Tag Archives: groomswear

My Made to Measure Experience

12 Oct

So I popped the big question to my now wife last January. It was great, lots of excitement and planning and people to tell. One of the first things I did however was tell two close friends of mine who own a mens clothing store who specialise in bespoke suits. They were delighted for me and gave me the customary handshakes but then I said lets get cracking with my suit.

I had a few ideas floating around in my head ultra tailored, Italian cut and possibly electric blue. Our venue for the wedding was in Florence, Italy in the July sunshine, six months after our engagement. So Florence meant I had to have the slickest suit in a city where slick suits is staple attire for men of all ages in any line of work or pleasure.

So the shop which my friends run is called Salingers located in Cork city, Ireland. They are two guys one from Italy and one from Canada so I knew I was in good hands. I bounced some of my ideas off them and went through some images with them and leafed through the fabrics. This was a good starting point but with made to measure you are the person who is going to have to come up with the idea and design because it should showcase your personality and the details you want.

So I set up a Tumblr account, Pinterest and Twitter and just goggled suits non-stop. I was jumping from grey with a pink prince of wales check to electric blue with contrasting lapels which was all the rage at the time of my incessant goggling! I went in to Christopher and showed him some of the images I was toying with and he never said outright that anything was ghastly but phrased it like “a bespoke suit is for life and especially with your first one you really don’t want to look back at it and say what the hell was I thinking with orange lining!”.

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Then I came across a designer from South Africa Zano Sithetho who just launched his new look book from his clothing range Skorzch. All the omens where good, my fiance is from South Africa and there it was a a single buttoned double brested slim fit blue suit. That was it, I wanted that one. Now I had a template to work off I just had to find the fabric.

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I went to the guys and showed them the picture and we went looking for the fabric. It took a while because you can find nearly any colour or pattern combination with Loro Piana fabrics but not all will be within the ordinary man’s budget. I wasn’t worried however because everything else was going smoothly with our wedding plans and this was the fun part for me so I kept faith. Then a new batch of fabrics arrived in the Spring and lo and behold a gorgeous super 120’s light blue wool was available.

I had heard that getting your first bespoke suit was a rite of passage but I didn’t really know what that meant until I was  standing there arms held aloft and a measuring tape going across my shoulder blades. I felt bigger than the measurements being scribbled away into the fitter’s moleskin and much older than my years. Yes I was about to get married and enter a new club but before that I was entering the bespoke club which I didn’t even know existed beforehand.

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The fitting was quite straight forward just some precise measurements taken from everywhere. Then some obligatory questions about how I would like the fit of my suit and the extra details. I’m a slim guy and think a well fitted suit is paramount. The real fun with bespoke happens in the details and that’s what makes it one of a kind. So I wanted the customary working buttons on the cuff, mother of pearl of course. I got the date and location of my wedding embroidered in Italian under my collar along with my name on the inside of my jacket. The options are endless and if you trust your tailor to make the right choices for you then you should feel extremely confident that your suit will turn out perfect.

So I went away extremely satisfied that I was going to get the perfect suit for our big day and personalised to my exact tastes. I was told it was going to take about 7 weeks which was fine because we were flying to Italy in 7 and half weeks!! I still kept that same faith that everything was going to turn out right. The fabric came and so will my suit and there will be no unforeseen delays like volcanic ash clouds no way! So I went away and got on with other wedding stuff that I needed to be done.

So it’s the week before we fly out. I’m nearly finished work and have everything else sorted. My suit is in transit and should be in the store very soon. I start to feel a little stress as the days go by, through osmosis more than anything else. My other half has put a lot of effort and planning in to the wedding and doesn’t want my suit not arriving ruining our big day. Then I get the call “Buongiorno Wayne your suit has arrived and it’s magnificent”.

I swiftly make my way over to the store and try it on. I then step out from the changing room donned in my new shiny suit. It’s fits like a glove! I genuinely had never worn something so perfect for me. This seems obvious because it was the first time I wore something made specifically tailored for me but it just felt so right. The lapels lengthened my body, the nipped waist and slim legs gave me all the right proportions and I just felt a million dollars.

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My Fiance arrived and was ecstatic and couldn’t believe how well it turned out. I thanked Chris and Mike and it really wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Salingers. Then it was next stop Italy. I felt great and got compliments from loads of Italians on my suit which is a testament in itself but you will never look as good as your wife on your wedding day trust me.

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I would whole heartily recommend getting a bespoke suit for your wedding or just jump at any excuse to own a tailored made suit. It really is a rite of passage and you will only understand when you go through the process.

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