Getting A Custom Made Suit?
These are the most important considerations.
Do you have a special event coming up, or are you just in the market for a new business suit? This article steps you through the key considerations when hunting for a custom made suit.
What is a custom made suit?
Otherwise known as "Made to Measure", this is one step below bespoke and a step above off the rack clothing. Custom made is ideal for someone wanting to create something secial or just after a comfortable and perfect fitting suit.
How does it work?
At Mitchell Ogilvie Tailoring we start with your body measurements creating an individual pattern from which your tailored garments are cut. Once the construction is completed overseas the garment arrives in Australia ready for your second fitting. Any final adjustments are completed here in Sydney.
We believe every man should have a tailor. The first step is to ensure you have a great connection, you will spend a lot of time with your tailor over the years so your relationship is very important.
As there are several benefits to getting a custom suit, it is important to understand what you are paying for, so here are the key areas to consider;
Most made to measure pricing is dictated by the quality of the cloth. Some cloths are made in Asia and others in the UK, Italy and France. Those made in Asia are good options for the entry level "Made to Measure" garments as they are reasonable quality but less expensive. Learning where cloths are made will help you understand the quality and the price you should be paying as it can fluctuate greatly depending on origin.
When you select a fabric made of natural fibres such as wool, cotton, silk, cashmere or vicuna means they will breathe well and will stand the test of time.
Thread count or super count is equally as important. Matching the thread count for your personal requirements and body type is essential. A very high thread count normally produces a finer and more delicate fabric which is not ideal for an every day suit, as you may wear through the fabric too quickly. A super count of 110 to 130 is the perfect balance between comfort and durability good for everyday use, whereas Super 180 is soft on the touch and normally used in luxury suits, which should not be worn more than once a week.
The weight or grams per lineal meter refers to the density of thickness of the cloth. Anything under 220 grams to 320 grams is excellent for all year round weight. For a winter suit or sports jacket you would be looking for 330 grams up to - 400grams for cooler weather.
Fusing is another construction technique, unlike canvas, fusing is glued to the internal fabric of the suit to help hold its shape. This is a more affordable option however it does not always provide longevity in the garment, as the glue can break down and pull away from the fabric, losing its structure over the years.
Unconstructed suits, are incredibly popular in the tailoring scene currently. An unconstructed jacket means most of the formal construction has been removed, no canvas, minimal shaping,
and sometimes it is only half lined or completely unlined. This creates a softer, looser and more comfortable shape, and is very popular for spring and casual wear or year round for those living in warmer climates. It is a great option for the gentleman who travels a lot and wants to avoid a suit that crushes as it makes the garment more versatile and comfortable for everyday wear.
The “fitting” of the suit is essentially the most important factor. A suit should not only look good it should feel good. If you walk into the office and the first thing you want to do is take off your jacket it's probably a sign that it’s not a perfectly fitting garment. When paying for a "Made to Measure" suit it should be exactly that, custom made for you. Look at how the suit fits across your shoulders, how the sleeves fall, how the pants feel around your waist and how the fabric drapes down to the floor. Basically you are looking to avoid any major creases in the fabric, areas of tension or sagging and trying to create the most sleek look possible.
On reflection, key areas to consider are cloth, construction and the fit of the garment. Each may rank differently in terms of importance depending on your personal requirements. So don't be afraid to ask the questions, your tailor is a specialist and will assist in guiding you in the right direction.
Finally, fabric composition refers to the blend or makeup of the fabric, for example 60% linen and 40% wool is a great option for someone wanting the more relaxed look of linen, while the wool helps minimising crushing and ensuring a nice bounce back. Understanding the benefits of each natural fibre and how they can work together will help you to select a cloth to suit your lifestyle requirements.
Let’s talk about construction!
There are several ways suits are put together these days so it's helpful to understand the benefits of the garment’s construction. The internal structure of a suit is called the canvas. It was traditionally made of horsehair which was sewn between the lining and the cloth of the jacket to help hold its form. This is a method still used today and will create a traditional and pristine looking suit. These days there are many man made materials that have been created to replace the traditional horsehair canvas which are cheaper, so it's worth checking what you are getting and paying for.
Most suits these days are constructed with what's called “half canvas”, so the canvas starts at the top of the shoulder over the chest. However you can request full canvas which is excellent for a gentleman who prefers a more structured and firm looking suit, it is also a good option when selecting a softer draping fabric like linen or a silk blend to help keep its form.