Here’s the thing about 2016, there are no excuses anymore. I’m going to know if your suit doesn’t fit, Instagram is going to know if your suit doesn’t fit, and your girlfriend is most definitely going to know if your suit doesn’t fit. Cut and construction have always been the two most important qualities of a great suit, and while I’m not going to talk you through that here, I am going to point you in the right direction.
We might as well start with the big dogs. If you’ve recently sold a lung, or don’t feel like eating for a month, this is the only place to go. You’re going to be looking at upwards of $2,000, but it’s worth every penny. Off the rack, you’re looking at a range that includes Brioni, Pal Zileri, Stefano Ricci, and, my main man, Thom Browne. If you’re really in the mood to treat yourself, go made-to-measure. Your measurements are taken, you choose your fabrics sourced from heritage mills, then sent to the brand of your choice (Tom Ford, Artioli, Xacus, and others) for production. The suit arrives back in the store within 6-8 weeks for final fittings and finishings. If you’ve got the cash, it’s the only way to go.
By appointment only, these contemporary tailors offer three levels of suiting. Ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, and ‘Su Misura’ (made to measure in Italy.) While even the ready-to-wear garments are tailored and hand-finished on site, the made-to-measure and made-in-Italy ranges allow far more customisation. If you’re a man with a vision, who’s always wanted his lapels just so, the Su Misura range is well worth a look.
Australia’s Brent Wilson has made a name for himself in recent times, showcasing beautifully-cut fitted suiting at outstanding prices. Even his made-to-order range, where you can choose the fabric, jacket style, and pant style, comes in at $699 for one, or $1,200 for two. The fitting options don’t run quite as deep as some other tailors, covering body length, sleeve length, and pant length, but for the price the value is extraordinary. The man even dressed the late, great, Prince—which is all the endorsement I need.
In many ways, M.J. Bale have set themselves up as the go-to store for the modern man. Their suits are versatile, comfortable, and immaculately sourced. Three tiers of suiting allows you to set your budget, from the core ‘Blue Label’ range (two for $1,000), through the ‘Classics’ (two for $1,500), then up to the ‘Collection’ range which is hand-finished at their tailoring workshop in Iwate, Japan. If you’ve got a wedding coming up, get your boys together to check out the appointment-only ‘Dressing Rooms,’ built specifically for grooms and their groomsmen.
The Bespoke Corner
Billing themselves as the most comprehensive tailoring service in Australia, it’s hard to disagree with the boys at The Bespoke Corner. If you want to hang with the peacocks at Pitti Uomo, these are the men to talk to. They only have 100 clients on their books at any time, and are willing to travel to you, 24/7, to accommodate your needs. You choose the cut, the fabric, the everything. Your initials even end up on the tag. It’s an extraordinary service, one that needs to be experienced.
For the lazy of you out there, by which I mean me, Joe Button offers a service that can really only be described as a dream. You hop onto their website, pick your garment, select your sizing method (either go off the rack, or enter your own measurements), then customise the details to your heart’s content. When the suit arrives after three to four weeks, you can either go to the showroom to pick it up, or have it dropped straight to your door. If you need any final changes, they’ll do them for free in-house, or provide you with up to $50 credit to use at your closest alterations shop.
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Image credit: Brent Wilson