Years ago, suits were worn almost exclusively for formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, or business meetings. Nowadays, it is also considered somewhere between formal and casual clothing. People can now wear it without a tie or a formal shirt underneath the jacket. Some can even pull off wearing sneakers with a suit, or jeans with a suit jacket, in the right situations.
With the constantly changing trend in fashion, wearing a suit is increasingly becoming more in common. And after some time, you would find yourself in need of a new suit, whether it is your first or an addition to the ones in your closet.
You have three options in getting a new suit: off-the-rack from retail stores, Tailor-made suits from InStitchu, and other shops or bespoke suits.
Choosing off-the-rack suits
You have a wide range of selection when looking for an off-the-rack suit. You can go to the more expensive designer shops or go to a local department store. Either way, it is best if you get your measurements from a tailor beforehand. You should also bring along the actual shoes that you would be wearing the suit for fitting. This will help you find the right size and length that is closest to your body type.
However, unless you are extremely lucky, you would not be able to find a suit that fits you perfectly. Chances are you would need additional alterations for it to fit well. If you are planning on this, make sure that you get the parts that cannot be altered, such as the shoulders, seat, and hips. If you need the sleeves shortened, find ones that do not have functional buttons, which could complicate hemming.
An off-the-rack suit is your best option if you need something to wear within a week, or your budget is really tight. However, you have to consider the additional cost for alterations.
Tailor-made or made to measure
There are brands selling tailor-made suits, whether online or in a physical showroom. Some, like the Tailor-made suits from Institchu, are available both online and from real-life stores. The process of ordering made to measure suits are more or less the same, whether online or in shops. You can start by selecting a design such as the lapels, closure, button, pockets, and cuff button.
Next, a tailor will take precise measurements to ensure the best fit. Then you will take your pick from a selection of fabrics for your suit. Natural fibres are your best option if you want a comfortable and stylish suit that would not cost big. Lastly, their tailors will proceed to make the suit to your exact measurements from ready-made patterns. After three to six weeks, you have a tailor-made suit that fits you perfectly.
Aside from a perfect fit, another distinct advantage of made to measure suits is that getting another one is very easy. They have your measurements on record and can easily have another tailor-made suit ready for you in whatever other fabric or design you want. While it is a bit costlier than an off-the-rack suit, a tailor-made suit gives you the best bang for your buck.
The term bespoke is sometimes confused with custom or tailor-made. Although they bear many similarities, they are not exactly the same. Tailor-made suits from InStitchu and other brands are commonly stitched from ready-made patterns, whereas bespoke is made from scratch. The Tailor does not start cutting the fabric until your measurements are taken. Another difference is the basted fitting of bespoke, which gives you a chance for minor alterations before the suit is finished.
The difference between the quality of Tailor-made and bespoke suits is not remarkable. The price, however, is. You will have to think twice before investing in bespoke, especially since two or three attempts at made to measure can give you a suit with virtually the same level of quality as bespoke.
Your best option
Your choice of the suit will ultimately depend on your situation or preference. Off-the-rack is best if you need a suit fast or if the budget is limited. However, made to measure suits are increasingly becoming more affordable. While bespoke, with its prohibitive price tag, is something best left to those who have money to burn.