The revival of bespoke tailoring - wedding suits


- Credit: Archant

No garment can generate a reaction from the opposite sex quite like a well-fitted suit… and it appears it is having something of a revival. Whether two piece or three piece, the way to go is bespoke – and it’s not as expensive as you think

There’s no doubting that when it comes to saying ‘I Do’ it is often the bride taking centre stage will all eyes on the big, white dress and veil. But what about the poor chap by her side? With men becoming more and more involved in the wedding planning process, and taking greater care over the way they look in general – smart dressing is becoming big business.

With shows like Mad Men dominating our screens, the suit is having a comeback and on their wedding day, men are looking for something that is going to make them feel confident when waiting for their blushing bride.

Along the high street, most chains can offer a suitable ‘off the peg’ number, but when it comes to a special occasion it seems tailoring is becoming more and more popular as affordable options become available.

A Suit That Fits is one such e-tailer gaining momentum in the clothing industry with its online ordering and measuring service allowing men (and women) the opportunity to personally select fabrics, cut and style to create a unique and bespoke outfit. From formal dress and overcoats to three piece suits and shirts, A Suit That Fits have understood the need for affordably priced bespoke clothing and bridged the gap in the market.

With studios around the country, and now an office in New York, it seems that handmade suits are in high demand. Hayley Harmer has worked for the company for a year and a half after being employed within the bridal and fashion industry. A tailor by trade, she has seen first hand the impact that wearing a good suit can have on a man. She explains: “When you have a suit that fits somebody perfectly, you can see that they have a swagger and a confidence, and their whole demeanour changes. Everyone is made up of different shapes and sizes and sometimes people can really struggle to find something to fit them, or everybody if there is a large wedding party.”

With some fabrics costing as little as £259, a bespoke suit is not as unaffordable as you might think. Hayley tells us that the fabrics are usually Italian or British cloth, but the manufacturing is done in Nepal, helping to keep costs down. The emphasis is on the ethical values of the company as she explains: “The whole team in Nepal are paid properly for their work, have good healthcare, pension schemes – the whole family are really looked after to the point where we now have been granted expansion due to the community being transformed.”

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Unlike women’s fashions, trends for men tend to stay along a similar line – especially when it comes to tailoring. A good fitted suit is timeless and as Hayley says: “it’s an investment - you can get a lifetime of wear out of it really.”

With brides becoming more relaxed about what their grooms can pick for the big day, Hayley’s opinion is “it is nice for the guys to have their moment in the limelight too.”

With a bespoke service you can choose everything from the fabrics to the contrasting lapels and hand-stitched buttonholes, as well as the style of fit you would like. Consultants like Hayley are on hand in regional locations to make sure you are happy with your final decisions, and to offer advice on seasonal trends and finishing touches. She says: “Bright blues are really popular for summer but the deep navy and maroon tones have been sought after throughout the past few weeks. When it comes to those finishing touches I always say less is more. The last buttonhole detail or the flash of paisley lining is enough to give your suit a bespoke look without being over the top.”

Once your order has been processed, the completed suit can be with you in as little as three weeks, making it a good alternative if you are looking for something completely unique for your special day.

Once the wedding day is over, don’t be tempted to send your suit off to the dry cleaners, unless of course you’ve had an accident with a glass of red wine as Hayley explains: “People are always under the impression that you should constantly dry clean your suits but you really don’t have to, it’s not good for the suit and they can end up looking over pressed. The best thing to do is keep it on a moulded hanger, to keep the shape on the shoulders, and hang your trousers from the ankle down. Every now and again brush it off with a nice suit brush. Before the wedding, hang your suit up in the bathroom and the steam will help to drop out any creases.”

Having now made over 50,000 garments in the past seven years, is a UK company set for great things. With throw away fashion dominating the market in recent years, it’s nice to see a company going back to a more traditional style of operating - producing a garment that is made to last. A local tailor may have been a common sight on the high street 50 years ago, but with brands buckling under the weight of the Web, could it be that a clothing company can achieve the best of both worlds? An online ordering service with locally based consultants! Only time will tell, but it looks to us like a step in the right direction.


Hayley’s Top Tips

1 Get an idea of what colour tones will suit you and your wedding. The last thing you want is an angry bride when your bright blue choice clashes with the bridesmaids.

2 Bear in mind what you are likely to want to wear again, if you are buying the suit as an investment. Bright colours and patterns may not be your taste in years to come.

3 Have a think about style, whether or not you want a waistcoat, two piece, three piece, double breasted. Try some different suit styles on before your fitting so you have an idea of what suits your body shape.

4 Think about the weight of the cloth, if you are getting married abroad then avoid anything that is a 300g weight because you’ll be boiling.

5 Keep styles really classic and clean cut, keep it timeless and sharp and you will have something that will last.



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