A tailored suit is a made to measure suit made specifically for the person wearing it. The suit will fit perfectly, and will look much better than an off-the-rack suit that has been altered to try and fit someone’s body. It used to be that to get a tailored suit you had to go to Savile Row and pay many thousands of pounds. These days, the availability of bespoke tailors is greater. So with lower overheads and parts of the process outsourced overseas, it is now possible to get a top quality tailored suit for hundreds rather than thousands of pounds.
There are a number of benefits to getting a tailored suit. First, as mentioned, the fit will be perfect. This means that the suit will look great and feel fantastic. Second, a tailored suit will generally be made from higher quality materials that are not available in ready-made suits. Consequently, the suit will last longer and look better over time. Finally, a tailored suit can be customized to the specific needs of the person who is wearing it. For example, if you need a suit for a special event or occasion, a tailor can make sure that the suit meets your specific requirements.
If you are considering getting a tailored suit, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to find a good tailor who has experience making tailored suits rather than just altering ready made suits. Second, be prepared to pay more for a tailored suit than you would for an off-the-peg suit. But remember, the extra cost is worth it for the perfect fit and high quality materials.
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Will A Tailored Suit Look Better Than One Off The Peg?
The simple answer is yes. A tailored suit is made to flatter your body shape and enhance your natural features. In aesthetic terms, there are body shapes that are considered more attractive than others. For men, the roots of this go back many thousands of years. A woman would choose a mate who she thought could protect and provide for her, as well as produce strong, healthy children.
These criteria have changed little over time, though it could be argued that having a yacht these days has more appeal than having a six pack. But by and large, what we consider aesthetically pleasant is down to evolution more than anything else.
In simple terms, “attractive” equates to “tall, broad shoulders, long legs, slim waist, good symmetry”.
This is where your tailor earns his money. The clothes he makes can flatter and enhance your natural characteristics and make the most of your shape.
The Construction Of A Tailored Suit
A tailored suit is made up of matching jacket and trousers, for a two-piece and a waistcoat for a three-piece suit. The jacket is tailored to fit your chest, waist, shoulders and the length of your torso perfectly. The trousers are tailored to fit your waist, hips and leg length perfectly.
The jacket is where the vast majority of time is spent – not only in creating your pattern but also cutting, stitching, padding, lining and canvassing. The cut and the padding give your jacket its shape and the canvas is the internal construction that hangs from the shoulder down the front of the jacket. In off-the-rack suits, the canvas is ‘fused’ or glued to the outer shell to give it rigidity. In a hand-made suit the canvas should float. That means it should be attached at the shoulder and hang down freely. This allows the lining, canvas and outer cloth to move separately allowing for a much more natural and free movement.
Buying A Tailored Suit: How Does It Work?
The first thing a tailor will do is take your measurements. This involves measuring your chest, waist, hips, inseam (the length of your trouser leg from the crotch to the ankle), outseam (the length of your trouser leg from the waist to the ankle), and rise (the distance from the crotch to the waist). There are up to 40 measurements and observations that a tailor will need to create a truly tailored suit, and this is before you have started designing the suit itself.
Designing A Tailored Suit
Once the tailor has your measurements, you will need to decide on the design of the suit. This includes choosing the fabric, the style of the jacket (single or double breasted, for example), number of buttons, style of lapel (peak or notched), pocket style and the style of the trousers (pleated or flat fronted).
Once these decisions have been taken your tailor can begin creating your pattern and cutting the cloth.
If your body shape is non-standard or the cloth you have chosen is particularly expensive, your tailor may make a toile first.
What Is A Toile?
A toile is a version of your suit made from cheap material. It is used to check the measurements and the pattern and to make any adjustments before the cloth is cut for your final suit.
Making Your Tailored Suit
Once the toile has been approved, your tailor will cut the cloth for your suit and begin to assemble it. This is a skilled process that takes many hours. A single bespoke three piece suit will take over 60 hours from start to finish.
Tricks Of The Trade
Shoulders: With the use of the right padding, a tailor will make your shoulders appear broad, square and symmetrical. This provides a great foundation for the rest of your tailored suit.
Chest: Men all have different shaped chest muscles, so the idea of one size fitting all simply doesn’t work. The right cut, the right construction and the right size will give a very flattering chest shape.
Sleeves: Easy to get right but also very easy to get wrong. If you sleeves are too short the jacket looks too small for you and makes your arms look disproportionately long. Too long and it looks like you have borrowed your dad’s jacket. The jacket cuff should end at your natural wrist with about half an inch of shirt visible at the cuff.
Buttons: The most popular style of jacket is a single breasted two button. The trick that the tailor will use is to make the top button fasten at the narrowest part of your torso. This gives the classic V shape from chest to waist with the jacket flaring out at the hips. Again this accentuates the waist and gives it a flattering appearance or silhouette.
Jacket length: In aesthetic terms, the bottom of the jacket should be at the half way point between your collar and the floor. This point can be changed to give a shorter, more casual look, which also gives the illusion of a longer leg.
Trousers: Tailored trousers enhance the shape and profile of the body. A high rise (waist line) gives the appearance of a longer leg. A tailored leg line will also flatter the shape of your calf and ankle.
Cuff: A turned-up cuff can make your legs look slightly shorter, but it does give a more casual look to the tailored suit.
Trouser break: This is the point at which the fabric of your trousers meets your shoe. The rule here is that the back of the trouser is a straight line down the seam and does not break. Where the trouser touches the shoe at the front there will be a crease. Ideally you want one small crease at the front and none at the back. If you have creases front and back, this is known as puddling and it means your trousers are too long.
There you have it. By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your tailored suit will look better than one off the peg every time. And remember, a good tailor will be able to advise you on the best style and cut for your body shape.
A tailored suit is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come. It will make you look and feel great every time you wear it.