When you encounter a full-page ad of a youthful sophisticate wearing Hugo Boss or Armani, it's not hard to imagine why it's so tempting to blow a paycheck or two to make that suit appear in your closet. A well-designed suit can make a person look as if he's never had a bad day in their life.
But there are several reasons why passing up that off-the-rack designer suit for a custom tailored one might be a better fit in the end.
1. It'll just fit better
If you ever manage to find a suit off-the-rack that fits like a glove, you've just encountered a miracle. Big name manufacturers churn out suits that fit a select few body types, and most men have to put extra money down for alterations while they're still coping with a $4-5 thousand price tag. But why waste time and money when you can purchase a suit that meets your exact measurements? Even if you do strike gold and find a perfect fit off the rack, chances are there will be one or two things that don't quite suit your taste (no pun intended).
2. Good news if you're picky
So, let's say you meet your perfect match on the rack, but there are one or two things that turn you off. What if you don't like the color or style of the buttons? Or the way the lapel lies? If you have more major stylistic qualms, chances are you won't have the stomach to gut out your new Gucci. But why settle for something less than perfect when you can decide every aspect of your new suit before it's even created?
When you have a suit made from scratch, you can not only choose the exact fabric that you want (which is a major determinant of price), but you can customize everything to your exact specifications. Pick your vents, your cuffs, your buttons... Whatever it takes to make your suit uniquely yours.
3. It really is your suit
Not that you'd have any trouble distinguishing your custom-tailored suit jacket from your coworker's, but in case there's any ambiguity, why don't you have it monogrammed? This would definitely cost extra if you already bought a suit and brought it to an embroiderer, but Kalypso Couture will add monograms (along with every other customization option) for free.
4. Get the same design for less money
If you really can't picture yourself in any other suit, why not have the designer suit replicated for less money? A chunk of a designer suit's price is based on prestige (meaning the materials and craftsmanship aren't actually worth that much, but the designer is famous). Just present a magazine cutout or photo to the tailor and have your measurements taken, and you can have essentially the exact same suit made just for you. This is also a good strategy if you don't have a specific style in mind, but you know what you like when you see it.
So, let's summarize: Off-the-rack designer suits have an extra element of prestige, but custom-made suits fit perfectly, can be constructed exactly how you want them, and are generally less expensive. Still looking at those ads the same way?
Let us know what you think in the comments section. What does your dream suit look like?