In this guide, I’ll discuss buying tips for your first made-to-measure suit.
I can tell you two things with certainty, having gone through made to measure several times myself. One, it will be an extremely exhilarating experience, and two, it will be absolutely overwhelming.
The sheer number of options available to you and the decisions you must make might be overwhelming.
You’ll start second-guessing yourself and become frustrated as a result.
Have faith in me. I say this because I’ve been through all of it and understand how terrible it can be.
That’s why I’ve put together this 5-point guide to ensure you’re well prepared for your first consultation.
Keep It Classic
The first tip is to keep it classic.
Menswear and specifically designed apparel has grown a lot more mainstream and trendy, which is a terrific thing.
As a result, you’ll see a lot of imagery that is, to be honest, a little excessive.
Even if you only have a passing interest in menswear, you’ve seen all the street-style photographs from Fashion Weeks across the world where guys go a bit too far.
To be clear, some of these guys are going for a reaction, while others are just looking for a laugh. They want their picture taken, and photographers and editors of magazines are looking for more flamboyant looks to push out into the world.
Despite appearances, this is not how the vast majority of people dress, and being flamboyant and crazy does not imply having good taste.
You want your first made to measure suit to be something you can wear for the rest of your life, especially if it’s your first.
Not just something you’ll wear once in a while and then regret buying afterwards.
That means sticking to a classic color like navy blue or charcoal grey and erring on the conservative side when it comes to details like lapels, pockets, and fit.
The Game Plan
The second tip is to make a game plan. This is critically important.
Before you enter the showroom, you should have a good concept of what you want.
This will save you time and frustration, and it will make the entire process go much more smoothly.
Examine your closet to see what you have and don’t have.
Are you looking for a simple suit, such as a business suit, or merely a sport coat?
A lot of it depends on your life and what you need it for.
Also, if this is your first time, it’s important that you research a few basic suit elements.
Not only to see what you enjoy, but also to truly comprehend and grasp what those things are if you are unfamiliar with them.
For instance, do you want a notch or a peak lapel; flat, patch, or jetted pockets; a double vent or a single vent?
These are only the things; most made-to-measure programs allow you to specify a majority of products and details, such as buttons, number of buttons, and linings. You name it, and it’s there.
So having a general understanding of some of those fundamental concepts will be quite beneficial.
Go To a Shop
The next suggestion is to go to a real shop.
These days, there are a plethora of online made-to-measure options for guys. Some of them are legitimate, while others are total rip-offs.
Although buying online may appear to be incredibly easy, nothing compares to the experience of going a showroom.
Seeing, touching, and comparing all of your options in person is essential. The most important thing is to have your measurements measured by a professional.
No matter how brilliant or revolutionary someone claims their software or online fit procedure is, you will never obtain a decent fit until you are measured in person by someone who can see your posture and a variety of other unique facts about your body.
So, if you want to avoid a large potential problem, do yourself a favor and avoid online programs in favor of finding a respected local program.
Open to Suggestions
The fourth tip is to be receptive to suggestions.
This is where going a physical showroom rather than shopping online makes a lot of sense, especially if you’re shopping for the first time and aren’t sure what you want.
Hopefully, the tailor or shop owner has a time of experience and can help you guide the process, make selections, and put together exactly what you’re looking for.
But I will warn you that you should exercise caution. You don’t want to be pushed around, and you especially don’t want to be pushed into doing anything you know you’re not comfortable with or that you simply don’t want.
The vast majority of people you encounter are customer-oriented; they’re focused on you, trying to read you and figure out exactly what you want.
However, some people, and I have personally experienced this, have very strong opinions about how something should be, particularly when it comes to things like fit, jacket length, and trouser length, all of which are more or less subjective and personal preferences.
But they’ll insist that this is what you want and need, and they’ll try to push you to go in a route you didn’t want to go in.
That is why it is important that you have a plan in game before embarking on this experience. So, if something like this starts to happen, you can confidently respond, “No, that’s not what I’m into.” This is the route I wish to take.
Finally, remember to be patient.
It’s not like going into a store and buying something off the shelf when you have a made-to-measure experience. It’s better because the clothing are made specifically for you, but it takes time.
In general, your suit should take between six and eight weeks to complete.
The point is that you must plan ahead of time. It’s not going to happen if you need a suit for the wedding you’re going next week.
There’s one more thing I’d want to mention concerning timing, and that is that everyone requests that their order be hastened.
Don’t be the guy who does it.
Respectful, understanding, and mindful that when your suit arrives, you will require some extra modifications.
It’s perfectly natural.
Some are simple, such as a hem, and take very little time. Others, such as tapering a pant or taking in a jacket, necessitate more time.
In general, I recommend adding a week to your ultimate delivery schedule.
So, if you’re looking about getting into made-to-measure for the first time, congrats. It’s true.
It will undoubtedly be an exciting experience, one that I hope will be fruitful. One that makes you fall in love with everything about the garment you’ve had made for you.
So, to recap my five recommendations for your first made-to-measure suit:
Keep it simple, plan ahead, visit a real store, be open to suggestions, and be patient.