Off the rack suits may be suitable for many occasions, but there may be a time that calls for a custom-tailored suit. But what is involved in having a suit custom tailor made, and is it worth the expense?
We take a look at the process of having a custom-tailored suit made in order to help you decide if this is a good investment and how much it is likely to cost you.
Made To Measure
The most important part of having a custom-tailored suit made is to get the measurements correct.
Your tailor will need to take detailed measurements so that the fit of your suit is exact and looks good. Everyone’s measurements are different so the process of taking measurements to make a custom-tailored suit will be very precise.
Tailors are used to taking measurements and will normally include this service in the price of the suit. It is rarely charged as an extra as the measurements form the basis for the tailoring of your custom-tailored suit.
The time that it takes for a tailor to measure your dimensions will ensure that your suit will be a perfect fit for you. The tailor will take around 10-15 different measurements. Measurements will include across the shoulder width, chest size and arm length for the jacket.
For the trousers of your suit a tailor will measure your leg length from hips to ankle and inside leg measurements for a perfect fit. Without exacting measurements it would be impossible to make a good custom-tailored suit, so this part of the process is very important to get right.
Which Suit Material?
Perhaps the most important part of having a suit tailored to your specific needs is the material that you choose. This can also be the most costly part of the process.
Not all materials are the same with some more expensive than others. You can choose from a cotton-blend and lightweight linen for summer. Or warm wool or wool blends for the colder months.
The quality of the material will above all else influence the price of your custom-tailored suit. Your tailor will be able to help you make the right choice for your needs and budget.
You may want a smart work suit that you will be wearing every day. Or perhaps you are having a special occasion suit made, for example if you are getting married.
A work suit will typically be a two-piece suit with jacket and trousers or three piece with the addition of a waistcoat. A formal suit will be four pieces, jacket, trousers, waistcoat and bow tie.
For really special occasions a five-piece suit will consist of a jacket, trousers, waistcoat, bow tie or tie and a dress shirt. Whatever the function of the suit your tailor will be able to guide you to the right material.
You will have the option to add different details to your suit depending on your taste or the function of the custom-tailored suit. It is similar to having additional features added to a new car with additions adding to the cost.
The beauty of having a suit custom tailored to your exact specifications is the level of detail that you can include. For instance a single breasted suit will be less expensive than a double breasted suit which would be used for more formal occasions.
Button material is another detail that you can specify. Basic buttons will usually be plastic, but you may want enamel buttons. Or for a touch of real quality you can have silver, gold or onyx buttons which will cost more.
Lining your new suit in silk will feel and look great, but it will cost a lot more than a basic suit lining. The number of internal pockets can also increase the cost of your custom made suit.
The more detail and luxury you add to your suit, as with a new car, the price will increase proportionally. Higher quality will invariably mean higher costs.
The price that you pay for a custom-tailored suit will depend on a number of factors. The material that you choose and the style of the suit. Additional extras such as enamel, silver, gold or onyx buttons, silk lining and extra internal pockets will all add to the total cost.
Costs can vary from around $1,500 for a custom made everyday work suit with basic lining and plastic buttons to more than $6,500 for a silk lined, high quality wool suit with silver or gold buttons.
The style and function of the suit will also add to the cost. A two-piece suit custom made will be far less expensive than a five-piece suit for a formal occasion. The addition of extra pieces will naturally push the price up.
Your size can also affect the cost of your suit. If you are particularly tall or have longer than average arms or legs the amount of material needed will increase.
In reality, you can spend as much as you like on a custom-tailored suit if you have expensive taste and like high quality materials. How much you pay is really up to you.
What About Quality?
A custom tailored suit is an investment and like any investment you are paying for the benefit you receive from what you have purchased. There is more to consider than the short term expense of having the suit custom tailored.
Custom made suits are not just another item of clothing, they are crafted by professionals with a level of expertise and precision that you don’t get from an off the rack suit. You are paying for the quality of the craftsmanship and investing in a long term asset.
A well crafted custom-tailored suit should last and give you many years of service. If you have paid for quality materials and care for the suit then you should not have to replace it for a long time.
When you decide to have a suit custom made you are obviously thinking about the quality of the fit, the style and how good the suit will look on you.
Choosing high quality materials for the suit, buttons and lining will be reflected in the price. But the benefit will be that the suit will look great and serve you well for many years to come.
A quality custom-tailored suit should be seen as an investment that will benefit you in the long term. We hope this guide has been helpful in making a decision on having your suit custom made.