No matter the occasion, the event, or the time of year, a great fitting suit never goes out of style. Whether you need a custom suit for your wedding day or need some new attire to make you stand out at a board meeting, a great fitting custom suit is guaranteed to make you stand out.
At Jaxson Maximus, we understand that buying your first custom made suit can be an intimidating process. But, don’t worry, we are here to help. Our custom clothiers have put together this fantastic guide on everything you need to know about purchasing your first custom suit.
1) Invest In Quality Over Quantity
Our piece of advice for first-time buyers is to always invest in quality garments over quantity. Think of a custom suit like you would a car. If treated right, a Porsche could last a lifetime due to the craftsmanship of the vehicle. Buying quality garments means that you will have that piece of clothing for a lifetime. If at all possible, avoid buying into cheaper fast fashion brands. Unlike massed produced fashion, a well-made garment won’t just fall apart after just a few wears.
2) Maintain A Consistent Weight
When we create a custom garment for you, we take over 35 individual measurements. Before producing the garments, our clothiers sit with you to adjust the measurements based on your fitness goals. However, those measurements are taken at a specific time in place, and if your body has any drastic changes that are different from the measurements, the fit of your suit might be off. Think of it as a timestamp; if you gain/lose 100 pounds, the suit will no longer fit just right.
Our recommendation is to wait until you have reached a steady weight where you feel comfortable with us only making slight alterations.
3) Invest In The Basics
In any man’s wardrobe, nothing beats a classic navy suit. You can never go wrong with the basic wardrobe staples regardless of the occasion or time of year. So before you think about investing in a more “out there” texture or patterns, make sure you cover the basics.
Think of your first visit to a custom clothier as the first step in building out your new wardrobe. Start with versatile basics that can be interchangeable, and slowly build your wardrobe from there. No one will notice if you wear a grey suit a few times a week, but they will notice if you wear a bright orange suit more than once.
Our advice is to have at least one powerful classic navy suit and a smart grey sharkskin in your wardrobe. Everything else will come after the basics.
4) Avoid Trendy Fashion
The beauty of a suit is that it never goes out of style. You want your investment to last 5-10 years, so keeping the classic proportions and styles will keep you from looking dated. You don’t want to be the person who wears a cropped suit and shorts to a wedding since it was trending on Instagram only to feel looking back that your suit was “last year’s new” and you can no longer wear it. Our advice is to skip any style that does not show longevity.
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5) Fabric Is Everything
There are a thousand ways to create a great fitting suit, but above all, the raw ingredients are the most important. Selecting the right fabric for what you are looking for with your custom garments is the most important decision you will make. The fabric will determine how your suit will look at feel and how it will perform.
There is a wide range in pricing when buying true custom due mainly to the fabric you select. For example, cashmere is going to be more expensive than a wool blend and vice versa.
6) Take Care Of Your Investments
When buying a custom garment, it is important to keep up with the care of your garments if you want them to last. Try and dry clean your suit as infrequently as possible. Dry cleaning uses a chemical wash to clean the garments. Over time, this wash slowly eats away at your suit’s fabric, causing it to deteriorate faster.
A sturdy wood hanger is also important when hanging your garments in your closet. For example, a sturdy hanger will help your jacket maintain its shoulders shape.
7) Where You Are Going To Wear Your Garments
When buying a custom garment, it is important to think about where you are going to wear your garments. If you are buying a garment for a particular event, you want to make sure that you come in with the dress code in mind. For example, if you have a formal gala, you need an outfit to invest in a dinner jacket or tuxedo instead of casual dress shirts.
If you live in a tropical climate, you don’t want to invest in heavy fabrics that won’t go with the climate that you primarily live in.
8) Understand The Different Construction Methods of Suiting
Depending on where you go to get your suit made, they might contain a different style canvas. A suit canvas is the layer that rests between the outside and the jacket’s lining. The canvas is what gives the jacket structure and its shape.
These are the three most common types of suit canvases:
Before the age of mass production, all suits were made using a full canvas. Traditionally the canvas is made out of a horsehair/linen blend. A full canvas is when the canvas “floats” in between the two layers by switching the layer in between. The canvas will run down the length of both the jacket’s front panels.
Over time the canvas will mold to the wearer’s chest, making it feel like they are wearing nothing at all without losing the shape of the garment. Having a full canvas only makes the jacket more comfortable in every wear. Traditionally a full canvas will be used in the most expensive of custom garments.
A full canvas is what we use here at Jaxson Maximus.
Often referred to as a “semi-canvas,” a half canvas is a happy go-between from a fused and full canvas. A half canvas uses a chest piece but doesn’t run the entire garment length. Instead, it only covers the chest area.
A common use of a half canvas might be on a mesh sports jacket where you want to have that breathability element while still keeping the garment’s structure.
A fused canvas is what is often most used in inexpensive garments. Instead of natural fibers like in a full canvas, a fused canvas will use synthetic materials around the chest and shoulder area. In addition, the canvas itself will not be stitched in like in a full canvas. Instead, it will be glued in between the two layers.
Using this production method saves on cost, but the glue inside the canvas will break down over time, causing the jacket to lose its shape.
9) Let Your Stylist Do The Work
Your custom clothier is trained in the art of menswear. By looking at your skin tone and body shape, they know what colors, fabrics, and styles would look best on you. It is usually best to leave your custom clothier work on the little details on your garments as they know what will look best for you.