The entry point to a lifelong addiction?
My very first bespoke suit. I’m tasting the words, considering my emotions and expectations.
With a genuine interest in classic menswear, and having built a wardrobe with a basis in Ready-To-Wear garments and then gradually transitioning more and more towards Made-To-Measure, I have always felt both a fascination for and a curiosity towards bespoke tailoring. As I over the years I have matured in my style, increased my knowledge about things like fit and cloth, and established personal finances that allow a bit more than during the university years, I have felt the commissioning of something bespoke have become both more realistic and relevant.
When is the right time for bespoke?
I have heard some people saying, there is no reason spending money on RTW and MTM, suggesting that the best approach is to buy bespoke as soon as you can afford it. I would disagree. Bespoke tailoring is of course fantastic, but without knowing what I know today about my personal style but also about tailoring styles, fabrics etc. I wouldn’t have been a very good customer and probably would have ended up with something suboptimal. Not because of the tailor but due to me simply not knowing my style and preferences well enough.
To benefit fully from the advantages of bespoke tailoring, it is advantageous to develop a deeper understanding for your own style and what fits your body and stylistic preferences with RTW and MTM before you take the step into the world of bespoke. Well, at least that is what I tell myself, and believe is valid for my sartorial journey. It’s often said that the key to successful bespoke tailoring is to know what you want and communicate it well, so I would say it is best to wait to engage a bespoke tailor if you are not sure what you want.
Ok, I’m ready
So now that I’m ready to take the step into the realm of bespoke. Where do I start? Which tailor? Which garment?
In terms of selecting a tailor, creating a bespoke garment with a tailor should be about getting what YOU want. Therefore, make sure to select a bespoke tailor with a house style that goes in line with your own. Trying to force a tailor to make something in a style very different from their house style is not the greatest idea. Bespoke tailoring is part art, part science. The art involves transforming your custom clothing into a canvas for self-expression. Secondly, you also want to go with a bespoke tailor you really trust. For me, creating my very first bespoke garment with Götrich, who have been one of the most distinguished tailoring houses in Sweden for centuries, felt very natural.
What garment should I go for?
What should be my first bespoke piece? Many men will go for having a suit made, but one might as well choose a single jacket, an overcoat, or a pair of trousers. In my case, I have wanted to make a two-piece suit. Then there are considerations around use cases, configuration and fabric, all with the tailor’s house style/strength in mind.
Before I initiated the process, I had the idea of making a very classic navy suit that would fit perfectly for more formal occasions, in business or private settings. However, in dialogue with Benjamin and Joakim at Götrich, I came to the conclusion that a suit that would get more frequent wear would bring me more joy. In today’s business environment, definitely in Sweden but also elsewhere around the globe, a strict navy suit is often considered too formal and would be used rarely. Weddings or funerals are not too often on my agenda either. A suit in a less formal fabric would however get a lot more use, and also allows for picking a fabric that adds more of a personal characteristic style-wise. For me, going through fabric bunches is a joyful experience, but a bit like being a kid in a candy store. You kind of want it all. I will not disclose my fabric choice just yet, but you will get a good idea from the image.
The process – next step
In a coming blog post, I will reveal more about the design choices made, including that fabric, as well as reflect upon the process I will describe the bespoke process. Maybe needless to say, I have very high expectations for this suit. I have great trust in Götrich, both when it comes to the establishment and the individuals working there and being involved in the process. I’m really looking forward to see both them again at the next milestone in the process, the toile fitting.
Is there a way back?
Will it be just like when I got my first mobile phone instead of a wired phone (for young readers, Google this...), and becoming so used to the flexibility and mobility that there was really no way back to the fixed telephony? I have noticed how I have become more and more reluctant to the shortcomings of Ready-To-Wear compared to Made-To-Measure. Will I feel the same about MTM vs. Bespoke?
There is only one way to find out...