Monday, 27 February 2012

Tailored suits

Getting a truly tailored suit is one of life's true privileges. And when you work as hard as you do it is one you justly deserve. But getting the right tailor is the hard part. Having someone who's mind is firmly on looking after your business for the rest of your career rather than just a one stop suit is what you want. That is why getting referred to a tailors is the best thing. Referrals means someone you know has physically tried and seen the product and service and are happy to have their name mentioned on as a referral.
Tailored suits are a dime a dozen. Well tailored suits are another thing. The bets in the world are still Savile Row. But I am biased, being English. The Italians will tell you it's Italy and they have a good arguement too. But I know English heritage the best in tailoring and in England, Savile row is still King.
There for a completely handmade suit you will be looking at £2500+ ($4000) roughly and will get a memorable experience. The row is centuries old and has dresssed royalty and stars of around the world during that time. Some of the finest designers in fashion have had their routes there and will always be synonymous with excellent and elegance.
So when referred to a tailor take a look at their history and judge the people you meet there. Classy companies will rarely condemn or bad mouth their competition. If you come across ones that do you may want to leave it right as if they talk like that about others in their field what may they talk about you or even their own company if they ever move on. People who bad mouth are always looking to blame someone else for mistakes in their lives. Those doing the best for their clients and themselves rarely need to talk this way as they are set upon being the best and that means raising your game and encouraging great competition in every area.
I have compiled a list of what I think makes a good tailor/tailoring company and hope it should be a good guide to whether you wish to have your career/appearance to be looked after by them.
To look for:
  • A permanent business address which you can visit if needed.
  • A website of some kind (those without either can't afford or don't know what is needed in business today)
  • A price list - sounds silly but if there are no prices connected to certain makes of suit and level of cloths then it's likely the prices are just made up then and there depending on what they think you'll pay.
  • Deposit - Ive heard of some companies that don't always take deposit but can you trust the long term structure of a company that doesn't cover it's costs at least?
  • A method of measurement and the skill to explain - sounds again daft but if your tailored suit takes just 6 measurements or so to make then you are not getting a tailored suit. You're getting an off the peg adjusted. 
  • Visual images - If you get a bespoke or made-to-measure suit then you won't know how it will truly look till you are fitted in it 4 - 12 weeks later, depending on tailor and construction. So the company/tailor you meet must be able to guide you some how and the best way is visually. So you should expect some idea of photo or drawing description so as to communicate design and pick out options.
  • Some kind of guarantee - there are not many that fully guarantee their work but most have a 'fit till satisfied' promise in their terms. This may still mean you might be stuck with a suit you don't like or doesn't fit as not all establishments keep that promise or will refund you even if you are unsaid field but most should do their best to get your wishes. If you do come across a company that guarantees their gamers fully then take that as a great sign of confidence in their work as they will have to work hard to get it right or risk losing not only your custom but the money you have paid completely. His guarantee is a real risk reducer.
  • Expect honesty - if the people you meet seem genuine and open and/or tell you their possible faults then take that as a good sign. I'd rather trust someone who admits they're human than someone who claims hey are perfect. I know which one will be true in the long run. 
  • Expect them to look good - the person in front of you may not be able to actually measure their own clothes as this process is rather difficult. So a colleague of theirs would have had to do it. This then is a true test of whether their product and training are good enough. For if the tailor/clothier you meet looks terrible then they may have either no awareness of what looks good, or the company they work for might not be training very well their staff very well. 
  • A receipt - this should be a must and if none is forthcoming then do not continue with the order. 
  • Lastly, a fitting date - you may decide not to fix one there and then due to your constraints or unpredictable diary but one should always be offered. This will give you some security that they plan to return with the suit within a timeframe, let alone at all. If they offer none then consider whether you want this uncertainty but do bring it up with them and see their response.
  • Do expect to get some hint should want but not everything - a good tailor will direct your wishes to maybe suggesting alternative that will make you look better then before. But if you have some real desire for certain features or options in your clothes then do stick to your guns unless they give good reason not too. They are there to make you look good but also achieve your wishes. 

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