Zaremba bespoke sport coat – first fitting
Disclaimer: this post is in collaboration with Zaremba Bespoke Tailoring who kindly offered to make this bespoke coat for me. They do not have any influence on the review and have not seen it before publishing.
Last weekend I flew to Warsaw for my first fitting of Zaremba bespoke sport coat I ordered late last year. As it turn out there has never been a good time to finally go to Warsaw and have it fitted with Christmas and New Year in the way. Then there was Pitti so you see yourself. We finally made it and had my first fitting.
You would not remember because I have not shared any information on the blog about my first meeting with the tailor last year but I selected a beautiful Ariston Napoli wool-cashmere mix cloth in deep green with blue windowpane check. It is a 90%-10% mix and weighs only 250g per 1m so relatively lightweight fabric. Taking into consideration very moderate winters in London I am sure I can wear it for most of the year. Choosing the right cloth for this project was very challenging. Maciej Zaremba (owner) brought some amazing vintage cloth from Naples which was very tempting. However I have had a “green” sport coat in mind for months then so decided on the windowpane design.
The jacket is going to be made as single breasted, 3-roll-2, with notch lapels. It means that the top button is not meant to be buttoned at all. There will be patch pockets on the sides, including additional internal pocket inside the right one. An example of this can be seen below. We decided that mine however will be positioned 3cm above the external one, instead of standard 4cm. That was my personal preference. I feel like on a shorter man like myself these pockets look better when a bit closer to each other due to shorter torso of mine. On a tall man 4cm is just fine.
There will also be double vents in the back, soft shoulder finished with a bit of shirring (shirt-like shoulder) while the lining will only be in the back at the shoulders (and of course in the sleeves). The aim is to make it a rather casual sport coat so I did not want too be fully lined.
My first fitting has been with the Head Cutter of Zaremba Bespoke – Mariusz – and Maciej himself, overlooking the whole process.
I was very excited because that was the first time I could actually see the cloth made up to a something that reminded a jacket one could wear and see how it fitted my complexion. It is one of the challenges of bespoke – to imagine the finished garment based only on a small swatch of cloth. As expected though, deep green colour turn out to be very flattering. That was possible thanks to Maciej having the cloth in the workshop, I could have it around me on my shoulders to see how it suits me. It is a big advantage of the workshop visit. Obviously not all the cloth swatches will be available in stock but there is a big chance.
In the first fitting the jacket was only at the basted fitting stage. It might vary with other tailors and even at Zaremba, depending on the client and where the suit has been ordered. If you do that via Trunk Show visits then your jacket at the first fitting might actually be finished a little bit more. It also depends whether it is your very first order and the cutter only created the first pattern for you. Once he gets to know you he can then advance works on the jacket further. Mine was only stitched very loosely. “Basted fitting” name comes from the iconic white ‘baste stitching’. It allows the cutter to make necessary structural adjustments (as well as the pattern), tear it off and then re-stitched after making the adjustments. Because the jacket is only at its structural stage you can see the hand padded layer of chest canvass and detail on the front dart. There are inlays of fabric everywhere which will allow the cutter to rework the pattern but also, bespoke jacket being a long term investment, allow for future adjustments.
At the second fitting the jacket will fit better. That is an iterative process and at this stage can be done many times. It is very important to decide upon those main aspects like total length or button stance which greatly influence the fit and appearance of the jacket and are difficult to adjust at later stages.
As you can see the lapel lacks the additional (facing) layer of the cloth, there are no sleeves or collar and the jacket in the front has been cut with a big allowance. Cutter does it on purpose to make sure that after adjustments there is enough fabric to re-cut it and shaped as desired. In my case a special attention has been paid to the shoulders. It’s been well spotted by the experienced cutter that the right one is more sloped and pitched forward than the left. We also had to shorten them a bit. Armhole has been cut as rather high allowing for maximum comfort. It was only slightly adjusted making it even shorter.
Generally the shoulders and collar has been cut very well and apart from small adjustments there was not much else to correct there.
Total length and buttoning stance are usually very tricky. There is a need for a good eye for proportions and balance. Many factors can influence your perspective from aesthetic point of view. I found it to be one of the most difficult things when ordering bespoke. At this stage there are more white lines crossing the dark cloth than in the finished garments so it might look shorter. On top of this lapels do not have the outer layer of fabric. There are also no horizontal lines from pockets so it might also look a bit longer. If the jacket was to be worn in a suit it could be a tad shorter because it wouldn’t be as visible when worn with the trousers being made of the same cloth. However if the jacket has been made as sport coat to be worn with odd trousers then the contrast between the two would be greater and jacket would look shorter. Are you lost yet? No? Good. Remember though that whatever you decide on there is still a second fitting and worst case scenario – still time to go back to previous stage. Do not stress too much, the tailor is there for you to advice and guide you. Lengthwise, Zaremba Bespoke’s jacket is cut a bit on the shorter side, especially compared to English tailors so have this in mind. Generally the first fitting is for the tailor (cutter) to see how the pattern he created looks on you.
I feel like the first fitting went well. We discussed all the important aspects of the garment, decided upon length and button stance and agreed on the position of the pocket and general balance of the jacket. I’m very excited with how things are going and can’t wait to show you the second fitting.
The post on the second fitting will be published in a few days. Have a look at the photos below, there are plenty! Hope you enjoyed this post and as always, thanks for reading.
Photography: Andrzej Belina Brzozowski (belinabrzozowski.com)
Zaremba Bespoke Tailoring
(+48) (22) 6284208