There are definitely more, but here are three good reasons why when shopping for a custom tailored suit you should buy custom: 1) Sustainability; 2) The fit; 3) The custom options.
As we’ve written about at length here – https://www.watsonellis.com/custom-suits-nyc-blog/slow-fashion-vs-fast-fashion – a true custom tailored suit is a much more sustainable option than an off-the-rack one. There’s a lot of waste creation in the manufacturing of off-the-rack suits. They are made en masse, and when they don’t sell they get thrown onto a trash heap somewhere; or worse, they are burned. That’s right, picture mountains of clothes on fire, emitting scary amounts of pollution into the atmosphere. That’s not to mention how unsustainable the human toll on factory workers can be. Picture terrible working conditions in unventilated factories, obscene working hours, pay levels that keep workers in a state of abject poverty.
A real custom tailored suit is a one off item made just for you. There’s no wastage. It’s a piece of clothing that’s been made ethically and responsibly. Moreover, we at WATSON ELLIS work with a team of well paid tailors who hand make each garment to order. The labor toll is therefore fair and sustainable as well.
2) The Fit:
It’s just a fact, no suit will fit you like a custom tailored suit. A true bespoke or custom suit requires an in-person fitting process. It also usually requires a muslin (or test) garment to be made before the real thing is produced.
The bespoke process means a tailor will be fussing around you while you stand in your test garment. They’ll be taking measurements, securing pins where alterations need to be made, jotting down notes. After alterations are made you’ll go back and see the tailor again, and you’ll keep going back until everything is perfectly fitted to your frame and no more changes need to be made, at which point you’ll take the garment home. The end result will be a garment that’ll feel better than anything you’ve ever put on straight off the rack.
3) The custom options:
A true custom company like WATSON ELLIS can really do anything when it comes to customizable details. The lapels can be any width, the button-stances any height. If you want an absurdly wide peak lapel that reaches all the way to the edges of your shoulders, or a ridiculously exaggerated drop-crotch in your tuxedo pants, then you can have it. The designer and tailor you’re working with might (and possibly should??) advise against such choices, but the point is that you can do whatever you like with custom garments.
I made a tuxedo jacket for a client where I designed the shawl collar shape to reflect a unique vintage style, but I tweaked it to a specific width in order to best flatter his frame.
The options are endless!
By Melissa Watson Ellis
Founder and Head Designer at WATSON ELLIS