Why go For a Custom Suit and Where to Buy One? A Full Guide
For many men, the idea of owning a custom suit sounds like something only open to the rich and famous. After all, you can just pop down to your nearest mall and rustle up a suit off the peg, right? While that’s technically true, if you’re looking to elevate your style game and create a look that sparks with confidence and masculinity, you will always be better served by a custom-fitted suit that makes the very best of your body effortlessly rather than something that sort of works. And you may be surprised at how cost-effective a made-to-measure suit can be, especially when you compare it to the time, money, and energy needed to get off-the-peg clothes to fit you well! Today the expert tailors from Oliver Wicks are here to help walk you through everything you need to know about opting for a custom-made suit, from why you need one to how to make the most of your budget and still look great.
Let’s start with the basics- what’s special about a custom suit? While custom and made-to-measure suits are often more expensive than off-the-rack options (though it may surprise you how affordable made-to-measure suits can be), they are also one of the best investments a man can make for their wardrobe. And any cost-savings made with an off-the-rack suit will soon be eaten up by the tailoring you need to make it fit well, and there are no guarantees that a perfect fit will be achievable.
Additionally, custom suits are typically made with more care, using higher-quality fabrics, and the better fit means they’re less prone to unnecessary wear-and-tear as long as you care for them correctly and don’t damage it in storage or during travel. So if you wear suits frequently or want a suit that will last for many years, there’s really no better option. Saving a few hundred dollars with mall suits often turns out to be a false economy, as they may start falling apart in 6-12 months.
Of course, the primary benefit of a custom suit is that it will be tailored specifically to your body measurements from the get-go, ensuring a fantastic feel every time you wear it. While a great tailor can do a lot with an off-the-peg suit, there are specific aspects of the pants and jacket- especially the shoulder box and sleeve diameter- that cannot easily be altered once it is cut. So you will never get the sort of fit you can from a made-to-measure or custom garment through after-production tweaks.
And let’s be honest. Standard suit sizing is created around the idea of a mythical ‘every man’, from an aggregate of typical male measurements. Almost no one fits this notion well! And if you have any personal quirks or insecurities- be it beefy arms from days at the gym right through to long or short legs, a paunch, or a broader/narrower chest, you’ve probably had difficulties finding standard garments that make you feel good.
Oliver Wicks believes every man deserves to feel fantastic, and believe us, it’s perfectly possible no matter what you perceive as flaws or tricky areas. You just need the right suit! Custom and made-to-measure garments are created around you as a backdrop that lets you shine rather than something you are forced to adapt to no matter what. Our motto, after all, is ‘The fit that suits you’- and that’s the energy a great custom suit brings to the table. It allows you to make a strong impression and help you feel confident and comfortable. Plus, you have a lot more freedom over the design, fabric, and details, allowing you a suit that better reflects your personal style.
Lastly, but certainly not least, custom suits are crafted with greater attention to detail than off-the-rack suits because they’re made one at a time with specific measurements and personal attention, not on a production line to a guesstimate. This means that they will last longer and look better over time- offsetting the initial higher cost with many more years of wear.
To summarise: A great fit, premium fabric, high-quailty made-in-Europe construction, and the ability to customize a suit to your preferances, all at a reasonable price, with an experienced, supportive team on hand. That is how we would advertise the made-to-measure Oliver Wicks experience, in as few words as possible.
When we say “custom suit”, we are referring to “made-to-measure”, rather than “bespoke” tailoring. We feel a lot of people are perhaps not aware of MTM as an option - They’ll settle for poor-quality, ill-fitting mall suits, because they wrongly believe that “custom suit” means £5000+ at a Savile Row tailor in London. MTM allows a suit to be tailored to your customizations and measurements, and it’s based on templates and modern machinary - Bespoke is created entirely by hand, from scratch, and you’ll need to cover a skilled tailor’s wage for 50+ hours, with multiple in-person appointments (that’s what makes bespoke expensive!).
What you will pay for a custom suit will vary depending on several factors, from the type and quality of materials used to the complexity of the design and the experience and reputation of the tailor. This is actually great news- you don’t have to shell out multiple thousands of dollars to get the image-boosting experience of a made-to-measure suit! Many men believe they have to pay the maximum price point to get the custom experience thanks to splashy designer magazine spreads and editorials, but nothing could be further from the truth. And if you do have the cash to splash, the world is your oyster.
In the United States, a custom suit will typically start in the $500 to $1,000 range, while a completely bespoke suit can cost $3,000 or more (often, a lot more). You will typically see a higher price tag where a lot of hand stitching, multiple in-person consultations, or exotic, unusual, or custom-dyed/created fabrics are used. Designer brands typically charge a premium for the brand name, too.
Luckily, you don’t need all those ultra-luxe bells and whistles to enjoy the comfort and image-boosting power of a made-to-measure or custom-created suit. Quality fabrics and fantastic tailoring speak for themselves. Bespoke is a bit like wanting to get a tattoo from the most famous tattoo artist in America - There will be a long waiting list, and it will cost a lot of money… but there will be plenty of other fantastic artists that will do a wonderful job, for a fraction of the price - that’s a made-to-measure suit!
Obviously, you can’t walk into your local strip mall and find a specialist tailor (unless you are very lucky)! That doesn’t mean you will have to hunt the ends of the earth to find a great custom suit, though.
Some larger department stores (notably Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's) offer a basic custom service. While it’s a bit bare-bones, this can be an appropriate starting point on a very tight budget. Make sure they are offering a true made-to-measure or custom service and not simply tailoring off-the-rack garments from the store, however.
You may be lucky enough to have a local tailor who also creates garments. If they specialize in men’s fashion, chances are they will create custom suits. This can be a good choice if you want a more hands-on approach to the process and want to work with someone who can offer personalized recommendations and advice. You may be limited in the fabrics and styles open to you by the tailor’s skills and connections, however, and you will need to give them plenty of lead time unless it’s a large operation. It’s unusual for a smaller single shop like this to carry a lot of fabric on hand, too, so you may have to pay a retail premium to get the fabrics or colors you want.
Jumping right to the other end of the scale, many top-end designer men’s brand names, like Burberry, Dior, Alexander McQueen, and the Savile Row Suit Company, offer the ultimate in bespoke suit creation. While it’s not at the price point for most men, this will give you the impact of a designer brand on top of your custom-created suit if you’re looking for this sort of luxury experience and have the budget to match.
Luckily, you don’t need to go that far (or pay that premium) to get a fantastic, custom-created suit. Nor do you have to rely on what you can find locally in the age of the internet. Now you can even order a custom and made-to-measure suit from the comfort of your own home! Of course, if you’re not making an in-person appearance, you will need meticulous measurements and the confidence of knowing you have a respected, trusted team on the other side of the screen.
Luckily, you have Oliver Wicks for that! Even if you’re not opting to buy from us, you can still access our quick-and-simple measurement guide to ensure yourself a perfect fit. All you need to do is an account on our site, and you can access the link from any of our web pages..
Inaccurate measurement concerns are THE number one customer fear when it comes to online MTM, but don’t worry about it, we’ve specialized in this for the last decade. The Oliver Wicks team understand that you’re not a tailor, and we know exactly how to assist with your measurements. If it didn’t work, we wouldn’t be in business!
The Oliver Wicks range offers you made-to-measure suiting perfection, scrupulously brought to life by our European master tailors to your exact measurements. We use only the highest-quality Italian and English fabrics and up-to-date European suit designs, ensuring every piece sparkles with style and vibrancy. No matter what fit or options you prefer in a suit, we will help bring it to life. We pride ourselves in offering the perfect balance of cost-effective pricing and attention to detail, allowing every man to enjoy the superior fit of customization without the hefty bespoke price tag. No snobby sales reps, no hidden fees, just you and the suit you’ve always dreamed of wearing. Our helpful team will correspond with you every step of the way, and you can also leverage our 30-day remake and 365-day alteration coverage to give you extra peace of mind.
If you want to look and feel like a winner without a hefty price tag, Oliver Wicks offers you the very best of all worlds in a suit that will carry you effortlessly anywhere you venture. If you’re looking to build a sartorially elegant wardrobe you can rely on, start with us- you won’t be sorry!
If you’re looking to elevate your fashion game to the next level, investing in a custom suit will be the smartest move you ever make. Don't underestimate the power of a great fit, and the confidence and poise it can bring to the table. From the boardroom to black tie optional, knowing you look great in a suit you can trust will help you make the most of every moment.
If you’re ready to take your wardrobe to the next level or have any other questions about custom suits, feel free to reach out to our expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org today- it’s time for you to get the fit you deserve!
The Fit That Suits You