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Tailored Men's Suits - Custom Suit vs Off The Rack - Which Is Best?

What exactly is a custom suit? And is it better than an off the rack suit?

Many of us see the words men's custom suit and assume it's superior. But is this true?

I want to make it simple for you. In today's article, I lay out the differences between custom and off the rack suits and give you a clear understanding of both.

You can decide what's best for you when you're buying a new suit.

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Click Here To Watch The Video – Men's Suits – Custom Suits vs Off The Rack. Which Is Best?

Let's define what we mean by custom and off the rack suits.

Off The Rack Suit

Off the rack suits are machine made in batches and designed to fit a broad range of men.

The Custom Suit

A custom suit is made or adjusted to your measurements.

We split custom suits into two categories:

Custom Suit 1 – The Made To Measure Suit

Usually, a machine cuts a made to measure suit from an existing pattern. A tailor then adjusts it to your measurements.

Custom Suit 2 – The Bespoke Suit

Like a made to measure suit, bespoke suits are made to your measurements. However bespoke suits are often handmade from scratch. The process requires you to attend multiple fittings.

We associate bespoke suits with Savile Row – an area of London where traditional and modern bespoke suit tailoring takes place.

And finally, a tailor-made suit (or tailored suit) is any suit which has been altered to fit a customer. Tailored suits can be off the rack, made to measure or bespoke.

1. How Should A Man's Suit Fit? custom suit fit

Whether your suit is off the rack or custom made – your suit should fit like a second skin.

Off The Rack Suit

Comes in a range of sizes like Small, Medium, Large, Tall, and Athletic. These sizes are based on predetermined measurements and differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Designed to fit the average male body. If your body type is close to the norm – great! You'll find a good overall fit. You may be able to mix and match the jacket and trouser sizes to get a better fit (for example, a 42 regular jacket with 34 long trousers) but you should always expect to have an off the rack suit tailored.

Custom Suit

Cut to fit your body, based on 10-15 measurements such as shoulder width, arm length and chest size. This removes the need for suit alterations. Bespoke suits are made by hand from scratch by a tailor who takes around 20 measurements in four fittings. The result is a suit which fits you like no other. Your suit is as unique as you are. 2. Suit Price Range Custom vs Tailored Suits

Your suit should be tailored to you and your budget.

Off The Rack Suit

Low to medium price point ($100 – $500) – there’s an off the rack suit for all budgets. You may pay more for some off the rack suits because you are paying for the brand name (the most expensive off the rack suit does not mean you are getting the best off the rack suit). Budget to have the suit tailored to fit your body shape. Suit alterations should cost no more than 30% of the suit's price – if it exceeds this, it's either time to find a different tailor or choose a suit which requires less adjusting. Thrift stores and sales are a great way to find discounts if you are patient and flexible. It is possible to buy a beautiful off the rack tailor-made suit for under $150.

Custom Suit

Here's the surprise: A made to measure suit generally costs the same as a mid-range off the rack suit. And you don't need to spend extra on alterations. Some made to measure suits are available exclusively online. This brings the price down because the manufacturer doesn't have to pay for expensive high street stores. Bespoke suits can start anywhere from $4000 and the price increases past $50,000 if you have very expensive tastes. Bespoke suits can be adjusted over the course of your life, saving you money over an extended period. 3. Suit Patterns And Colors custom suit

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Off The Rack Suit

Available in a set choice of colors like Black, Navy, Grey and True Blue to suit most tastes and social functions. Other colors are available on a seasonal basis. Patterns like pinstripe and herringbone are available from certain suit brands and limited suit colors. If you are willing to put in the time and search the high street, you can find a varied range of colors and patterns. You may be limited to a particular suit style or a brand's specific range.

Custom Suit

Custom men's suits come in a broad range of colors including those you wouldn’t typically find on the high street – like burgundy, purple and gold. You can choose from a broader range of patterns such as windowpane, houndstooth, glen plaid and chalk stripe. 4. Occasions To Wear The Suit mens custom suits

If you're looking for a suit with features like the extra wide peaked lapel, you may need to go custom.

Off The Rack Suit

Ideal for the majority of social functions and events like office wear and social events. Specific dress suits – such as morning dress or a traditional dress – are available from a men's suit hire store but obviously you will not be able to tailor them. Hiring such a suit is a cost-effective way of attending an event where a dress code is specified.

Custom Suit

If you don traditional dress on a regular basis (for example, Scots often wear the kilt) – have it made to measure. The cost per wear is lower than hiring a suit and the fit is superior. Other special occasions such as Black-tie events or those which call for a dinner suit may call for a custom suit. You want to ensure the fit is absolutely perfect and the materials are of the highest quality. 5. Men's Suits – Signs Of Quality suit fabric

Several factors affect the cost of a man's suit, but none so much as the suit material.

Off The Rack Suit

Made from cotton, wool or a synthetic blend and some are even machine washable – perfect if you have young children. Expensive fabrics like linen can be limited to a particular season or a brand’s range. The manufacturing process uses fusing instead of canvassing to save time. This can affect the longevity of the suit because glue degrades over time. Off the rack suits mostly come with non-functioning sleeve buttons. This allows you to have the sleeves lengthened or shortened by a tailor.

Custom Suit

Made to measure suits offer a greater choice of expensive fabrics like linen and cashmere. A custom suit is typically fully canvassed. The canvas lining allows the suit fabric to drape naturally from the body. The result is a clean and well put-together suit. High-end suits are finished with expensive details like mother of pearl buttons. Bespoke suits offer even more luxury with fabrics like as silk and blends of the rarest fibers in the world like Guanashina (a blend of Guan, Baby Cashmere and kid pashmina – suits made from this material start at $15,000). 6. Men's Suit Styles bespoke men's suits

The style of suit you choose depends on your personality and your budget.

Off The Rack Suit

Available in a limited range of traditional styles like single-breasted and double-breasted. Mostly available as 2-piece suits. Some brands offer their own take on the traditional suit with designs like one-button single-breasted suits and double-breasted suits with notch lapels or skinny lapels. Generally available a choice of 3 cuts – British, Italian and American (sometimes labeled as British style, Slim Fit and Traditional) and each has a different silhouette. Lapels are usually 3 – 3.5 inches to suit most men. Make sure your suit fits like a second skin – no matter what the style, color or material. You need to know how a man's suit should fit.

Custom Suit

You can specify design details like lapel style (notch, peaked or shawl) and width (thin, wide, extra wide), the number of vents (single, double or none), pocket style (jetted, flap, patch) and even button color. You can combine suit elements from different styles. For example, a customer can combine Italian style tapered waist pants and include British elements like the hacking pocket. Custom suits allow you to specify a matching waistcoat. Bespoke offers further options, such as a flat cap made from the same cloth. 7. Where To Buy Your Suit (And Convenience) Mens' Tailored Suits

In a perfect world, you would walk into a shop and walk out with a perfectly fitted suit. But in reality, it can take a little longer…

Off The Rack Suit

Very convenient – find a store, try your suit on and if it fits – buy it. You can also order from the store's website and have your suit delivered in a few days. Expect to wait around a week for any adjustments. However, once your tailor knows your measurements, they will provide you with perfectly fitted suits without the need for further fittings.

Custom Suit

If you're buying your custom suit online, simply enter your details into the website. Expect a short wait of around 2-3 weeks while the company makes your suit. You are required to attend multiple suit fittings after you order a bespoke suit. It is important to note that this is seen as an experience as opposed to an inconvenience. 8. Process Of Personalizing Your suit Custom Suits

Men's custom suits often come with personalized details like monograms.

Off The Rack Suit

You can choose from a limited range of suit sizes, colors and a few patterns – perfect if you don’t like sweating the small things. Some stores sell suit jackets and trousers separately so you can to mix and match colors to create a custom or interchangeable look.

Custom Suit

You can specify personalized details such as monograms or a specific lining color, pattern and different colors of thread. Other customizable details include pick stitching (visible stitching that follows the edge of your lapels and other key features of your jacket) and a functional boutonnière loop. Every aspect of a bespoke suit is fully customizable. You can specify a vast range of additional details like shoulder type (for example, soft/unstructured, Neapolitan, lightly padded, broad padded), trouser break, pleats and cuffs, and you can request additional pockets or even hidden compartments if you wish. #9. Buying A Suit – Customer Experience suit fit guide

Make sure you shop at a menswear specialist in order to get tailored advice.

Off The Rack Suit

There are two types of high street store. The first kind sells both men's and women's clothes and the second is a menswear specialist. I advise shopping in the latter because they employ sales assistants with menswear experience who can offer you more specialized advice. You have the luxury of physically trying on the suit and asking for a second opinion on fit or style (though remember that the salesperson wants to sell you the suit so so don't feel pressured into buying it if it doesn’t feel right). Stores have a returns policy so you can return the suit for your money back or an exchange if you’re not happy.

Custom Suit

Custom men's suits offer you the luxury of customizing your suit to your personal preferences which is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. You may not be able to return your suit for a refund. The responsibility lies with you if you specify your own measurements. Bespoke offers the highest level of customer experience. You attend several fittings in a luxurious, relaxing environment, often accompanied by refreshments. You are safe in the knowledge that your tailor is an experienced craftsman who can give personalized advice based on years of experience. 10. How Your Tailored Suit Makes You Feel  mens suit fit

Your tailored suit should make you feel like a superhero.

Off The Rack Suit

You can physically try on a suit; you can run your hands over the material and feel its quality. By trying on a suit, you can see things you couldn’t elsewhere – such as how the material reflects the light and how it drapes from your body.

Custom Suit

Your custom suit is made to measure and fits you like a second skin. Wear it with confidence, safe in the knowledge it looks fantastic. The moment you put on a bespoke suit, you will feel like a million dollars because it has been made just for you. You know that your suit is unique, down to the very last detail and it will fit no one else. A tailor makes your suit from the most sumptuous material and the finished product is the best of the best – that's the $million feeling. Summary – Men's Custom Suits vs Off The Rack Suits

So what's better? Custom or off the rack?

This depends on your budget, your time and your personal requirements.

Off the rack suits will suit the most men. If time is of the essence, you can walk into a store and walk out with a good off rack suit in under an hour.

On the other hand, if you want a suit made to your exact measurements in a style you choose, you need to go for a custom suit.

And if you're the type of guy who sleeps in silk pajamas and won't even glance at a whiskey under the age of 20 – bespoke is the only choice for you. But money is no object, right?

Today's article is sponsored by INDOCHINO. INDOCHINO make men's custom suits and shirts to your exact measurements. I love INDOCHINO's wide selection of quality fabrics and colors, and the option to personalize the details like your lapel, lining, pockets and buttons.

Click here to visit INDOCHINO to get an amazing deal on custom suits or use code RMRS at checkout to get all premium suits for $359.

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