MADE-TO-MEASURE. Making modern three-piece suit. Part 1

The perfect suit is a fusion of a few things: good taste, good fabric and a good tailor. Unfortunately, in Moscow, Russia (and many parts of the world) it is quite hard to find any of them. At least that’s what I thought, but then I started to search, because to visit a proper tailor in London would cost a fortune, in Italy — no time, and Hong-Kong is quite a long journey just for a suit. So, I decided to do it in Moscow — just a few streets away from home. Basically there are a few well known studios, but i chose Indever.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 12.10.09
Indever studio in Moscow, ulitsa L’va Tolstogo, 14, 119021 (Улица Льва Толстого д.14).

When I visited their studio (right next to Yandex HQ) I was impressed by the design and a rationally divided space. First thing you see is mannequins with proper classic and casual suits on, then your eyes catch the bar, it is here to entertain visitors and make customers who wait not get so bored – quite a wise idea! Then you see tens of suits which are here to try, but not to buy, because everything that Indever does is made-to-measure, not just custom fit or ready-to-wear. But what’s the difference between all those terms for a guy like me who needs a good suit of a design I want as soon as possible? The winter is coming and a three piece suit seems a great idea!


THE TYPES OF SUITS TO ORDER

You need to know the difference between made-to-measure and bespoke suits. The former is sewn on standard templates, but strictly according to your size. The tailor (or consultant like in my case) measures your body and gives you some of the ready suits to try on. He then pins it and measures again. All the measurements are recorded in the customer’s card. Some of the tailors do it in the special app and some on a paper card.  Here in Indever it’s done online and is then sent directly to the tailors in Hong-Kong. Some of the best in the world. The suit will then arrive in approximately 4 weeks and you have to appear at the second fitting. If all is ok — you can take it, if not — mostly all the details would be fixed here in the studio.

In the second case, bespoke suits, patterns are created specifically for you and all sewn by hand. Bespoke is so much more expensive than made-to-measure, sometimes unreasonably so — especially if the suits in the studio after measuring and pinning sit perfectly on your body.

Anyway — both cases mean that the suit will be done from zero to the final phase just for you. But there is always a third way — custom made suits. When you can customise the ready-to-wear suit from any brand in store or in an atelier afterwards, but this absolutely doesn’t promise you that suit will perfectly fit your body. For that you have to find a brand which suits you better than others. But there comes another problem —  trousers and jackets are often go together and can’t be divided. So, size 38 jacket can’t go with size 34 trousers instead of 32. Ready to fit it in store? Pay more and made-to-measure will cost even less in the end.


MOST COMMON SUIT MISTAKES

Sleeves are too long

Don’t be shy, show the cuffs of your perfect shirt a bit. To be more accurate single cuff shirts should be visible maximum half an inch and double cuffed ones — MAXIMUM an inch, better less. The best is always half an inch. Only casual or warm tweed jackets can allow a bit longer cuffs.

SleevesWrong VS Correct

Jacket is too short

This is just as bad as too long, which at least they can be fixed, but too short can’t. The French like them longer, italians — shorter, and proper English gentlemen prefer the right length. As it should be.

jacket lenght

Wrong VS Correct

Trousers are long or/and wide

Nothing can destroy the look of a man than long dirty trousers covering shoes (probably same bad ones – then it’s disaster). Trousers should lay on the dress shoes covering 2/3 on a heel and folding once on the front. Then you can play with the length and casual or summer varieties can be up to 2 inches shorter, but it demands more work on choosing the socks etc. Another case — trousers are too wide. But maybe you had them made to wear over another pair? If so, then we understand… No, still don’t understand.

Trousers

Wrong VS Correct

Jacket is wide (or too slim)

Jacket should cuddle your body in shirt or shirt and waistcoat. No more, no less.

jacket size

Wrong VS Correct VS Wrong

Pants sit badly at the waist

They are simply too small or too large. And if you wear a belt one more inch can be hidden, but if you don’t — it will be a disaster.

TrousersWaist

Wrong VS Correct


THE PROCESS

I arrived at INDEVER two weeks ago by appointment only, and we started to look for the perfect suit and to measure my body. Let’s begin the real live experience from here.

1. Choosing the fabric

Italian fabric, design in Moscow, made in Hong-Kong.

We’re working on a winter suit. So, the best fabrics are wool and flannel (leave cotton and especially linen for summer), but wool will fit more events and occasions than flannel. Basically, flannel is a heavy wool. Anyone who is shopping for a winter suit would do well to find a suit that is made out of flannel. Flannel is a durable, hardy fabric that doesn’t wear down as quickly as other fabrics. Flannel suits are especially flattering when they are shades of gray. For my winter suit I decided to choose the wool. Mostly because of the print, I think.

Wool, flannel, linen or cotton? Depends on the season and your preferences.

 For the colour I took a grey fabric with check print. I’ve got a good light grey suit and a navy one, but the second one became so mainstream recently. A good three-piece grey plaid suit will always look great.

Choosing the type of fabric for my new suit.

For the lining I chose a nice print. I can imagine people’s look when I unbutton the jacket to take it off.

Choosing lining and seeing the examples on my Samsung GALAXY Alpha
Choosing lining and seeing the examples on my Samsung GALAXY Alpha

DETAIL – the lining of the suit can be very bright and have extraordinary print.

RULE – Think twice how to mix types of fabric and season. Add a vest coat when making a winter suit which can be wearable in summer without a third piece.

MISTAKE – Do not choose linen or cotton in autumn as long as it is a suit for the south. Mix, but match the fabric of suit and lining.

2. Choosing the cut

The narrow shoulders and perfect fit are common for british cut. Bigger soft shoulders – for italian one. American — we don’t talk about that now. So, I choose british cut, two buttons, but no ticket pocket (had it already and it always stays empty), waistcoat with 5 buttons and one which would always stay unbuttoned.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 12.50.01

DETAIL – The British suit-cut originated on Savile Row, along with so much of men’s fashion. In many ways the British suit-cut lies between the American and Italian suit-cuts, with more definition than the American, without being cut as close to the body as the Italian. It offers a full cut for the pants and a high armhole with defined shoulders that are not too wide. For many, the British suit-cut is the worldwide standard of excellence.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.37.10

RULE – Find the best cut for your body. If you have not so big shoulders as I do – choose the one which makes them wider. If your body is almost perfect — then the cut you like.

MISTAKE – Soft shoulders don’t make your body wider. They make your back look smaller. Choose the hard shoulder, classic one. Do not choose too long or too short (italian) cut if you are not sure with which shirt you’d wear it. The jacket sleeve should never hide the shirt sleeve entirely. At least a small band of shirt cuff should always be visible.

3. Measuring and choosing the details

The tailor did measure my shoulders, back, sleeves and length of legs. But make sure if you want rolled trousers or classic, normal length, or short. For winter I chose normal length which touch the heels of shoes a bit and classic suit jacket. The finishing of the trousers will be decided on the first fitting after suit will arrive from the tailor.

DETAIL – The length of the sleeves and sides of trousers can be different, but it doesn’t mean you’re not normal. There are no absolutely symmetric people. Think about it when measuring sleeves. Interesting thing that length of shirt sleeves still can be the same – shirt covers shoulder like a second skin and jacket can stay higher because of hard construction and by the end both cuffs should look similar, doesn’t matter how long metrically they are.

Cuffs_OF_SHIRT

RULE – Make sure that you know which shirts you will be wearing with this jacket and how long you want to have your trousers.

MISTAKE – Sleeves of jacket or length of trousers are too long or short. And if it’s too short you always can wear colourful socks or shorter shirt with nice braces, but if it’ too long — nothing will help it.

The last two steps which are Alterations and Finalising I leave for the next chapter of our experience. Now since all the measures were taken and fabric chosen I can only wait.  At the end of the first visit you’ll be given the list with all the data and one day you’ll receive a phone call telling you the suit is ready.


MY CHOICE

This is all the fabrics and textures I preferred for my suit.  1. Linen. 2. Wool for the suit. 3. Buttons. 4. Fabric for the back of collar. I am sure it will be a great combination of colours. The suit will be single breasted, 2 buttons, no ticket pocket, standard hard shoulder and semi-wide lapels (wide enough for a young man, I would say),  trousers without belt loops, buttons for braces inside and linen over the entire length of trousers.

suitfabrics


THE MAGIC OF WAITING

From now it will take a month (four weeks) for me to get the suit from the tailors. It will come made by all the measures we’ve done in the studio and will be fixed here in Moscow if something isn’t absolutely proper. The trousers will arrive unfinished, so, on the measuring there is no big difference and usually the consultant won’t pay attention to that. Just mention that you want them extra long, so, you can later choose to have rolled trousers or still the classic ones.

Indever, flagship studio, Moscow, Russia, ulitsa L’va Tolstogo, 14, Moscow, Russia, 119021 (Россия, Москва, Улица Льва Толстого д.14). Weekdays: 10.00 am – 9.00 pm. Weekends: 11.00 am – 7.00 pm. Phone: +7 (499) 372-12-12. E-mail: msk.flagship@indever.com http://www.indever.com

 


Photos: Irina Sladkova (instagram: irasweet), Pavel Boyman. Drawing: Pavel Boyman.Location: Indever studio, Moscow

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