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Tailor-made suit with one measurement?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
What are the chances of getting a decent (i.e. wearable) tailor-made suit done with only one measurement session?

I'm tempted to order a suit from one of those travelling Indian tailors, who come, take your measurements (including of your best fitting suit) and then send you a suit by post. The choice/quality of fabrics is really tempting and the price (400-500 eur) is not bad either. They also say they fit it on a mannequin several times during the work. Is it worth a try or a waist of money?

Thanks for your opinon!
post #2 of 10
It's difficult. You'll have the most success if you can

a) Wear your best fitting suit when you see the tailor
b) Discuss with him where this suit does not fit
c) Have him measure you and the suit
d) Have him take a ton of photographs
e) Be measured by the guy running the show
f) Know in advance how high you want the gorge, where you want the button stance, how wide you want the lapels, where you want the pockets, how slim you want the pants.
g) Ask your tailor whether he sees any of the following variations in you:

Dropped shoulder
Round back
Forward chest
Prominent calves / locked knees

(All of these things can be corrected in the first cut of the suit, and not afterwards, so you've got to catch them upfront.)

If you do all of these things right, your second suit will probably come out just right. If not, you'll be working toward a good fit for a while.

In reality, though, a basted fit makes all of this moot. I've used a traveling tailor and a Neapolitan one, and the first Neapolitan was a better fit than the fifth traveling one, because of the adjustments that a basted fit allowed.
post #3 of 10
Sounds a little gimmicky. The suit might fit fine, but my guess is it won't be impeccable.
post #4 of 10
Just came from the local Zegna shop and every time I go, they want to fool me asking for a meeting with his " tailor from Italy" for an overpriced ( 2200 euros ) horrible milano mtm model.

So I´ll bet for your indians.
post #5 of 10
it all depends on how good he is at spotting the physical deviations from the norm, and adjusting the pattern. explained very nicely by alliswell, Whom by the way I have offered a job.
he might get 95% on the first try, or it might be unwearable.
just make sure you know what the policy is for minor alterations.
post #6 of 10
You need(IM)) at least a 2nd fit for a good suit.
post #7 of 10
Might be better than off the rack... but certainly not as good as one with multiple fittings. But, if the person taking the measurements isn't a trained tailor or someone with a really good eye, multiple fittings won't matter anyway.

I draw the distinction of measurement-only jackets as MTM vs. Bespoke. These jackets are simply made-to-measure in the same factories that make OTR suits -- they are NOT crafted by skilled artisans (tailors) on a bench by hand. That, and the technical knowledge of a finely-skilled bespoke tailor, is what you pay the premium for.

I have several "very nice" suits -- bespoke, if you will. However, I'm totally open to MTM suits from HK / Chinese makers for the purpose of adding some inexpensive variation to my closet. I typically stay away from their suits and keep with odd jackets and trousers. Never completely happy -- but a compromise between the cost of bespoke and failure of off-the-rack.

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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for all the tips, especially alliswell -- I'll print out your list before meeting the tailor.
post #9 of 10
In addition to alliswell's list I'd add sleeve pitch -- very difficult to get right without baste/forward fittings especially with pattern matching.

post #10 of 10
Watch out for price rip off. Ask them which suits they have at the advertised price. If they don't have anything worthwhile at the advertised price and if anything decent is like 50-100% costlier, just walk away. Don't feel pressurized to buy anything.
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