Expert advice on buying a bespoke suit

Savile Row tailors reveal how to buy made-to-measure


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It’s a fool-proof outfit which does justice to any man, young or old. Every one needs a good suit, so we have asked three Savile Row tailors to reveal their expert advice on buying this wardrobe staple. Davide Taub from Gieves and Hawkes, Joe Morgan from Chittleborough and Morgan, Andrew Ramroop from Maurice Sedwell and Anderson and Sheppard owner Anda Rowland reveal how to step out in confidence as you stride down the iconic sartorial strip.

More than just a suit

What is the one must-have suit every man should own?

Taub: A dark suit with no pattern in a mid-weight cloth, not overly designed but cut in total harmony with the body. It is a great investment if crafted by hand in the workshop at No. 1 Savile Row and can be worn for many different types of occasions for many years to come.

Morgan: An eleven ounce pure wool dark blue jacket, waistcoat and trousers. Worn as a suit for formal or the jacket with a white shirt and a pair of light wool grey trousers makes it very easy to wear.

Ramroop: Every man must have a blue blazer/sport jacket in his wardrobe. The cloth design should be very subtle enabling doubling up as a sport coat or blazer. It should be fastened with cognac coloured natural horn buttons and worn with co-ordinating cognac coloured trousers.

Rowland: We recommend a grey flannel suit, which looks good on everyone.  It can be worn for business or for casual occasions.

Maurice Sedwell

How to buy a bespoke suit?

Ramroop: Firstly, the customer should speak with an experienced tailor not a salesman. The tailor’s vast experience would ask the right questions, determine the purpose the suit is required for and guide him in the right direction.

Chittleborough and Morgan

Importance of fabric:

Morgan: We need cloth to stretch, shrink, and to be moulded around body shapes. Wool cloth in all weights, designs and best quality is created for us to tailor.

Anderson and Sheppard

Process for a 3-piece suit:

Rowland: Clients are welcomed by a consultant to go through our selection of over 4000 cloths and to discuss the style choices. Each client will then see a Senior Coat (Jacket) Cutter and a Senior Trouser Cutter. Our Trimmer will then select the linings, canvas, felt, buckram, thread, shoulder wadding and other elements to match the cloth and to go in to the construction of the suit. These elements go to a specialist tailor - one for the coat, one for the trousers and one for the waistcoat. The client has two further fittings and approves the garment which then goes to a finisher who works on the lining, button holes, edges and there details. In total, 8 highly trained people will have worked on the 3-piece suit throughout the process. This mostly takes place in Central London although some of our older tailors may work from home in England.

Gieves and Hawkes

How to care for your bespoke suit:

Taub: A handcrafted bespoke suit is made to be worn, not just admired in the wardrobe. If looked after in a way that acknowledges the manner it was tailored, it will outlive any ready-to-wear suit by decades, justifying the investment made. Extra cloth is left on most of the seams to allow the suit to be adjusted as the body changes shape and the cloth can be mended if damaged too. So with this in mind, hang the suit on a good hanger, try not to wear the suit too many days in a row, allow the suit to breath and rest! If any stains appear, avoid dry cleaning, but treat the spots individually with water and a soft soap. Always ask your tailor for advice.

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