Just as every woman needs a little black dress in her wardrobe, every man needs a tailored suit. But what makes made-to-measure such a unique – and worthwhile – experience? A made-to-measure suit is more than just a suit that fits immaculately. It is, quite simply, an experience. And a memorable one at that. Little wonder, then, that those who opt for a made-to-measure suit usually find it difficult – sometimes impossible – to go back!
So, what’s all the fuss about? Why does acquiring a made-to-measure suit rank so highly on every man’s must have list?
Unless you’re blessed with sample size proportions, most off-the-peg clothing (purchased straight from the shop floor) will need some sort of tweaking, whether it’s an adjustment of the sleeve length, a tightening or loosening of the jacket, or a raising or lowering of the trouser length. That’s why when you look at the back of most mannequins, they’re nipped and pinned to within an inch of their life.
Truth is, few things match the sensation of a garment that perfectly fits your body. And that’s the real draw of a made-to-measure suit: it’s created precisely for your body.
While made-to-measure allows you to modify your suit to accommodate your tastes and preferences, it also means that you can avail of the tailor’s know-how and vast experience, which will ensure that you end up with a cut and style that flatters you.
There are numerous tricks up a professional tailor's sleeve, any of which can enhance the look and feel of a suit. Increasing the front edge of a jacket for those with a larger frame, for example, will result in a more flattering silhouette while not looking tight. Men with a slimmer frame, meanwhile, should wear the suit neat to accentuate their waistline.
One of the greatest joys of the made-to-measure experience is that it presents so much scope to meet your exact requirements.
At the initial meeting with the tailor, you will be able to pick everything, from the lapel width and the number of buttons on the jacket front and sleeve to whether it’s single- or double-breasted, notch or peak lapels, the number (if any) of vents, and whether you opt for slanted or straight pockets.
You will, of course, also have thousands of fabrics to choose from, enabling you to create a personalised suit that meets your exact tastes and requirements. Whether it’s a light linen suit for a beachfront wedding, or something more practical, such as a navy number that can be worn throughout the year, every requirement can be catered for.
Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the entire made-to-measure experience is adding in the finishing touches. Details such as discreet monogrammed initials inside the jacket, or a daring pop of colour in the jacket’s silk lining will elevate your unique suit from ordinary to extraordinary. After all, the devil truly is in the detail.
A made-to-measure suit is expensive and yet it is always a bargain – it will likely result in the finest suit that you will wear in your lifetime, and one you will wear time and time again.
And for style-aware men who appreciate the importance of presentation, it inevitably rates as an excellent investment.