Why should I consider purchasing a custom suit instead of just going to a department store and buying one?

Principal reasons to purchase custom suits are; fit, selection, quality, and professional service. Rather than buy whatever fashion dictates in a given season, a custom suit is designed from the ground up to flatter the individual with styles that are suited to their personal shapes, tastes, and needs. Many clients who can fit an off the rack suit very well still choose custom in order to have a much broader range of fabrics to choose from, and to control the detail features of design to suit their own tastes.

What creates quality in a suit?

Obviously fabric is the most visible part of a suit, so using top quality materials is important. But what’s inside a suit creates the soul of the garment. A custom suit really shows why it’s an investment after its been worn for years. Canvas interlinings are often used in place of the fusible interfacing which dominates the suit world today, allowing the coat to shape to the owner. Bemberg linings guarantee the longest wear, with the most luxurious feel. Timeless styling helps guarantee the investment doesn’t become obsolete in short order. And perhaps most important is the concept of leaving good outlet, so that a garment can be modified to fit if the customer changes size.

The tailored clothing industry measures quality by counting the number of intermediate pressing operations, and the number of hand sewing steps that are associated with the garment. Modern tailors usually offer at least a few different grades, matched to the quality of the material, to achieve cost efficiency for the customer. .

What defines a custom suit?

A custom suit is one that is not created until the customer has placed an order, and then is built to his specifications, both in fit dimensions, and in style, from a pattern that can then be used again for repeat orders. A true custom suit will be able to account for different shoulder and posture attitudes, and will be cut one at a time, and then be fitted to check for the accuracy of the process. Hand made garments have normal deviations from one another, and no two are ever exactly the same. Each will have its own personality, shaped by the tailor and customer working together.

What’s it cost to have a suit made?

Fabric cost is what initially sets the price range on our suits, with certain extras like fancy linings, special buttons, and rush services.  If you have been an internet research fashionista, the dividing line on quality of coat construction focuses on suits made with “full canvas fronts” vs. “fused with half canvas”. We build almost 95% on full canvas fronts, which is the more expensive way to go, but creates a suit that  over time will hold its shape, mold to the wearer and actually look nicer as it gets older. An average range for this product is between $2000 and $2400.  A top line custom suit, using fabrics from Zegna, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis, Holland and Sherry and many of the top mills will fall between $2200 to $3800. A suit using rare and exotic fibres like cashmere, mink or vicuna will range from $3,500-$24,000.

How long does it take to have one made?

Usually the process takes from 6 to 8 weeks, based on where the fabric is coming from and seasonal demand. Smart buyers place orders for spring summer wardrobes in January, and for fall wardrobes in July, giving the tailors plenty of time to be ready. About 90% of our suits are completed within 5-6 weeks

What is meant by “Made to Measure”?

What is the “made to measure” industry? It’s the shops and factories where custom orders from tailors all over the world are placed to be cut, sewn, and then delivered back to tailors to try on their customers. The benefits to such a system are substantial. Just like in a traditional “full custom” suit, made in the work rooms of master tailors, a pattern is produced that is individually created for one specific customer. The success of the garment is based on the measurements, observational skills, and artistic creation of the designer who is taking the order, as well as the quality level of the made to measure house that is building the garment. This should not be confused with “special order” garments, offered by retailers and department stores. Special order suits usually allow variations in just a few places from a stock model suit carried by the retailer. You can sometimes change the sleeve length, or order the pants in a different size than the suit might normally carry, but there is no unique pattern created and little style variation you can request with a special order

What is the difference between a “made-to-measure suit” and one that is “full custom”?

The primary difference in the two processes are that a made to measure suit usually arrives for it’s first fitting (or try-on) at a stage of almost 95% completion. Usually, the suit can arrive sometimes without the sleeves of the garment being finished for length, and the front buttonholes of the coat might be left off till the fitting to allow some latitude in the final placement, although the roll of the lapel will have already been determined. Sometimes, the pant bottoms are also left unfinished, so that the customer can have the hem set with the exact shoes he will be wearing. After making final adjustments, the garment should be measured and the alterations recorded, so that on subsequent orders, the pattern will be corrected, and over time, a refinement of design and preferences are created. Some made to measure sellers are so confident and understand the systems of their makers so well, that they will sometimes try to deliver the suits with out a fitting.

In contrast, the fitting process that takes place with full custom usually involves several fittings to create the final garment. At the first stages, the custom will witness what is called the basted fitting, or try-on garment. At this early stage in production, a garment is just loosely stitched together (so that is can be disassembled after the fitting), without lapels, and sometimes without sleeves to check the balance and hang of the body. At the next fitting, sleeves are checked for proper hang, basted initially then carefully resewn. Experienced tailors are a necessity at every stage to work with this skillfully crafted garment. After multiple fittings, you have a garment that is sculpted around the wearer. Certainly not all buyers need to have basted fittings, but for the first time customer who we deem difficult to fit, it is an excellent option to make a basted try-on before cutting expensive fabric.