You’ve decided to invest in a new suit but are torn between buying one straight off the peg with a coveted designer label and having one made to measure by a leading tailor.
Both, usually, are made using the finest quality materials but that aside, there are many differences between the two that can affect the final finish of the garment and may influence your ultimate choice. Here are some points to consider when choosing between the two:
Always consider fit and comfort
No matter how good the quality of materials or styling of the suit may be, fit is the primary factor that dictates the final finish of a suit and how good it looks on. Sick of having to undo your buttons at the end of the day or of your jacket slipping off your shoulders? A good fit also means it will be more comfortable to wear. So much so, that you shouldn’t feel you’ve got it on!
At Hemingway we believe that if you are investing a great sum of money on your suit it should look sharp, expensive and fit like a glove. There is a huge difference in the way ready to wear and made to measure suits are made which in turn impact on the fit and comfort of the garment. Ready to wear suits are cut and made to standard sizes and patterns. Very few men and women are lucky enough to have proportions identical to those set by standard sizing and so rarely achieve a great overall fit from off-the-peg garments. For instance, a jacket may fit on the shoulders but it may be too large around the chest, or trousers may fit on the waist but be too tight around the thighs.
With made to measure suits, the garments are made to your exact measurements and so an improved fit and comfort can be achieved. At your first appointment with a tailor your measurements are taken and then the suit pattern is cut to your exact size and gait. Within a few weeks a garment is made and delivered and if there are any minor tweaks to improve the fit of the suit these can be made at the final fitting.
Are you searching for a specific style and design?
With ready to wear suits, the style and design of the product is already pre-determined by the designer. You must buy what you see and what is available in your size. You may fall in love with something just to find it is the wrong colour or in a cloth unsuitable for the time of year.
Made to measure suits offer much more flexibility and allow you to show off your own individual style and personality. You can choose from a plethora of fabrics in different colours and patterns, as well as being able to dictate the style and cut of the suit that you prefer. Finishing touches such as striking linings, buttons, coloured button holes and monogramming can also be incorporated, meaning you are able to create something that is completely unique to you.
Do you need it in a hurry or can you wait?
One of the major benefits of opting for a designer, ready to wear suit is that you can purchase it and take it home that day. No need to wait or to have to visualise how the finished suit might look.
That said, as with many things, sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for and that is certainly the case when it comes to suits. The made to measure process takes on average about six to eight weeks from start to finish although in some cases, if products are required sooner, our team can offer an “express” three to four-week service.
Hemingway also offers a visiting tailor service meaning you don't need to take time out from your busy schedule to have your suit fitted, we will come to you at your convenience.
Get the most value for your money
For many, investing in either a designer or a made to measure suit isn’t something they can afford to do every day and price has a huge impact on their final decision. Undoubtedly, due to the methods of manufacture and the materials used, a made to measure suit will normally last you many more years than an off the peg item – offering you much more return when it comes to cost per wear.
Remember though, just because something has a hefty price tag doesn’t always mean it will offer a superior fit or be of the best quality. A suit with a good fit will flatter and help you look your best. A Hemingway made to measure suit starts from £850, which, when compared with similar quality designer options, offers fantastic value.
Do some hands-on research
For many, a designer label is a must have when deciding on a suit to buy – regardless of how well the garment actually fits and how comfortable it feels to wear. But for those who really know their clothing, tailor made clothing is incomparable. If you’re still unsure, why not take a trip to the shops and try on a range of different off the peg suits from a designer, taking care to notice the fit and feel of the product. Then make an appointment with one of Hemingway’s tailors who will be able to explain the made to measure process to you in detail and show you what options are available.
It’s important to remember that no matter what label is lurking inside your jacket, a good fit is always the most important thing about a suit. If you’d like to speak with one of our experienced tailors and find out more about owning a made-to-measure suit and the process involved please call us on 0800 542 3406 or enquire here.