Updated: Mar 6, 2020
STEP 3: FINDING THE RIGHT FABRICS
This part of the process is hands down my favorite part. I can literally spend no less than three hours just feeling all the different fabric textures. Whenever I visit a fabric store it feels like I am being pulled into a vortex where time doesn't seem to pass. And. I. Love. It!
You may not be like me, you may want to go in the store pick a fabric and get out. The next few paragraphs should help you do just that, serve as a brief guide for selecting the right fabric for that timeless piece you're looking to add to your closet.
Now there are many ways to get a custom suit made, ranging from online made-to-measure to high end bespoke services. The right solution for you will come down to your budget. However, my recommendation if you are going with custom is to set aside around $400 - $500. That is a great budget for your first tailor made suit and you will see why in a second. As a side note, it is very important as you continue to build the perfect wardrobe, that you find a tailor and know him/her by name.
As I said before, I love getting involved in the planning and construction process of the entire garment. I buy my own fabrics, and have my own tailor to whom I ask 1,000 questions. I have always been curious, and honestly I really want to understand what it is that I am paying for. What I found out from this experience is that the cost will usually come down to fifty percent fabric & materials, and fifty percent labor of construction. This percentage may shift depending on the quality of fabric you select. Furthermore, the time of the year, location and weather conditions will also determine your fabric selection.
For instance, if the event takes place in the fall or winter time, you may opt for a tweed blazer or a heavyweight wool. These fabrics, especially tweed, can help protect you from the cold. On the other hand, if it is a summer event, then you can go for a linen suit or a lightweight wool. These cooler fabrics are more breathable and won't trap the heat inside your body. If you have a beach wedding to attend, a linen suit is the way to go. In terms of colors, you can go with something that works with your skin tone, or something you're comfortable with. Your safe zones are blues, gray, beige, and brown. Personally I feel that black is too formal, and should be saved for the groom's tuxedo or a formal black tie event.
In terms of construction, it will take an experienced tailor three and a half yards to make a suit. However, I recommend four yards to be on the safe side. If there is any additional fabric, it can be used to make a vest. 👌🏽
The other fifty percent of your budget will be allocated to this portion because of the hand made construction of the garment. There are a lot of parts of the suit that require heavy handcrafted detailing. These include the lapels, the collar, the interlining and the button holes. I would like to emphasize the interlining for a moment. Make sure that you do not, and I repeat, you do not get a glue-on interlining. This is because if it's not taken care of properly it will create bubbles all over the blazer, rendering it useless. This is a very expensive and difficult process to undo. A horse hair canvas interlining is recommended for flexibility, it also makes the jacket drape beautifully while still having great structural integrity.
Now that you know when and where this event is taking place, what colors look great on you, and which fabric will work best. It is time to take these materials to your tailor and let them work their magic. See you tomorrow for how you can get the perfect fit!
Written with Love, Gerardy