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Part 2 The Perfect Gentleman’s Guide to Acquiring your first bespoke suit

The acquisition of a good quality suit that fits is a delightful experience. But – like most of life’s more worthwhile occupations – it is not without its complexities.

Step 3: Choose your fabric

Once you’ve chosen a highly regarded tailor, the next step is to settle on a suitable fabric. The suit’s fabric will make the difference between a £700 suit and a £3,000 one. That’s why many popular designers use fabrics with a grade of 100s or 110s (quality of fabric) to cut costs and increase markups.

Wool is the normal material and Huddersfield is the place of manufacture for most British cloths. Do not be overly impressed by the ‘Super 120’, ‘Super 130’ etc. designations promoted heavily by the more modern sort of tailor. The number refers to the weave, and the higher the number, the finer the cloth and the higher the price – or so the theory goes. Better to ignore such number worship and look at the cloth in front of you.

Avoid super light weight cloths as they damage easily and do not tailor or hold their shape well. I now find that a cloth of 9/10 ounces is a good medium weight for all seasons.

It is best to take the cloth choice outside and view it in natural daylight outside of the shop as this will affect the appearance of the cloth.

Step 4: Measure for fitting

At this stage, your tailor will take all the required measurements to make your suit fit like a glove. It’s important to maintain open communication at all stages of your suit’s fabrication. Chances are your tailor has made thousands of suits and he knows what he’s doing; nevertheless, ask questions and provide feedback.

Tell him how you’d like your suit to fall on your shoulders, waist and shoes.

If you have chosen a made to measure service they may use ‘shell fittings’ instead of taking measurements.This method requires you to try on standard garments until the nearest size fit is found at which point the sales staff will record what changes need to be made to this pattern size to make it a better fit.

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