I’m 58 years old. Until just recently, I’d never owned a true made-to-measure suit, and thought I never would. Then, an ad in the Globe and Mail caught my eye. In a nutshell, it was an offer for two custom-fitted suits and two shirts for $680 (Can.). Here’s how it worked out:
I made an appointment for a fitting to be held at the Airport Hilton in Toronto on a given date; got measured up; picked out the suit material; paid the bill, then waited. Three weeks later, the first of my suits (and two custom-made shirts) arrived (by courier – $100). Once I notified the tailor the fit of the first suit was OK (it was more than that), the second suit arrived in about three weeks.
The business, Raja Fashions (Hong Kong), “Home of the Bespoke Suit”, provides all this wonder through a labour cost differential that must be just staggering. And, yes, you do have to survive a rather significant up-sale pitch to more pricey fabrics (as I was able to; my friend, Hedley, not so), but the result is oh so worth the effort.
A custom suit seems to be more about what you don’t feel – bunching, lumping and the need to constantly be tugging at the various parts of your outerwear; you’re free to kind of just be. No, I didn’t notice myself being eyed enviously by women (or men) half my age, but I can definitely relate to how a great fitting suit contributes to a feeling of self-confidence.
Perhaps best of all, I now “have” a Hong Kong tailor. I can order a suit to my personal specifications, which, including photos, they keep on file for me. When I’m in a “bespoke” mood (and somewhat flush), maybe I’ll just dash off an order for something just a little, ahem, eye-catching to stroll about in.