Eight signs of a well-made suit

03 April 2014

Whether you've purchased an off-the-rack, made-to-measure or bespoke suit, from the high street or from a tailor, you’ll want to know whether the garment you've purchased is top quality or not. Will it last decades, or weeks? Will it keep its shape or lose it after a couple of dry cleans? If you’re buying from an unproven tailor or via the internet, you might not be entirely confident as to whether you've snagged a bargain or been short changed. Hemingway Tailors offers some of the finest tailoring in the UK. We guarantee that our bespoke suits exhibit all of the following signs of a well-made suit:

#1: Fully canvassed

A canvas layer in a suit jacket essentially acts as middle structural layer between the outer jacket and the lining. This differs from cheaper, fused, jackets, where the two layers are simply glued together. A fully canvassed jacket fits your shape much better than a fused jacket, and is a classic sign of a well-made, quality suit. To check if your suit is canvassed, gently pinch the fabric between the buttonholes. If you feel three layers, it’s fully canvassed. Depending on the thickness of the fabric, it can be difficult to feel the layers of the suit. Ask them whether the suit is fused or canvassed.

#2: Fit: shoulders

What’s the fit like around your shoulders? The seam should extend to the end of your shoulder – this will mean that the suit will lie perfectly flat along your shoulders and won’t look baggy or pinched. It’s difficult to adjust the shoulders of the jacket, so this is one of the key areas to make sure your tailor has got right.

#3: Fit: lapel

To test if your suit’s well fitted, do up one button. If you see a distinctive X shape and the lapels bulge outwards, this is a sure sign that your suit’s not fitted well. No creases should form when you do up one button on your suit jacket. Another sign of a top quality suit is that the lapels should roll gently, not be pressed into sharp folds.

#4: Fit: collar

A well-measured bespoke suit will give you a smooth collar with no folds or bunches. It is likely to be supported by a felt lining to hold the shape.

#5: Fabric quality

Look at the label of your suit. A good suit will feature only natural fabrics, typically wool for the outer layer and silk for the lining. It’s difficult to determine the quality of these materials unless you’re an expert in the field. Your tailor should be able to tell you the thread count of the suit. Top quality suits tend to have thread counts of above 120. Avoid synthetic fabrics at all costs.

#6: High quality lining extends throughout

A well-made suit will have the same top quality lining throughout the trousers, around the crotch area and into the seat. When purchasing a suit, check that the lining is present throughout the entire garment. The pockets should also have high quality silk lining.

#7: Hand stitching

Check that your bespoke suit is hand stitched. Hand stitched suits are far more durable (and often fit better!) than those which have been machine stitched.

#8: Good finish

A well-made tailored suit will have a good finish on all those little details. Buttonholes will be beautifully sewn with no loose ends or fraying edges.

If you want to ensure that your new bespoke suit is top quality, contact Hemingway Tailors now to arrange a free consultation.

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