B&Tailor bespoke suit – design and measurements
Disclaimer: this post is in collaboration with B&Tailor who kindly offered a discounted price.
I have previously written about Korean tailor B&Tailor bespoke here if you have not seen it yet.
Today I would like to talk more about the design and our first meeting with Robin Pettersson, the Swedish tailor who is B&Tailor’s agent in Europe. He, on their behalf, organizes Trunk Shows in Sweden and London and measures clients as well as fits them at each stage of the bespoke process. There are four meetings in total:
- design and measurements
- first fitting (basted)
- second fitting
- finished garment (eventually small alterations if needed)
Currently I am at the second stage, so after my first fitting. Today however I will talk about the ideas I had on my suit and the measuring process.
When going bespoke, I think, one should always firstly review his wardrobe and see what is its current status. I mean, everywhere online, experts say ‘always invest in classic pieces first that will serve you years’. This also justifies the expense of going bespoke – long term investment. You want to make sure you are ordering a suit that you need, not 10th checked blazer.
There are many factors affecting the way you judge your wardrobe. It might be quality (never high enough :), quantity and variety. Ideally they all would be maxed out but unless your annual salary has six zeros this will always be a long path. So for me it looks like this now:
- 1 classic business blue suit (not navy), single breasted (RTW)
- 1 classic double breasted grey suit (bespoke)
- 2 double breasted striped suits for work, 1 flannel and 1 worsted wool (both RTW)
- 1 navy linen suit, single breasted (RTW)
- 1 classic navy sport coat, single breasted, patch pockets (RTW)
- 8 different casual sport coats, both summer and winter ones (RTW) + 1 in the making (bespoke)
- 1 beige linen suit, 1 olive green cotton (RTW)
- 1 dark grey POW check worsted wool suit (MTM), stopped wearing it
The question you have to ask yourself is ‘what is missing?’ What is the next best order? I was inclined to updating four-season or winter part of the closet and am definitely in a need for classic navy single breasted herringbone suit for more formal occasions and classic and elegant summer suit for work. Because the first B&Tailor bespoke Trunk Show was in February I went for the latter – light grey fresco cloth from Holland&Sherry’s bunch called Crispaire. I thought I would get more wear of it this upcoming summer season and can always focus on flannel after that.
Fresco is a name of fabric trademarked by JJ Minnis, cloth manufacturer. It is made of high twist yarns weaved into open weave fabric. High twist allows for open weave therefore making it feel affresco (fresh in Italian) and perfect for summer. High twisted yarns are also very durable and resists wrinkles very well. The important effect of an open weave fabric is its coarse and rather tough feel, especially compared to high twist worsted wool. It comes in different weights but usually between 10 and 14 oz. Holland&Sherry offers its travel friendly worsted wool fabric called Crispaire (often called tropic wool too). It is very similar to Fresco but is lighter in weight and feels softer. Especially the latter was important to me. My sensitive skin wouldn’t bear hard wearing Fresco on my tighs during hot summer day. I really prefer softer cloth therefore decided on Crispaire. Open weave worsted wools are also much better suited for summer work suit because of its wrinkles resistance. On the other hand, as charismatic linen suit is, it does not look nice in a business environment. Fresco trousers can also be easily separated from the jacket and worn with more casual sport coat so that is an advantage.
The following are the characteristics of the suit I ordered from B&Tailor:
- Cloth: Holland & Sherry Crispare, light grey, 9.5-10oz weight
- Single breasted jacket, 3-roll-2 buttoning
- Jetted pockets, two back darts, notch lapels 9.5-10cm wide
- 1/4 lined
- trousers with 2 pleats and slanted pockets, one pocket in the back, cuffs, extended buttoning, no belt loops
So there you go. This is the full description of the suit. After that we started the measuring process. Robin took out his A4 notebook with many columns and cells used to describe the suit and all details and note measurements. Honestly, it was the first time I have seen a tailor taking so many of them. Number of measurements depends on the cutting method and there are two systems in use nowadays: direct measurements (famous Climax system) and proportionate (Rundschau system, more widely used today). Both have their flaws obviously. Proportionate system is based on so called ‘long measurements’ – i.e. total length of the jacket from which other values are derived. In direct system one would measure the actual (direct) length of the back (S shaped which is longer than straight line between the same points). I do not think one is significantly better than the other, most tailors probably use one and the other one for cross checking. Input from any of you who is a cutter would be appreciated.
It was interesting for me though to be measured using one of those old Climax direct measuring devices (shown above). The device sits on a nickel plate attached around your chest by elastic band. It allows the tailor to measure front shoulder length, the over the shoulder, back depth of the scye (armscye or armhole) and cross-chest measure very easily and quickly. B&Tailor uses the direct measuring system and keeps the paper pattern for each customer in house.
Once all the measurements are taken there will be 6 week waiting time for the first fitting. Suit will be cut in Korea by Changjin, stitched together by the baste thread and send back to Europe. Robin then will bring it for first fitting and after necessary adjustments send it back again to B&Tailor for further works.
If you have any questions about the process or anything else please ask or send an email. Again, as always, thanks for reading! Have a look at more photos below.
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