The popularity of made-to-measure suit offerings has exploded, and while this is great news for leading more men down the rabbit hole of custom tailoring, there are simply too many confusing options that are riddled with misleading information. Made-to-measure isn’t ready-to-wear (RTW) and it isn’t bespoke; it sits somewhere in between, although I would argue closer on the spectrum to RTW.
The appeal is easy to see; for a slight price markup, the customer gets to choose from a vast selection of options including fabric, lining, pockets, lapels, buttons, stitching, trouser details, monograms and so on. For the suit maker, its offers a chance to leverage the existing supply chain and entice more customers with the allure of “personalization” to sell more suits slightly above full price – a win-win situation no doubt.
So in the interest of investing your tailoring money wisely, here are my top tips for going made-to-measure:
If sartorial history tells us anything it’s that dressing up a few hundred years ago must have been a lot easier. Not a lot of creativity was required when there were rules to dictate that a gentleman was to wear white tie to dinner, and so on. However, around the mid 17th century marked a major change when King Charles II actually imposed a subtler less conspicuous dress code for noblemen of the court, which started an evolution of men’s fashion toward a more common one size fits all uniform. This was the lounge suit, or the modern business suit as we know it today, which arrived in the late 1800s as the default casual garment for the upper class and formal attire for the lower class. It slowly replaced the casual but stuffy Victorian morning dress of tailcoats, which are still common today in British weddings.
A holiday homecoming doesn’t require reverting back to your highschool sweatpants and sports team winter coat in order to fit in. Looking your best when you’re home for the holidays will make the event an occasion and tells your loved ones how much you care. The objective is to show how you’ve matured into a refined gentleman that knows how to look the part.
Here are three style ideas to make the right impression this year:
Walking into any decent menswear shop these days can be an overwhelming experience with the seemingly endless rows of suit racks. You’ve got your blues, browns, grays, blacks and everything in between in solids, pin stripes, checks, houndstooth and countless others. Where do you start? There is one suit colour, often overlooked, that has the right character to impart a debonair edge both day and night: charcoal.
It is easily considered one of the most versatile suiting options and it’s often touted as the prime choice for the first suit a man should invest in. Though when young and inexperienced, the common mistake is to invest in a black suit because it has a "formal" nuance attached to it, and one can wear it for "any occasion" whether it be for work, in the evening or for a special occasion. But in reality, it poses a big risk of looking like a funeral home director in the day light.
For most of us, the winding pathway of life often leads to a sort of river crossing, where the only way to move forward is to dive right in and swim across. These are the defining moments when we have to take what we deserve, sometimes with a bit of force. You may need to close your first major sale or challenge a colleague for a promotion. Nevertheless, the image you project must leave zero room for doubt. It's these times when something as seemingly mundane as choosing the right navy suit and tie can mean difference between failure and making a powerful impression.