Friday, 10 February 2012

What to look for in tailored clothing?

The key to a perfect wardrobe is fit, quality & value. For instance if the fit is to be tailored then you may spend more depending on the level of the tailoring. A made to measure is cheaper, around £400 - £700 in London, but you mustn't expect the quality of fit to be as good as semi-bespoke or full bespoke. These range from £1000 - £4000+. Off the peg is even cheaper but you must make do with what the fit is and pay alterations if needed. Factor these in when buying garments.

Quality is the level of brand or fabric, not always both. For instance I know some off the peg brands that charge £600 for a suit but use the same wools and machine work as £250 versions that ar less well known. You may be paying a large part for the label inside the clothing.

But there are some great establishments that do great quality make and cloth. This will be found out by asking the assistants questions:

Where is the wool from?
Where are the suits made?
What is the level of hand work in the garment?

The answers aren't in themselves important but it will show if the assistant knows anything of there product.

Most wool is from Australia, China or New Zealand (which accounts for approx 55% of Global production - 60% of that goes to clothing worldwide). Most of Australia's is Merino wool which is some of the finest classic wools available.
Most off the peg clothing is made in China as the labour and production is cheap. And a lot of made to measure and semi-bespoke is far east too  for the same reason. A recent study into American clothing found that only about 3% of clothing sold in the States was actually made there. In Britain Savile Row fully bespoke garments are still made on site at Savile Row but most garments are out sourced to cheaper places around the world and with the commodities rise of wool and cotton over the last two years that will increase the need to cut labour and also rise prices unless businesses wish to go bust.

And value? Value comes from what you mainly want from your clothing. Is it just last a long while? Then buy heavy fabrics and pay extra for good quality. If its feeling wonderfully luxurious but not hot around the year then find great light weight cloths with 100% super numbers between 100's and 160's so as to get some life span from it. If its purely image than buy better tailored but in lower ranges of cloth and go to tailors that are referred by colleagues or friends.

What does all this mean? Basically, to shop well. If you hate shopping then employ a personal tailor who can dress you and advise on the level you need to be spending to obtain the look, quality and value you wish. But ask yourself what ou true top dollar can be to spend on garments in a year and ask yourself the questions above to find out what your goal is and spend your money on that mostly.

 Tailor Dan