Every man needs one suit that fits him like a glove.
The best way to fill that need is with the purchase of a bespoke suit, made to precise specifications.
To execute that flawlessly, though, there are a few things a man needs to know before he walks into a tailor’s shop.
You’re going to have to make a lot of choices about your suit, so do your research so you get it right during that first crucial fitting. Yes. There will be more than one.
“The initial fitting will represent most of the heavy lifting. This is when all of your measurements will be taken and most of your choices will be made”, says stylist Jessica Cadmus, founder of The Wardrobe Whisperer.
“Therefore, it’s a good idea to wear your favorite suit in order to help establish a dialogue with your tailor and to give him a sense of what you are accustomed to. Wear dress shoes as well. The additional fittings will include trying on a mock-up and then trying on the actual suit and making final adjustments.”
Before you get to any of that, though, here’s what you need to know:
- You’ve got to know your fabric going in. “I suggest using 100% natural fabrics – usually wool or a wool and cashmere blend,” Cadmus told Business Insider. “Super 110s-120s are typically at the intersection of luxury and durability. Also, if this is going to be your primary A-game suit, my recommendation is to allow yourself maximum versatility by choosing either a solid navy or solid gray.”
- In terms of style, go classic — a two piece (no vest), two button model with a notch lapel. “It’s your choice on the vent – both single and double vents are classic but note that the single is generally considered more American and the double more European,” says Cadmus. “Be specific that you’d like between 1/4″-1/2″ of cuff to show from your sleeves. Finally, you may be asked to choose shoulder construction – either natural (more Italian) or structured (more British). Usually your own body dictates this choice. If you are on the broad side, go natural and if you are more slight, choose structured.”
- The flash is in the details, like the color of your silk suit lining (go bold with green or purple), or the color of the stitching of the bottom button of your jacket sleeve (again, you can go bold). “I’m a fan of the ‘ticket pocket,’” Cadmus said, referring to a smaller third pocket on a blazer you see every now and again. “You may also want to get an additional internal pocket or two. But be thoughtful about what you intend to put in these as you do not want to add bulk.”
That’s it. Now make some choices.
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