Most men are satisfied buying suits off the rack and having them tailored to fit their bodies.
However, if you want something a little bit finer and made exclusively for you, you’re probably thinking about jumping into the world of custom suits.
While buying custom suits doesn’t have to be a difficult experience for the customer, there are some big differences you may not know.
There are also some things you’ll need to consider before you’re ready to place an order.
Use this guide to figure out what you want in a custom suit and how you’re going to go about it.
Once you’ve taken these things into consideration, you should be ready to get started buying custom suits for your wardrobe.
1. Who’s Your Tailor?
One of the biggest considerations when you’re having custom suits made should be who is going to make it for you. After all, a suit is only as good as the tailor who crafts it for you to wear.
In addition to finding a tailor who’s familiar with custom suits, you’ll also want one that understands the style that you’re going for. That way you’ll be on the same page in terms of cut and overall styling.
That’s particularly important the first time you buy a custom suit and you aren’t sure of how all the details should look on the finished suit.
2. What Brands Do You Prefer?
When you’re having custom suits made knowing which brands you prefer is a great way to tell your tailor what you want since they’ll be familiar with everything from the more traditionally styled Canali and Brioni to high-fashion labels like John Varvatos.
There may also be times when your tailor recommends a custom suit by a particular brand if it fits your style. For example, Brioni does custom pieces and they make some of the best suits in the world.
3. What’s Your Budget?
Most men think that custom suits are going to cost an arm and a leg or that they’ll have to refinance their car to get one. The truth is that custom suits can cost about what off the rack suits cost or they can cost a whole lot more, depending on your preferences.
When it comes to pricing custom suits, the devil really is in the details. When you’re new to the process though, it can be hard to know how much everything is going to cost.
That’s why setting a budget and letting your tailor know what you’re going to be able to spend on a suit is your best bet. They’ll be able to guide you toward high-quality materials and good overall choices for your suit while keeping you on budget.
4. What’s Your Style?
The style of your suit is probably what you’ve been thinking about most up to this point if you’re considering having one made. After all, that’s why most men want to get a custom suit – to have something they truly love wearing.
Can you explain it to your tailor though? If not, examples of suits you love can be helpful, even if that means bringing in a favorite or clipping pictures in magazines.
Your tailor will also be able to help you by showing you examples of everything from lapel width to pleats and non-pleats in pants.
At the very least, you should sit down and try to find some suits you like the look of. Take notes. That way you’ll have a basic understanding of what you like and what you want to avoid when you’re having custom suits made for you.
5. How Often Will You Wear It?
When you’re buying a custom suit, how often you’ll be wearing it is a big consideration. If you’re thinking of getting a suit that you can wear to work every week, you’ll want something versatile and easy to wear. If you’re buying for a wedding, that’s a whole different story.
The biggest consideration in terms of frequency of wear is how the suit will look and feel with the changing seasons. Some suits aren’t good for summer, others aren’t so good for winter, so keep that in mind.
Let your tailor know if you’re looking for a seasonal suit or a year-round suit.
Buying a custom suit allows you to pick almost any material you want. That’s why it’s important to have some idea of what you want before you go in. Do you want a heavy suit that will keep you warm? Do you want linen for the spring months? What about a durable wool blend that you can get away with pretty much all year?
Just give it some thought before you talk with your tailor. The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be for them to find and show it to you.
The color of your suit makes a big difference in how it looks, but this one is completely a personal choice. While you should think about seasonal usage and how often you plan on wearing this suit, you can get anything from a cotton plaid in green to blue to a basic black suit.
Your best bet when having custom suits made is to pick a tone or have some ideas. There are a lot of shades of charcoal, for example, but if you tell your tailor that’s what you want, they can help you narrow it down.
Buttons dramatically alter the way a suit looks, so picking interesting ones is often a good choice. With custom suiting, you can have any type of button you want, from basic plastic to glass or mother of pearl.
If you want something unique but don’t know what, ask your tailor for some options. They’ll be able to make sound recommendations for you based on their knowledge of crafting excellent suits.
9. Special Details
Cigar pockets, double pockets on the inside, wide belt loops or no belt loops – all of these are special details. When you buy customs suits, you get to choose them all.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to have in a suit, make sure you let your tailor know. They’ll be able to implement almost anything within reason if that’s what you truly want out of your custom suits.
10. How Long?
The last thing to think about is how fast you need your suit. Some tailors do rush work, others don’t. Your best bet when it comes to ordering custom suits is to simply give yourself at least a month before you need it.