Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to have a local tailor make a bespoke suit for me and it will be my first. Unlike a lot of the bespoke advice solicited on the forum, my question is about the styling rather than the fit. When buying OTR, I simply grab a suit and decide if I like it or not. In this case, I’ll have to name the stylistic features and that’s where I’d like some help. What do I need to consider? Obviously there’s the lapel and the venting on the back of the coat. What else? Perhaps there’s an online guide someone can link to?

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
A good tailor will have a "style book" from witch you can determine what you want. Lapels, vents, straight or slant pockets, ticket pocket, double brested or single, jacket buttons, cuff buttons working or not, inside pockets (I like four). Have a button hole on your lapel for flower and a strong thread to hold the stem. Trousers, cuffs or none, pleats single, double or none, foward facing pleats or reverse pleats, pockets straight or slant, rear pockets with buttons and or a flap.
Consider additional pockets i.e. I like a coin pocket inside my right trouser pocket which I use to hold my cell phone when I am not wearing a jacket.
Plus I have a hidden pocket inside the waist band. Do you wear a belt then you need belt loops. Or do you use suspenders? Then you need suspender buttons. If so consider a fishtail back also have side tabs to tighten these trousers when your not wearing suspenders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
What I'm finding with my first commission is that it really is a joint project between you and your tailor. Unlike OTR purchases, it's actually quite a bit more complicated.

On the plus side, your tailor will look at your body shape and decide what he can do to make the best garment for that. This might mean compromising what you think you want in the light of his advice on the best factors for tailoring to your size.

I am convinced I should look like a mod version of Michael Caine in Alfie, but my tailor thinks I'm too fat for a really sharp cut. When I see what he's done I'll either be ecstatic or asking how much he can change it without charging me extra !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Website Reference

I think that eHaberdasher does a nice job of describing his suits at benjaminclothing.com. You might read his description to get ideas about what you might like. You might also check out mytailor.com. They have a limited online style book that might give you some idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Have a look on this page of my website:


by no means all available options but it gives you the idea atleast of some of the possible style choices available and the image refreshes with each selection etc.


Good luck with your suit!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,556 Posts
I find those little details so much fun to pick out and play with. Then there's the angles on pockets (how slanted do you want them), lining, and my tailor just did a neat thing by sewing a silk designed material on the underside the collar and the underside of each pocket.

Look fwd to posting pics in a few weeks when its done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,556 Posts
I think exactly the opposite is true.
Mafoo, I don't want you to take offense here, because I know you have an equisite and extremely beautiful wardrobe. But I think any good tailor would have a book like that. Now when I say good tailor, it probably comes no where near to the quality that you can afford (based on your blog and other posts re:travelling to Naples for shirts). I can bet that your stuff is made so well, most likely better than mine, but do feel that any quality guy, who does decent work would have one of these books to help his customers. The real upper eschelon guys/gals who are in the biz charge so much that it just wouldn't make sense for a newbie to go to them.

I hope I didn't come across as condescending...I love your clothes, and how you wear them, but would never be able to (in a million years) be able to affird the work that you have comissioned, and all the tailors I go to (expensive, but affordable for a city employee who saves every extra dollar to fo to once or twice a year) have said book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Mafoo, I don't want you to take offense here, because I know you have an equisite and extremely beautiful wardrobe. But I think any good tailor would have a book like that. Now when I say good tailor, it probably comes no where near to the quality that you can afford (based on your blog and other posts re:travelling to Naples for shirts). I can bet that your stuff is made so well, most likely better than mine, but do feel that any quality guy, who does decent work would have one of these books to help his customers. The real upper eschelon guys/gals who are in the biz charge so much that it just wouldn't make sense for a newbie to go to them.

I hope I didn't come across as condescending...I love your clothes, and how you wear them, but would never be able to (in a million years) be able to affird the work that you have comissioned, and all the tailors I go to (expensive, but affordable for a city employee who saves every extra dollar to fo to once or twice a year) have said book.
No offense taken. But to me, the fact that a tailor has a 'style book' sitting around is a bad sign. Many of the most crucial choices you make about the suit or jacket you want should be determined the moment you pick your tailor. After all, each has a particular way of working and particular preferences with regard to cut and style. The availability of a style book simply suggests to me that a tailor hasn't developed those things enough.

Anyway, a 'beginner' client probably shouldn't be trying to dictate pocket angles and lapel curvature. You need to be able to trust your tailor to make choices like that for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
No offense taken. But to me, the fact that a tailor has a 'style book' sitting around is a bad sign. Many of the most crucial choices you make about the suit or jacket you want should be determined the moment you pick your tailor. After all, each has a particular way of working and particular preferences with regard to cut and style. The availability of a style book simply suggests to me that a tailor hasn't developed those things enough.

Anyway, a 'beginner' client probably shouldn't be trying to dictate pocket angles and lapel curvature. You need to be able to trust your tailor to make choices like that for you.
Interesting. I think this calls into question what makes a tailor "good". On one hand, the ability to accept direction and incorporate the customer's wishes should be highly prized. I can understand a tailor trying to talk me out of commissioning a double-breasted notch-lapel tuxedo in powder-blue for example. However, if I come to them and they are unable or unwilling to accomodate my stylistic choices, I will be walking right back out the door. I can appreciate the need for a tailor to have his own highly developed sense of style and sensibilities. Savile Row is certainly known for its characteristic leanings, just as other famous tailors (Rubinacci) are; I just bristle when I read the comment about all the choices being made before I even walk in the door.

On the other hand, I think a lot of people would measure a tailor's 'goodness' simply by the quality of their work - the cuts, the stitches, the overall fit. This is certainly a requirement - just because one can envision a lovely suit does not mean they have the skill to bring the garment to life. Far too often this is the problem, as dreams of Kiton turn instead into a Scabalenstein at the hands of a craftsman not up to the task.

In my opinion, the truth is obviously that a happy medium is required. A man could be a virtuoso with a needle and thread, and create a beautiful suit with perfect stitches and a godly drape, but if he did not have the artistic ability to make anything but that one perfect suit, I would not call him a great tailor - merely good. Imagine if Leonardo had painted 200 pieces, but they were all the Mona Lisa. He would be a one-hit wonder, as it were.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
Interesting. I think this calls into question what makes a tailor "good". On one hand, the ability to accept direction and incorporate the customer's wishes should be highly prized. I can understand a tailor trying to talk me out of commissioning a double-breasted notch-lapel tuxedo in powder-blue for example. However, if I come to them and they are unable or unwilling to accomodate my stylistic choices, I will be walking right back out the door. I can appreciate the need for a tailor to have his own highly developed sense of style and sensibilities. Savile Row is certainly known for its characteristic leanings, just as other famous tailors (Rubinacci) are; I just bristle when I read the comment about all the choices being made before I even walk in the door.

On the other hand, I think a lot of people would measure a tailor's 'goodness' simply by the quality of their work - the cuts, the stitches, the overall fit. This is certainly a requirement - just because one can envision a lovely suit does not mean they have the skill to bring the garment to life. Far too often this is the problem, as dreams of Kiton turn instead into a Scabalenstein at the hands of a craftsman not up to the task.

In my opinion, the truth is obviously that a happy medium is required. A man could be a virtuoso with a needle and thread, and create a beautiful suit with perfect stitches and a godly drape, but if he did not have the artistic ability to make anything but that one perfect suit, I would not call him a great tailor - merely good. Imagine if Leonardo had painted 200 pieces, but they were all the Mona Lisa. He would be a one-hit wonder, as it were.
I think you need a sense of style, but you need to know about classic style and more modern clothes as well. If someone want's to talk to me about Commes des Garcons I can do that just as well as Huntsman or Sulka.

I think you need to be open minded to inspiration, knowledge and other peoples ideas. You need to be speaking the "same language" as your client. A young guy trying to describe a lapel on a RAF Simmons suit to some old boy may find himself looking like a spitfire pilot! The same the other way: go into Dover street Market and tell them you want a POW check suit with a free floating canvass in the style of Anderson and Shepard and there eyes would "probably" glaze over

You need great attention to detail and a flexible mind as well as very broad knowledge about the whole business of making clothes. The worst thing is tailors who get inflexible and let's face it this happens a lot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,731 Posts
I think exactly the opposite is true.
Absolutely right.

Here is an option list I prepared some while back to help someone on one of the forums who was in a similar dilemma and did not know what to do. It does not however obviate the need to discuss your preferences with your cutter.

Check list - suit.

Jacket

Where I have put a * these you should really have, the others are choices. There are obviously many other styles and features you can have but of the classic everyday business style:

Single/Double breast?
If single, 3 or 2 button?
Roll of lapel - just where?
Peak lapel or notch (SB)
If double button one or two?
4 working cuff buttons*
Colour of lining - contrast or match. Satin or polyester??
Straight or 'slant/hacking' side pockets with or without flaps?
Ticket pocket inside either or both side pockets?
Outside ticket pocket?
Lapel button hole and flower stem 'cord' behind*
Ensure that the right amount of shirt cuff shows*
Side/centre or no vents
Inside pockets - how many and where placed. I currently have 8?
• Do you want any to fasten - zip or button/flap
• What size?
• Do you use two breast pockets: It is certainly now a good idea to have a cell phone pocket as well as a ticket pocket: Think where you want it - not where others would.
Your name embroidered inside?

Trousers

Braces?
Belt or side adjusters/extension band?
If braces how high a rise (can vary by choice) Fishtail back or not?(preferred)
French bearer?
Zip fly or button?
Turn ups?
Pleats? One or two forward or reverse?
Width of bottoms?
Half lined legs?
Lined?
On seam or slant side pockets?
Cpin pocket inside either or both side pockets
Fob pocket? - what style i.e. in waistband or outside and below with flap?
Back pockets? - 1, 2 or none? If yes how do you prefer them to fasten, button through or flap/button or tab/button. Concealed button is another option. Double jetted with button/hole look best I think.

Waistcoat/vest

-do you want a vest at all
-single-breasted or double-breasted
-if single, five or six buttons?
-lapels or no lapels?
-hole for watch chain?

There are many views here about all these. Some people tend to have a fairly firm few which tends to be from days gone by. These are things - such as braces are a must: they have advantages on 'hang' of the trouser but not everyone wants to have braces visible when they remove their jacket - that is for you although the are not terribly practical today and I would recommend the practical.

I would suggest that you take this list and a current suit and just draw up a list based on this lot that you want. Some of the houses can be a little prescriptive and try to persuade first timers into the cutters thoughts, not what he wants.

You decide and then stick to your guns. It is your suit and you should get the pleasure out of it
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top