One thing I’ve learned working for A Suit That Fits is that every client has a different story.
Clients employ our tailoring services for many different reasons. One might be looking for a cricket jacket emblazoned with his club’s logo. Another might need a special purple suit to meet the requirements of an advertising campaign. Others desire to have their wedding suit or their dinner suit tailored so they can look their best for a special occasion.
On the whole, however, the majority of our clients come to us looking for a well-tailored, perfectly-fitted business suit.
If this describes you, you’ve reached the right page. Business suits are one of our specialities.
Intricately and lovingly tailored business suits
Sometimes, people who aren’t that familiar with bespoke tailoring will assume that the business suit must be the least important type of suit because it’s worn so regularly.
A good tailor will assure you that they pay as much attention to the details of a business suit as they do to those of a morning suit, wedding suit or dinner suit.
After all, the purpose of bespoke tailoring is to lovingly customize every garment, regardless of its role or function in your life.
How many business suits should I own?
If you wear a suit to work everyday, we usually recommend owning 5 tailored suits – four for rotating during the week and one for bringing out on special occasions (at an important meeting or on a dinner date, for example).
Of course, we don’t start you off by ordering all 5 suits at once. In conversation with our style advisors, you’ll decide what kind of business suit should be your first suit and we’ll pass this information on to our tailors.
That being said, we do recommend bearing in mind the “norms” which exist within the tailoring and business worlds when ordering your first tailored suit.
The purpose of these norms is to help you build a wardrobe of tailored business suits that will allow you to vary your style from day to day. For example, a good tailor will often recommend you order your first tailored suit in a solid, neutral colour like navy blue.
After you’ve been fitted for this suit and the tailor has made any necessary adjustments to it, you can follow up with a black or charcoal grey suit – and after that, a pinstripe.
One good recommendation for building your business wardrobe is to order 4 single-breasted, notched-collar suits and 1 double-breasted suit with a peaked lapel. This latter suit will be your “special occasion” suit – the suit you wear to that important meeting or during that presentation you’ve been preparing for for weeks.
While we often recommend details such as double jacket-vents, flapped pockets and two jacket buttons for a standard business suit, we understand that everyone is different and usually encourage our clients to discuss the benefits of each detail with their style advisor.
Cloths for business
An important aspect of the business suit is cloth type. Two cloths have predominated in the world of business ever since the lounge suit appeared in London in the late 19th century: worsted wool and flannel.
Other cloths such as tweed are not yet regarded as formal enough for business – so you can save these for the weekend.
During the mid-20th century, a soft, grey flannel was often the cloth of choice for business suits, but today worsted wool has largely replaced it as the ideal cloth for business. The reason worsted wool predominates today is that it’s such a durable cloth, perfect for wearing regularly in any season.
What are S numbers?
If you’ve read anything at all about suiting, you’ve probably heard of S numbers. An S number (i.e. 100s or 120s) is a label attached to a wool cloth indicating the fineness of the fibres used in the cloth’s weaving. The higher the number, the finer the fibre.
The S number isn’t an indication of the cloth’s quality, but it will tell you how fine and soft the cloth will feel on your skin.
For a business suit you’ll wear regularly, few tailors will recommend using a cloth with an S number above 100. This is because a cloth with ultra-fine fibres will wear-out more quickly than a cloth with thicker fibres, and your business suit needs to be reasonably hardy.
You can talk about these issues in greater depth with any tailor you choose to employ going forward.
What should you expect in terms of the tailoring process?
You should expect to come out of the process with a suit that fits you perfectly in a design agreed upon with your style advisor.
During the initial stage, expect us to measure you using eighteen different measurements. We submit your measurements, with your design, to a master’s cutting table. The master then cuts your pattern and intricately stitches your garment.
If you opt for the standard (i.e. non-speedy) delivery, your suit will be ready to try on in 6-8 weeks, after which you’ll be invited back to the studio to be fitted. Any adjustments that need to be made are decided on then.
When you come in to be fitted for your suit, it’s a good idea to wear a dress shirt and shoes that you typically wear with a suit: this way our tailors will have a better idea of what needs adjusting.
Other things to consider when talking to our style advisors include: how closely you like your garments to be fitted, what kind of shape you’re going for (whether sleek or relaxed), and what colours you prefer.
The next step?
Whether you choose to have your suit tailored by A Suit That Fits or another tailoring company, we hope you come away from this introduction with a better idea of the things you need to know when it comes to tailoring your first business suit.
If you decide to take the next step with us, please contact one of our studios to book an appointment. We’re excited to begin tailoring your first business suit and hope to see you very soon.