The Ultimate Guide to Custom Tailored Suits
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Get a Suit That You'll Actually Wear.
You've had your measurements taken (by a tailor hopefully). You've picked a sensible style, and a classic fabric color, but you're worried that you may be missing an opportunity to get something truly special made. The salesman did say they could do whatever you want, right? Maybe some velvet trim, or some pronounced chalk-striping? You see everyone around you wearing two-button jackets, maybe you should be different and go for three, or even four?
This line of thinking is common when guys get a suit tailored for the first time. They have a few suits that they've bought off the rack already, and want to do something different with their custom-made experience. A good vendor will have hundreds, if not thousands of fabrics to choose from. Not to mention a wide array of style choices to be made regarding lapels, vents, buttons, etc. Take a minute to think about what occasions you'll want to wear the suit in and make your sartorial decisions accordingly. Remember, it's the near-perfect fit of custom-tailoring that makes you stand out, not the wool-trim on your lapels. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of having a suit made specifically for you.
Don't Forget the Extras
Surgeon's cuffs? Ticket pockets? Natural Shoulders? It's the little things that make a custom-tailored suit truly yours, so don't miss the opportunity to eschew some of the traditional off-the-rack conventions that plague modern menswear outlets. Surgeon's cuffs allow the buttons on the jacket sleeve to be undone. The waist or "ticket" pocket (so named for the train tickets that turn of the century English gentlemen would store in it) has come full circle, and is seen on many modern designs. Natural shoulders are a must for any athletically built man -- you don't need shoulder pads doing the work of shaping your suit when your own shoulders can do it for you.
Personally, I always go for the surgeon's cuffs, and have yet to hear a convincing argument against them. They're a distinct watermark of custom-tailoring, and while lesser-suited men are wasting valuable seconds finding a place to hang their jackets, you're there at attention, with rolled-up jacket sleeves, ready to deliver that baby.
Why not make it a 3-piece?
It's always a good idea to get a vest made with your suit. It usually doesn't cost much extra, and 3-piece suits are coming back in a big way (although you can easily ditch the vest and wear just the jacket and pants). In addition to the "better to have it and not need it" mentally, it's important to note that when everyone else at the office has taken their jackets off by mid-day, it's the man in the vest who's still wearing a suit.
Buying a custom-tailored suit involves more than just walking in a store and picking a fabric. Know your fit and the basic styles ahead of time, and you can't go wrong.
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