To an untrained eye, the differences between an off-the-rack suit and a custom made suit might not be very clear, but for those in the know, the finer details of a custom suit are actually very obvious.
There’s no question that just about every man looks better in a custom suit made to fit their body – but why? For starters, a custom tailored suit takes into consideration the fact that most bodies are asymmetrical. (The shock reaction we get from customers when we tell them that one of their arms is longer than the other never gets boring). This asymmetry is often also prevalent at the shoulders so it’s very important that these factors are taken into consideration when making a custom suit.
The fit of an off the rack suit is also never going to be just perfect. Most men will buy a suit that fits their chest, but this may mean that the shoulders are protruding or the length is not just right. Below, we go through some of the basic features to look for in a custom tailored suit.
When you come into the Joe Button showroom for your fitting, we go through all the custom features of a bespoke suit with you to see which features you like depending on how you want to present yourself in your suit. To make a personal or group booking, contact us here.
In the first part of this series, we took you through some of the colour and pattern combinations that worked for ties and shirts. In this next part, we will go through the importance of the texture of your tie against the rest of your outfit.
Most ties are either made of silk or satin. There’s nothing wrong with these fabrics and it is because the texture is rather flat and plain that it allows for some crazy and interesting prints and patterns.
The difference that a textured tie makes is it creates dimension to an otherwise “flat” outfit. In many cases, the tie is worn with a shirt and a suit, both of which are rather flat garments lacking depth. Here, a textured tie creates a look of visual complexity that a silk or satin tie cannot achieve.
A lot of people wearing ties are restricted to cotton shirts and worsted wool suits. Pairing this with a wool flannel, cashmere or tweed tie in the winter months adds a bit more flavour to an otherwise ordinary getup. It allows you to achieve a seasonal look especially combined with patterns like plaid, herringbone or checks. Here is a basic list of recommendations for textured ties:
Choosing the right suit fabric is not as simple as picking a blue or grey fabric that feels nice (lots of fabrics can fell nice!). The rule should be that if it’s not a natural fiber, don’t wear it – but there’s more to it than that. You need to consider factors like the season, practicality and what you plan on doing in your suit! Here’s a brief summary of the pros and cons of the most popular suiting fabrics:
Wool is the most versatile fabric and also rates very highly in terms of comfort and durability. It is also quite wrinkle resistant so you’re not limited to being in a single position for fear of walking around with giant creases for an entire day. Wool also has the ability to absorb moisture, making it quite a breathable fabric.
Cashmere is renowned for its luxuriously soft feel, incredible comfort and quality of the fibers. Cashmere is very suitable for areas of changing climate and will keep you warm without weighing you down. The big downside to cashmere is the price tag!
Cotton is a very durable fabric, and although not very common in European suits, is actually quite popular in the US. Cotton makes for a good summer suit as it can absorb moisture quite well and keeps you cool during the warmer months. The fabric itself is quite light, inexpensive and machine washable (save on dry-cleaning costs!).
Linen is quite a popular summer suit fabric – think Cuban gangsters with cigars dangling out of their mouths. Whilst it is lightweight and very breathable, it also creases EXTREMELY easily, so may not be very practical outside of a beach resort.
Don’t go there. Suits are an investment and synthetic suits don't last very long.
Take a look at our chart below on all the pros and cons of different suiting fabrics. All of Joe Button's suiting fabrics are made from 100% Australian Merino Wool. If you're in Sydney, make an appointment through our bookings page to take a look and feel the fabrics we have on offer.
One of the most important characteristics of a good suit (and one that matters the most to our customers) is the quality of the wool. A lot of people think that the higher the Super number of the suit, the better it is – and let's just say that's only a half-truth.
Most suits are made from worsted wool, which is basically a manufacturing process that separates the long strong fibers from a bundle of wool and spins them into yarn.
Fineness of Wool
When you see suit tags that say Super 100’s or Super 150’s, the number represents the number of times the worsted wool has been twisted. Generally, the higher the number, the finer and lighter the cloth will be. The higher Super count will also mean that it has a smoother texture and appear more luxurious. This however, doesn’t mean that a Super 80’s suit is just a piece of rubbish. The lower the S number, the “sturdier” the cloth. It is generally heavier (but also warmer) and the texture is a bit coarser.
There’s no doubt that a Super 160’s wool will feel better on the body, however, because it is much finer, it also doesn’t have as much wear, will be more prone to wrinkling, may drape over the body and will be harder to clean. In other words, it is a high maintenance suit!
A Super 100’s suit, whilst not as fine or smooth as a Super 160’s suit, has greater durability and is much more practical for everyday wear. This should also be considered if you are likely to be in a suit for big Friday nights as snags in finer fabrics happen much more frequently and can be very difficult to re-weave or fix.
Take a look at our infographic below which gives you the low-down on worsted wool and next time, instead of just buying a suit because it’s seen to be the better and more expensive option, make sure you base your decision on what you need your suit for and go from there!
If you're in Sydney, you can now book an appointment to come into our showroom, take a look at our fabrics and get fitted for a bespoke suit.
As a model, writer and cultural ambassador for the British Fashion Council, it's no surprise that Laura Bailey has impeccable style. What's also extremely refreshing is that as an iconic fashion figure, she takes timeless classic pieces to make bold statements without bearing an over-generous amount of skin. What we particularly love about Laura Bailey is her unique way of pairing tailored shirts with high-waisted full skirts and finishing it off with a funky pair of heels (and often socks too). It's also great to see her mixing and matching different shirts and skirts to achieve different looks depending on the occasion. We love this lady's style - it's screaming all sorts of understated English cool - what do you guys think?
Women often say "I don't wear a shirt because I don't work in an office". We understand this point and think it's valid, but if you walk down the street, you'll notice that it's not just female office workers who are latching onto the shirt trend. Celebrities are even ditching the ball gowns for shirts at big events like major film premieres because it's classic, classy and it makes the statement that you don't have to bare a ridiculous amount of skin to look amazing! The other thing about a shirt is that it's supremely versatile and your whole look can be completely transformed depending on how you wear the shirt and what you pair it with. Take a look at the below:
British style icon Alexa Chung has been spotted in shirts galore over the years. Here she is in a white shirt with a contrasting black collar. She's paired it with a long blazer and black shorts, finishing off this monochromatic look with a pair of black and white white pumps.
Here she is again in the same shirt, this time tied up to show off just the right amount of skin - enough for you to direct your attention there and definitely not too much that you're thinking... trash. She's paired it with a lace skirt - mixing and matching with different textures - and finished it off with a pair of flat sandals, overall creating a fun and flirty outfit compared to the one above.
Here's the socialite / New York Fashionista Olivia Palermo looking very lady-like in her white shirt with black buttons, an above the knee leather skirt and black blazer.
Here she is again in the same shirt, this time leaving it untucked with an oversized boyfriend blazer and loose tie. This is again, completely different from the prim and proper look she was going for in the first picture but of course, not really looking like a dude with those cute leopard print pumps.
The secret to rocking a shirt is that you need to dispel the 80s belief that shirts for women can only be worn under ridiculous shoulder padded blazers. Instead, you need to mix and match, take advantage of its versatility and have a bit of fun with this most simple wardrobe staple.
Show us how you wear your shirt