Due to a number of companies in the suit industry in Singapore using the term bespoke incorrectly, it has now started to lose its meaning. Yet, there are still tailors like Singapore master tailor at Graziaa who can help you experience the pure greatness of quality, hand-stitched bespoke suits. To make this journey less stressful and more educated, you could study up on the process in advance. That way you will know what questions to ask at the shop and what to expect in general. Here we offer more info on the terminology, fabrics and types that these suits are most notorious for. Check it out.
What Suit Types are There?
Off-the-rack or off-the-peg - Garments you buy from the store without ordering an individual size. They are ready to wear and they don’t require multiple appointments or fittings. Off-the-rack clothes are factory-made and they usually come in finished condition. Because of that, they are never in the right shape and may need additional adjustments in the future.
Made-to-measure (MTM) - This is a dress that is meant to align with your body. They take a normal piece of clothing, in this case, a suit, and modify it to fit your particular measurements. It works great when a certain body build sits outside the standard ranges. What tailors do here is they cut and correct the original pattern but some parts still remain unchanged, which can influence the end result. For example, they may not alter the armhole size or the padding, and that’s crucial for achieving a close fit.
Bespoke - Being the most customisable type of suit, this one allows you to add as many features as you want, as weird as they are. In a word, you can design each and every centimetre of it, including inner pockets. It is stitched by hand for sturdiness and easy movement. The best part is, it will suit your body to a T because this is why it was created in the first place. There are three main types: classic (it is roomier), fitted (it contours the body but isn’t extremely slimline), and slim (it offers higher armholes and waist for a closer fit).
Learn How to Talk to Your Tailor: Terminology
Here are the different terms that your tailor in Singapore might use and what they mean.
This is a piece of cloth that sits at the end of the pants, pressed against the fabric and folded up. It comes in different lengths, from 3 to 5 cm or more, depending on one’s size and preferences. It is optional and a lot of men choose to skip it because they consider it old-fashioned. The truth is, the lack of such an element will not affect the way your suit looks in the end. However, its existence will do make a difference. Whether it will be a positive or a negative one depends on your tailor and how they complete the task.
This is the crease that occurs on the trousers as they meet the shoes. Although four main types can be identified, your safer bet is to go with the industry-standard. This is the medium (half) break and it manifests itself in a small foldover. Next, there is a quarter pant break, in which the fabric slightly comes into contact with the top of the shoes. A full break is when the fabric overlaps the foot. Last but not least, no break means that the bottom of the pants doesn’t touch the top of the shoes.
These are two pieces of cloth that sit on both sides of the jacket (just below the collar); technically, they are folded back. Three types are available based on whether you want to appear casual, semi-formal or formal. The standard lapel type is called notched and is exactly what the name reveals (it’s jagged at the ends).
The opposite of this is the shawl lapel. It is a continuous piece that ends at the back where the neck is and has no notches at all. It is also the most formal one. If you want something in the middle, you should aim for peaked lapels. They are pointed forward.
Double vs Single-breasted jackets
With single, functional buttons run across the centre of the piece, all arranged into a column. When it comes to double, there are two columns and some of the buttons there are decorative.
Padded vs soft shoulders
Your custom suit will either come with padding on the shoulders or none (spalla camicia). If you have wide arms, implementing this step will only make them appear bulkier and more pronounced than you want. You should be especially conscious of that if you happen to be of the short build. Even the most expensive piece of clothing will look terrible on you if you don’t aim for good proportions.
What Types of Fabrics to Stick With
A high-calibre bespoke suit is not only sewn manually but also made of quality materials. There are two vital factors to take into account: softness and breathability. Throughout the year, you will be exposed to all types of weather. The right suit will keep you warm when it’s cold and absorb your sweat instead of forcing it to stay on your skin.
Additionally, you don’t your jacket or pants to feel as though they could easily snap following an abrupt movement. (Remember that some fabrics are prone to rips and tears.) Not only that but if they are too tight, it may cause itching and discomfort. Considering you will shell oodles of money for a bespoke suit, the last thing you would like to aim for is discomfort.
One of the most expensive types of materials to produce, silk is composed of animal protein. Since it helps to regulate body temperature, it is perfect for both hot and cold climates. In summer, it can expel excess heat, while in winter it retains warmth inside the garment. Being breathable, it can be worn at any time of the year. Because of its luxurious touch, silk is suitable for formal events and the best part is it aligns well with most body types.
The fabric is extremely lightweight but it lags behind in the wrinkle resistance department, which makes it a hassle to maintain. What that means is that you have to dry clean it on the regular. Another disadvantage is it stains easily. On the other hand, the greatest benefit is that it is cut out for bigger body types. It can give your suit a nice, crisp look when taken good care of. That being said, linen should not be worn in the office. Use it for semi-formal events and as an alternative to wool and cotton. Without a doubt, the best season to put it on is summer.
The most preferred option for all types of clothes, cotton provides the comfort you need. It doesn’t irritate the skin, it tends to absorb sweat, and it is lightweight - just about everything you need from your outfit on a sweltering day in Singapore. Thanks to its properties, it can be machine washed - an option that a great many deals of fabrics don’t have. One thing you should keep in mind, though, is that cotton is anything but luxurious, meaning you can’t use it for formal occasions.
The benefits of using mohair for your suit are manifold. Let’s just name a few. Composed of angora goat hair, it bears insulating properties, meaning it will keep you warm in winter. Second, the fabric is wrinkle-resistant and you don’t have to put too much effort to make it smooth and crease-free. In addition, mohair just looks good. It has that silky lustre giving the feeling of more expensive material.
Worsted wool is a versatile fabric, which can adapt to any change in temperatures. It is one of the most popular materials, a slight sheen and comfortable. If you want to have a suit made of a solid colour, this is your go-to fabric.