You never forget your first time. And hopefully it’s unforgettable. Come on, now, I’m talking about your first made to measure suit! My first is still one of my all-time favorites. Here are five tips to help make your first made to measure experience a good one.
| WEARING | QG Custom suit and pocket round, Al Bazar shirt, Brooks Brothers tie, Timex watch, Vintage silver bracelet, J.Crew belt, Chelsea boots c/o Jack Erwin | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo
Keep it classic. Now that the popularity of menswear in the mainstream has literally exploded and imagery of well-dressed Italian gentlemen abound, it can be tempting to do something wild simply because you see so much of it. Pro tip: don’t do it. Your first made to measure suit should be something you can wear for the rest of your life, not just once in a blue moon. Stick with a classic color like blue or grey and err on the conservative side when it comes to styling.
Have a game plan. Know what you need and what you want. Take stock of what you have (or don’t have) in your closet and do a little research on a few basic elements of a suit. Notch or peak lapel? Flap or jet pockets? Ticket pocket? Double or single vent? (I’ll answer for you: double vent.) Most made to measure programs have all sorts of items you can customize – buttons, linings, and so on – so having a general idea of some of the basic elements going in will help immensely.
Go to an actual shop. There are tons of online made to measure suit options these days, some of them decent and some of them a scam. Save yourself a huge potential headache and make alterations a lot quicker and less painful by finding a reputable local program.
Be open to suggestions. Here’s where going to a brick and mortar as opposed to choosing an online option makes a lot of sense, especially if you’re new to the game and not exactly sure what you want. Chances are the tailor and/or proprietor has been at it for some time and can help guide you to make the best decision.
Be patient. Made to measure suits typically take between six to eight weeks to produce. Don’t expect to get one made for that wedding you’re going to next week. And remember this: everyone asks if their order can be expedited. Don’t be that guy. Be respectful and understanding. And also be aware that once your suit comes in additional alterations will often be required. Some, like a hem are easy fixes and take no time at all, while others, such as tapering a trouser or taking in a jacket require more time. In general, I’d build in an extra week for final delivery once your suit arrives.
Highly encouraged in the comments: sharing your virgin made to measure suit experience.