First of all, I know bespoke tailoring isn’t the most affordable thing in the world, but when compared to other sectors of the luxury goods market, it’s actually quite affordable. A bespoke suit will run you anywhere between £1200 for your local tailor in London to perhaps £5000 for Savile Row, and I’m sure that number can get pushed even higher if need be. So when compared to a car or another big ticket purchase, suits are very affordable, and when treated with care and respect, they can last a lifetime. I myself have three suits that were my fathers and the oldest item in my wardrobe is from 1938.
(My man’s little studio)
Now, is bespoke tailoring for everyone, or for that matter necessary? If you wear a suit all the time, it might be a prudent investment, and to be frank, most people who wear off-the-peg suits look like rubbish. It seems that in 2016 most (95%) people are content with looking like a bag of excrement most of the time dressed in clothing made in some horrible sweatshop in the third world. There seems to be no real investment in one’s style or wardrobe these days, and as a result people look horrible.
(Front of a single beasted jacket)
Now, if one finally decides to make the plunge into bespoke clothing, the first obstacle to deal with is actually finding a tailor. In many places this is just impossible. I used to live in Atlanta and there are idiots at places like unnamed morons in Atlanta who think they know what they’re doing, but in reality they don’t have a clue. In fact those monkeys destroyed one of my father’s suits once. London would be the most obvious place to find a skilled tailor. Italy of course. Paris, and I’m sure there is at least one competent tailor in New York.
(It seems a sleeve has been removed)
Now once you found a chap, you’ve got to figure out what you want. Of course if you’re just starting off building your arsenal, navy is the first place to start, then maybe onto grey. After that, the only thing holding you back is your imagination and your budget. Choosing the cloth, lining, and styling of a suit is also a lot of fun.
(A little long in the body)
I recently attended a second fitting on my brother’s suit with my tailor David in London. I’ve known David for a few years and he’s knocked up four suits for me and done countless alterations. I trust the man implicitly, and would recommend him to anyone. His prices are excellent, and his work top-notch. My father has had a few pieces done by him along with some of my friends.
Fittings are a bit of fun. Try on the suit that is starting to develop some shape and see what needs to fixed here and there. You want three to four fittings on your suit, or as many are necessary to get the job done right. Of course this process isn’t quick, and should never be rushed.
(Tools of the trade, overlock machine in the foreground)
After a few months, when your suit is finally finished, you’ll be amazed at not only how well it fits, and the differences in construction and feel from an off the peg number. Of course there is no point in wearing a gorgeous bespoke suit with cheap shoes and shirts, so appropriate pieces will have to be secured in those departments as well.
(How the jacket looks for a second fitting)
Once you’ve entered the realm of bespoke tailoring, it’s near impossible to go back, and why would you? People ought to look at their clothing as an investment, and purchase accordingly.
(Inside of the chest)
Remember that suits don’t always have to be uber formal. A navy suit with a white shirt sans tie is a great look. The other benefit of wearing a suit is that you can get in anywhere. No worries about a dress code or looking out of place. And if you’re worried about being overdressed, don’t. Feel safe in the knowledge that the proletariat in their jeans, trainers and t-shirts look like garbage, and you look good.
(Horse-hair interfacing for the chest)
Remember: Style is Permanent.