Having a suit made is a male rite of passage but there are many things to consider. Do plenty of research, find out which colours, fabrics and shapes look good on you. Fit is the most obvious and important element of a made to measure suit but beyond that there are a variety of reasons to have one made; you have an idea of a suit in your head which you can't find in any of the shops, you like vintage but can never find it in good enough condition, you've seen a designer suit you like but can't justify the price tag.
Many people mistakenly think having a made-to-measure suit is not only extremely expensive but also a lot of hassle with visits to a tailor and a daunting array of options. But it can also be an exciting sartorial experience.
Making things easier and cheaper is ASuitThatFits.com. Launched in 2006 by Warren Bennett and David Hathiramani, it allows you to experiment with fabrics, styles and details online and tailor everything to your body and budget with prices for suits starting at £150. Everything is itemised and all the costs are broken down, a decent two-piece wool suit should cost between £300-£400 pound.
ASuitThatFits.com started after Bennett spent time doing voluntary work in Nepal and had a woollen suit made for him there. On his return, Bennett met up with old schoolfriend Hathiramani, and together they used their engineering and software backgrounds to simplify and improve tailoring. They trialled the idea of A Suit That Fits.com at Hampstead market and sold their first two suits within twenty minutes of opening. The suits are made in Nepal, nobody is pretending this is Savile Row quality, but neither is the price tag and at these prices you can be more frivolous and experimental. But please, no clashing linings.
Using the innovative online fitting guide, customers are smoothly guided through the process of measurement with tips and videos from a professional tailor. A Suit That Fits.com also has a team of tailors ready to take measurements in nationwide fitting branches or at 'Tailor Stops' from Aberdeen to Guildford, Surrey. Once measurements are filed on the system, customers need only choose new styles and fabrics - the suits will always fit their specific body shape. When you collect your suit, after six to eight weeks, you can visit one of the tailor stops where alterations can be made.
Having suits made can turn into an addiction, once you've had the first one made you will already be thinking about what you want from the next one. This is a great place to start educating yourself in made-to-measure without committing too much financially.
A preview of TheChicGeek suit we've designed and will be giving away very soon.
Illustration by Johnny Harrison - firstname.lastname@example.org