“I shopped at Armani for the first time the other day and absolutely loved it. Their clothes are amazing, but the service I received from my seller and even the store manager was unlike anything I’ve ever received before. I noticed you don’t talk about them much and you speak very highly of custom fitting. I’m in the market for a navy blue suit. In your opinion should I skip Armani and go the bespoke route?”
It’s true that I don’t speak much of Armani. I have little personal experience with the brand. In general, I’d rather shy away from any brand which I’ve not bought or worn. But, if you’re pleased with the product, no need to immediately disown it.
That aside, I would encourage all to explore made-to-measure and bespoke options. Especially considering the price of designer suits. Beyond that, a bespoke suit requires a bit more research. It will be worth the initial investment, more than a designer option. The fit will be the biggest advantage. A fitter will take into account a slouch, a longer arm, a lower shoulder, a short torso when measuring. In a bespoke suit, the fit will aim to minimize any physical shortcomings, real or imagined, on the part of the wearer. A suit off the rack can only hide so much, and even the best alterations tailors can only make so many miracles happen.
Firstly, you must consider your budget.
Are you willing to save, to worry about the credit card bill next month, or to survive on pancake mix and water? If not, and you’re ballin’ out of control, proceed to the next section.
Off the rack guarantees us a product that fits well enough, with little to no wait time, its biggest advantage over bespoke. Bespoke may cost more but, if the garment is a suitable cut for the frame, you can see yourself wearing in five years time, then it’s money well spent.
Know that a good off the rack suit from a company like Suit Supply will run $400-700. Here, you’ll typically get a suit cut to standard frame. That works if you are, more or less average build.
A made-to-measure suit from a mid-priced department store or clothier may hover at $1-2K. Here, you’ll get a suit to your specifications, based on preexisting brand models. The shop’s tailors will give you a suit to try on and tweak the measurements.
A true bespoke suit will run upwards of $4K. Here, you’ll have full control of every detail. The pattern is made from the dozens of measurements that are taken from your body. You will return for a few more fittings before the final product is complete.
Consider the options, because they’re all costly in one form or another.
Secondly, consider your primary motive for the suit.
What are you day-today duties? Will the suit be a two-day a week workhorse suit for the office or a special occasion, go-to navy suit? Navy is the most versatile option, so that’s off the list. Consider this when selecting a fabric, cut, lapel shape and the countless other options. A one button-peak lapel navy suit is decidedly more formal, and less versatile, that a notch lapel with two buttons. Know for what purpose you intend to wear this suit.
Look up reviews on local tailors, as well as examples of past work. A simple Google search should pull up decent results. This isn’t an area you want to simply choose a flashy, social-media savvy clothier. This is key, since a decent suit off the rack, that’s been altered well will look better than a shoddily produced made-to-measure suit. I can’t stress the importance of research. Going along with researching tailors, research the stylistic aesthetics that appeal to you. Do Often, what’s on the racks is a designer’ interpretation of what you should wear. When the onus on your, make sure you educate yourself on what’s best for you. That’s not always what you’ll currently find in department stores. Jackets with little construction may be popular but, less flattering on your frame. The same goes from lower trousers, plain front trousers.