Every man has fantasies of suiting up and looking as fly as Tom Hiddleston. But you won’t get that fit from an off-the-rack suit. No, you’ll want to head to a bespoke tailor. A good suit is an investment – if you take care of it (and your waistline), it can last ten to 20 years. Before you visit a tailor, be mindful of three key points: shape, fit and fabric. And be patient. Expect at least 20 body measurements to be taken and two to four fittings. It can take up to 50 hours of manual work – which translates to weeks or months before you hang the final product in the wardrobe – to create a bespoke garment. But it’ll be worth it, trust us.
Don’t be swayed by those longer, leaner blocks you see in Saville Row’s windows. Those only work if you’re tall. And if you are vertically blessed, don’t opt for contemporary shorter cuts or your backside will be exposed. The length of your jacket should reach your knuckles or around the bottom of your zipper.
Take a good look at your figure and work out what suits you. Generally, the fewer buttons your suit has, the longer and sleeker the silhouette. The shoulder seam should also end where your shoulder does – any padding or rigid structure will throw the whole thing off-balance. The sleeves should follow the natural contours of your upper arm and stop where the arm ends and the thumb begins.
Suits are made of wool. Stick with that. Quality cloth can be squeezed and can bounce back with little or no sign of wrinkling. If it feels like there’s a structure to the fabric, that’s a good sign, too. Watch out for loose threads, cheap plastic buttons and puckering, especially at the seams.
Check out these bespoke tailors
The Bespoke Club tailors suits and shirts for both men and women. The staff take customers through the process of fabric selection, then note down their measurements and detail requests – which all can be done with a single-malt or cognac in hand. Rolling the lapel, felling the collar, setting the canvas and sewing the buttons are all done by hand at the shop. Patrons also have access to a stable of over 5,000 of the finest fabrics (from Ariston, Thomas Mason and the Albini Group, to name a few), haberdashery and accessories. Shirts start from $150, trousers from $250, sports jackets from $650 and The Bespoke Club suits from $950.
Founder Matthew Lai is known for designs that emphasise clean lines and classic proportions. By default, all suits are made with pure wool with full canvas structures (a piece of material between the fabric and the lining to give the garment its shape), hand-padded lapels and handmade buttonholes. Kay-Jen’s trousers are also thoughtfully conceived: a formulated paper pattern is created for each customer and trial fittings are required. Prices start from $150 for shirts, bespoke trousers from $215, fused suits from $820 and canvas suits from $1,365.
Launched by former Raoul menswear designer Chong Han San, Q Menswear takes centuriesold tailoring practices and modified them to fit the brand’s design philosophy: a focus on colour and proportion. As such, the goal is colour coordination and cutting fabrics to enhance one’s features. All products are crafted by a local team of tailors working with over 2,000 fabrics sourced from Italian and Swiss mills. Prices start from $170 for shirts and trousers, and $870 for a two-piece suit. Additional design details can be requested at an extra cost.
Dylan Chong took over the business from his father, Peter, and rebranded it as Dylan and Son. Unlike other bespoke offerings that give you complete freedom over the design, Dylan and Son strives for classic styling – that means no ostentatious details. Nonetheless, the brand makes some of the finest suits using fabrics from Loro Piana, Scabal, Dormeuil and more. It’s also the only tailor in Singapore to offer Eurotex (fine yarn) fabrics. Prices start from $200 for shirts, $300 for trousers and $2,500 for two-piece suits.