Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions Page.
If you have any questions that you would like answered about tailoring, suits or our view of the world just send us a quick note via our contact form.
What is bespoke tailoring?
Bespoke tailoring is an age-old tradition, dating back to Medieval times, in which the customer is given total control over the fit and design of their garments.
The word “bespoke” is the past tense of the English word “bespeak,” meaning to “speak on behalf of something.” Rather than the tailoring process using a pre-existing suit pattern “spoken for” by somebody else, in bespoke tailoring the suit pattern is “spoken for” by the customer. It’s the process whereby a suit is requested according to a set of personal measurements and specifications.
How do I get measured?
A Suit That Fits’ style advisors measure clients for suits in 31 locations across the United Kingdom, Ireland and New York. In order to tailor your suit, we require at least 18 measurements.
If you’re unable to access one of our locations, we’ll give you detailed instructions on how to take the measurements yourself and enter them online. All you need is a tape-measure and a friend or family member who’s willing to measure you!
What happens after I get measured and I’ve placed an order?
Your measurements and your order are sent to an expert cutter who creates a pattern for your suit from scratch. This is first done with paper. The paper pattern is then laid over your selected cloth-type and chalked around to produce the finished pieces of your suit.
The pieces are then intricately stitched together. The finished suit is sent back to us for a fitting, after which we perform any necessary adjustments.
What about the fitting?
It takes between 6 to 8 weeks for your suit to arrive for a fitting. You can also expedite your order to guarantee a fitting date 3 or 4 weeks after your order has been placed. During the fitting, you should come prepared to try on your suit.
It’s a good idea to wear to the fitting what you’d usually wear when putting on your suit: i.e. a dress shirt and shoes. This will help our style advisor to know if the suit fits you. If there are any imperfections in the fit of your suit, we work with you to make any tweaks and adjustments until you’re delighted with your garments.
The benefit of the fitting stage is that we get to perfect your suit pattern so we have it on record for any future orders you may want to make.
What are the different types of cloth available and which should I wear?
Worsted wool is one of the most popular cloths for tailoring today due to its smooth, soft, warm and wrinkle-free qualities. These qualities are achieved by spinning only the longest, finest wool fibres. Worsted wool drapes well and maintains its shape, making it an ideal cloth for suiting.
Also popular in tailoring today is blended wool, a mixture of wool and synthetic fibres. Blended wool has the same qualities as worsted wool and is often more durable.
Other options for suiting include Merino wool, one of the finest, softest wools around, and a cashmere/wool blend. Whereas Merino wool is strong, the cashmere/wool blend is the kind of soft but not always durable cloth you save for special occasions.
For hot-weather months, cotton suits and linen suits are often recommended for their breathability, though these may not always be appropriate for business. Tweed is a less formal suiting fabric, associated for many years with the outdoors. A rough wool, tweed looks great as a suit or as separate garments like a sports coat or pair of trousers.
What are cloth patterns?
The patterns in a cloth reflect the way the cloth has been woven to create a particular design. A cloth with no pattern is simply called a “solid.”
Examples of patterns include: “herringbone,” a zig-zapping, V-shaped pattern often found in tweed and also suitable for a business wardrobe; “bird’s eye,” a cloth that may or may not be business-appropriate (depending on your environment) and composed of very tiny dots against a darker background; “dogtooth,” a broken check fabric, and its smaller equivalent, “puppy tooth,” neither of which are particularly suited to business; “sharkskin,” a smooth cloth with a salt-and-pepper appearance, woven from two different colours; and “check,” which includes a variety of designs from the plainer “windowpane” style to “Glen plaid” or “Prince of Wales check,” both synonymous and composed of alternating small and large checks.
Last but not least, pinstripes are a striped fabric appropriate for business, often featuring a lighter stripe over a darker background.
If you want to wear a patterned cloth, one safe rule to follow is to incorporate only one patterned item into your look while keeping your other garments solid.
What colour should I choose for my suit?
The colour you choose for your suit depends largely upon where you’re going to wear it. In professions such as banking and law, where a serious image is desirable, acceptable colours include navy, black, charcoal grey and mid to light grey. Brown is rarely acceptable in a corporate or legal environment, but it’s a great colour for the weekends and also works in more creative professions.
Fields like marketing, advertising, the arts and the entertainment industries may allow for more diversity, including some of the more vibrant blues, lighter colours and browns, as well as patterns such as check.
It’s often better to play it safe at first and allow your bespoke fit to do the talking rather than your colour.
What styles are available?
It’s an undeniable fact that the slim-fit suit with a closely tailored look is currently in vogue. Here at A Suit That Fits we can fit you with a relaxed, slim or ultra-slim fit. Everything depends upon your preferences.
Besides the closeness of your fit, other factors need to be decided upon, including the shape of your lapels, whether you want a two or a three piece suit and what style of pockets you’d like.
It’s worth discussing the pros and cons of each of these different styles with an advisor at an A Suit That Fits studio.
How many jacket buttons should I have?
The standard and most common number of buttons on a single-breasted jacket is 2. The bottom button should be left undone when standing and both can be unbuttoned when sitting.
The 1 button suit is a perfectly appropriate choice, too. The 3 buttoned suit creates a distinct look with a high buttoning point, popular with some dressers, while the 4 button suit is rather rare.
For a double-breasted suit, things become more complicated due to the fact that some buttons are for fastening and others are for show. The most common style is called “6 x 2,” meaning 6 buttons, 2 of which can be fastened in the bottom 2 rows. It’s common to leave the bottom button of the double-breasted jacket unbuttoned.
What types of lapel are available and what are their uses?
The standard lapel is the “notched lapel,” a design featured on most suit jackets. The downward-slanting angle of the notched lapel is often thought to give the impression of a “step,” which is why it’s also called the “step collar.”
The “peaked lapel,” featuring an upward-pointed design, is a fancier style with a more “dandified” air; this style of lapel may be featured on any type of suit, although the peaked lapel on a single-breasted jacket seems to be a later variation.
Double-breasted suits and morning suits always feature peaked lapels. The least-common lapel, featuring a curving collar seen only on dinner suits, is the “shawl lapel.” This type of lapel is associated with the evening.
Finally, the Nehru jacket features a mandarin collar that encircles the neck and buttons at the base of the throat.
When should I wear a waistcoat?
Waistcoats are a more versatile garment than you might think. As such, they lend themselves well to many different occasions.
Adding a waistcoat to a casual outfit will smarten it immediately by giving it a tailored edge. This makes the waistcoat the perfect item to wear over a white shirt and chinos.
As part of a three piece suit, it’s a smart, formal look; for this reason, the three piece suit makes a great wedding suit. While it’s waistcoats aren’t commonly seen in business, they’re the perfect garment for special occasions or exclusive social functions.
When wearing a waistcoat, the most important thing is fit: Your waistcoat should embrace you snuggly without being tight.
What is a ticket pocket?
A ticket pocket is a small pocket above the large pocket on the left or right hand side of a suit jacket, originating on British riding jackets and designed to hold items, such as money, which needed to be accessed readily. Today, a ticket pocket is an elegant and practical addition to a suit jacket.