Part 3 of 4: From Fitting to Finish – Step by Step Guide to Having a Suit Tailored
A well-fitted suit is the ultimate expression of style. That’s why having a tailor you can trust is essential to building a wardrobe that is incredibly comfortable and exudes confidence. In part 1 of our 4 part series, we have shown you the importance of looking for an experience tailor who specialises in suits. In part 2, we detailed the key factors to look out for when finding your tailor. Now in part three, we will go through the step by step process of having a suit professionally tailored from beginning to finish.
1. The Assessment – 5-10 minutes
The client is met with one of the stylists, who is generally trained for 3-6 months full time, before being qualified to fit a client’s suit independently. The stylist first asks the client what purpose of this garment is, whether it is for work where it needs to be professional and comfortable, or for fashion where the suit is generally made tighter and shorter to show off the wearer’s style. The stylist will look at the garment on the client, and assess the overall fit, and identifying areas that require improvement, such as length, size, fit, and shape. The stylist is also able to provide advice, on which is the best fit for each client, to compliment the shape of the wearer and to meet the clients’ needs.
We can reduce the size of a garment, or reshape certain areas to sit better on the body. Suits can often be manipulated in length and size to create different looks for the wearer. Majority of the time, it is possible to reduce up to 2 sizes on garments without altering the original style. Increases in size are often possible too, if there is enough seam allowance from the original make.
2. The Fitting – 10-20 minutes
The stylist and/or tailor then look at the construction and fabric of the suit, and list out the steps and work needed to perform the necessary alterations. The garment is fitted on the client with pearl head pins, each pin indicates where the finished seam will be, and the beginning and finish points of each seam adjustment, paying special attention to the client’s shape. Length is folded or pinched to indicate it’s finished result and secured by pins.
Clients are encouraged to examine the fitting in the mirror, and pins are adjusted until the client is happy with the final fit of the garment.
Once the amount of work required to achieve the client’s request is finalised, a cost of the alterations is provided, and a time for collection or a second fitting is arranged.
3. The alterations – 3-7 days
Knowing how to use a sewing machine is not a rare skill, however, understanding the shapes and natural lines of garments and how they fit on the body is a talent that is refined through years of experience.
The tailor will first unpick the necessary seams, and chalk out outlines where the new seams will be located. The pins in the garment indicate the desired size after alterations, and quite often is the not the exact amount to be altered along the seams. When chalking out new seams, the tailor takes into the account the fabric integrity, seam allowances and adjustments for angle. For example, when 2cms is required to be narrowed along the upper thigh, the sewing amount is adjusted to 1.25cm to allow for the angled crutch seam. At the same time, the tailor keeps in mind the overall shape of the garment, and preserves the original shape and style as much as possible.
Other details to consider while sewing is to not distort the stripes or check patterns on a suit, the tension of the stitching so as not to create wrinkles along the seams, the shape of the garment to be rounded to avoid sharp lines, and matching the thread colour to be as close as possible to the original. Every step is perform with the goal in mind of having the finished garment look as if it has never been altered.
4. Quality check
A dedicated stylist (usually the same one that did the initial fitting) check each finished garment for 3 things. Firstly, the alterations required are performed correctly, and to the accurate measurements. Second, the alterations quality is meets our high standards, with the modified areas not being noticeably different from a factory standard. Lastly, the whole garment is well presented, pressed, free of cotton and fluff, hanging on a suitable hanger, and all seams are closed. This is also a good time to pick up any new areas that might require fixing.
5. A Second Fitting – 10-15 minutes
From time to time, if the size of a garment is altered, another area that needs modification may become evident, therefore a fitting is required before the final alterations and collections step.
For example, when we alter the size of the waist band on trousers, the length of the trousers may sometimes go up or down, requiring further alterations. This basic change is usually picked up at the initial fitting by our experienced stylists and accounted for.
For garments that require a major reconstruction, such as resizing blazers that are more than 1 size too big or too small, having a fitting before finishing the jacket will help sort out any other adjustments required before finishing up the order.
6. Collection – 5-10 minutes
At the collection date, the client will be asked to try on the full tailored outfit. We look at the areas that has been altered, to make sure each seam is sitting as it is supposed to. We also look at the overall balance of the garment, to check the whole outfit is sitting correctly on the body, and complements the wearer’s shape.
Clients understand that a perfectly fitting suit makes them look and feel good and increases the value of their suit.
So an investment of around 30 minutes, or 2 lunch breaks will make sure your suit is perfectly altered and styled to suit you. No more wearing ill-fitting suits that make you look and feel uncomfortable throughout the day. No more worrying about not being able to find the right size suits off the rack that fits.
To make clothing alterations as convenient as possible, we are often hosting pop up events around the CBD, bringing tailoring services to you. We also offer garment pick-up and delivery services to select office buildings within the Brisbane CBD. Contact us to find out more.
Check out our range of alterations packages starting from $65, a fraction of the price of investing in a bespoke suit. The resulting look, however, is equally as discerning.