Saturday, 24 August 2013

Three-piece suit: Forward fitting

Generally the final stage in the bespoke process is the 'forward fitting', although (particularly with your first suit with a new tailor) you could actually end up needing more than one appointment to get everything perfect, and any decent bespoke tailor will be happy to accommodate - indeed they will probably want to, rather than let you walk out with a suit that's not quite right. The key thing with the forward fitting is that, at this stage, the suit is complete, with all the canvassing and internal structure in place, buttons on, pockets done - finished basically. This means that you can see everything together properly but are slightly more limited in the kind of changes that you can make. At this point, the sort of adjustments that can be made are the kind of thing that a really good off-the-peg store would offer for its suits: adjustments to trouser length and waist, tweaks to sleeve length (within reason, bearing in mind that the cuff buttons will now be on), and limited adjustments to coat waist and so forth.

I needed a couple of little tweaks, but it's looking fantastic. The trousers are (partly of necessity, so the waistcoat looks right, and partly as a style choice) high-waisted with a fish-tailed back and, because they're designed exclusively to be worn with braces, don't need to be tight-fitting so are looser than many of my trousers (but not in such a way as to be visible). This makes them extraordinarily comfortable.

Suffice it to say it looks smashing - I love the quite traditionally English fit of the trousers with their single pleat, and the bold peaked lapels on the waistcoat, while the cloth is (in my opinion) and absolute masterpiece: lightweight and smart but a lot more interesting than it first appears, it looks almost blue in the right light. Anyway, decent pictures of all this will follow, along with a few more details, and I also plan on doing another post or two on the bespoke process. 


  1. As it happens, I just had the fitting of the made to measure suit (with double breasted waistcoat) that I mentioned when you first posted about yours.

    I too am very pleased with the results. It felt like a lot of money to hand over on a suit I obviously had yet to see. It looks great though and once the waist has been taken in slightly and the trousers adjusted should fit me beautifully. It is also something of a revelation to see a suit in the material that you picked from a relatively small swatch. Here the grey check with blue overcheck was what I'd hoped it would be - unobtrusive but visually interesting.

    Looking forward to seeing some more photos of yours.

    1. Ah - glad you're happy with it! It is a bit nerve-wracking paying in advance for something that may or may not turn out right but there's a definite satisfaction in seeing it develop from those initial conversations and little swatches into a whole suit. I also never get tired of looking at little details like the buttonholes and admiring the craftsmanship that goes into bespoke suits.

      I shall definitely be posting more pictures as soon as I have some that look ok. I must be the only fashion blogger on the planet without a digital SLR...

    2. If its any consolation Jake, I haven't got an SLR either, and I'm struggling too. I too am looking forward to seeing some photos though!

      Best wishes,


  2. Wonder why one needs to pay up in advance; surely a gentle men's word/custom is still as good as his bond! Maybe it's a privilege that only few tailors acknowledge, these days.

    1. It's a fair point. I suspect many of the old-school Savile Row tailors would still make you a suit on account, but alas the world has changed and not everyone who walks through the door of a tailoring establishment can be trusted. I would certainly be disinclined to do several thousand pounds worth of work on the assumption that my customer was a good egg who would pay without question. Nor, today, is it so likely that most customers will have been introduced by an older family member who can be relied upon to pay the account if any... 'difficulties' arise!

      To be fair, Cad and the Dandy have not asked for payment in advance for the last two items I ordered from them, though they did for the first few. I think that's reasonable enough.

    2. Quite true. Some of the smaller tailors had to have heavies; to collect debts off ''Gentlemen'' from outside their clubs in St. James'& Pall Mall. I assume it's altogether a different matter with bank-cards and the rest to-day.

    3. And those same clubs probably sent heavies round to their members' tailors to try and collect unpaid dining tabs!

  3. More photographs would be excellent. We traded comments about C&tD's cut - this seems very nice indeed - not quite as equestrian as Huntsman, but crisp and structured.



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