A ‘Made to Measure’ suit is a garment made individually for you. Not to be mistaken with ‘Bespoke Tailoring’, made to measure should be a suit you have created by choosing from many different fabrics, linings and different styles.
Single breasted, double breasted, one, two or three buttons, vents or no vents, narrow trouser or bell bottoms… these should be the choices available to you.
A Perfect Fit
More importantly, a made to measure suit should fit your unique measurements to allow for any ‘wonky bits’ that you may have. This could be unusually long arms, one leg shorter than the other or a big or petite bum area.
Buying ‘off the peg’ is OK, but usually there is something not quite right and therefore the suit doesn’t look 100%. Some tailoring can improve the fit, but there are limits and this will certainly add to your bill. A made to measure suit created for you should mean that the suit fits perfectly, or almost perfectly, straight away. If it doesn’t then any amendments required will be minor, and the price you agreed initially will include these.
A proper made to measure service should insist that you carry out at least two fittings, if not three – the initial consultation, a first fitting upon arrival of your suit, and then the final tweak nearer your event to ensure a relevant fit at the time.
Modern and cheaper made to measure services are usually cheaper for a reason. Fabrics are average, production of the suits can often take place in places they shouldn’t, and your sizes are actually processed to fit a generic block. Addition fittings are often not recommended or planned for (labour costs), resulting in huge alteration charges.
With a proper made to measure service, if they’ve measured your unique size i.e. one arm shorter than the other, this is what will arrive. Upon your second visit/fitting you will see a semi finished article. This is when you try on the core outfit to take a look at the fit. They will carry out pinning/take notes such as ‘narrow waist of jacket’, ‘narrow sleeves’ or ‘shorten trousers a further .25’ etc, with the suit then returned to the specialists to action those amendments. With no need to rush, the suit is then returned ‘finished’; hey presto.
Remember – decent made to measure cannot be cheap. If it is, it isn’t real.
Guest post by Stephen Bishop
Image from Flickr by Angelbattle Brox (CC BY-ND License)