Getting fitted for, and taking delivery of, a made-to-measure suit is truly an incredible experience. It’s a suit or tuxedo that’s tailored specifically for you and personalized to your tastes, so it’s an opportunity to come away with the suit of a lifetime. Whether you’re looking to invest in something for a special occasion like your wedding, or you’re just looking to pick up that unique power suit and stunt on your co-workers Gordon Gekko-style, you want to make sure you get the most out of the experience. Sure, you’re not going to be doing much heavy lifting, we’re going to leave that to the master tailors, but you do want to come prepared so you can truly maximize not only the tailor’s knowledge and skill but also the money that you’re investing in the suit.
Know The Process
This should be a fun and enjoyable experience, and you want to feel relaxed going through it. First off, know that the tailor and the stylists are not only there to help, but to really get you to look your best. So relax, have a drink, and enjoy it. First, the tailor will size you up and take a variety of basic body measurements. These measurements will form the base for your suit’s custom pattern. After measurements and some Q&A you’ll move to the fun part, choosing fabrics. Hopefully, you’ve come with some idea of what you’re looking for or an occasion you’re dressing for. From there the stylist or tailor will guide you through your options and price points on fabric and help you finalize the details. After that, all it takes is about 8 weeks of patience and a fresh new suit will be yours. Trust us, you’re gonna look damn good.
Consider What You Want
As we mentioned, you don’t want to walk into this thing blind, so hopefully you’ve given some thought as to what you want. Looking for a timeless shawl collar tuxedo? Awesome, there’s no better excuse. Mid-week double breasted plaid suit in blue? Also a great move. As we said earlier, this is the time for something special, maybe something that you can’t find elsewhere. Saw something dope you really liked in a magazine? Don’t be afraid to rip it out and bring it in for some inspiration. Provided what you have in mind is reasonable, now’s the time to make it happen. You don’t want to walk into your fitting totally blind and make a hasty decision on the spot that you'll regret later, so come prepared. Also, we’d suggest thinking long and hard about whether or not a “shorts” suit is really the right move. (Editor's Note: It's not.)
Think About Your Budget
Obviously a made-to-measure suit is an investment so make sure you’ve thought about what you’re comfortable spending and how it aligns with what you want. There’s definitely options available at many price points but it’s important to be reasonable with your expectations. In the end, your hard-earned dollar will be put to great use as the fit, finish, and details of a great made-to-measure suit are second to none.
Research The Details
Another one of the many cool things about a made-to-measure suit is that you’re going to get to dial in all the little details just the way you want. From lapel width to button stance to lining choices, it’s all up to you. That means, along with fabric options, you’re going to want to consider what you want the finished details to look like. Do you want a slightly wider or narrower lapel? What about number of buttons? Do you want to add some small flourishes like pick stitching or a ticket pocket? Kind of like your burger toppings, you should know what you want on top of that beef patty. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but just in case, we don’t recommend adding your college nickname to that personalized name label on the inside pocket. The last thing you want is to have to explain to some random stranger at a wedding why everyone called you “The Honey Badger” at parties in college.
Don't Forget To Communicate
Like any good relationship, communication is key. At the end of the day, all the informed opinions you put together aren’t going to work unless you’re comfortable communicating to the tailor and stylist what you want. Trust that they’re there to help you and to answer as many questions as you have, so relax and don’t be shy. Not feeling the trouser width? Concerned about the sleeve length? Speak up my friend. Provided what you want is feasible and reasonable, they’ll be more than willing to help you get exactly what you want, and ultimately that will make you feel great about your purchase. If any of the details aren’t what you want when you go back for your final fitting, that’s the last chance to speak up, or, as they say, forever hold your peace.
A few final tips:
Go-To Lapel Widths - 2.5” (slim), 3” (standard), 3.5” (bold)
Lapel Styles - Notch is the most versatile and timeless, peak is the most bold
Buttons - Two is always the right move, but if you’re above 6’2, three is acceptable, 6 is never acceptable though
Ticket Pocket - That small third pocket above the standard pocket is a traditional detail
Suit Lining - Don’t be afraid to go bold, but make sure the lining color complements the suit’s color
Pick Stitching - This raised, visible stitching is a unique bit of traditional flash
Pant Break - ¼ to ½ break is best, any longer and you risk looking sloppy