Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Suit That Fits - Second Fitting

Second fitting of the new suit yesterday, and time for a further review of A Suit That Fits (see my first post for my initial impressions).

One of my biggest problems with A Suit That fits has been the lack of personal service. The person who measured me, the person who gave me my first fitting, and the person who gave me my second fitting were all different, so there's little continuity going through the process. None of them, of course, has any involvement in the actual manufacture of the suit. The lack of personal connection is compounded by the fact that you don't see the suit until it's complete, which means it essentially dissapears for 8 weeks and there's no news as to what stage it is at, or whether it might be ready early.

As a result, perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that the second fitting was a dissapointment. In all fairness, I was ten minutes late, but I still don't think this excuses the way I was rushed out of the door with my suit, having been told to 'just try on the jacket' (the only part that had been adjusted) and without any assessment, comment or advice from the supposed 'tailor' who was helping me.

However; the fact is, the suit does fit beautifully, especially with the changes I made last time, and it looks fantastic, as only a perfectly fitting suit can. The material is nice, though not outstanding, and the suit has a lot of features that distinguish it from an off-the peg suit, such as reinforcement in areas prone to wear, working cuffs, and a loop behind the lapel to hold a buttonhole stem.

On the other hand, there are some areas where the finish is frankly dissapointing on further inspection - the suit cuffs, for example, show particularly poor craftsmanship where the lining is attached, and I will almost certainly take the suit back to have this remedied at some point. It's not that the quality of work is poor throughout - it's not. By and large, I would equate the construction of this suit to an off-the peg one from somewhere like TM Lewin or Hackett. However, this just draws attention to the areas where it seems to fall substantially short.

I haven't yet had an opportunity to wear the suit 'for real' but I shall do so a couple of times over Christmas and the New Year and, when  I do so, I shall finally get a picture of me in it. I may also write a more detailed review of A Suit That Fits at some point, but this will probably wait until they have also made my tweed jacket at the end of January. Until then, my feeling is that ASuitThatFits is a really good option for anyone who wants a bit more control over the details of his suit, and to have a suit that really does fit. On the other hand, for someone who values beautiful construction and a close relationship with a craftsman, ASuitThatFits is only going to dissapoint. For the price, though, perhaps that's not surprising; and I still feel that I would rather spend the same amount on a perfectly fitting suit made exactly to my design from ASTF as I would on a mass-produced off-the-peg suit from Hackett, Paul Smith or Gieves and Hawkes.

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