What to look for when you get a suit made, or when buying a new one
Sunil Mital founded Darzi in 1981. Since then it has grown to become Delhi’s best known bespoke suit maker.
Choose the fabric wisely. Everything else about the custom suit depends on it. The fabric defines the fit, and the comfort of your garment.
Wool or silk-wool, for example, is a tailor’s delight to work with. Wool being a natural fibre, adapts to the climate, and can be worn across seasons.
The lapel is the big secret behind your garment making its own statement. The more formal the event, the thicker the lapel needs to be.
A heavier body type does not go well with a single button jacket or flat front trousers. Multiple buttons, and double pleated trousers are more your look. Blessed with a lean frame? A pair of flat front, narrow-bottom trousers are for you. A fitted jacket, for example, will cover hips.
If you wear a big shoe size, ask your tailor to customize your trousers to flat front, and narrow-bottoms.
The colour of your suit reflects your personality. Charcoal Grey is every man’s easiest choice. A colour for all occasions, it complements any skin tone. It can be paired with either black, or brown accessories, and looks good on any body type.
Navy Blue is undoubtedly the foundation for any man’s wardrobe. This colour is ideal for a business event. Different hues of dark blue cater to different types of events.
Men in black never go out of style. This colour exudes an air of authority.
Whatever your look, make sure to stock the following must-haves in your wardrobe: Dress shoes, matching socks, custom-made shirts, two or three matching ties, cuff links to depict your personality, and a tie bar or pin.
Wear lace-ups and side buckle shoes to formal events. Moccasins complement the casual look.
Wear subtle stripes or self-designs paired with plain pocket squares for the formal look. A collar pin is a signature piece for any business garment.
For the casual avatar, ditch the tie and grab a colourful, patterned pocket square. And always remember, slim ties are best worn on lean bodies.
Suits require diligent labour to make, and only the best care to maintain for times to come. Nothing short of the best dry cleaning is essential to lend durability to your prized garment
Noaman Razack is the Managing Director of Prestige The Man Store, the well known Bangalore men’s store that has been making bespoke suits since 1956.
Of utmost importance is that accurate measurements need to be taken when getting a custom-made suit.
There are three types of shoulder variations for a suit jacket: Normal, Low Shoulder and Square Shoulder. These are very important when making the right suit jacket.
The right sleeve is always longer than the left one by 1/10th of an inch if the person is right-handed or else vice versa.
It is very important to check if the person is hunched for a perfect jacket length. If he is, the jacket has to be tailored in proportion to his posture.
We take utmost care of jacket fitting at the stomach. If a person has a beer belly we create jackets accordingly to camouflage it.
Trousers should always be sharp cut. They shouldn’t be too lose at the hip and just below the hip. Customarily boot cut trousers are recommended.
For a big made person with large feet I recommend bottom cuffs. They are standardized 1 ¼ inches.
Sushant Shankar is the head of sales at Dormeuil India Pvt Ltd, the Indian arm of one of the world’s best known maker of luxury suit fabric
When wearing a two-button jacket, fasten the top button when you are in a standing position. For a three-button jacket, fasten the middle button (although you may button the top button as well if need be). The bottom-most button is never buttoned unless you are at a funeral.
The suit and the shirt underneath should fit well and allow a full range of motion when the suit is buttoned. Tailored suits are the answer as they are stitched with you in mind and not on the basis of a standard template. One size does not fit all.
The shirt collar should not be too tight when buttoned and as a rule of thumb you should be able to insert a finger (no more) between your neck and the collar. The shirt sleeve must cover the watch. If it doesn’t, it is too short.
Shorter men as a rule must stick to single-breasted jackets.
Men with bigger waists are advised to go for a lower buttoning jacket rather than one with a higher placket. This will give the wearer a longer silhouette.
Black ties are formal. Coloured ties are more versatile and can be worn for a wide range of occasions. Care should however be taken to avoid colours that are too loud as they tend to take away the focus from the suit.
The suit must be well ironed or steamed to look fresh and not rumpled.
A good quality wool fabric is generally the first choice when making a suit. Wool is a natural fibre. It is robust, drapes well, breathes well and importantly, looks good. It is commonly believed (at least in India) that wool fabrics are meant to be worn in winters only. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wool is a versatile fibre and naturally regulates temperature.
A dark suit exudes power and authority, and is amplified by a pinstripe. Dark blue, black or a charcoal suit with pinstripes are best for meetings and presentations.
If you do not wear suits frequently and are looking for an all purpose suit, it is advisable to go for classic colours such as navy, grey or black.
When looking for a travel suit, go for fabrics with wrinkle-resistant qualities. Normally, high twist fabrics and fabrics with mohair and wool provide wrinkle resistance.
Traditionalists believe that the jacket sleeve should allow approximately half an inch of shirt cuffs to be visible. Similarly half an inch of the shirt collar should be visible above the jacket.
The length of the jacket should cover the seat’s curvature entirely. It should not be any longer.
Pinstripes and checks are best teamed up with a plain shirt.
Unaiz Ahmed is a partner with Syed Bawkher& Co, Chennai’s best known bespoke suit maker which has been in the business for over 90 years.
When a customer walks into Syed Bawkher to make a suit, the first thing we ask him is the occasion that he wants to wear the suit for, whether it’s a business trip, board meeting or a special occasion. We then recommend him the appropriate suit.
If he is a banker or a CEO of a company we recommend a couple of dark suits, a lighter weight travel suit, a couple of sports jackets and an evening suit like a tuxedo or bandhgala.
When selecting a suit one should keep in mind one’s height and skin tone. A two or a three button suit looks good on tall men. Tall men however should avoid stripes and stick to plain or check fabrics.
Choose your fabric depending on the season and the place where the suit will be worn. Right weight and composition of the material is important.
We do a lot of unlined suits and jackets for people who travel during summer, especially to the Middle East.
Slim athletic fit will suit a person with well-built shoulders, whereas a person with a smaller frame should use a more relaxed fit. Pleated or non-pleated trousers are also other points to consider.
Only when one wears the suit a few times, would one know the comfort levels at the waist, shape, etc. We recommend our clients wear the suit a few times so that the shoulder pads and canvas settle in their shape. If required, the suit can then be bought in for a more detailed fitting.