What to remember when you are having a three piece suit tailor made

Getting Started

When getting a suit tailor made you need to know what you want from your suit.

A good tailor will make suggestions, guide you in the latest fashions, and try to understand how you are going to wear the suit, however this is your suit, and you should be confident with how you want it to be made.

You should know when you are going to wear your suit. You will need to know whether the suit will be designed for everyday work, or whether it is for a special occasion.

You should be aware of the circumstances under which you will be wearing the suit. If you are wearing it in a cold climate, you will need heavier wool. In hotter climates you will need lighter wool or even a wool/cotton/silk mix. Never use any polyester combination as a polyester suit is a “boil in a bag” suit.

Do not be afraid to burn test the wool. This is where you take a sample of the wool that they are going to use and you set fire to it. If it is pure it will burn as expected, however if it has man-made fibres it will melt, and the charred remains will feel rough to the touch.

Use the below chart to assist:

NATURAL FIBERS (ANIMAL)

Fiber

Smell

Ember and Flame

Wool

Burning Hair

Small flickering flame, brittle ash, no smouldering (will not burn after flame is removed).

Silk

Burning Feathers

Calm flame, no smouldering.  (Will not burn after flame is removed).   Black beads, crushable.

NATURAL FIBERS (VEGETABLES)

Fiber

Smell

Ember and Flame

Rayon
(Synthetic)

Burning Wood

Rapid burning flame, slow burning embers, no ash, no bead.

Cotton

Burning Paper

Flame amber or yellow, slow burning; fluffy greyish ash.

SYNTHETIC FIBERS (MAN-MADE)

Fiber

Smell

Ember and Flame

Nylon

Boiling green vegetables
(string beans or celery)

Dissolves and forms an effervescent flame; produces a hard, amber-beaded ash.

Olefin

Asphalt

Melts and produces a scorching flame; forms a hard tan bead.

Acrilan
(Acrylic)

Sharp, pungent, unpleasant odor

Hard, black residue.  Burns quickly.

Polyester

Sweetish

Burns rapidly; produces a black, hard, rounded ash.

Once you have made a decision on which wool to choose, the tailor will take a sample for their records, and give you a sample for yours. When you go for fittings, or collect your finished suit, you can then compare the sample that you have with the wool of the suit to ensure that they are the same.

Jacket

The jacket is not just for show, it is an important part of the suit. If you only wear the bottom part of your suit then the trousers will fade faster than the jacket due to exposure to sunlight and weathering.

Fashions come and go with suits as with everything. Double breasted, single breasted, four buttons, one button, wide lapels, thin lapels, all these jacket styles will date your suit, so make sure that you think about whether you want a modern or a classic look.

The lining should be silk, not polyester.

Some people use the colour or pattern of the lining to express their personality, or even display a fun or vibrant side. This is absolutely fine, as long as you know what the circumstances under which you will wear the suit. A gold lining might look great at a wedding, but not so sombre at a funeral.

ALL the button holes on the jacket should be proper, useable button holes. This includes the buttons on the sleeves and the button hole on the lapel.

There should be four pockets on the outside of the jacket. Breast pocket in the top left quadrant of the jacket, pockets on the outside left and right lower quadrants, and a ticket pocket above the lower jacket pocket on the same side as your lead hand.

There should be three pockets on the inside of the jacket. Inside upper left and right quadrants, and a ticket pocket in the lower inside section of the jacket at belt level, on the opposite side to your lead hand.

Make sure that you know the length of your jacket. Some tailors may try to reduce their costs by shortening the jacket. You should know how long you wish your jacket to be. This will depend upon the style of the suit and the purpose for which it was made.

If you do not want to wear a waistcoat then this will affect the size of the jacket.

Waistcoat

Get two waistcoats, one with lapels and one without. This way you can choose to wear the lapelled waistcoat independent of the jacket.

The waistcoats should have three pockets, one on each side in the lower quadrants, and one higher pocket on the side of your lead hand.

The lining and back of the waistcoat should be the same as the inside of the jacket.

The waistcoat is to be worn with a shirt. Decide whether you will be wearing a t-shirt as well. This will affect the size of the waistcoat.

Trousers

You should have two pairs of trousers made to be worn with the suit. You should choose to alternate the trousers so that the sun does not fade the trousers faster than the jacket.

Decide whether you want pleats in your trousers or straight trousers.

Determine whether you want the trousers to have turn-ups at the bottom or straight bottoms.

Final tips

There should be a minimum of two fittings. Do not be shy about calling for three or four fittings.

Do not be afraid to disagree with your tailor. If you feel that the trousers are too short, tell them. If the suit jacket is too close around the back and shoulders, then do not be afraid to have it adjusted.

You should know what you want from your suit, and you should bring this knowledge into your arrangement. Research the type of suits that you like; double breasted, single breasted, short jacket, long jacket, frockcoat, etc. It is alright to take suggestions from your tailor, but trusting your tailor takes time and experience, so do not be afraid to be firm about what you want.

Have as clear an understanding of what you want as you possibly can, and try to eliminate ambiguity. Try not to use phrases like “I do not know”, “I am not sure”, or “What do you think” as this can be a cue for the more unscrupulous tailor to impose cheaper or more convenient option upon you the customer.

Your suit should give you confidence. If you do not feel confident in your suit, then your suit is not yet finished.

A suit is an expensive piece of clothing, but it is a piece of clothing that should be enjoyed.

Wear your suit with confidence, and have fun.

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~ by jeditopcat on 12 October, 2013.

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