Break-in period for new bespoke suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

    Messages:
    3,172
    Likes Received:
    259
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I just got a couple of new bespoke suits. I find them to be somewhat stiff. Admittedly, the cut is more fitting than what I was used to, but still, I find the jacket stiff overall.

    Is there a break-in period for new bespoke suits just like shoes? Does a fitted suit "mould" to its owner's body shape after a while?
     
  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,568
    Likes Received:
    2,807
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    They can, though the softer they are the more this will happen.  Really stiff coats made with stiff canvas etc. will never entirely lose that stiffness, and honestly they're not supposed to.

    As to how long it takes: so many variables: how stiff it is in the first place, what its guts are like, the cloth weight and weave, how often you wear it, for how long at a time ...
     
  3. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    There is definitely a break-in period, though it is not about the stiffness getting softer. I think it has to do with letting the canvass adapt to the contour of your body, so it will become a second skin as you move through your day. If it is stiff, don't expect it to liquidfy after 'breaking-in'. It's different with shoes.
     
  4. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Not only is there a break-in period, but as the garment settles in, you should record any aspect of the fit and form of the garment that is bothersome to you as it surfaces over time, and tell your tailor about it.  Actually, a good tailor will advise you to return so as to see it himself and make any necessary adjustments that you might not catch, even continual adjustments if needed, to further perfect the results.  My NY tailor always scrutinizes the clothes I wear when visiting with him, whether he has made them or not.  And, if I'm wearing one of my "rain suits" not made by him, he inevitably senses there are serious problems with the fit and becomes alarmed, after which I immediately reassure him it's not his suit. Not too long ago, I wore one of his suits made for me a couple years ago, and he noticed that the collar needed to be heightened by 1/8 inch. Don't get too obsessed wit such minor adjustments yourself lest you drive yourself over the edge and never enjoy your clothes. Ultimate perfection is rarely attained.
    Grayson
     
  5. boston

    boston Senior member

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    The softness of the garment may increase a little after a few dozen wearings. But stiff canvas will remain stiff.

    The *drape* though will keep developing for years. I think this comes from the canvas and stitching shifting and stretching underneath the cloth (as long as it's fully canvassed).

    -boston
     
  6. dorian

    dorian Senior member

    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    NYC/London
    As insane as this may sound, wearing a new, besoke suit in light rain will help the garment fit you like a glove, ever so slightly more than the tailor can achieve initially.
     
  7. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Senior member

    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    I think with time,the canvas beneath a bespoke jacket can shift and cause ripples within the chest or around the shoulder.I have a vintage Hicks & Sons that is great,except,with a strong overhead lighting,I can see a slight ripple,and I can feel in in the interfacing.Can a tailor get in there and restretch/smooth it out?
     
  8. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    The only bespoke suits I wear in the rain are those POSes I have the great misfortune of owning from tailors better qualified to cut meat than cloth.
    Grayson
     
  9. dorian

    dorian Senior member

    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    NYC/London
    My suggestion was the result of a freakish spring rain under bright sun last year. I certainly do not wear my finest suits out regularly in the rain.

    However, the suit that survived that rain shower quickly became the most comfortable of my bespoke suits.

    Also, it has been told to me by my lovely and humorous Aunt Sally that some of my more eccentric family have been known to wander about in London rain for a worn look and comfortable fit of new suits. I read somewhere that this is done by several Row addicts, so there must be something to it...
     
  10. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    I have to concede that the fit of the POSes I wear in the rain is, indeed, improved by being soaked.  Unfortunately, my bank account did not improve when I got soaked by the tailors who sold me those rags.
    Grayson
     
  11. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

    Messages:
    3,903
    Likes Received:
    1,910
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    you might find answers to this type of question in the book due out this april (the 15th, i think) by G. Bruce Boyer; title is something to the effect of "the Style of Fred Astaire." I'm looking forward to it, and expect details about how bespoke suits were ordered, worn-in, etc.
     
  12. Horace

    Horace Senior member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    I suggest that you allow your valet to wear it for a while. That oughta break it in.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by