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Buyer’s guide to a truly bespoke suit

19 February 2015

When a true London gentleman wants a suit, he does not run to the department store and whip a baggy two-piece off the rack, with a three pack of plastic wrapped shirts thrown in for a discount. Rather, he relies on the skill and artistry of a trusted tailor to handcraft a bespoke suit with a glove-like fit.

Yet buying a tailored suit is not just about standing with your arms out and being sized up with a tape measure. Doing a little bit of thought in preparation for your appointment can make all the difference.

Think about fabric

One of the most buyer-friendly elements of getting a suit tailored is the fabric. Big name designers will often produce their off-the-rack suits with a fabric grade of around 100s. Though respectable, this is far from the most sophisticated, durable or luxurious grade available. Your tailor will offer you fabric choices all the way up to 180s. Decide how high you want to go before you arrive at your tailor’s door.

Questions of style and taste

There are some key, burning questions all men must answer honourably in their lifetime, most of them to do with suits. Single breasted or double? Two button or three? Are you the sort of gracious gent who follows the latest fashion to the letter? Or are you the wily cad who subverts it with a guileful dash of mischief? Perhaps you like to ignore modern tastes completely and stick with a tried and tested classic look? When you are ready to answer these questions, you are ready for a bespoke suit.

Your tailor knows all

Your tailor will know everything there is to know about how to craft a suit. His experienced hands can shape the rich fabric into the specific style you are looking for. Think about those elegant little personal touches that can truly make a suit belong to its owner – an unusual pocket shape here or a specially chosen button design there. Whatever it is, your tailor will know how to make it work for you. Do keep it tasteful, however. Remember: the truly great suit is never noticed. Its wearer always is.

Every man should have at least one bespoke suit in his armoury, whether for business or pleasure. Be sure, when you go to meet your tailor, you get the precise breed of high quality attire you are after.

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