To department stores, retailers, and clothing manufacturers, size is an imperfect concept that we’re all sort of left to deal with on our own. No two bodies are built exactly alike, and dress clothes are offered in generic, universal measurements that rarely provide a perfect fit. To top it off, many designers have their prototypical customer, and cut their clothes to specially fit the body type that’s ingrained in the back of the designer’s mind.
Have you ever found an excellent pair of suit trousers, only to try them on and find that your thighs are too muscular to fit into them? Or maybe you found an oxford in your neck size, but the cut is too blouse-y around the torso. We can go on and on here. Not everyone runs into issues with sizing, but if you’re one of the many people who struggles with finding a decent fitting article of clothing, you may want to consider going custom with your dress clothes.
Why custom is worth the cost
Yes, custom clothes are more expensive than the clothes you’ll find in department stores, but don’t let cost scare you. The fact is that custom clothes will always, always, always provide a stellar fit, and everyone can benefit from custom clothes. Personal appearance is your first impression in a job interview and continues to matter as you develop your professional career, so think of your custom clothes as an investment in your future.
Aside from fit, the best part about buying custom clothes is that you get to pick everything, from fabric and thread count to lapel width and button type. If you have a soft spot for details, you simply have to go custom.To top it off, tailoring is also an imperfect science, and alterations can only go so far with any given piece of clothing. If an altered suit is still bulky, but the next size down is too small, you should definitely consider building a custom suit from scratch, a.k.a. bespoke suits.
When to go custom
On the other hand, the difference between custom clothes and tailored garments off the rack isn’t always worth the extra investment for some body types. Though tailoring isn’t perfect, it can be pretty darn close, especially if you go to the tailor with a suit or shirt that’s in the ballpark of your ideal measurements. Trousers are fairly simple, and can be taken in and hemmed. However, you don’t get the luxury of picking the exact fabric and thread count as you do with custom suits.
Additionally, the cost of custom suits isn’t always in the budget for some, especially if you’re just beginning your career. Sure, you can always run up your credit card on a couple suits, but it might be a better idea to treat yourself to custom clothes when you get your first big promotion.
Wean yourself into custom
The good news is that you don’t have to make the plunge right away with a huge splurge on custom suits and shirts. Instead, you can introduce yourself to the world of custom by trying a couple custom oxfords to see if it’s right for you. Chances are, you’ll be blown away by the fit and feel of a custom shirt, but take the time to compare the custom oxford with one of your best-fitting off-the-rack oxfords.
Which shirt gives you more of a V-shaped torso? How does the collar fit on each? If the difference is noticeable, the decision is a no-brainer. Remember, custom clothes are made to fit you as you are when you’re measured. If your weight tends to fluctuate often, you might be better off with off-the-rack garments. Ultimately, custom clothes will always provide the best feel and fit. The only question comes down to your personal preference and budget.
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