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For many people, a personal tailor is more of a necessity than a luxury. That’s because no two bodies are exactly alike. If one shoulder is a little higher than the other, or if your left arm extends a little further than your right, your tailored clothing can accommodate it perfectly. Everything you wear will be designed to flatter you, to highlight your strengths and deflect attention away from undesirable details.

You can also choose every detail of a suit and the shape of every element; the finished product will be a true reflection of your sense of style and personality. If you’re not sure what you want at any point, you can lean on the expert advice of your tailor.

When you wear custom suits, you’ll look and feel powerful. They may give you the extra psychological boost you need for success in job interviews, at networking events and so on. While tailored clothing might cost more upfront, it’s likely to last years longer than off-the-rack attire. You’ll save money in the end.

Not every tailor offers outstanding services, though. It’s unwise to search online for the phrase “custom suits NJ” and choose at random a name that pops up. Instead, here are some tips for making sure that your tailor provides the best fit in every sense of the word.

1. Start With Location

Try to find a tailor near your home. If you live in New Jersey, you’ll want to find custom suits in NJ, not trek into New York City for a tailor. It makes sense to stick to a neighborhood shop.

At some point, you might realize you need suit alterations as soon as possible. Wouldn’t it be more convenient to jog down the street than to brave the Lincoln Tunnel? You can save your Manhattan trips for when you’re in the mood for $30 pizza.

2. Put a Premium on Experience

This criterion is simple. Before giving a particular tailor your business, find out where he or she studied the craft of clothes making. Did this person complete an apprenticeship with a master tailor, and did that period of study last for at least a few years?

Also, how long has this tailor been in business? Someone who’s operated a thriving shop for several years or more is highly desirable.

3. Consider Selection and Variety

Before you commit, visit the tailoring establishment and have a thorough look around. Do you see numerous brand names and a wide range of fabrics, pants and jackets? Ask if you can examine some samples as well. The store should be able to provide you with clothes representing different cuts, fits and styles, all beautifully crafted and expertly stitched.

Ask to see some accessories. A tailor ought to have an abundance of them in stock: pocket squares, bow ties, cummerbunds, suspenders and so forth. These items can create a detailed and layered effect. They can also complement and draw out certain colors or patterns, and they add to the overall sophistication of a suit.

4. Ask Yourself: Could I Have a Rapport With This Tailor?

Search for someone you communicate with well. Your tailor shouldn’t rush you, and it should be pleasant to ask him or her questions. If this person answers you rudely, you may decide to keep quiet. As a result, you won’t get all the information you need to make decisions, and your suit won’t be as personalized as it could be.

If you can have honest and enjoyable conversations with a tailor of custom suits in NJ, it’ll be easy to build a relationship over time. And, after a while, he or she will really get to know your tastes and preferences.

5. Investigate Reputations and Put Finalists to the Test

You’ve narrowed your hunt to a few promising candidates. What do their online reviews say? Sure, anyone can receive an unfairly negative review or an overly enthusiastic one. But, in the aggregate, internet reviews usually give you a good sense of a tailor’s reputation.

Referrals can be even more valuable. Glowing endorsements from friends, family members or colleagues may very well steer you in the right direction.

Even so, it always makes sense to test a tailor. You could give him or her a jacket or a pair of pants that you don’t care too much about. Ask for an alteration, and then check the work carefully. If you’re not sure what to look for, find a friend who can do the inspection for you. If the piece of clothing now fits you flawlessly, you’ve probably found your tailor.

There’s good news and there’s bad news for everyone seeking custom suits in NJ. The bad news is that finding the ideal tailor takes time. Excellent tailors are rare pearl, and a tailor who’s just right for your needs is rarer still. It’s easy to get burned. The good news is that by doing your homework and studying a few promising prospects, you’re likely to find a perfect match: the tailor of your dreams; the outfitter of your destiny.

men's fashion advice

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.