Plenty of men are content in buying a suit off the rack and having the pants finished to the right length. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to wear a jacket right off the rack! However, most guys need alterations to make a suit that came right off the rack of a menswear store or department store look decent.

A skilled tailor can turn a basic off the rack suit into something that looks quite good on you, but the fact is that you’ll never be able to get the level of precision that you would with custom fit suits. That’s why so many guys are choosing custom fit suits from a tailor instead of heading down to the department store when they have their annual sale.

If you’ve never ordered a custom fit suit, it might seem a bit confusing. Most guys just don’t know what to look for, what the process will be like or what they’re really going to get.

Use this guide to help you understand custom fit suits and what you need to consider before adding them to your wardrobe.

What’s Your Budget?

When you buy custom fit suits you’ll likely be presented with a wide variety of different options. For the average man, that means that you can pick a suit that’s cost-effective for work, or a suit that you want to splurge on.

Before you visit your tailor it’s a good idea to figure out your budget. Whether you’re just starting your career and you’re looking at $1,000, or you’re the CEO and you don’t mind spending $7,500, custom fit suits can be part of your wardrobe.

Consider Your Style

Custom suits can come in pretty much any style that you want, and if you’re unsure of what you like, your tailor should be able to guide you and show you examples. Still, it’s a smart idea to look online or through some fashion magazines to see what styles you like.

Slim-fit is currently the most popular, but it isn’t right for every guy. If you’re not sure what you like, grab a picture or bookmark a site on your smartphone to show your tailor.

Pick Quality Brands

Buying a custom fit suit will allow you to purchase any number of brands, from well-known makers like Hugo Boss and Brioni, to more modern labels like Hickey Freeman and John Varvatos. The brand you pick is really going to depend on your personal style.

Your best bet is to know your budget and style. Your tailor will be able to recommend brands that fit your needs and desired look. Of course, working with a tailor that only deals with quality brands is a good start on the path to a fine custom fit suit.

Material Concerns

Custom fit suits come in so many different materials that it can be a little confusing for the average man who just wants to look his best. Quality tailors will have enough choices to make your head spin, but if you want the right suit, this is actually a good thing.

Let your tailor know how you intend to wear the suit and how often you’re going to be wearing it. That will help them guide you toward different materials like tropical wool or blends for year round wear, linen or lightweight blends for summer and heavier wool and wool blends for the fall and winter months.

Choose Your Color

With so many different materials at your fingertips when you buy a custom fit suit, it stands to reason that you can pick pretty much any color under the sun. However, what you actually choose really depends on your wardrobe and your needs.

A photo posted by Mitch (@meeeotch) on

If you’re just building a collection of suits for work and don’t have a lot of options, your best bets are charcoal, navy blue, midnight blue or black. You’ll get the most versatility out of these colors and you can wear them almost anywhere.

Men that already have the basics in their closet should consider colors that are versatile but stylish right now. Earth tones like olive, rich brown and rusty red are very popular, and custom fit suits tend to look excellent in these colors.

Details, Details, Details

Custom fit suits allow you to pick out every detail that you could ever want, from specialty buttons to patterned lining. All of those options can become pretty overwhelming to the average guy.

If you’re not sure of any special features that you want, go ahead and ask your tailor for some options about things like buttons, closures and lining. You can get a basic suit that’s free of frills or something that’s as detailed and vibrant as you can imagine.

Find the Right Tailor

Buying a custom fit suit can greatly improve your wardrobe, and once you start wearing one, you’ll likely want more. However, finding the right tailor is a very important part of getting suits that you really like.

When you’re looking for a tailor you need to talk about your style, budget and your basic needs. They should understand where you’re coming from and be able to show you options that you really like.

You’ll also want to know about your tailor’s experience. Look for a high-quality menswear store and tailor like Sal Lauretta for Men so you get the perfect suit every time.


Ralph Lauretta

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.

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