Custom tailoring was once the way most men got their clothes, and in recent years, more consumers have started choosing the bespoke route again over off-the-rack clothing. But why are custom suits and other clothes referred to as “bespoke?” The term’s origins dates back to London in the 19th century. It meant that the cloth or fabric was "spoken for", or reserved, and was going to be used for making suit to the customer’s specific requirements.
bespoke at one time meant that everything was made and stitched by hand. Till this day the detailing of a bespoke suit Is evident even to the untrained eye that the fit is damn near perfect on the wearer and has more attention paid to the detail than clothing mass produced on an assembly line.
Only the tailoring industry used the term bespoke in the early 19th century. Flash forward to the 21st century its commonly used for anythings custom a across many industries. We've even herd the term used for beer.
There are several criteria that typically apply to bespoke suits, with both traditional use of the term and suits made to this day by Heights+Kenchi. These criteria include:
The tailor creates a suit or shirt that is based on the customer’s exact measurements, leading to the perfect fit. It’s almost impossible to get the perfect fit when shopping off the rack. The suits and shirts are cut from a basic block patterns made to fit a "standard body type" so that the item being sold can appeal to what's said to be "widest variety of consumers".
A bespoke tailor will create and cut a the pattern from scratch using the measurements obtained during the initial phase of the process.
If the customer wants, (s)he can even tell the tailor what type detailing they want. Wider or narrower lapel, higher or lower neck drop, additional watch pocket, pick or edge stitching on the collar or though out the suit. There are many options when going the bespoke rout.
Now that we’ve touched on what makes bespoke different from off the rack, here's what we suggest you do before getting a bespoke suit.
There are all kinds of options available for men's and women's suiting. Between choosing the tailor, the desired fit, the fabric and style, and other details, it can get a bit overwhelming if it's your first time.
The tailors of Heights+Kenchi have broken down the process into segments to give you an idea of what to prepare for and what to expect before you go in for a fitting.
Finding the Style You Want
When you’re going bespoke, you’ll have many different style options to consider. Fortunately, there are plenty of print and online resources.
Some of our favorites are
Browse these resources & look at the different styles and narrow down what fits your needs. If the suits for a formal event, business meeting, presentation etc.
Here are the different types suit styles that you can choose from:
Single Breasted or Double Breasted
This refers to how many columns of buttons the suit has, with single breasted indicating one straight line of buttons down the center from usually consisting of 1 to 4 Buttons.
Double breasted indicating two rows. Evenly spaced out. One row of buttons toward the left one row of buttons towards the right equi distant from the center of the jacket .
Both types of suit give you a slimmer profile if created properly. Most single-breasted suits will have closures with either two or three buttons, and it’s a good idea to avoid getting more or fewer buttons. Double-breasted suits will typically have four or six buttons. Single-breasted suits have a more modern style that is popular with younger men, whereas double-breasted suits have a traditional look.
Two Piece or Three Piece
A two-piece suit includes pants and the jacket. A three-piece suit adds a vest to that combination. Which of these you choose depends on how you’re going to wear your suit and how bold you want to be with it. A two-piece suit is standard formal and business wear, and if you were going on a job interview, this would typically be the better choice. For special occasions, a three-piece suit is an excellent choice that allows you to show off your style.
Single-vent suits are more common in the United States, and double-vent suits are more common in England, but both are acceptable no matter where you are.
Natural shoulders are the more popular style and a better choice if you have broad shoulders, because any padding will look out of place. If you have narrower shoulders, shoulder padding can make them appear wider and provide that masculine “V” shape.
Peaked or Notched Lapels
With single-breasted suits, notched lapels are the standard option. People often see peaked lapels as the more stylish option, though. They also make you look a bit taller and wider in the shoulders.
Choosing the Right Fabric
It doesn’t matter whether you’re new at bespoke clothing or a seasoned veteran. The sheer amount of options available to you can be overwhelming either way. We recommend that you first figure out what types of fabrics strike your fancy, and leave the design elements for after you’ve made your choice on fabrics.
You’ll want to consider how the fabric feels when you touch it, since this is something you’ll be wearing and comfort is a must. You should also think about the occasions when you plan to wear this suit. If it’s for job interviews, a versatile charcoal grey would be an excellent choice. With the number of fabrics available, including wool and even cashmere, it’s smart to pick the best fabric that falls within your budget.
When you’re getting your suit through a bespoke tailor, it’s important to remember that every detail is within your control. In fact, those minute details are what will separate your suit from something you could get at a store. To ensure that you get the suit of your dreams, here are design details to watch for when you’re speaking with your tailor and trying on your suit:
Canvas Lining – When you get a bespoke suit, it should have hand-stitched canvas lining instead of the synthetic lining common among off-the-shelf suits. Still, you should check with your tailor to make sure, and so that you can see what canvas lining options and patterns you can choose from.
Functional Button Holes – Those sleeve buttons on off-the-shelf suits are there for appearances only, as you can’t undo them. If you want any extra arm room, you’re out of luck. The same is not true with a bespoke jacket, which will have working button holes, allowing you to roll up the sleeves any time you want.
Suit Jacket Length – When a suit jacket is the ideal length, it will cover your entire back and have about half an inch extra.
Collar – You want your collar fitting snugly on your neck, no gap at the back of your collar.
Zzzzzz- close enough that it can’t hover.
Lapels – When lapels fit correctly, they will lay naturally against your chest. When they fit incorrectly, they’ll stick out. This is one easy way to tell whether a suit has been well constructed or not.
Pants – These should go straight from your waist to your ankles with minimal wrinkling. It’s fine for the inseam to break a bit when it reaches the shoe, but there shouldn’t be too much bunching of the fabric in that area. How your pants fit is also a matter of taste and your desired style. Slimmer pants that fit closer to the leg are more modern, and some consumers prefer pants that are hemmed a bit higher.
If you’ve been looking for custom suits New York City East Village, TOMMY-GUNz can guide you through the entire process and create a suit that you're sure to love.