Updated: Jul 14
Wondering whether buying a tailored suit or coat is worth the money and hassle? Here’s a complete guide to tailored fashion to help you make an informed decision. Getting your clothes made to measure used to be a sign of wealth or fame. However, times have changed and the age of the gentleman is making a welcome return. While getting a professional to tailor your suit or coat is always going to cost more than picking up an alternative off the shelf, it hasn’t put off a new generation of fashionistas from taking the plunge. So, what’s the appeal of tailored fashion? Are tailoring and alterations really worth the extra notes? Here’s everything you need to know.
The types of tailored fashion Before you can decide whether tailored fashion is worth the time and money, it’s vital to understand the two types of tailoring suit services available.
The bespoke suit – this tailoring option is created from scratch and will be entirely hand-sewn. It’s a long process that usually requires around three or more fittings and the tailor will keep your paper pattern to use for future suits.
The made-to-measure suit – this style of tailoring is the cheaper option as it involves using an existing pattern to fit and uses machines to stitch much of the material. Only the finer details are hand-stitched. You will usually have fewer options of materials with this type of tailoring. However, if you find one you like, it’s worth doing as the final product is almost identical to a bespoke suit.
Is tailoring and alterations an investment? One of the main plus points about tailoring your suit or coat is the quality factor. Just like our handmade shoes, choosing a top product might cost you more money in the short-term, but it could save you a lot more in the long-run as you’d get a lifetime of use out of it. The biggest revelation a lot of people aren’t aware of is that your usual waist size isn’t necessarily right. You see, the fashion industry is more concerned with flattery than accuracy, so a lot of brands tend to label clothing smaller than it actually is. So if you usually wear a 34-inch trouser, the chances are that your waist size is actually 36 inches. A tailor will help you find the perfect size. There’s a stark contrast in the buying process too, with it feeling more like an experience instead of a rush job. You get the luxury of:
being properly measured
picking the types of fabrics that you like
choosing between modern tapering of the trousers or a more traditional look
opting for stylistic preferences like lapels
measuring your trousers to match your favourite Percy Stride shoes.
However, one of the best reasons to use a tailoring and alterations service is the experience and knowledge that they provide. For instance, if you have a prominent seat at a wedding, you might be urged to choose a double vent flap at the bottom of your suit jacket as it won’t hug around your backside when you’re in front of large groups. A tailored suit or coat is about investing in long-lasting fabrics, choosing a style that suits your requirement and is made in a better way. These three elements will ensure that you get decades of wear out of it instead of a couple of years.
How long will my suit take to make?
A made-to-measure suit or coat only takes a couple of weeks to make. However, a bespoke suit could take anywhere between three and four months. It may seem like a long time, but there really isn’t a replacement for quality.
Where to get your coat or suit tailored?
The sign of a good tailor is someone who listens to your needs, gently nudges you towards certain styles and makes you feel like you’ve made the decision entirely on your own. Savile Row in London is undoubtedly one of the best streets in the world to receive this kind of service. In fact, if you’re a fan of the Kingsman films, you may want to check out the Huntsman shop that inspired Matthew Vaughn’s blockbuster movie. If you are looking for something outside of the capital, it’s worth looking into some independent tailoring and alterations services. We highly recommend Clifton Suits in Bristol or Richard Grimes Bespoke Tailors in Ipswich. Need some quality dress shoes to go with your tailored suit or coat? Then take a look at our range of shoes today or try our blog: What colour shoes should I wear with my suit?