Formerly, bespoke suits were reserved for the wealthiest clients; nowadays, more men demand the luxury and comfort offered by hand tailored suits as a way to establish their personal brand. After not, nothing proclaims professionalism and the aura of success like the cut and fit of a sharply tailored suit.
So, you want to get good value for your monetary investment in custom made suits.
You’re especially interested in quality business suits and wedding suits, as these are the suits you wear most often. How can you be sure you’re getting a good deal? Well, you could spend time going from tailor to tailor to learn what you need to know, but that’s not the most efficient method.
The easy way? Take advantage of our experience in the custom tailoring industry and follow these dependable guidelines for gauging price vs. quality for custom tailored suits. Here’s how to make sure your dream matches reality.
What drives the price of tailored suits?
Key characteristics of custom-tailored suits drive their overall price:
- Individually handmade (not mass-produced).
- Tailors spend time with you to take your measurements and offer advice.
- Exclusive, quality fabrics, which are bought and stocked in small quantities.
- Each garment is individually shipped (not in bulk).
- Highly skilled master tailors construct each suit properly. Better quality suits will be half or fully canvassed and hand stitched.
Given these intricate details and costs, it’s surprising the final price of a custom tailored suit is affordable and typically, less expensive than most of the big name suiting brands.
A custom tailored suit’s cost depends on three main things:
1. Where the suits are made
There’s usually no need to worry if the tailor makes his or her suits in Asia (e.g. Bangkok, Singapore etc.). These countries have well developed tailoring industries. There is, however, a big difference between suits made in Asia for local Asian markets and suits made in Asia for export markets.
Tailors local to Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong generally use cheaper labour and materials, while a local brick and mortar tailor who sources from Asia usually opts for higher-quality.
If the suits are made elsewhere, especially in Australia, US, Canada, UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland or Japan, expect the tailoring costs to be higher due to the high cost of labour in these markets.
2. How the tailor’s business is Structured
As with any business, the structure of the operation affects its overheads and costs. Some tailors buy and stock their own material, while others operate a shopfront and outsource their work to overseas tailors. Always ask if they buy their own fabrics. If they do, you can depend on them to know what they are doing, and they should be able to pass their cost savings of buying in bulk on to you.
3. The quality of fabric you select
In the custom tailoring world, it’s not solely the fabric that determines the quality of a suit, but also the fit and the craftsmanship, such as whether it’s half canvas or full canvas. In fact, the combination of these factors means that a well-tailored suit might not fall within the lower price ranges some might expect.
In Canada, for instance, here’s a more accurate breakdown of what you might expect to pay:
- Basic quality: $900 to $1,599, which includes decent fit and standard fabrics.
- Good quality: $1,599 to $2,499, encompassing a more precise fit, better tailoring techniques like full canvas, and superior fabrics.
- Very good quality: $2,499 to $3,499, which offers a near-perfect fit, advanced tailoring, and premium fabrics.
- Exceptional quality: $3,599 to $8,999, reserved for the best fit, unparalleled craftsmanship, and the most luxurious fabrics available.
As you can see, custom tailoring goes beyond just fabric choices and encompasses a holistic approach to quality that’s reflected in the price.
4 ways to get custom tailored suits
When considering how much you’re willing to pay for your next suit keep these pros and cons in mind:
1 . Buy local: brick and mortar tailors
These tailors have a local showroom. They stock suit samples and fabric swatches and offer back-to-base support close to you. They may manufacture locally or outsource overseas, but if they do outsource, they usually use export quality tailors.
- Deal face-to-face with a professional tailor, not a salesperson
- Style advice included
- Extensive fabric ranges
- Local support for problems
- Sample garments available for your perusal
- Professional measurements so you get fit guarantees
- Measurements on file to make re-ordering easy
- Alterations included in the price
- Typically, superior half-canvassed construction
- Fair pricing (ask for special deals)
2 – Buy from a fly-in tailor
These tailors do not have a local showroom, but instead fly-in occasionally and book a hotel room for a couple of days. They stock suit samples and fabric swatches but offer limited support. They manufacture entirely overseas in areas like Singapore, Bangkok, or Hong Kong (i.e. China).
- Reasonably good quality and fit
- It’s often unclear as to who pays for alterations
- Extensive fabric ranges
- Measurements taken by professionals
- Finished suit needs steaming and pressing (you pay for this)
- After sales support can be lacking
- Only available a few times a year
- Likely to be of inferior fused construction; use cheaper tailors for the local Asian market (not export quality)
- Fair pricing (ask about specials). Beware if the suits seem too cheap. Often fly-in tailors are not honest about suit construction and fabric.
3 – Buying from an online tailor
These tailors have online websites but no physical locations. You cannot see suit samples and fabric swatches and there’s often limited support. They generally manufacture entirely overseas, usually in Singapore, Bangkok, or Hong Kong (i.e. China).
- Reasonably good quality, but check the construction and fabric
- Measurements on file so re-ordering is easy
- Big risk of poor fit (because you take the measurements)
- Difficult to know exactly what is being bought from photos on the Internet
- No style advice
- Restrictive alterations policies (you pay first, then try and claim back from a faceless business)
- After sales support can be lacking
- Likely to be of inferior fused construction due to using cheaper tailors for the local Asian market (not export quality)
- Suit comes back needing to be steamed and pressed (costing you more)
This may turn out to be a cheap option with quality issues.
Does the suit seem too cheap to be true?
It probably is because online tailors may not tell the truth about suit construction and fabric.
4 – Buy when travelling overseas (Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong (i.e. China))
These tailors have overseas shops only. You do get to see suit samples and fabric swatches but there’s no support once you leave. They manufacture entirely overseas using cheaper tailors for the local Asian market (not export quality).
- Suits made in the local Asian market are generally poor quality because a quality suit can’t be made in a couple of days.
- Measurements taken by a professional
- After sales support is non-existent
- Likely to be of inferior fused construction using cheaper tailors for the local Asian market (not export quality)
While this is a cheap option, beware if the suits seem too cheap. Often overseas tailors tell you “white lies” about suit construction and fabric. After all, they’re not likely to see you again!
What if I just want a jacket?
Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a complete suit; most custom tailors offer the option to purchase a blazer, dinner jacket or sports coats. If you select this option, expect to pay about 2/3 of the full suit cost just for the jacket.
As you can see, there’s more to this business of buying a custom suit than meets the eye. Fortunately for you, at Montagio Custom Tailoring we’ve done the legwork for you. Our staff of master tailors guide you through every step of the process from picking a complementary design to choosing fabric to tweaking the finished garment for a glove-like fit.
We offer world class customer service as our goal is to establish a long term relationship with you. Schedule your no-obligation styling session today and start experience the luxury and comfort that was once reserved for only the wealthiest men. Don’t you deserve it?