What is a bespoke suit? Whether you have a few suits or are looking to purchase your first, you have probably heard a few terms thrown around like: ready to wear, bespoke, or made to measure suits. While each suit has their pros and cons, it is no secret that purchasing any bespoke piece of clothing is the ultimate experience in tailoring. Simply put, a bespoke suit will give you complete control of your purchase. Your clothing will be almost entirely handmade, it will be individually cut to a paper pattern, and you will have access to a wider selection to a wider selection of fabrics among other things. Listed below are some of the most important tips to consider when buying a bespoke suit.
Are you buying from a tailor or sales person? If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below!
#1 Understand Budget and Pricing
The typical bespoke suit price range can vary quite a bit, but typically starts around $3600 and up, primarily based off the fabric choice. Always know your budget, research brands, types of fabric, designs, and the tailor’s reputation, as these will all influence your cost.
What color suit to buy is always a question that comes up with potential customers. My personal opinion is to stay far away from short lived suit fads. Remember, your suit is an investment and those orange and blue Dumb and Dumber suits you and a co-worker want to buy will only be funny during the first week. Any time after that they will be absolutely ridiculous. My suggestion; stay with the classics and keep your designs simple. Grey or navy blue are always my top two suggestions and they won’t ever be questioned. Thinking about going for those pinstripes? Your co-workers will definitely notice that you’re wearing the same suit for the third time this week. On the other hand, you’ll be able to wear that grey or navy suit the same amount of times without being questioned.
#3 Slim Is In
If your body shape allows for it, always opt for a slimmer fitting suit. While a well fitted suit is important, it’s also crucial to ensure that the suit isn’t too restrictive. If you’re not comfortable, you likely won’t appear confident. If you don’t appear confident, others will notice and your self-investment did not pay off. Be sure to take advice from your tailor about proper fits as well. After all, they are the experts, and their job is to make you look as good as they possibly can!
#4 Body Type
This point goes along with a slim fit. Before you purchase your suit, you need to understand your current body type and what the best suit cut that fits your unique shape is. This should be consulted with your tailor and not a sales person, since the tailor understands your bone structure and other aspects of your body. With his expertise and your collaboration, a tailor can magnify the parts of your physique that you like, and hide the things you don’t.
The suit fabric you choose is the most important aspect of buying a bespoke suit. A suit that is 100 percent wool is generally the best idea for first time buyers. Wool is a completely natural fiber and is used in garments that are full of style. On top of that, wool’s insulating properties will keep you relatively warm in the winter and since the material breathes well, it will stay cool during the summer. A 100 percent cotton suit is the second most popular option for similar reasons as the wool, but cotton tends to crease and wrinkle much easier. Other popular suit fabrics include cashmere, linen, silk, and velvet. All of which are offered at Artful Tailoring! For a more in-depth look at popular suit fabrics and to decide which option is best for you, I suggest reading a much more detailed guide here. This guide will be extremely helpful and the pros and cons of each fabric are addressed.
It may not seem critical, but the number of buttons you choose to go with is important. One button usually signifies a suit jacket made for formal evenings, two buttons is standard and the safest choice, three buttons is old-fashioned and four/five button suit jackets are simply out of style. If you don’t have a good idea of what kind of look you want, typically two buttons are your best option. However, the final number of buttons can differ depending on your height.
Your lapel style depends on the style of the suit, what kind of occasion your suit is for, and your body type. There are three types of lapel and each has its own different variations: notch, peak, and shawl. To figure out which lapel best “suits” you, talk to your tailor the width of the lapel usually determined by your shoulder width and the style you want to achieve.
#8 Trouser Break
Just like lapels, your trouser break comes down to personal preference. Suit traditionalists would suggest a “full break” which means the rear trouser hem touches the beginning of the shoe sole. This can cause material to bunch up around the shoe and look a bit old-fashioned in my opinion. Full-breaks also make the wearer look shorter, especially if you’re less than 6’0. For a cleaner, trendier look, and help get the look of longer legs, I suggest going for a little to no trouser break.
The shoulders of your suit will again come down to preference (I know, it’s becoming the common theme for bespoke suits). For a symbol of authority and strength, a broad padded shoulder will be a great choice for you. Broad padded shoulders were very common in the 1930s as men wanted to build themselves up and appear powerful to others. A typical business suit will be made with a light padding around the shoulders. A light pad will allow the suits fabric to hold its shape and help build the silhouette of the wearer. No shoulder padding, which is commonly referred to as a “soft shoulder” or “unconstructed shoulder”, is more common in casual or weekend suits. Unconstructed shoulders are also best for warmer climates as they will allow your suit to breathe much better.
Last but not least in your customization are the details. Since you’re buying a custom bespoke suit, you’ll have a wide range of details to go through. Things to discuss with your tailor might include linings, button colors, stitching, and vent choices. Customization can really take your suit to the next level, so be sure to take advantage of those different options. Again, it is important to have some level of trust with your tailor to help make these conversations easier, and also brings me to my next tip.
As you can see by now, trust is just slightly important when buying a bespoke suit. Okay, it’s actually critical and one of the most important tips on this list. I’d suggest reading reviews of different tailors, ask around, or visit a shop beforehand to speak with the tailor yourself. Be sure to specifically ask questions about how the suit is made and where it is going to be made. Here at Artful Tailoring, we can assure that all of your needs will be met and all of your questions will be answered. By dealing with the tailor you are already ensuring that the outcome of your bespoke suit will be 100 times better than just a clothier or salesmen. A tailor will have by far more knowledge about proper cut to fit you and small details that will make a world of difference in the feel of the suit.
#12 Proper Care
After you have purchased your new suit, don’t forget about the proper way to take care of it. I know this guide is mainly about buying a new suit, so I’m going to keep this section short and suggest to search for a more comprehensive guide on your own. Buying a bespoke suit is a big investment in yourself so understand what steps you need to take to maintain proper care.
Thanks as always for reading, and if you have any more questions about buying a bespoke suit, feel free to ask in the comments section and we will reply as quickly as possible. Can’t wait to talk to someone? Call us now at 602-955-0919.
Artful Tailoring is Arizona’s premier suit shop. With a wide selection, years of expertise in the industry, highly knowledgeable staff, and unparalleled customer service, it is no surprise Artful Tailoring is one of Arizona’s leaders in the custom suit industry. With shops located in Chandler and the Phoenix Biltmore area, Artful Tailoring is conveniently located near you! For more information, schedule and appointment and we will get back with you soon!