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Benefits of Custom Suits for 20s-30s

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am looking to buy a custom suit and I was looking for advice on pros and cons of a custom suit for someone in their mid 20s and even early 30s on purchasing custom suits. I like the ability to stylize the smaller details and was wondering if the quality and direction are worth the $700 from some retailers. Thanks!

post #2 of 7

From a pure financial standpoint, I don't think custom suits (or even suits for that matter) are going to be a good investment. For one, you can live your entire live without ever wearing one these days and it wouldn't be a big detriment in any way. Although if you are a white collar worker you probably need one occasionally, you can probably count the number of times you wear one per year on two hands. And even when you do wear one, no one is really going to care how it looks.

 

So in terms of practicality, custom suits are just not really worth it. But of course if you're browsing this forum or even considering spending a chunk of money on clothes you don't really care about practicality. You want to wear something you like even if it costs more and no one else notices or cares.

 

If that's how you feel, you'll probably always feel that temptation to get something custom. And it'll probably never go away - so why not try it out?

 

That said, I don't think for $700 you're going to get a great fitting custom suit (something that fits like a vintage suit with plenty of room yet looks like it fits like a glove). You might get a suit that 'fits' according to contemporary standards (sort of 'slim' and not as comfortable as a suit should be), but even that could be risky if it only costs $700 (which is pretty low for a custom suit).

 

But if you're going for a custom suit mostly for small details and experimenting ideas, then I don't know if the above is a big deal.

 

There are so many variables unfortunately when getting a custom suit these days (tailor's style, your desired style/communication of it, tailor's experience/knowledge, cost, whether you're buying a custom suit or a custom suit, etc.) that you can't expect perfection or in fact expect anything. Getting custom suits just isn't like showing up, getting measured, paying, and then getting a really nicely cut suit for you a few weeks later. It's actually a pretty widely inconsistent process these days (maybe in the old days too, but I get a sort of feeling that when suits were more commonplace the process of buying custom suits was a little more standardized in terms of what you're getting and what you're paying). In fact, I would just think of the cost of the suit as part of a custom clothing experience much like the cost of a vacation or a trip to an amusement park and that you happen to get a piece of clothing at the end the added bonus, especially if the cost is just $700 which I hate to say rings alarms bells because it's just too cheap for a custom suit.

post #3 of 7

@tewells there is only one I can recommend that is close to $700 http://www.kentwang.com/suits.  If you can't find RTW that fits you well or you just want to ability to pick fabric/options, then MTM (custom) might be worth it for you.  There is a lot of terrible MTM out there so just be careful.  After all, it's usually not something you can just return like you can with RTW.  A lot of guys waste tons of money on bad custom clothing.

post #4 of 7

Great RTW you can trust and fit well in is what I'd recommend for most. The $700 is really alarming since we just had some bad experiences with Samuelsohn and Brooks Brothers. Simply put, there are people that can't do the job well and you'll experience if you go down this route, similarities I'm guessing sooner or later.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballmouse View Post

From a pure financial standpoint, I don't think custom suits (or even suits for that matter) are going to be a good investment. For one, you can live your entire live without ever wearing one these days and it wouldn't be a big detriment in any way. Although if you are a white collar worker you probably need one occasionally, you can probably count the number of times you wear one per year on two hands. And even when you do wear one, no one is really going to care how it looks.

So in terms of practicality, custom suits are just not really worth it. But of course if you're browsing this forum or even considering spending a chunk of money on clothes you don't really care about practicality. You want to wear something you like even if it costs more and no one else notices or cares.

If that's how you feel, you'll probably always feel that temptation to get something custom. And it'll probably never go away - so why not try it out?

That said, I don't think for $700 you're going to get a great fitting custom suit (something that fits like a vintage suit with plenty of room yet looks like it fits like a glove). You might get a suit that 'fits' according to contemporary standards (sort of 'slim' and not as comfortable as a suit should be), but even that could be risky if it only costs $700 (which is pretty low for a custom suit).

But if you're going for a custom suit mostly for small details and experimenting ideas, then I don't know if the above is a big deal.

There are so many variables unfortunately when getting a custom suit these days (tailor's style, your desired style/communication of it, tailor's experience/knowledge, cost, whether you're buying a custom suit or a custom suit, etc.) that you can't expect perfection or in fact expect anything. Getting custom suits just isn't like showing up, getting measured, paying, and then getting a really nicely cut suit for you a few weeks later. It's actually a pretty widely inconsistent process these days (maybe in the old days too, but I get a sort of feeling that when suits were more commonplace the process of buying custom suits was a little more standardized in terms of what you're getting and what you're paying). In fact, I would just think of the cost of the suit as part of a custom clothing experience much like the cost of a vacation or a trip to an amusement park and that you happen to get a piece of clothing at the end the added bonus, especially if the cost is just $700 which I hate to say rings alarms bells because it's just too cheap for a custom suit.

I would disagree with this from my own perspective but I run a rather old fashioned shop, I'm likely to apologize to a client for not wearing a tie if they come in 30 minutes earlier.

Do you not think that putting choices in the hands of the consumer is the modern element which causes the risk? I agree with your point about people probably getting more consistent results in the past but maybe that was because we had more true professionals? We can bounce around now from job to job or change careers and we can look up information about anything in seconds, but I think back then we respected the professional more because that's what we all were. Just some food for thought.

About buying custom suits at a younger age I started at 19, I would get cloth from Leeds market and have a local tailor make up my suits. They weren't great but I was young, looked good and I had a lot of fun wearing them.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Reeves View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballmouse View Post

From a pure financial standpoint, I don't think custom suits (or even suits for that matter) are going to be a good investment. For one, you can live your entire live without ever wearing one these days and it wouldn't be a big detriment in any way. Although if you are a white collar worker you probably need one occasionally, you can probably count the number of times you wear one per year on two hands. And even when you do wear one, no one is really going to care how it looks.

So in terms of practicality, custom suits are just not really worth it. But of course if you're browsing this forum or even considering spending a chunk of money on clothes you don't really care about practicality. You want to wear something you like even if it costs more and no one else notices or cares.

If that's how you feel, you'll probably always feel that temptation to get something custom. And it'll probably never go away - so why not try it out?

That said, I don't think for $700 you're going to get a great fitting custom suit (something that fits like a vintage suit with plenty of room yet looks like it fits like a glove). You might get a suit that 'fits' according to contemporary standards (sort of 'slim' and not as comfortable as a suit should be), but even that could be risky if it only costs $700 (which is pretty low for a custom suit).

But if you're going for a custom suit mostly for small details and experimenting ideas, then I don't know if the above is a big deal.

There are so many variables unfortunately when getting a custom suit these days (tailor's style, your desired style/communication of it, tailor's experience/knowledge, cost, whether you're buying a custom suit or a custom suit, etc.) that you can't expect perfection or in fact expect anything. Getting custom suits just isn't like showing up, getting measured, paying, and then getting a really nicely cut suit for you a few weeks later. It's actually a pretty widely inconsistent process these days (maybe in the old days too, but I get a sort of feeling that when suits were more commonplace the process of buying custom suits was a little more standardized in terms of what you're getting and what you're paying). In fact, I would just think of the cost of the suit as part of a custom clothing experience much like the cost of a vacation or a trip to an amusement park and that you happen to get a piece of clothing at the end the added bonus, especially if the cost is just $700 which I hate to say rings alarms bells because it's just too cheap for a custom suit.

I would disagree with this from my own perspective but I run a rather old fashioned shop, I'm likely to apologize to a client for not wearing a tie if they come in 30 minutes earlier.

Do you not think that putting choices in the hands of the consumer is the modern element which causes the risk? I agree with your point about people probably getting more consistent results in the past but maybe that was because we had more true professionals? We can bounce around now from job to job or change careers and we can look up information about anything in seconds, but I think back then we respected the professional more because that's what we all were. Just some food for thought.

About buying custom suits at a younger age I started at 19, I would get cloth from Leeds market and have a local tailor make up my suits. They weren't great but I was young, looked good and I had a lot of fun wearing them.

 

I'm not sure if we disagree. I do think that a more demanding customer these days adds more risk. I mention that if you're after experimentation and testing new ideas custom tailoring is the way to go. I also mention you therefore shouldn't expect perfection.

post #7 of 7
A couple of thoughts: I don't know what kind of "custom" suits the OP expects to get for $700, but the odds are overwhelming they won't be good ones! You should figure on at least twice that amount, and that will still be very "low end" for bespoke.

Second, the body types of many young fellows in their 20s and early 30s are still changing rapidly. For example, some suits I bought for my stepson when he was into bodybuilding are way too big for him now that he is into mountain biking. Thus, it may be unwise to put a lot of money into a suit that may be ill-fitting in a few years.

That said, if you have plenty of disposable income and fancy a bespoke suit, by all means go for it. Just be sure to use a reputable tailor.
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