Most men have never dreamed of buying a bespoke suit, assuming that they’re only for rich guys with six-figure expense accounts. While men with refined taste and lots of money may own bespoke suits, the bar to entry isn’t quite as high as you might think, and more “average” men are having their first bespoke suit made than ever.
Whether you’re ready to pull the trigger on your first bespoke suit or you’re still mulling it over, our tips can help you through the process.
1. Get to Know Your Tailor
Building a relationship with your tailor is important, even if you only have one or two suits made. Talk about what you like and don’t like and even bring examples with you. Your tailor needs to understand what type of bespoke suit you really want.
2. Determine Your Needs
Some guys have to get one single suit that’s perfect for daytime wear. Others might need one just to have in the closet. Before you get a bespoke suit made you need to know what it is you really need out of a suit so you can tell your tailor.
3. Consider Your Desires
Are you interested in a suit that will knock your colleagues over? Do you want a basic bespoke suit that you can wear everywhere and still have the right fit? Maybe you want a unique pattern that you don’t see everywhere?
Consider your desires when it comes to having a bespoke suit made just for you. You can have almost anything you want, but you have to know what that is.
4. What’s Your Style?
Style is important when you’re buying a suit, but everyone’s style is different. Whether you want something classic and timeless or modern and eye-catching, it’s up to you. Take a look at some examples online or in stores before you meet with your tailor.
Bringing photos of styles you like can also be very helpful if you don’t know them by name.
5. What’s Your Fit?
Some men prefer a modern slim fit while others need a more traditional, fuller cut. If you already have a few decent suits, you should know which you prefer. If you don’t, ask your tailor for a few different options and do a little research to see which one you prefer the look of.
6. Any Special Requests?
When you get a bespoke suit made you can have all the special bells and whistles you’ve always wanted. How about a pocket for your favorite cigar size? Maybe one for your business card case? Whatever you want your tailor can give to you – if you make the request early on.
7. Pick Your Pattern
If you want a pattern on your suit you should have some idea of what you want before you meet with your tailor. Even basic ideas are fine, and your tailor will be able to show you multiple plaids, stripes and every other pattern.
Solids are okay, too – just have some idea of what you want so your tailor can help narrow down your choices.
8. Be Aware of Buttons
When you get a custom suit made you can pick any buttons you like. Your tailor will show you many options, but consider going for something unique like a textured button instead of a traditional one.
9. Pay Attention to Pockets
Most guys don’t think about pockets on suits – that’s just how they come, right? It doesn’t have to be that way. Consider your needs for pockets and talk to your tailor. Fewer pockets can be a good thing for many men.
10. What’s the Climate Like?
The material you pick is important and you want something that provides the look you want. However, what could be more important is your climate. Talk to your tailor about when you’re wearing the suit and how often you want to wear it.
Your tailor will give you an idea of what materials are best for summer, winter or all-year wear.
11. What About Lining?
Like buttons, you also get to pick your lining when you buy a bespoke suit. Don’t worry about this too much now – just know that you have an option. Consider climate and what’s comfortable for you.
12. Will it Work at Work?
If you need to wear your suit to work, you need one that’s professional enough for your environment. Consider what other men wear – especially your superiors – if you want to fit in.
13. Do You Own a lot of Suits?
If you don’t own a lot of suits, your first bespoke suit should be plain and in a color you can wear almost everywhere. For most men that means blue, gray or charcoal.
14. Do You Wear Suits at Night?
Not all guys just wear suits to work. In fact, many men find them extremely fashionable. If you’re the type who wants to wear a suit out at night, make sure your tailor knows, especially if that’s the main purpose.
Suits made for this type of wear don’t have to be quite as rigid or formal.