“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different”, Coco Chanel
A word to the wise, never underestimate the power or presence of a good suit. The shoulder seam that broadens the shoulder, the tapered jacket that nips the waste, a carefully considered break in the trouser that lengthens the leg. A great suit helps a chap stand straighter and carry himself with poise and pride. It helps him look his best.
But, let it be said, not all suits were created equal. Rarely, if ever, can such results be achieved with an off-the-peg alternative.
A bespoke suit is a masterpiece of tailoring that goes beyond the confines of standard sizing to ensure a personalized fit that flatters the frame and allows its wearer to infuse their personality, preferences and style choices into every stitch.
It’s a commitment to being distinctive, different and, of course, irreplaceable.
So let’s dive into exactly what makes a bespoke suit so special and helps explain why it’s worth its weight in gold.
Consultations and measurements
The process begins with a consultation between the wardrobe consultant and the client. Unlike a usual in-store appointment, this isn’t about ‘selling’ you a suit. It’s the beginning of an intimate collaboration that will enable the consultant, cutter and tailor to understand your preferences, style and specific requirements.
Precise measurements are taken at this stage to capture the nuances of your physique and stance. This collaborative approach ensures that the suit isn’t just tailored to fit you like a glove, but it’s also designed to enhance your individuality.
At the heart of any good suit, is a good fabric. At this stage, your consultant will share a range of materials. Any tailors worth their salt will have an extensive variety of premium options at their fingertips, so read it as a red flag if they fall short.
At Ascots & Chapels, we have an archive of over 6,000 of the finest materials exclusively woven by trusted suppliers, from traditional tailoring fabrics like pure New Wool to bright tonal shades of Merino Extra Fine Panama, along with over 1000 lining samples.
Your consultant will provide expert advice on fabric choices here, ensuring a finish that combines a luxurious feel with durability and longevity.
Once you have finalised fabric choices and measurements, the cutter creates a pattern—a blueprint for the entire garment. The importance here lies in the meticulous attention to detail to ensure a flawless fit that complements the unique contours of your body. Every curve, slope and angle will be taken into consideration, promising a suit that drapes seamlessly and enhances your physique.
This is where the garment transforms from a suit to your suit.
Cut and Assembly
The actual crafting of the suit involves the equally meticulous cutting of fabric pieces to ensure seamless alignment during assembly. The first draft, known as the basted garment, lacks buttons, lapels, or buttonholes, and is held together with white stitching.
This basted fitting allows you both to assess the initial stages of construction and make crucial adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. It enables you both to fine-tune the suit’s proportions and address any areas that need alteration.
Think of it as your blank canvas.
Fittings and Adjustments
Unlike quick-turnaround tailors who promise a suit in a matter of days, the bespoke process demands time and commitment. Multiple fittings—typically three or four—are essential to ensure perfect fit.
Remember, perfection requires patience. Any tailor who promises to knock up a suit in 72 hours is not creating a bespoke suit. On Saville Row, it can take 12-16 weeks to create a bespoke suit, so be prepared to wait.
Each fitting gives you the opportunity to try on the suit and enables the tailor to make necessary adjustments, ensuring a garment that drapes flawlessly.
Hand-finishing and details
The culmination of this journey involves hand-finishing and detailing – lapels, pockets, buttonholes, and more. We’ll be frank, done properly, this can elevate a suit to a work of art.
Elements like hand-stitched details and personalized monogramming not only contribute to the suit’s durability but also imbue it with a distinctive character – your distinctive character.
From the initial consultation to the final hand-stitched details, a British bespoke suit is a labour of love. While quick-turnaround options may be tempting, the true essence of bespoke tailoring lies in the time, effort, and expertise dedicated to creating a garment that not only transcends fashion but becomes a timeless reflection of individual style – and makes you look damn good at the same time.
Ready to invest in a bespoke suit? Pop into your favourite store for your first consultation.
We look forward to seeing you very soon.
Author: Gary Sweeney