This has been a fact since man first started to clothe himself and to quote Shakespeare “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy—rich, not gaudy, for the apparel oft proclaims the man.” Which in layman’s terms equates to – buy the best quality clothes money can buy, because clothes make the man.
1) Do your research – read up about your local tailors, have they got good reviews? Do they specialise in a particular style? Call your tailor for a quick chat before you pay them a visit.
2) Study up on your fabrics; know your tweeds from your super 120. You need to know what you’re asking for.
3) Look for inspiration – who do you think looks good in a suit? From the classics of Sean Connery and Steve McQueen to more modern men such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Craig.
4) Have a style in mind before you visit – much like going to the barber you should never walk in without having an idea of what you want, as you invariably won’t be satisfied with the outcome. What colour do you want? Plain or patterned? 2 piece or 3 piece? How many buttons? There are a multitude of questions and you should at least have an answer for the fundamentals and the tailor can guide you through the rest.
5) When considering the style you should keep in mind that the suit should be good for 3 seasons, you’ll be making a considerable investment so you want to get as much use out of it as possible – don’t splash cash on a summer linen suit.
6) Similarly you should keep the style conservative, flashy patterns and colours are all very well for movie premiers but they can limit the use. This doesn’t mean it has to be boring, some of the most classic and stylish suit are subtle in their detail.
7) When you do finally pay your first visit to the tailor make sure to be dressed accordingly. Rocking up in jeans and your scuffed white trainers is a no no. Wearing a suit gives the tailor an idea of how a garment looks on you, and more importantly wearing proper shoes makes it much easier for the tailor to judge and measure you. Besides who wants to wear old trainers and jeans anyway ?
For me having a bespoke suit made is a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience, yes it is expensive but this suit should last you a life time. So my final piece of advice is have fun with the details, make it personal, and above all enjoy your suit! The real challenge comes after of staying in the same shape so you can continue using your suit, still this is what alterations are for.