Bespoke suits are the highest achievement of tailoring, and each tailor has their own particular way of creating a suit.
Each garment is made to the specifications of a client, making the options for personalization basically infinite. Some standard features of bespoke suits are listed below, and each tailor will have their own offering.
#1 Floating Chest Piece
A bespoke suit would never use anything but a horsehair chest piece! Traditionally much of the assembly and attachment of the chest piece is done by hand, although more efficient methods do exist. An easy spot for the quality of a suit is to check the underside of the lapel for tiny stitches holding the horse hair in place. You should also be able to feel separate layers of fabric over the chest area.
Not only does the horsehair maintain it’s shape for years, but the problem of bubbling fusing is also avoided.
#2 Unique Pattern
Depending on the uniqueness of your body, basic patterns can serve as a template to cut your suit. However, the pattern is drawn directly onto the fabric, with every seam placed according to your measurements. This differs significantly from off-the-peg and made-to-measure as there is no portion of the garment that is pre-shaped.
The ‘pattern’ is also destroyed by the cutting process, making it impossible to replicate. Thus each suit is unique.
If you’ve gone through this process before you know there are at least 2 fittings involved. Fittings give you the opportunity to decide on some details as you go, being able to visualize it more easily as the garment evolves.
Traditionally the entire garment is put together with a hand basting stitch for the first fitting. It’s then taken apart and re-assembled numerous times, each time with less basting as the garment reaches completion.
Hate it when “inflation” makes your favorite pants too tight? Bespoke clothes are meant to last a lifetime, including weight fluctuations. A smartly tailored jacket (for example) can hide around 15cm of extra fabric in the seams. When your suit gets a bit tight, your tailor can simply adjust it for your new girth..
#5 Stitch Tension
No matter what kind of innovations happen in the machine world, there remain a number of skills solely belonging to human hands. Varying stitch styles and tensions is one of these. Although some stitches can be mimicked by machinery, the effect is nowhere near as wonderful as hand stitching, especially when dealing with varying tensions.
Because different parts of your body move differently, different amounts of strain are put on different parts of the garment. Using different stitches and varying tensions allows bespoke tailors to mold garments that mimic the movement of the body more naturally.
#6 Hand Finishes
Traditional bespoke clothing has a great deal of hand work. As an ode to the masters of old, many tailors craft details by hand as a statement about their art. Button holes, edge stitching, secure pocket edges; the minute inconsistencies of the stitching makes each suit a uniquely beautiful garment.
#7 Emotional Support
The most important thing about bespoke clothes is that it’s a unique bond between a man and his tailor. It’s an interesting friendship and I’m glad to be a part of so many people’s lives. Helping gents look their best in their everyday lives and for special occasions is a really awesome job to have!
– More on Suits –
—Intro, 10 things you should know– Brief History of Suits – Suit Fit, The Trousers – Suit Fit, the Jacket – Suit Fit, the Waistcoat – Suit Fit, the Shirt — Off the Peg Suits – Made to Measure Suits – Bespoke Suits – Some Suit Mistakes –
Bespoke is the aspiration of any man who loves a well tailored suit. I have been wanting one for many many years now. Hopefully one day Savile Row in London is the destination for me. Iconic and full of wonderful tailors each with their own unique history and style.
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