When it comes to choosing a quality bespoke or custom tailor, low price points may be tempting but should not be the main consideration.
seven tips to help make sure you’re buying a quality bespoke suit.
1. Thread Count & Fabric
Just like sheets, the higher the thread count (or ‘super’ number) the better the cloth and quality bespoke suit you’ll have. That number represents the fibers spun into a unit measure of cloth, and indicates the ‘fineness’ of the fibers. Many manufactures are less than truthful about the real fabric thread count so rely on a reputable mill.
To achieve the luxury, durability and structure found in a bespoke suit, select a 100% worsted wool fabric that has a Super 110’s or higher thread count. Most of my suits are in the Super 110-150 range, which I consider the perfect balance between luxury and durability. Save the Super 170’s and higher range for that special occasion. They’re very delicate and should not be part of a regular suit rotation.
2. Made in the USA
Over the years I have offered clothing made in the USA as well as Hong Kong and China. Now I only use manufacturers based in the USA. It has become obvious to me that the quality of construction and the components that go into suits made in America are superior to those made offshore.
There is no question you can find custom suits from as low as $500.00 to an unbelievable $10,000.00. However, there are only two things that determine the price—quality of the manufacturing and quality of the fabric. Low priced suits are usually poorly made and use inferior cloth. Generally, decent quality custom suits retail for at least $1,000.00. From there, it’s all about the manufacturer and the mill that produces the fabric. View our pricing collections.
I have the experience and expertise to discern which manufacturers produce the best custom suits and which fabric mills offer the best selection of fabrics to fit your budget.
4. The Way the Suit is Cut
Clothing allowances (the difference between a client’s body measurements and the measurements of the finished garment) vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Traditional British Savile Row tailors tend to cut fabric larger for a smoother ‘drape’ and roomier fit for that light sweater or vest beneath the jacket. They prefer heavier cloth, stiffer chest canvas and thicker shoulder pads to provide more overall structure to the jacket.
On the other hand, Italian tailors In the more southern regions of Italy prefer lightweight cloth, a closer cut to the body and more ‘flexible’ construction such as softer shoulders and less padding.
5. Classic Cuts & Styles Are Your Best Investment
Your bespoke suits are an investment that will last for 5 to 10 years, depending on how hard you are on your clothes. Today there are two schools of thought as to what looks are best. Clients who prefer a trendy look with bold plaids and fancier stripes will be in vogue but not for long. History has shown us that a more conservative, slightly loose fitting garment will always be in style. It can easily be updated with a bold shirt and tie to fit the current trend. Besides, less pronounced solids and patterns are always preferred in a business setting.
6. Begin with the Basics
I recommend building your wardrobe by starting with the basics. A solid navy is my first choice, followed by solid medium gray and charcoal gray. Next, are navy and gray pinstripes. These don’t have to be simple stripes—there are many tasteful, conservative variations including multi stripes.
Muted plaids are another way to enhance your wardrobe.
7. Proper Care of Your Bespoke Suits
To extend the life of your garments, dry clean your suits as infrequently as possible. This means only when they are physically dirty from spills or have offensive odors. Dry cleaning is a chemical wash that slowly erodes fabric, essentially scraping away the surface layer. Have your suits steamed or pressed in between dry cleanings. It’s less expensive and they’ll look brand new.
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