If off-the-rack is the fast food of custom suiting, then made-to-measure is the Chipotle version. Neither can offer the same image-boosting impact as a quality tailored garment.
While a custom or made-to-measure suit can be more expensive than off-the-rack, it’s one of the best investments you can make in your wardrobe. The team at Oliver Wicks can walk you through the process.
There are a variety of fabrics to choose from when designing your Custom suit. The type of occasion you’re buying the suit for should dictate what fabric is best – lighter materials are ideal for Summer and more casual occasions, while heavier fabrics are better suited to colder weather or more formal events.
Wool is a popular choice for suits as it exudes elegance and sophistication. It is also highly durable and easy to maintain.
Cotton is a versatile fabric that offers breathability and comfort. It is often blended with other fibers, such as polyester, to improve performance and create a more polished look.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that doesn’t wrinkle easily, making it a good choice for those looking for a low-maintenance option. However, it doesn’t offer the same durability as wool or linen.
If you are looking to add some hidden flair then linings are the best place to do it. Linings can be dyed and woven with many different techniques to give you the ability to add anything from a bright color, complex pattern or monogram.
The patterns used in a suit can be a good indication of the quality of the garment. Off the rack suits use a standard pattern while Made to Measure and Bespoke suits are made with your specific measurements in mind, thus they will have more of a tailored fit.
One other way to tell a quality suit from a cheap one is by looking at the stitching and buttonholes. Poor quality suits will often have thread that frays easily and has a rough appearance. On the other hand, a good quality suit will have stitching that is neater and smoother with no sign of fraying.
Aside from choosing the fabric, lapel style and pant styles that fit your personality, a bespoke suit offers other elements of customization to make it your own. For example, you can choose the color and pattern of the lining, pockets, buttons and waistbands. You can also choose the stitching on your jacket sleeves and pants cuffs. Adding a monogram can be another way to add your personal touch.
If you are a guy who really wants a unique, polished look, then custom is definitely the way to go. Whether you want to get the perfect fitting suit for an important job interview or a wedding, a customized suit will give you a tailored look that will elevate your attire and set you apart from the crowd.
A good rule of thumb is to visit a physical showroom before going online for MTM or full-on bespoke. This will allow you to see all of the different elements of the suit firsthand, run your hands over the fabrics and determine if they are right for you.
The lining of a suit is not just functional, it can also play a key role in how the suit flatters you. In particular, it can add a pop of color or make the suit seem more casual.
While many companies claim to offer custom or bespoke, most use a process similar to online made-to-measure brands like Indochino, Oliver Wicks, Black Lapel and Knot Standard. These use a pattern and start with fabric that has already been cut, which means they cannot alter the suit as easily as a true bespoke suit.
If money is not an issue and you want a tailor-made suit that will last for years, a true bespoke suit is the way to go. However, keep in mind that this takes a lot of time and planning. Even MTM suits can take 3-5 weeks, while a full bespoke suit may take several months to create. Also, as humans, we go through changes in weight and size that can impact how a suit fits.