If you’re like many men, the idea of having a tailor strikes you as some hoity-toity fantasy where you’re a movie star or a high-priced lawyer. After all, why do you need a custom-tailored suit if you’re just a regular guy? And how can you possibly hope to afford it?
Well, it turns out that there are quite a few myths out there when it comes to custom-made suits, and there are some truly good practical reasons why you should think about getting one – or several!
Myth: It’s really inconvenient to go to a tailor.
Truth: What’s inconvenient is going to 20 different stores.
Going to a tailor, getting measured, and waiting for them to make your suit sounds like the height of inconvenience, but think about what you’d do otherwise. Off-the-rack suits are all in generic sizes, so chances are good that you’d end up trying on a lot of them and probably even driving around to different stores before you find something that seems acceptable – not even great; just acceptable. That kind of shopping takes a lot of time and gas, and all it really gives you in return is frustration. Having a tailor make you a suit may not allow you to walk out of the store with it that day, but the actual time you spend shopping is often much less.
Myth: The level of quality is about the same.
Truth: Custom-made clothing really is made better.
It’s not that off-the-rack suits are the equivalent of plastic bags and custom-made suits are recyclable canvas, but there is definitely a difference in the level of quality between the two. Part of that comes from the fact that off-the-rack suits are put together by machines on an assembly line, whereas each custom-made suit will be overseen by a real live person. There’s just an attention-to-detail there that can’t be matched. Also, when you’re having something custom-made, you can choose the fabric that’s going to be used. Even lower-end fabric offered by tailors tends to be better than what’s offered in off-the-rack clothes, and you can pick material that’s truly amazing.
And then there are things like canvas. What’s canvas? Typically made from cotton and horsehair, it’s a separate material that runs throughout the interior of every custom-made suit. Essentially, the canvas serves as the “bones” of your suit, and it serves to give it both shape and solidity, as well as helping mold it to your body. Canvas can even prevent bubbles from forming in the fabric and help to keep your suit wrinkle-free! In contrast, many off-the-rack models simply hang limp.
Myth: Off-the-rack fits just fine.
Truth: That’s because you’ve never tried a custom-fit suit.
For a tailor, “just fine” is a failure. When you get a custom-fit suit, you’re buying a piece of clothing that will feel like a second skin – only better. Tailored suits not only fit perfectly to the particular contours of your body, they also accentuate your best features while masking the ones that you’d prefer to keep hidden. They can do this because someone designed the suit specifically for your body. You’ll never be able to get that with an off-the-rack suit, and anyone who says otherwise is just flat-out lying.
Myth: Tailor-made suits cost an arm and a leg.
Truth: Many people go to tailors to spend less.
Let’s be completely blunt: no tailor is going to be able to provide you a custom-made suit that’s less than the lowest off-the-rack prices you can find. There’s a reason big businesses use assembly lines, and someone who’s personalizing every suit can’t match that. At the same time, tailors are quite affordable when you start to look at the big picture. First off, it comes back to convenience. Your time is valuable, and if you can go to one tailor with your measurements and get a great suit out of it, chances are good that you’ll save a lot of time over trying to find an off-the-rack suit that works. Additionally, tailored suits tend to last longer and take more wear and tear, which means you should have to replace them less. And sometimes, tailors can replicate looks on popular (read: expensive) brands for far less than what you’d pay just to get a particular name on the label.
Myth: Tailors just charge more for the same thing.
Truth: Custom-made suits can be personalized in any number of ways.
Try to buy an off-the-rack suit and you’re going to be limited to a few specific styles that are currently popular. Tailor-made suits offer unlimited personalization. All you have to do is tell your tailor what you’d like to do and they’ll let you know the cost and time involved.
If you don’t want to believe what I’ve written above, simply find a man who owns a custom suit and ask him what he thinks. You’ll find out that once you go custom, it’s hard to return back to the rack.