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Features of a Custom Tailored Suit

Posted by Joe Button on

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.


  • Jacket Length: The length of the suit jacket should come to the thumb knuckle
  • Sleeve Length: The sleeve length of the suit jacket should come to where your wrist, such that approximately 1/2 inch of shirt cuff is showing
  • Lapel: The lapel should sit flush on the chest
  • Length of Pants: Medium break is the traditional length for suit pants. The “break” refers to where your pants fall on your shoes, creating a horizontal crease in the fabric across the front of your pant leg. The medium break is characterised by one fold in the fabric where the cuff is resting on the shoe


  • Lapel Buttonhole & Boutonniere Loop: This is a hand stitched loop behind the buttonhole of the lapel to hold the base of the flower. Whilst men rarely ever wear flowers on their lapels anymore, it’s a nice traditional touch and still useful sometimes for weddings
  • Ticket Pocket: This is a small flapped pocket above the right hip pocket on a jacket. It’s a very British look and the concept of having such a pocket dates back to the days when people traveled by rail

  • Monogram: Monogramming is a very distinct feature of a custom suit. Monograms are usually embroidered on the inside of your suit jacket and can be anything from your initials to your full name (the rule is usually to be tasteful, not tacky).

  • Lapel Hand Stitching: This is the hand stitching that is visible around the edge of the lapel. The stitch is usually in the same colour as the suit so it’s a very subtle detail
  • Hand-Stitched Sleeve Lining: This is a sign that the shoulder will fit properly. To check if this has been done, look at the inside seam where the body meets the arm. There will be very little creases or pleats where the two cloths meet if this is sewn by hand
  • Trouser Lining: The lining of the trousers should be lined to the knee
  • Buttons: A good quality custom suit should have horn or bone buttons – not plastic buttons.

  • Sleeve Buttons: Four buttons is the most appropriate number of buttons to have on the sleeve of a suit jacket but the indication that the suit is bespoke is in the fact that these buttons are working rather than decorative. To show that the buttons work, many men leave the last button (closest to the edge of the cuff) unbuttoned.

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.

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