Like most men, if the idea of having a tailor strikes you as some upper class daydream where you’re a CEO or a hot-shot lawyer, you most likely may not have ever considered a custom bespoke suit. Why would you need a custom tailored bespoke suit if you’re just a regular guy, and how on earth would you possibly afford it?
As it turns out, there more than a few myths out there when it comes to bespoke suits, and there are some great practical reasons why you should think about getting one, or many!
The idea of going to a tailor, getting measured up, and waiting for the tailor to make your suit sounds like a lot of work to many people, but simply think about what you’d do with your time otherwise. “Off-the-rack” suits come only come in generic sizes, so the chances are high that you will have to try on a lot of them to find one that is a half decent fit. Even if the fit in decent, you will more than likely have to get it altered to fit perfectly, costing more money and taking more time, driving around between different suit stores before you find something that seems suitable. That type of shopping takes a lot of time and a lot of petrol, it also requires a lot of patience, and often ends in frustration! Seeing a tailor to make you a suit may not allow you to walk out of the store with it that very day, but the actual time spent shopping is often much, much less and the outcome far more rewarding.
“Off-the-rack” suits are better in quality these days compared to how they have been in the past due to technological advances in both fabric and production techniques, but there is definitely still a noticeable difference in the level of quality between “Off-the-rack” and a bespoke suit. A part of that is because “Off-the-rack” suits are put together by machines on a good old fashioned assembly line in a factory, whereas each custom-made bespoke suit will be overseen by a real person, looking at minor details which would otherwise be missed. There is an attention to detail in bespoke suits that can’t be matched by cheaper counterparts. When you are having something custom-made, you can choose the exact fabric that’s going to be used. The lower-end spectrum of fabric offered by tailors often tends to be better than what’s offered in off-the-rack suits, and you can pick material that’s truly unique.
Then there are things like canvas, which is usually completely overlooked by “Off-the-rack” designs. Canvas is typically made from cotton or horsehair, and is a separate material that runs throughout the interior of every bespoke suit. The canvas serves as the skeleton of your suit, and gives it shape and solidity, as well as helping the suit mould to your body. This can prevent bubbles from forming in the fabric while the suit is on, and help to keep your suit virtually wrinkle-free. Many off-the-rack models simply hang limp and can cling to the body in the wrong places looking ill-fitting.
To a tailor, fine is a failure. Perfection is a necessity. When you pay for a custom-made bespoke suit, you are purchasing a piece of clothing that should feel like a second skin, but better. These suits fit perfectly to the contours of your own body, not a standard size – but your exact size. They can accentuate your best features while masking ones that you would prefer to hide. They do this because someone designed the suit specifically for your body. You can never get that with an off-the-rack suit, unless you are the model who they designed it on!
Being realistic, no tailor is going to be able to provide you a custom-made suit that’s less than the lowest “Off-the-rack” prices you can find – unless you are willing to make an overseas trip to find one! There are many reasons big businesses use assembly lines – mainly because they are cheap, therefore a tailor who is personalizing every suit simply can’t match that.
But, tailors are quite affordable when you start to look at the big picture. Convenience is a priority. Your time is valuable, and if you can simply go to one tailor with your measurements and get a great suit out of it, chances are good that you’ll save a lot of time over trying to find an “Off-the-rack” suit. Also, tailored suits tend to last longer and are more durable because they are made better, meaning you should have to replace these suits less frequently. Sometimes, depending on where you go, the tailor can replicate looks from popular designer labels for far less than what you would pay just to get an entry level designer suit from that same label.
When buying an “Off-the-rack” suit you will be limited to a few specific styles that are popular at that point in time. Custom-made bespoke suits offer absolutely unlimited personalization and potential. Simply tell your tailor what you want them to do and they will let you know the cost and time involved.
All this is why, once you go custom made bespoke, you rarely return back to the rack!