Tired of ready-to-wear? Do you want your first truly beautiful made-to-measure suit that will make you feel comfortable in every way? You’ve finally taken the plunge and booked your first appointment for a made-to-measure suit. To save time and get the most personal result possible, it’s best to think ahead and put aside certain preconceived ideas.
The trend versus what suits you
A made-to-measure suit is generally more expensive (and of better quality) than a ready-to-wear one. Logic dictates that it should last you at least 5 to 10 years (depending on how much care you take and how often you wear it). So you need to think in the long term, not in terms of this year’s fashions.
Particularly when it comes to cuffs. Choose them according to your body type, not according to what you see on fashion blogs, catwalks or even in stores. Yesterday, we swore by thin lapels and ultra-short jackets à la The Kooples, today we bombard you with oversized lapels seen on jackets at Pitti Uomo. Use your common sense and go with what suits you.
There’s a simple rule of thumb you can try out to make sure you don’t go wrong with a timeless, classic suit. They should cover just under half the distance between jacket collar and shoulders. After that, there’s nothing to stop you from thinking outside the box and playing with lapel widths, but beware of fashion trends.
As for the cut of pants (which also changes very often), the problem is less acute, as there’s always fabric to spare.
There are two basic notions to consider when choosing your fabric. Firstly, the most formal fabrics are the smoothest and darkest. Secondly, more casual fabrics are more textured and lighter in color. It’s up to you to find the right balance, especially if, for example, you want a jacket that can be worn both at work and at the weekend.
To make your choice even clearer, you can hold the fabric over your wrist during the appointment. Simply placing the fabric on your wrist makes it easier to project yourself onto the entire made-to-measure suit.
Finally, when you select the fabric, you can see them up close, whereas in real life, they’re only visible from a distance of 1m to 1.50m. No one can see the texture of the fabric as accurately as during the selection process. So take the time to do it at this minimum distance, and ideally in daylight.
The type of suit? Go for the basics
Your first visit to a tailor is, in a way, the first step in building a true business wardrobe. Start with versatile basics, then move on to seasonal fabrics with more character.
A good solid gray or navy suit can be worn to the office 3 or 4 times a week. This is not the case with a flashier suit with huge stripes. It’s highly recommended to start with a gray or navy blue suit, as these are the easiest to match.
For the same reasons, opt first for a standard two-button suit, before moving on to more distinctive structures such as double-breasted.
And don’t take into account what you already have in a ready-to-wear suit, unless you love them and they fit perfectly. Many men stop wearing these suits once they’ve tried made-to-measure.
The importance of fit for your made-to-measure suit
Have realistic expectations: a made-to-measure suit won’t make you look like a body type that doesn’t suit you.
Be tolerant of creases: a suit is impeccable on a standing, immobile body. Then there are bound to be creases when you move. Beware of the slim fit with made-to-measure suits. You’ll feel it a lot more, and it’s bound to be less comfortable.
Take the time (on your side) to carefully consider your choice, but also to discuss it with your tailor, taking into account his recommendations. His job is to use his expertise and knowledge of style and elegance to make you look your best. He’ll be sure to suggest options you might not have thought of, but which are right for you!
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, too: appointments take place in a pleasant setting, where you’ll no doubt be offered a whisky!