Going to a Bespoke Tailor

The Process of Visiting a Tailor and Having Fittings


The process of having clothes made by a bespoke tailor involves 1) finding a tailor with a good reputation and within your price range, 2) communicating to the tailor what the clothes are for and for which time of year, 3) knowing what type and color cloth you want, and then 4) having your measurements taken and beginning your fittings.




A tailor will need to see you for two or three fittings in order to complete your garment.  The first fitting, what the tailor calls the “skeleton baste,” is for creating a basic framework of your garment (sewing it together using a white basting thread) and the for checking the fit of the pattern.  The second fitting, or “the forward,” is where the tailor has added most of the details to the garment and can adjust the fitting of the garment as he is in the process of finishing it.  Tailors who know their clients well will often skip the first fitting. Finally, the third fitting, or “finish bar finish,” (fin bar fin) is an optional final fitting where the tailor allows you to try on the almost-finished garment and make any last changes if necessary.  A good tailor will always be available to adjust your garment later in case there the fitting of the cloth changes after purchase.


Don’t Have the Money for Bespoke Clothing?


A handmade, bespoke suit on Savile Row can cost anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000 GBP (around $8,000 to $12,000 USD).  But the key to buying a fine suit is to shop for the best quality cloth that you can afford as well as good fit, good cut (especially in the shoulders), good stitching, real button holes, functioning pockets and good quality buttons.  A good suit ideally reshapes the figure of its wearer.  Even if you shop off the rack or purchase made-to-measure (pre-patterned suits made by a tailor), by focusing on the importance of details, you can look as stylish as you would in bespoke, handmade garments.