There are 4 main shoulder styles. For a bespoke suit it is best to avoid the more casual soft shoulder with its thin pad, or no padding at all. Leave it for sport coats and casual jackets.
10 Tips For Buying a Bespoke Suit in Mayfair:
When weighing up cocktail options, it is all too easy to fall into the same old Brandy Alexander option; it’s as creamy as an oyster and slips down just as easily. Sometimes, though, you may want to stretch the old boundaries and try an Armenian Throat Tickler or a Fenland Mint Tulip, perhaps opting for a slice of watermelon dipped in a prickly cognac as a side. Yes indeed – should we be buying a suit off the rack? Or going for something a little different? Something bespoke?
Off the rack is often a necessary route, but bespoke suits are the only choice for the discerning gentleman. To help you on your sartorial expedition, here are 10 tips for buying a bespoke suit.
1. SIMPLE YET COMPLEX
If you’re purchasing a bespoke suit for the first time then brace yourself for an incredible 3 months of quality measuring, selecting, cutting, stitching and finishing along with fittings and fittings and everything else in between. A simple choice, depending on your own requirements, is to stick to classic colours like navy blue or grey especially if you are looking for practicality. Avoid any Spanish detailing. Think Steed, Bond or Jeeves.
2. SLENDER IS THE NIGHT
Aim for a slim fit. A successful suit looks great whether you are standing walking, seated or jumping from a roof top in pursuit of Russian spies. Ensure that the suit isn’t restrictive when you throw some of your highly lauded shapes. Clean lines and comfort beget confidence.
3. WHICH FABRIC?
For versatility one cannot surpass a lightweight worsted wool bespoke suit for all-year round wearing. If you fancy a swagger up Piccadilly or a jaunt up Jermyn St, carnation in lapel, polish on brogue, the worsted is your man. For winter suit-up in a thicker wool, flannel or tweed. One way or another a gent simply must have a tweed suit in his wardrobe. For summer or southern climes one should seek out breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen or silk-blends. A Panama from Bates, a gin and tonic and an Agatha Christie and who says you’re not tickity-boo.
4. HOW MANY BUTTONS?
When it comes to investing in a classic purchase, you can’t go wrong with a two-buttoned suit jacket. The three-button jacket was very popular with the 90’s art gallerists and ad execs and true, it maybe due a revival one can never tell. Our advice – remember, the top to bottom convention is sometimes, always, never when it comes to buttoning the buttons on a three-button jacket.
The lightly padded shoulder is perfect for the summer bespoke suit offering increased range of motion and a relaxed comfortable look. For something a little more powerful the broad padded shoulder works well and can definitely be taken to the office, paraded in the boardroom and shimmied onto the private jet.
A roped shoulder is usually lightly padded, but has a large sleeve head that extends upward at the shoulder line. This Italian born style is perhaps best left to the Napolitano dandy.
6. WHICH LAPEL?
Your lapel choice can drastically change the look of a jacket. Notch lapels are a failsafe option and peak lapels are more flamboyant, channeling plenty of Italian flair. Then there is the smooth as 007 sipping martinis in Sketch Shawl lapel. Current thinking is keep them slim in width unless you are going retrospective with a wider for bolder appearance.
7. THE TROUSER BREAK
The rear trouser hem should touch the top of the shoe sole to meet the exacting standards of what is known as a full break. The full break can lead to bunching of the material so you may want to look more youthful shorter trou length. This cleaner silhouette is not for the traditionalist and Mayfair Eccentrics strongly advises you think careful before throwing tradition to the side. Remember your tailor knows best.
8. BESPOKING TO BODY TYPE
There is no one better equiped than the Savile Row tailor to match the right cut to the right physique. This is why you are purchasing a bespoke suit – so that all your short comings will be minimised and your strengths shown off to their most flattering.
9. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
During the usually 12 odd weeks or so it takes for most bespoke tailors to construct your suit you will have the chance to choose from a range of details that will add to your suits excellence. Linings, button styles and colours, stitching and vent choices can all be made. As always your tailor is your guide here. A buttonhole or Asola Lucinda for example can be a work of art in its own right. Whipstitching with silk thread wound around the gimp instead of being knotted which is mercilessly difficult to do. The stem should be held in place by a discrete loop placed on the reverse of the lapel. The joys of bespoke tailoring go on and on.
10. FORGET BUDGETS
The very purpose of bespoke is to be the best. The best naturally comes at a price. It is not advised to embark on this adventure with restrictions – mental or fiscal. Open your mind and wallet together in a harmony of interfacing and dropped lapels. Whilst it’s impossible to purchase a ‘cheap’ bespoke suit, some will be more expensive than others. Don’t get caught up on names though; instead understand what kind of suit you’re after. If you have a specific look in mind or you are relying on the tailor the best way forward is talking – so get yourself to Savile Row.
And Here Are Mayfair Eccentrics Six of the best Bespoke Tailors in Mayfair