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What is a bespoke suit?

What is a bespoke suit?

There may be nothing else on the planet quite like wearing a truly bespoke suit, as this is as close to getting a second skin as any man or woman is ever going to be able to achieve.

Truly designed, patterned, and cut from scratch specifically for a client and a single client only, a bespoke suit is the definition of handcrafted and hand designed. This isn’t a suit off of the rack that has been tailored to fit a client, but instead a suit that started off as nothing more than a collection of fabric – fabric, most likely – that has then been measured, patterned, and cut to the exacting specifications of a single client alone.

Bespoke suits are truly custom

The tailors in London’s Savile Row have become world-renowned for the bespoke suits that they have been producing ever since the 1700s, and many believe that the term actually originated there as well. The history of the term is a little bit fuzzy, but many believe that because you originally had to speak to a tailor to have a custom suit designed the suit was “spoken for” and over time the phrase was shortened to “bespoke”.

The difference between bespoke and tailored

As we highlighted above, they are is a significant difference between a suit that has been tailored to fit a client and a suit that is truly bespoke.

Tailored suits are going to have modifications made to suits that have already been prepared for “off-the-shelf” or “off the rack” measurements, and while they are certain to fit a client perfectly – or almost perfectly, really – they aren’t the specific second skin that a bespoke suit is.

When it comes to a bespoke suit, a client will sit down with a tailor and go over EVERYTHING about that suit. We aren’t just talking about measurements and fabric here, but the actual dimensions of the elements of the suit, the way that the cuff and pants will hit different parts of the body, the pitch and angle of the collar and the lapel, the lining, and so much more.

The only truly custom-made suits are bespoke suits, which is why they cost so much more than a suit that is purchased and tailored – even from the best and most influential designers around the world. If you really want something special, a bespoke suit from a tailor on Savile Row is where you want to spend your money.

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How much should I pay for a bespoke suit?

How much should I pay for a bespoke suit?

It's impossible to say exactly how much you should expect to pay for a bespoke suit, if only because (by the very definition of a bespoke suit) there isn't any one particular template you can go off of to arrive at this figure.

A bespoke suit for one individual may only cost a few thousand pounds, whereas a bespoke suit for another individual may cost 10,000 pounds or more – or only a few hundred pounds, depending upon the choices that they make.

At the same time, there are some guidelines that you can use to help you navigate this kind of purchase and give you at least a general idea of how much a bespoke suit for you may cost.

Be up front with your budget before you begin designing your bespoke suit

The most important thing you can do when you're looking to have a bespoke suit created on a specific budget is to outline that budget with your tailors before you get into the design process. By informing them about the kind of budget you're hoping to work around they will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to specific choices you will have to make to keep your truly bespoke suit within your price range.

Work with your tailor to find alternative choices that can cut costs without compromising the quality of the suit

The tailors that you choose to create this bespoke suit for you will be able to recommend to you specific alterations, alternative fabrics or materials, and different design choices you can make to achieve the same kind of finished look you are after without having to spend any more than the budget you have allowed for this suit.

Always ask for their recommendation along the way throughout the design process and they will certainly keep you on track.

How much money do you have?

At the end of the day, a bespoke suit is really all going to come down to the budget that you are able to bring to the tailors that you are hoping to work with. Almost every bespoke suit tailor will have a minimum budget that they are willing to work with, but most will find ways to help you cut costs without feeling as though you compromised the integrity or the style of the suit that you end up with.

How long does it take to make a bespoke suit?

If you haven't had a suit professionally made for you before then you might not be aware of what a bespoke suit is. Most people head to a local store when they need a suit, whether for work or for a more formal event, and have no qualms about trying to find one off the rack that will meet their needs. However, men who are in the know and want to make sure that they look their best at all times will understand that spending the time and money to have a bespoke suit professionally made is worth the investment. Working with a talented and reputable tailor will ensure that your custom-made bespoke suit fits your body type exactly and flatters you in a way that a store-bought suit never will.

Considerations

When you make the decision to have a bespoke suit made, you are entering into a commitment. You'll want to make sure to do your research before meeting with your tailor, as there will be a number of questions that they will ask you about your suit, namely about the fit, wear, and use of it. You'll have to decide on the vents in the back of the jacket, working vs. show buttons, and even besom vs. flap pockets. You can cut down the amount of time that the planning will take if you study up on these terms before going to the tailor and have an idea in your head about what you want your suit to look like.

Meetings

You'll have to meet with your tailor for at least two fittings, possibly more, to ensure that the suit fits you perfectly. These meetings can take a while, and you'll want to wear dress shoes and a dress shirt to verify that the pants and jacket fit the way they are supposed to. After you have been pinned, turned around, and pinned again, you'll leave and let the tailor work their magic. A good bespoke suit takes time to make, however, so you'll need to be patient.

The time that it takes to make a bespoke suit depends on a number of factors, including how busy the tailor is and how many fittings you have. Obviously, a tailor who is in high demand will take longer to get your suit finished, but remember: you can speed along the process by being prepared for your first meeting with them.

A blue bespoke suit with waistcoat

Hand CraftedBespoke Tailoring since 1966View Video

How much does it cost to get a tailored suit?

Having a suit tailored for you is a thing of luxury, but something every man must experience. What really can set the price of a custom suit apart is the type of material used in the suit and the cost of labour. As tailored suits require more attention to detail and a customised fit specifically for you, the prices are guaranteed to be more than you might imagine. However, there are many different prices and options available depending on your budget.

The Cost of the Fit

The first thing you'll notice when you have a suit tailored to you is that the process goes far beyond the make of the suit and the materials used. Having a suit fit exactly to your body requires extensive measurements, fittings and adjustments made by the Master Tailor. The key to any great suit will always be the fit. Spending extravagantly on the material and designer for a bespoke suit will be all for naught if the time and money are not spent on getting an exact fit when it comes to your measurements.

An expensive suit that is ill-fitting is a great way to waste time and money. The right suit maker will have the experience and knowledge it takes to take any suit, expensive or not, and have it look like it was designed just for you. When searching for the right suit maker, it is best to find someone that has been in business for a while, specifically a suit maker that has an extensive training programme with a master tailor. The best tailors will always have great reviews, so be sure to check online to see what past customers have said.

A Suit for Your Budget

Essentially, the right tailor will be able to take any suit and tailor it to fit you. Similarly, if you have a bit more money on hand, you can have a custom suit designed from your measurements. Tailoring an already-made suit will run you anywhere from £20 - £40 for each alteration. Ultimately, a well-tailored suit will run you about £250 - £300. A bargain bespoke suit will often fall between £600 - £1400.

Ultimately, the price of having a tailored suit made depends on you. Depending on where you are willing to spend the money, your tailored suit doesn't have to break the bank. Regardless of the type of suit, a quality fit will always stand out.

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Our Tailoring History

Over the years we have become one of the most well-known and respected bespoke tailors outside of London's Savile Row. In 1988 we were the very first bespoke tailors to feature on the BBC programme "The Clothes Show". In the same year Geoff was elected as the National President of the Federation of Merchant Tailors by his Savile Row peers, making him the youngest bespoke tailor ever to hold this prestigious office.

Following in the family name both of the Souster sons, Scott and Wes, work in the business, sewing, drafting, cutting and designing. They're now able to continue the future of the Souster name within bespoke tailoring.

What is a custom tailor?

For the man that wants his suits custom made, the obvious and only option is to go to a custom tailor. Whether you want a made to measure suit or one that's bespoke, making it a point to see a custom tailor will change your look and your life for the better.

The Art of the Tailor

A tailor is an expert at fitting, cutting and adjusting a suit to perfectly fit their client's body. A tailor can give you both a made to measure suit or a bespoke suit. A made to measure suit is one that is one that is made with an existing pattern that is then adjusted to fit the client. Then, certain customisations are made to further shape the suit to your liking. A bespoke tailor requires a process that is bit more intricate. The bespoke suit must be fully made by hand, with the pattern and cut made specifically for the client. This requires the tailor to have several fittings in order to get the most accurate fit.

Tailors are one of the best assets a business man can have. With the right tailor, the same man can go from looking like an average fashion ignorant, off-the-rack suit wearing bloke to a stylish and fashionable man that intrigues new clients and wows passers-by. With a tailor, your suits fit better, are generally made with better material and will always make you look like you spent more money on your suit than you did.

The best custom tailor will always have incredible recommendations. Talk to your friends that have great style to find a tailor that will suit you. An expert tailor will be able and willing to give you direction when it comes to the right suit and fit for you. Additionally, every tailor will know make adjustments to the length of the sleeves, the length of the pants and the size of the waist. The right tailor will also know how to make the most complicated of alterations, so it's a good idea to do your research and ask questions when you meet for your consultation. Similarly, with the right tailor, you can build a steady relationship on trust, knowing that your clothes will be timely and well fitted.

As you continue to explore the world of custom tailors, know that no two tailors are the same. Like a good suit, the right tailor will last you many years.

Browse through Our Suit Gallery

  • black pinstripe suit
  • blue jacket
  • jacket and waist coat
  • grey stripped suit
  • purple suit with shirt
  • shades of grey
  • savile row tailor

What is a Savile Row Suit?

A Savile Row suit is named after the street in central London, UK where it was tailored. It's a bespoke suit, which means that it was made to measure by a Savile Row tailor.

Savile Row is situated in the Mayfair part of London and it's a place where some of the world's premier tailors cut and sew suits entirely by hand. The words, "Savile Row Suit" carry a lot of cachet. These types of suits embody elegance and craftsmanship. For this reason, they are typically pricey status symbols.

Explore the Savile Row Legacy

The legacy of Savile Row as a world-class tailoring hub began way back in 1846, when the creator of the classic tux converted his Old Burlington Street tailoring shop into a business which could also be entered from Savile Row. Most people believe that bespoke tailoring began on Savile Row.

During the late eighteenth century, tailors began to operate out of Savile Row and nearby Cork Street. Styles for bespoke suits crafted in Savile Row have evolved with the times. However, classic and traditional styles, which aren't so very different from the dinner jackets created in 1803 or later, are still available.

Modern designers have embraced a "new bespoke" movement and examples of these designers, who are strongly influenced by the legacy of Savile Row, include Ozwald Boateng and Richard James.

Why Buy a Savile Row Suit?

People who invest in Savile Row suits want the very best. Suits of this type average around forty-eight hundred pounds. The production cost of the suits is about thirty-three percent of the retail price. In typical garment production which isn't bespoke, production cost is only thirteen percent of total cost.

Those with refined tastes, who seek out ideal fit and beautiful fabrics, understand the inherent value of Savile Row suits. They are paying for masterly skill and experience, as well as a high taste level. However, these special suits are certainly not within everyone's financial reach.

If you can't afford a Savile Row suit, you may be able to afford a bespoke suit from a tailor who doesn't work on this legendary Mayfair street. These days, it's actually possible to order custom suits online, just by taking several measurements yourself, plugging them into a website's online form and then selecting your preferred suit colour and cut.

It's also possible to order custom dress shirts in this manner. These services tend not to cost thousands of pounds!

Who Is The Best Tailor on Savile Row?

Anderson & Sheppard is generally perceived as the most exceptional tailor on Savile Row. This company has been creating bespoke suits in the Savile Row area (on Old Burlington Street) since 1906. If you don't mind paying a pretty penny for a custom suit which is measured, cut and sewn by hand, you'll find that this established and revered tailoring firm provides superb results.

Suits produced by the best tailor on Savile Row will fit you like a glove and give you access to easy elegance which helps to polish your image and boost your self-confidence.

Times have changed, so Anderson & Sheppard has entered the digital age. At present, its official website features a virtual tour of its bespoke workroom, as well as plenty of information about the company's heritage. In addition, it offers access to an online shop which is a great place to purchase exquisite bathrobes, polo shirts, pajamas and pocket squares.

The company's website also offers lots of information about their bespoke services.

Other Savile Row Tailors of Note

If you're interested in seeing what else Savile Row has to offer, consider visiting the official websites of other respected and beloved Savile Row tailors, including Richard James and Henry Poole & Co.

Treat Yourself To The Best

You deserve impeccable quality. If you're able to afford the best, then investing in a suit from a Savile Row tailor will be a wonderful treat to yourself. It will be made to measure on your own body and it will fit you to perfection. Some of the world's premier CEOs, actors and pro athletes indulge in Savile Row tailoring in order to feel confident and beautifully dressed.

If you don't mind paying an average of forty-eight hundred pounds per suit, you'll find that Savile Row tailoring enhances your image. This type of suiting most definitely sends a message of success. It's all about refinement.

The best Savile Row tailors deliver for their clients by performing work which features painstaking attention to detail. While it may take some time for your new Savile Row suit to be completed, you'll likely find the entire process exhilarating. It's sort of like awaiting a new work of art which has been commissioned just for you!

If you can't afford genuine Savile Row tailoring, and many people can't, you should know that there are companies which offer bespoke tailoring online, such as custom dress shirts and suits. To access this type of tailoring via the Web, you'll need to take your own measurements.

It's a modern way to enjoy bespoke tailoring, without needing to actually visit a tailor.

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What does a tailor do?

Any man who ever wears suits - either daily or only at special occasions - needs to do themselves a favour and have a good tailor. A good tailor is indispensable, as they can do everything from alter a suit to make it fit you better to completely design and create you a bespoke suit that will flatter you in every way possible. If you don't have a tailor and aren't convinced that you need one, read on to find out more about what they can do and why having one is so important.

Alterations

Probably one of the things that most people think of when they hear the word "tailor" is having alterations done. These can be small, such as letting out the hem in pants or larger like removing pockets so that pants fit better. While a good tailor can fix a whole host of clothing problems, they are not miracle workers, and it's important to find one that you trust and will tell you if they are unable to do something to your clothing. Some seams can't be taken in without affecting the look of the garment, and some people may not have the correct body shape for some alterations.

Tailors for Women

A lot of people may automatically assume that tailors are only for men, but that is not true. Women can benefit from having a tailor just as much as men can, as the tailor can help them alter their clothing as well. From shortening sleeves on shirts or dresses to taking in the body on a jacket or dress, tailors can customise a woman's wardrobe as well. For women who have problems buying off-the-rack clothing that fits, a tailor is a great way to customise their wardrobe.

Bespoke Suits

Less commonly known is the creation of a bespoke suit. Tailors who create these handcrafted, one-of-a-kind suits will work closely with their clients to design, measure, and create an incredible suit that will flatter their client. Having a bespoke suit made is the epitome of fashion and will allow the client to customise a suit that will perfectly fit their needs.

Working with a good tailor is the best way to make sure that the clothing you wear is enjoyable, fashionable, and flatters you. When you find a good tailor you will enter into a relationship with them that will allow you to always look and feel your best.

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Souster & Hicks is a family business established in 1978 by Geoff and Laura Souster and now situated in their own premises in the beautiful village of Woburn, Bedfordshire.

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What is a Tailored Suit?

Look in the closet of most men and you are very likely to find a suit. However, most of those suits will have been purchased off the rack at a store and are not likely to fit very well. If anything, small adjustments such as hemming may have been done, but for a man to have a suit that fits as well as possible it's important to go to a tailor and have a tailored suit made just for them and for their body type.

Differences in Suits

While is it possible to buy a suit off of a rack and have a decent suit, it will not be made to a person's exact proportions and will hang funny and loose in some areas while being too tight in others. A MTM (made to measure) suit is one step up from these, where a tailor will adjust the measurements on a suit pattern to better fit the client's body. These are, obviously, more expensive, but still don't have the perfectly tailored look of a bespoke suit. This is when the tailor talks to the client about the purpose of the suit, when and where you will wear it, and takes full measurements. There will be fittings and multiple meetings to make sure that the suit fits perfectly. For anyone who wants to look their best, going to a reputable tailor and having a bespoke suit made is the way to go.

Customize and Personalize

A bespoke suit will be perfectly tailored to the client's body, and there are a number of considerations when having the suit made. From the shape of the lapel (notch, peak, or shawl) to the pant break (full, half, quarter, or no), the client and the tailor will work together to make the suit exactly what the client is looking for. Personalizing the taper, shoulders, pockets, side tabs, and type and location of buttons will all ensure that this tailored suit is designed to make the client look their best possible.

If you are looking for a tailored suit for a special occasion such as a wedding or even just to wear at the office, spending the time and the money to get a bespoke suit custom made for you and your body type is the best way to look your best. Your tailor will be able to custom-make the suit of your dreams while making sure that it fits your needs.

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What Is The Most Expensive Suit in the World?

At present, suits from Kiton K-50 average about 45,972 pounds apiece and they are the most expensive suits in the world. However, they certainly aren't the only ultra-pricey suits. Other designers which offer high-end suits which are out of the financial reach of most men include Desmond Merrion Supreme Bespoke, Brioni and Zegna.

While many people assume that Savile Row suits cost the most, the truth is that a bespoke suit which is crafted by a tailor who operates out of Savile Row (such as Richard James or the tailoring company, Anderson & Sheppard), will generally cost only £4800.

While this is a lot for most people, it's a lot less than a £45,972 suit from Kiton K-50.

Why is a Kiton K-50 Suit So Expensive?

You may wonder how any suit could cost so much! To help you understand, let's look at what goes into the design, construction and tailoring of a Kiton K-50 suit. Bear in mind that some suits from this brand are available for as "little" as 11,494.50 pounds sterling!

First off, you should know that fifty hours of labour go into each suit. All labour is performed by the design house's master tailor, Enzo D'Orsi. He flies out to clients all over the globe on a regular basis. Each suit requires a trio of fittings. Once the fittings are complete, D'Orsi hand-stitches the suit.

Rather than making a pattern, he places marks right on the fabric that the suit will be made from. The client may select the appropriate superfine material. Fit is superlative, fabric is exceptional and design is impeccable. The tailor's travel time will cost you extra!

This is still a great deal of money for a suit. However, it's a status symbol. It's safe to say that these suits send a message of affluence which is hard to ignore. However, it's also true that only those who are "in the know" are able to detect the level of refinement and quality that these suits offer.

Everyone may notice that the suits are beautiful. However, only connoisseurs will understand just how impressive they really are in terms of fit, design and fabric.

If you want the best, you'll need to pay a lot for it, whether you buy from Kiton, Zegna or Anderson & Sheppard (or any other revered design house or Savile Row tailor). When you do, it will be a signal that you've reached a certain plateau of success in your life.

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