What sort of people buy bespoke suits: "  SEP 13 2007

What sort of people buy bespoke suits: "the extremely wealthy, the status-crazed, and those so minutely particular in their needs that no preexisting suit will do". The author finds that during the course of writing the article, he may have turned into the minutely particular sort of bespoke suit buyer.

"The most famous [status detail on a bespoke suit] is working cuff holes. On most off-the-rack suits, that row of buttons on your cuff is simply sewn on, because this way you can move them up or down during alterations; once you've cut the buttonholes, you can't make the sleeve shorter or longer without screwing up the look. Another area of obsession is the stitching. On the front buttonholes and the flower loop, it shouldn't be too even; on the lapels, staggered 'pick stitching' is a big plus. When laymen claim they can smell bespoke from a mile away, most tend to mean these little signatures. But focusing on flourishes betrays the big idea. That idea is that you can ask for anything -- 40 pockets, a sewn-in gun holster, a third leg -- and, to a certain type of person, anything else is tyranny of the designer."

See also: English Cut, the blog of a bespoke Saville Row tailor.

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