Let's talk suits.
There are a good time and place for everything.
The modern day allows us to have instant access to pretty much anything.
Questions that were previously only been answered by the only brightest, can now be accessed immediately via the website or an app.
But some things remained timeless.
Some things required steady and thorough approach.
An experience that well-tailored, modern suit gives, is one of those.
I don’t know about you, but I treasure every piece of tailored clothing.
I love the feel, fit, and the nostalgia that it shows, as I know that it was done for me.
Tailoring is a magic word.
Not yet a science, but still require following a good set of rules to make clothing beautiful and unique.
It takes the time to make a bespoke suit.
Countless efforts to strike a perfect balance between fit, flow of the fabric and cut.
It goes beyond the price.
Therefore, a man wearing a bespoke suit is a statement that says: “I have spent a number of hours at my tailors’ to get this final product - mine”.
Tailors are awesome.
They are artists, ambassadors of beautiful fabrics, and they produced it for the aesthetic joy.
Some people refer to that process as ‘slow-suit’ and I could not agree more.
Every suit is individual.
But where did it all start? 1297, apparently.
But the first sewing machine was patented back in 1830.
Through times there was a number of kings, the royal family, and celebrities that shaped the industry and set the trends.
Little known fact is that many surnames in the word are associated with tailoring – Taylor (UK), Schneider (German), Krawiec (Polish), Szabo (Hungarian), Sastre (Spanish), Kleermaker (Dutch).
However, the entire 19th century allowed the style and fit to gradually pass through the fashion ups and downs, to arrive today where many would claim that bespoke suit makers are regarded as a vanishing breed.
Times have changed.
Today’s tailors often use a mixed approach to tailoring – English mixed with Italian.
The English part is quite structured on the chest.
The Italian is far more relaxed in the shoulders, soft and natural.
Nick Collier, from Harland-Collier talk about the bespoke as well:
How does the bespoke experience look like, and is it easy to make a well-tailored suit?
It all starts with the consultation.
It needs to be defined what the suit will be used for and which cut is going to be used.
It may take up to 1h for new customers.
The same person will always see you from the initial consultation the final fitting.
Tailors would like to create an experience and build relationship, as it is a journey for everyone who would like to have a bespoke suit made for them.
That first consultation will end with cutter measuring the customer, taking into account the entire body shape and additional adjustments that would have to be made to the later date.
There is, of course, a fabric that needs to be chosen, and the combination of fabrics and patterns is close to impossible to count.
Thousand is an understatement.
Once this is completed the cutter will draft the paper cut and give to master tailor to assemble.
It will usually be hand rendered, starting with a horse hair canvas, which provides internal structure the garment.
Once this is done, the garment is loosely stitched together, without finishing details.
There are probably 2-3 times with the bespoke fitting that the customer needs to be involved in before the garment is set with pockets and buttons.
It is extremely labour intensive, but rewarding at the end, as every single remark that the customer has, are put onto the garment to make it exactly as they want.
All linings are usually done by hand, the same with shoulder pads, linen, and button holes.
It is usually ready after 10-12 weeks (!) and takes about 65 man-hours to make.
There are families and generation’s learning the craft and pass the baton from grandfather to fathers, to sons.
Bespoke is another league.
Not everyone can play there.
*pictures belong to respective owners.