Cheat tips for men’s tailoring
If you want that man in your life to have a wardrobe you can really be proud of, there is no getting around the fact that you need to get him to make an investment in time and money to get there. But that’s not to say there are not a few corners you can cut, and a few pointers you can pick up, that will help him look great in a suit in the meantime…
An inexpensive suit does not necessarily mean a poor quality suit
While you would not want him to turn up at the altar or an important job interview in a suit just picked off a rail in a supermarket, the fact is that he no longer needs to spend half your monthly salary or be on very good terms with an experienced tailor for something that will turn heads.
Many online retailers sell a good quality two-or three-piece suit at a price that will not put a large dent in any bank balance, and which can be expected to last a while if well looked after. Dobell suits are just one example of how the Internet is shaking up men’s formal wear.
Accessorize like you mean it
Sweating the small stuff can make all the difference, and elevate an average suit into something special. For a plain grey or navy suit, try adding a white or coloured pocket square, or putting an angled tie clip on a blue tie. Remember that pocket square and tie should not match in either colour or pattern. A smart dress watch can be bought for not too much expenditure, which will look a lot better on your wrist at the office than a chunky diver’s timepiece.
If the budget extends to only one suit a year, then choose well. And when in doubt, it is best to go with one made from worsted wool. Made to last, it will take a fair bit of wear and tear before it starts to show, and it can be used for either light or heavy suits.
When trying on a new suit for a fitting, wear a pair of dress shoes to ensure that the trousers are hanging right. Ideally, the hem of the leg should just clip the top of the shoe. Belt and shoes should ‘go together’ – they needn’t be an exact colour-match though. Some men even like their watch strap to go with their shoes. How long can it be before someone goes the whole hog and tries to get various pairs of glasses that approximate the colour of their shoes too?
If this is a suit that is likely to see a fair bit of action – for instance if buying it for work, then be smart and invest in two pairs of trousers and one jacket, maybe three pairs if you really love it – the trousers always wear out faster than the jacket. This is of course never more important than if you’re getting a suit with a unique colour or pattern, where if the trousers go the suit is finished.
Protecting your suit
Planning to travel soon? Folding a jacket inside out when you’re forced to pack it in a suitcase will reduce the risk of it getting creased. Some men swear they can remove the wrinkles from a suit by hanging it up in the bathroom while they take a long hot shower, creating plenty of steam. This is not a good idea, as the moisture can actually damage some materials, and will rarely work anyway. Instead, invest in a small travel-steamer you can fit in your bag, or ask at the reception desk for somewhere local you can get the problem dealt with. Your suit should always go back on the hanger after you’ve finished with it for the day. Always use a wooden hanger rather than a cheap wire one that is going to ruin a suit faster than could be believed.
Brush down a suit after every outing. It takes less than a minute, and stops a lot of dust and dirt accumulating on the fabric. lastly if there are no plans to wear it for a while, dry clean it and then store in a garment bag.