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Your ultimate guide to ordering a bespoke suit

If you have never worn a bespoke suit – and hence have never ordered one – it can seem like a rigorous process, perhaps not even worth all the effort. Novices usually also think that it’s expensive and reserved only for the rich or the elite. Luckily, in the world of today, these opinions have become myths; ordering a bespoke suit is now easy and convenient.

The advantages of a bespoke suit can’t be stressed enough; not only does the wearer look great, the experience of wearing a suit that is made especially for you, according to your specifications, and fits very comfortably is an empowering one. But how and where do you start? Here’s your ultimate guide to ordering a bespoke suit.

It’s not made-to-measure

There is a distinction to be made between a bespoke suit and a made-to-measure suit. Just to be clear: a bespoke suit is developed from scratch, straight from the drawing board. In the good old-fashioned days, it was done with cloth, measuring tape, and chalk. Made-to-measure means that the tailor takes your measurements and chooses the templates that fit you best.

The difference lies in the details – and even a quarter of an inch of difference can mean a lot. Made-to-measure means you’re likely to find a suit that fits you very well. A bespoke suit will fit you perfectly, and nobody else will be able to wear it like you do.

Materials

You choose what kind of fabric you like. Be careful with the budget – there are some cheaper and more expensive options. The fabric is the main factor regarding price.

The canvas

The canvas (either traditional or modern) is meant to give the suit a straight shape; it prevents it from deforming or sagging. It’s found between the outer and inner layer of the suit jacket. Make sure to ask your tailor about it.

Where it’s made

Beware: just because you go to a local tailor doesn’t necessarily mean that the suit will actually be made there. Ask about it.

Your style?

Your tailor should give you plenty of options when it comes to style – from the colour to the number of buttons, from the collar to the length of the sleeves. Choose your own style. Express yourself.

The process can vary from tailor to tailor, but there are certain procedures common to all. Your first session is usually for consultation, in which questions of materials, style, and preferences are discussed. The tailor should be able to show you samples, pictures, and drawings. Then comes the initial measuring – this is a relatively quick procedure. Upon these measurements, a ‘loose fit’ is constructed, and during several sessions, adjustments are made. It can take a few weeks to get it right, but it’s certainly worth it to get a perfect suit, and the comfort it gives.

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