Help me design a MTM/Bespoke suit

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NeedStyleHelp, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    Let me start off by saying that I am not in the process of having a suit made, or doing so any time immediately.

    Good to know: I live in Toronto, I'm about 5'8", 165 pounds, athletic build.

    With that said, through lots of research online and trying on different jackets, I think I've come to the conclusion that I would like to have a suit made for me. I am not opposed to buying OTR if the price is right, but if I can get a great looking suit for a little more, I think I might do it.

    Through research on this forum, I will be looking at Garrison Bespoke or Trend Custom Tailor. I've heard positive and negative reviews of each, but any more advice definitely wouldn't hurt.

    I already have a navy blue Calvin Klein (pre SF days, before I had a good idea of what made a good suit). I am looking to add either a charcoal grey (it seems to be the other staple suit everyone must have) or a light to medium grey. I do love navy blue suits, but would feel silly to add another so soon.

    The suit would more or less be for special occasions, but I would also like the option to wear it as much as I'd like (maybe not weekly, but bi-weekly or monthly). As for the suit design, I'm looking to have a 2 button, notch lapel, with side vents. More of an Italian cut, slimmer and more modern. As for the fabric, I have no idea!

    I get hot and sweat rather easily, especially in the summer when it can get upwards of 35 degrees! So I'm not looking for a thick material - more of a material that can be worn year round.

    I would appreciate any help on fabric choice!

    I am also looking to get a pair or two of extra trousers done, so that I can mix and match.
    Any opinions would be very helpful!

    If you need any additional information to help me out, please ask!


    Brandon
     
  2. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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  3. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    My experience with made to measure (MTM) is limited to Joe Hemrajani of www.mytailor.com. I've had good experiences, but of course, YMMV. Afraid I can't be of help on the two specific names you mentioned. He generally has a good range of fabrics with him and any outfit you're working for that makes suits for a living should be able to help you with exact weights.

    Your overall design thoughts (two button, notch lapel, side vents) sound good. I'd say that you should go with (1) solid navy or solid grey - navy is generally seen as more formal (you do not want your only custom suit to be patterned), (2) avoid flannel which tends to be warming as well as super-light wool and go with something worsted in the 10 ounce range, and (3) don't mix and match trousers with your suit jacket. An extra pair in the same clotch is one thing as trousers can wear out faster than jackets, but if it's not worn with matching pants, you'll look like you're wearing an orphaned suit jacket.

    Nothing wrong with some MTM pants, but I'd pair them with either an odd jacket which you could have made for you along with your suit or perhaps something you get a deal on off the rack. In fact, if your budget allows, getting a MTM suit, odd jacket in a different color (navy if your suit is grey, perhaps some sort of tweed / herringbone outside of the blue range if your suit is navy), and a couple pairs of odd trousers might be helpful. You'd have the suit for special occasions, but also a couple nice jacket / pants combinations for something less formal.
     
  4. superfishy8

    superfishy8 Well-Known Member

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    be sure to go through the fabric swatches to figure out which materials feel best.
    if you're worried about heat factor, im a big lover of hopsack weaves, although i agree with archibaldleach and say that navy might be a more versatile choice. especially since you're other navy suit is just a calvin klein one, i don't think it would hurt to have another bespoke one that you know fits you perfectly. i also find navy to be a much more versatile color, something you can wear in the summer. and on the plust side, a fabric like hopsack allows you to wear the jacket just on its own. on the flip side, I haven't seen that many hopsack suits, and don't know if that's even a possibility
     
  5. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Idk how much you want to spend, but fresco would be a good choice
     
  6. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    I like the ideas so far!

    I don't think I want to get a fresco suit just yet. I want a suit I can wear for all seasons.

    Archibald, you say to get a worsted wool in the 10 ounce range. Should I look at the Super 100's - 120's and not go above? From what I've read, anything above will wear out faster.

    Any other ideas on particular shades of navy blue, or particular fabrics?

    I like the idea of buying a suit, an odd jacket, and a few odd trousers. I'm curious to why you say not to mix and match trousers with a suit jacket? Sorry if it's an obvious question. If you got a navy blue suit and wore the jacket with odd trousers (say a shade of grey), wouldn't you be able to pull off the same result as buying an odd jacket and pairing it with odd trousers making your wardrobe more versatile?

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!
    Keep em' coming!
     
  7. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    My understanding is the same as yours; above Super 120s, the wool is going to wear out faster. The wool of course will also cost more and just does not seem economical for one of your only suits.

    The issue with wearing a suit jacket as an odd jacket (i.e. with non-matching pants) is that it will usually look like an orphaned suit jacket. Various details (sleeve buttons, pocket details, fabric, button types) distinguish odd jackets from suit jackets. A fair number of people probably can't tell the difference, but it doesn't take too much of a trained eye to see this. If you browse around and look at examples of say, navy suits and navy odd jackets in various threads in the forum (e.g. WAYWRN), you'll probably get a better sense of it.
     
  8. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    Thank you for the insight! I have another question...I've always thought of myself as a no-break to very little break guy with my trousers. Recently, I've noticed a lot of people having a little cuff and it's starting to grow on me. I like my trouser opening more tapered, around 7 inches, so the trouser doesn't rise and flap about. Are there certain rules to follow with cuffs on trousers? Are they better with a heavier wool?
     
  9. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Ain't going to happen. Toronto weather isn't going to work with compromises like year round suits. Either you'll freeze in winter or sweat during the summer. Plus winter versus summer also tends to include things like colour.

    Think in terms of something for two seasons. Maybe eight months. Considering how short the warm weather is something heavy enough for Sept to May wouldn't be too huge of a compromise.
     
  10. iSurg

    iSurg Senior member

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    For the topic of cuffs and break, I refer to Australia's illustrious Phat Guido, aka Guido Wongolini
    The answer you seek can be found at http://mostexerent.tumblr.com/post/570115225/thanks-to-a-new-follower-who-has-taken-the-time

    And spoilered for your convenience.



    Anyway, in this day an age we all get tied up with definitive measurements & forget the most important rule balance & proportion.
    Well when you are of my stature we start to see things from a different perspective.

    So in simple terms, what you see is not what you think. The size of cuff & opening I wear is not so easily translated to others. The other factor we need to take into account:

    1. type of cloth - as some have more drape & others are stiff
    2. pattern & colour of cloth
    3. type of shoe - narrow, wide, double or single sole & so on
    4. dimension of shoe

    The above also need to be taken into account with the break of the pant - when the bottom touches the shoe & how much of a crease is formed.
    IMO men that are shorter in stature should avoid full-breaks at all times as this cause a disturbance in the flow from shoe to trou to jacket & so on.
    They say that men of my stature (< or = 5’7”) should avoid cuffs let alone 2” cuffs (as the standard is 1.5” - 1.75”), but we come back to my previous statement regardingbalance & proportion not definitive measurements. Sure once you have worked out what works for you then use that as a base - but we still need to refer to the naked eye to see if the balance & proportion is there.
    This is where it helps if you have a tailor or a 2nd or 3rd person that you trust to be the impartial eye as the 1st person tends to see the inflection not reflection from the right perspective.
    I hope this has not been too tedious, but it is easier than responding to emails etc.
    FYI - Not all my cuffs are 2”. They actually vary from 1.75” to 2” & the opening varies from 15” to 16”. See, nothing is definitive.
    Enjoy & walk TALL & the other day I saw a man with 4” maybe 5” cuffs - I should have asked him about them.



    From personal experience, I like a larger cuff *like 2 inches* - it makes your pantalones more refined (if you're conservative or even business casual) and it does help with drape.
    At the end of the day, it's a matter of personal preference, really. If you go "no break", a smaller leg opening will prevent fabric flapping around, but again you need to take proportion into account.

    I second Nicola's above comment - you are not going to be able to find a perfect four seasons cloth for Toronto, and you should really be looking at seasonal cloths if you're going to be serious.
    That being said, if I were going to go for all seasons in TO, I'd probably chose a worsted cloth in a middle-weight. What was mentioned before is reasonable (10 ounce). You would have to layer up though. Check out Dugdale Bros. Their cloths are very hard-wearing. Note that worsteds tend to be a bit scratchier, but are textured. If you do end up using the suit as separates (I do, although it is SF blashphemy), a textured cloth is going to look much better than any supers wool. It's the shiny wools that make separates look like, well, separates.

    In terms of who you should buy from, I think Suit Supply is opening up a store in TO. I live in Aus, but in the event that I I do visit TO again, I would check it out as I'm interested in their outerwear. Otherwise, travelling tailors can work, but the best advice I can give is to find a local tailor you can work with and develop a relationship with.

    One more piece of advice from personal experience, avoid purchasing clothes in the mindset that "this needs to be 100% super versatile". Sometimes you end up making poorer judgements with this hardliner, and end up with something totally unwearable. Define the function of your purchase, and form quickly follows.
     
  11. brodygee

    brodygee Member

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    i'm not sure if this is the same MTM you're talking about, but i've heard mainly positive things about peoples experiences with blacklapel.com.

    i'm currently looking at ordering one soon- possibly from there, if not, somewhere similar. worth a look if that's what you're going for.
     
  12. DJosef

    DJosef Senior member

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    An interesting thing you say, as according to my recall, both Flusser and Antongiavanni seem to communicate in their books that dressing down a suit jacket with odd pants is perfectly normal, and something men have been doing for as long as there have been suits.

    I can easily see how the horrid navy sack suit jacket I bought when I was nineteen would look ridiculous with odd pants, but then again, the sorry thing looks ridiculous with ANY pants, including the ones that go with it.

    Any third person opinion or thoughts on this? What does a suit jacket need to look like to be acceptable in both modes of wear?
     
  13. NeedStyleHelp

    NeedStyleHelp Senior member

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    These are all very good suggestions that is helping open my eyes!

    I have a few more questions...

    Are E. Zegna shoes better quality than Aldens or Crockett and Jones? I ask because I was recently at a Harry Rosen outlet store and saw the pair below for $500, original price around $1200.

    [​IMG]


    Also, at Harry Rosen's, there are Canalis on sale for around $1200 - with a boxing day sale, they'd go down to about $1050. Would this be a good price to pick up a Canali suit, or would it still be better to go for a bespoke/MTM for a little more?
     
  14. hanjin

    hanjin Member

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    Hey there,
    first post here -- I just got measured and picked fabrics today for my first nice suit at Garrison, and I must say I'm really excited.
    I haven't had the opportunity to try trend, so I can't add anything in that respect, but the three owners at Garrison really do a good job taking care of everything.
    You can be as classic or aggressive as you want, (I was mostly classic, except for a ticket pocket) and the guys seem knowledgeable without being pushy.
    I didn't feel pressured at all to upgrade or choose anything I wasn't completely comfortable with.
    Hopefully my suit turns out as well as my first impression of them.
    If you're still making a decision by then (maybe you've already gotten a suit made!), maybe I'll give you an update.
     
  15. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    I'm not really sure how much you're willing to spend, but I didn't see a reason you wanted to go made to measure. Why do you want to go made to measure? Depending on the price point, it might be better to buy off the rack. People seem enthralled with the notion of custom suits, but not for the right reasons.

    Here are a few reasons I think one would go custom:

    A. At this price point, you have a highly competent tailor that can make something of high quality and a great fit, exceeding that found of off the rack. From what I've seen, this isn't as common as you'd think. For a very good, competent tailor, it would most likely be $2000 and upwards. And finding one at $2000 is fairly rare, more likely to cost $4000+.
    B. You're not a standard size, a very hard to find size (such as 38L), or an uncommon body to accommodate
    C. You are unable to find off the rack options with your stylistic choices or preferences

    Unless I'm missing something, you're most likely better off staying with off the rack instead of doing mtm unless you meet one of the above criteria. Made to measure seems to fail a lot more often than you'd think, while off the rack, what you see is what you get.
     

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