Friday, 10 February 2012

The Key to Long Life - How to make your clothing last?

There is a reason the best dressed men of the world look great in their garments and why it lasts so long. They all started out with just one suit, just like the rest of us, but they invested in quanitity, quality and smartly by going to the right tailors.

Having a good rotation is the biggest factor in suits that last well and look great for the duration. This is at the minimum 5 suits of medium weight wool plus two casual outfits to cover the basics and get 3 to 5 years from your wardrobe before it starts deteriorating.

Most chaps sadly have to little in their wardrobe and get a false belief of economy from their apparel buying. Having two suits that cost £300 each and last only a year is a terrible value to your wallet and look. For one they never look very good as they will be off the peg and fit 5% of the population great, 15% just ok and the rest of us just look plain shabby. That's 80% bad fit and most of us fall into that category. So better to fork out a bit more a year and get to 5 suits quickly then string out and pay £600 a year for two suits that look bad. If you paid £50 a suit less and bought 5 suits straight away it would only cost you £1250 but last you probably 3 years and look better for most of that. Weigh that against £600 per year to buy essentially the same two suits that look worn after 10 months. In three years you would have spent £1800. You do the math. Not a good deal is it?

Better still, buy some tailored outfits which will fit gloriously (as long as you have a good tailor or clothier), help with your appearance when making deals, improve your chances of getting that promotion at work and last longer due to better construction and quality of cloth. Tailored in the city starts at £500 (for good quality and good service) and will last side by side against an off the peg a good 6 months to a year. Also you look and feel like those chaps you admire around town.

Now with tailored you may be paying more per year but you will get that value of still having your suits in your wardrobe 5 years later when you rotate them whilst building to your minimum of 5 suits.

Buying bespoke is a no brainier for fit, feel and quality. There is nothing like the feeling of a handmade garment. It's the same feeling of travelling first class on a great airline or having the box seats at the theatre or football game. But more into handmade in later posts. These items are a must for every high level businessman. But if you are just starting out and cannot afford to spend £2400 per suit om a 5 suit rotation then het semi-bespoke or lower as described above.  

I will go into maintaining your wardrobe with some simple care advice on a separate post but the main key is "more is definitely better" and if you're going to do it right, do it tailored. 

Tailor Dan