When you want a suit that’s just the right fit, but you don’t want to go the bespoke route and have everything, including the pattern made for you, made to measure is a perfect option. However, getting the perfect made to measure suit – sometimes referred to online and in suit shops as MTM suits – isn’t quite as easy as ordering the perfect pizza.

Use these 10 tips when you decide to purchase a MTM suit. Whether it’s the first one you’ve ever had or you’re ordering your 50th, you’ll end up with a suit that looks great and is so well-made you can wear it for years and years to come.

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1. Consider Your Cash Flow

Before you can buy the made to measure suit of your dreams, it might be time for a little reality check. Are you prepared to drop $5,000 on a suit, or are you looking at something just a little bit more economical?

Another consideration when buying a MTM suit is whether or not you really need something that’s top of the line. If you don’t, buying a well-made MTM suit that’s priced in the mid-range might be a better use of your cash.

2. Check Your Wardrobe

Made to measure suits are a great investment for men that wear suits regularly, but only if they check their wardrobe first. After all, ordering another black suit when you’ve already got one in the closet isn’t a very bright move.

Check your wardrobe and find out what you really need. Do you need a lighter color or something for summer? Maybe you need a heavier wool option because you already have wool or cotton-blend suits. Take stock of what you have before ordering a MTM suit.

3. Know Your Needs

Checking your wardrobe and knowing your needs are two different things. When you buy a suit, you need to figure out what you’ll really get the most use out of. Do you work on Wall Street and need a suit that conveys power and professionalism? Do you work in a creative field where you need to look like you know what’s going on in the world of fashion?

Know your needs from a suit before buying. Even if you’re not sure what you need, simply talking to a tailor about what you’re thinking can really help.

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4. Do Some Style Research

Most men who buy made to measure suits are pretty fashion savvy. If you’re not immediately sure of what men are wearing these days and what you want, take the time to do some fashion research online.

You don’t want to spend money on a suit that you realize has lapels that make it look like your father’s suit from 1975, right? A little research when it comes to things like fit and basic styling will go a long way.

5. Choose Fabrics Wisely

When you buy a MTM suit you’ll get to pick from a number of fabrics. Maybe you already have a color in mind, but most made to measure suit makers will have a dozen materials in that particular color.

Consider what you already have in your closet and what the weather around you is like. Are you buying for winter or for summer? Do you need a versatile suit that you can wear all-year long?

Let your suit maker know how you plan on wearing your suit and they’ll help you pick an appropriate material if you’re unsure of what’s right for you.

6. Trim Is In

Your own personal style should dictate what you buy, but that doesn’t mean you should buy a suit that’s completely out of style. Today, slim-fit suits are pretty much all the rage. If you like a traditional cut, think Italian or English instead of 1980s US. You’ll still get a trimmer cut, without buying a true slim-fit suit.

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7. Details Matter

When you’re buying a MTM suit, you’ll be given a variety of options, ranging from your material choice to what type of buttons you like. Take the time to look at suits in your closet and see what you like. You can even browse online or at department stores.

You’ll also need to consider things like inside pockets. Do you need an extra one for your favorite cigar case or that smartphone that never leaves your jacket?

8. Keep it Simple

The details on a suit definitely matter, but sometimes the best thing you can do is to keep it simple. This is especially true if you’re buying a MTM suit that you’re planning on wearing at least once a week.

Simple appointments like a basic lining, classic bone buttons and a two-button jacket are often your best choice.

9. Be Aware of Your Body Type

Your body type plays a major role in what type of suit you should buy, though most men should go for a slimmer fit these days. Talk to your tailor and they’ll help you find a fit that’s flattering and stylish.

10. Find a Good Tailor

A made to measure suit won’t do all of the work for you, so you need a tailor that knows how to give you what you need from a suit. You also need one that knows what’s stylish right now.

Pick a tailor that you can talk with and who understands your style. That one simple thing will make sure you look stylish all the time.

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About Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.