and noting any asymmetry in the posture of the client. Importantly the garments are then fitted, usually three times for a new customer. During this process the master cutter refines and perfects the suit to achieve a comfortable fit that also flatters the body shape.
Bespoke suits are traditionally made in workshops to ensure a close collaboration between the tailor (who sews) and the cutter. A lot of hand sewing is essential in a high quality bespoke garment, especially for the internal construction. Different shaped jackets, for example for a rotant client requires a different sewing technique. Similarly, different fabrics like tweeds or corduroys need different handling than normal suitings. Only in this way can a suit arrive at the perfection of comfort and elegance that makes a bespoke client walk a bit taller.
What is a tailored (made to measure) suit?
This is a suit that is produced with some modifications to an existing pattern. The amount of personalisation depends upon the producer but usually this is limited to sleeve, jacket and trouser lengths with some small circumference adjustments. The pattern is nowadays generated by a computer design system and the garments are made on an industrial production line, without fittings.
A high quality made to measure, with a good variety of base patterns, can give a successful result for a gentleman who is of a relatively standard shape.
How do you know if a suit fits?
When you put it on you hardly feel it. It is close to your body but allows free movement while flattering your body shape.
How long does it take to have a bespoke suit made?
This depends on the tailor, and quality of their work but around 100 hours are required to produce a full bespoke suit. This is usually spread over two months, but this does depend on the time of the year and the amount of orders in hand. It’s always helpful to give your tailor plenty of notice.
How many fittings should a bespoke suit have?
For the first order at least three. For subsequent orders one, sometimes two is usually enough.
What do I need to bring to a custom fitting?
A well-fitting shirt and the shoes you intend to wear with the suit.
Is it worth getting a bespoke suit?
If you can, absolutely. If it is for reasons of unusual body shape or as a way of projecting your personal style, a bespoke suit makes you stand a little taller and gives you the confidence of knowing you are in an exclusive club!
How much should a bespoke suit cost?
It depends on where and what quality work you would like. Given the working hours involved from an expert team of crafts people and quality of materials, you should not expect to pay less than 3500€ for a good quality bespoke suit.
How many suits should a man own?
This depends on how much wear the suits get and the lifestyle of the client. To start I would say three business suits: two midseason, one summer. Some jackets, three, and an evening suit. If the gentleman is required to wear suits everyday for work, then clearly more would be necessary.
Is it okay to wear the same suit everyday?
Not really, as the suit need to rest and dry after each wearing. Airing a suit properly after wearing reduces the need for cleaning, which shortens the length of a suit’s life. With a suit that gets a lot of wear a good tip is to order a second trouser as it is the trouser that gets most of the wear.