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Bespoke Suits For Every Man

Updated on March 12, 2015
CuAllaidh profile image

Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

Ladies Go Crazy For A Sharp Dressed Man

ZZ Top had it right, a well dressed man will make women swoon.

Bespoke suits are all the rage in men's fashion right now. The feeling of wearing a suit that was made for you is unparalleled. Your confidence will jump to new highs, and it will be noticed. Nothing says class quite like a well tailored suit.

Lets face it men come in all shapes and sized, buying off the rack for pretty much everyone is nearly impossible, and the alteration costs will swallow the value in no time. A bespoke suit is made specifically tailored to your body, and while it usually comes at one heck of a price tag, it doesn't need to break the bank.

no that's not me in the image, the image is used with permission from

A Good Fit Makes for a Quality Suit

When looking for a suit I researched what would be ideal, being a bigger man I wanted the suit not to look like a flour sack on me, form fitting is for an athletic build, but baggy doesn't look good either, so what's the compromise? Some advised that bigger men should only have one or zero vents at the back, however that advice was assuming the rear end was rather spacious, however that is not an area that is an issue with me, so what was I to do. In the end I decided to go with the best advice all seemed to agree upon. In the end it comes down to fit, a suit cut to your body shape (not altered to your body shape, but actually cut for you) will look good on you.

With tailoring there are two ways to handle fitting, make a relatively generic set of sizes and then alter to form fit, or piece together a pattern specifically to the size of the client. Common sense dictates that the latter is the better practice, but common sense also would indicate that the latter is also more expensive as it is more hands on and thus more labour intensive. Price tags at most bespoke tailors seems to agree, spending thousands of dollars to get a suit custom tailored to you is not unusual in most of the trendy fashion districts. If you can afford this service then definitely go for it, but if you are like me and want a well fitted suit but can't afford the hefty price tag there are options beyond off the rack and heavy alteration.

Online Tailor's - The Affordable Choice

Online clothing providers are becoming more and more common, and in my mind it's a great thing. Through online tailors you can get much of the same service as a personal tailor for a fraction of the cost. Of course the service isn't exactly the same, you won't get multiple fittings, or be able to feel the fabric you are choosing, but it is a good compromise over off the rack.

Plenty of Options

How to Choose Your Style

The great thing about bespoke is, not only do you get the perfect cut, but you get to choose your suit style. It's amazing how many different options there is when getting a suit custom made. Definitely take your time in picking out your suit and pay attention to the details, you want your suit to stand out as the work of art it is.

Pick Stitching

Pick stitching screams hand made, it is a line of loose stitching on the suit jacket, it is most obvious on the collar. A subtle pick stitch tells the world this is a bespoke suit, not some off the rack junk. Of course since it is trendy right now it also means it will go out of style, so nix the pick stitch if you are worried about becoming dated, but add it if you want that bit of flair that declares to the world that you are the real deal.

Boutonniere Hole

I don't know why this is even an option, to me a suit requires a boutonniere hole. Its shows off any lapel pin you may put on, and should you be required to wear a boutonniere have the hole makes it much easier to manage.


Your suits lining can say a lot about you as well. A matching lining is subtle, a contrasting bold lining can be fun and wild underneath a veneer of seriousness. Its a subtle touch that won't be seen often, and when it is, not more than a quick flash.

Back Vents

A suit doesn't need back vents at all, but it is an option to give more room when sitting down. General rule is men with large posteriors will want no vents or single vent, and men without this issue can go to the full double vent. That being said with a bespoke suit it is custom made to you, so if you want the double vent go for it its still going to look a thousand times better than an off the rack suit.

Functional Jacket Sleeve Buttons or Not

Most online vendors won't let you choose functional buttons for the jacket sleeves on the first order, this is because a jacket cannot easily be altered if the sleeves have functional buttons. That being said it is another way to show off the custom nature of your suit. The only way to have functional buttons on a suit jacket is to have it custom made.

Don't forget the Shirt

If you've gone all out and had a suit custom built for you why would you get your dress shirt from Sears? Get that custom made as well. Suitly will make you a custom shirt for $90, that is steep for a shirt, but not ridiculous. Like your suit, a shirt made for you will just fit better than anything off the rack, unless you happen to have the exact body the default shirt is made for.

Shirt Colour

Trying to decide what colour shirt to get with your suit? Plain white is always a good fall back, but a splash of subtle colour can make you stand out. Bold colours are good for a more casual setting, but make sure it matches your suit and tie.

Cuffs: French or Standard

Lets face it, you are getting a bespoke suit because you don't want to look like you are dressing up for church, you want to look your best. French cuffs are a little bit of extravagance that exudes elegance, paired with the perfect cufflinks and you've got a winning combination.

Customized Shirt Sites

Looking for a customized shirt, most of the sites above have shirt selections, but there are sites online that specialize in custom fitted dress shirts.

The Perfect Tie

To really tie your outfit together you need the ideal tie! Picking one out can be difficult. A contrasting tie can draw attention, but too bold and it detracts from the suit. A matching tie is formal and shows restraint but has no flair. Pick your tie to match your suit, your shirt, and most importantly, your event.

Feel free to give me some comments. If you know of an online custom suit place I have not mentioned, or have used some of the sites I did, please let me know, I would love to hear more stories of people using online tailors.

© 2014 Jeff Johnston


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    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @strategylab: Didn't know they were ever really out of style ;)

    • strategylab profile image

      Jeph Maystruck 3 years ago from Regina, SK

      Suits are coming back baby!! Love the lens. Great work!