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Hello all

Thanks for your contributions to this forum. There is a wealth of knowledge here that has been of much use to me already. I have tried searching the archives in relation to the following question, but can't think of good search terms that don't bring up all the suit-related threads.

My question is, what do you recommend wearing on a trip to buy a made-to-measure suit in London?

Some years ago, I read a book about buying and wearing suits. It recommended wearing one's best existing suit when going to buy another.

I have a couple of off-the-rack suits that, I have come to realise, fit me poorly. My fear is that the tailor will be horrified to see them. I imagine this may impact the attention paid to the measuring/fitting and service I receive. (I don't wish to question the tailors' professionalism by any means; the effect may well be unconscious.)

For this reason, I thought to wear a pair of off-the-rack slacks that happen to fit me well, a nice collared shirt, and appropriate footwear. (i.e. of a similar kind to those which I would wear with the suit.) Of course, I will be clean and tidy.

Acceptable or inappropriately casual ?

Thanks for your advice,

Steven
 

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Hi Steven

Firstly, welcome!

In response to your question, the best things to wear are what you consider to be your best fitting formal clothes.

Those slacks shouldn't present a problem. But you should definitely take your best fitting suit jacket with you too. That is essential!

Even if your current jackets are not satisfactory, it is still important to have a starting point from which to work from. Arriving with a jacket will also not risk disappointing your new tailor. You may still both agree by the end that your existing jacket should not act as an indicator at all - and simply start with his best recommendations from scratch. Nonetheless, definitely take a jacket, perhaps even in your bag.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck

Pipps
 

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^+1. If you're wearing an example of the item you're getting measured for, it's much easier to explain what you don't like about that item to give the tailor steer on what you are after.
So, for example, if your jacket is too large round the waist, by simply pulling at the cloth you can demonstrate to the tailor what sort of fit you have in mind.

Of the few tailors I've been to, none have been concerned about the state of the suit I've turned up in - only the state of the suit I've left with. :icon_smile:
 

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First - nobody is judging you :) ...I always ask clients to wear their favorite clothes...if they have a couple of favorites and don't mind bringing them even better! There are several reasons...first, I like seeing how their clothes fit...if something is not quite right, I will educate them on the way it "should" fit, then ask which way they would like their new garment to fit (believe it or not, some people really prefer the way they have things, even if it isn't quite right...these people are few and far between, but nevertheless, it happens)...next, I like to see if there are certain details they like...there are a lot of people that when I ask if they prefer side vents on a jacket or a center vent, I get a deer in the headlights look (people often don't even notice what they have been wearing for years)...even on pants, there are a number of pocket options - side seam, 1/4 top, 1/8 top, corded...

In general, wearing clothes you like just opens the door for discussion, it sets the expectation level and reduces the chance of disappointment or misunderstanding.
 

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Well, the sensible answer is to wear a nice suit you like which also fits well. The truth is that sometimes you do not have much choice and you have to wear what is available.
Yours,

Phileas Fogg
 
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My advice from the tailor's perspective is this:

- Wearing your best fitting clothes - it is easier for the tailor to understand what fit you like best and feel most comfortable in.

- It does not matter to me personally whether it is expensive or not - I do not judge this aspect.

- If you are ordering trousers - bring a pair of shoes that you will be wearing with the trousers so that it is easier to determine the correct length. Wearing sneakers for example makes it trickier to get the length right first time.

- If you are building a casual wardrobe and taking it seriously you can also make a few photos of the clothes you own. Ask your tailor to suggest combinations that would complement well your existing outfits.

- if you want to get a shirt made - wear a shirt for the appointment with your tailor. Taking precise shoulder measurements is easier when you are already wearing a shirt. When customers come wearing sweater or T-shirts, I have to give them a sample shirt to put on for the measurements purpose.
 
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