3 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Custom Suit for Your Wedding Day
Sponsored by Sew Generously Bespoke
On your wedding day, you and your soon-to-be spouse will be the center of attention. For all intents and purposes, it is a day devoted to the two of you. You do not just deserve to look and feel your best; it is required of you.
If you have ever worn a rented suit or tuxedo, you probably have some memory of feeling (and looking) rather out of place and uncomfortable. On the other hand, the feeling you have when you wear a suit that has been nicely tailored to fit you is, well, much better.
Your wedding, however, is a great opportunity to feel the invulnerable confidence that comes from wearing a suit that was made for you. David Andrew says, "I always advise my customers that it is nearly impossible to look better than they feel. On your wedding day, it is both your privilege and your duty to look and feel better than you ever have before in your life. The bride will be dressed as an absolute manifestation of perfected beauty. Shouldn’t you be as well?"
But far from being a purchase for your wedding day alone, a custom suit is an investment that will stay with you. That armor that makes you into a force of unstoppable charisma will be available to you the next time you need to dress snappy for an interview, look dapper for a party, or embellish your appearance to impress at a corporate event.
If you do choose to get a custom suit for your wedding, you must protect your purchase by ensuring the suit will be of highest quality. At very least, you should be equipped with the questions that will help you know exactly what you will get for your hard-earned money. Here are three questions you should always ask before you purchase:
1. How much does the suit cost, and what does the cost include?
Make sure you know how much the suit will cost after you have added the personal touches you want. Does it cost extra to add working buttonholes on the sleeves? Is the fabric you selected far more expensive than the original price given? Will you have to pay for alterations, if they are needed?
Also, bear in mind that a high-quality custom suit in the Seattle area should not cost less than around $1,200. A Bespoke suit should not cost less than $4,000. If a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
2. What kind of construction will be used?
This question gets a bit technical, but it is extremely important. A suit coat has a stiffening material inside, called the canvas, which is there to prolong the life of the suit. This canvas can be glued (fused) to the front of the coat, or it can be sewn in. A coat with a fused front is, unfortunately, not going to last very long. These suits will often end up looking rumpled and “used” after only a couple of cleanings. They are also prone to more serious problems that will make the suit prematurely unwearable.
If you want a suit that will last decades (rather than months or years), make sure you are getting one with “full canvas” construction. If you want to test the construction of a suit for yourself, pinch the coat front a few inches below the bottom button. You should be able to find a third layer between the outside and inside, which is not glued to either. If there is not third layer, the coat is of lesser construction and the price of the suit should reflect that.
(Working cuffs with hand-sewn buttonholes make a great addition to any custom suit. Always check what details are included in the agreed-upon price)
3. How much of the work is done in-house?
There is a strong tendency right now for tailors to outsource their work, as well as a tendency for fancy suit salesmen to pose as tailors in order to sell their wares. For this reason, knowing how much work will be done in-house is critical. Here are some guidelines:
* If a suit is advertised as “Bespoke,” no less than 100% of the work should be done in-house, by the tailor you work with and his direct associates. The making of a Bespoke suit can not be carried out overseas or by any other sort of third party; that is the exact opposite of what the word Bespoke entails. A true Bespoke suit will never cost less than about $4,000.
* Any suit that is constructed, in any part, offsite is a “Made-to-Measure.” If you are buying a Made-to-Measure suit, make sure you understand what work will be done in-house. A good tailor will perform finishing work (sewing on buttonholes, etc.) in-house, as well as any needed alterations.
* Your tailor should, at very least, be performing all needed alterations for your suit in-house. If that is not the case, you are working with a salesman, not a tailor. As a rule, it is a terrible idea to buy a custom suit from somebody who does not know how to sew.
David Andrew is a Bespoke tailor in the heart of Seattle. His shop, Sew Generously Bespoke, offers full Bespoke, Made-to-Measure, and alteration services.
(Below image: A custom suit or tuxedo will help the wearer look and feel comfortable and confident. Image courtesy of The Popes)