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How to buy the best tailor-made suit

While many people think a brand name, designer suit is the best way to go; you might be surprised to learn it's often not. A tailor-made suit is usually cheaper, sometimes higher quality and, surprise, surprise, actually fits you better. So, the next time you're in the market for a new suit, avoid those high-end fashion designers, where you're paying for the name, and have a suit made specifically for you instead.

How to get the best tailor-made suit possible

Choose the design - Before you go to a tailor and try to figure out what you want, look through the latest fashion magazines and pick a suit you like the look of. Any good tailor can duplicate it for you just from a photograph.

Find a good tailor - Don't just walk into any tailor shop and ask for a new suit. Instead, get recommendations before you venture out. Search online for tailors in your area, and see what others are saying about them. If you find a tailor several people are raving about, chances are they're the one for you.

Decide on the best fabric you can afford - The difference between a gorgeous suit and an average one is usually because of two things - the cut and the fabric. That's why, when you're ordering a tailor-made suit, choose the best fabric you can afford - you won't regret it. A high-quality fabric wears better, lasts longer and, let's face it, feels lovely too.

Make sure you agree with the measurements - While a good tailor is a magician at measuring each customer correctly, during the initial fitting make sure you have your say. Where you want your pants to fall, or how you wish the jacket to fit, have a big impact on how the tailor will cut your suit. It's too late to object when it's finished, so don't be afraid to speak up.

Insist on a second fitting - While some tailors will make a tailor-made suit from the first measurements, and then have you come in for a final fitting, insist on a second fitting, even if you have to pay a little extra for it. It's easier for a tailor to alter anything substantially if he's working from a suit that's tacked together, and not an almost finished product. Spend the time needed for a second fitting. After all, for something that costs a few hundred pounds, it should be perfect.

Final fitting perfection - The final fitting is where you check, check, check - and request any small alterations you want. Buttons can be changed, pants can be shortened, and pocket flaps can be made smaller. Even if it means picking up your finished suit a day later.

Same rules apply for men and women

Whether you're a man or a woman shopping for a tailor-made suit, the same rules apply. Buy a tailor-made suit before a designer brand and, if you choose a classic style, you could be wearing it, still looking as good as new, ten years from now.

As the old adage goes, the clothes make the man, or the woman, and a tailor-made suit will make anyone feel like a million pounds. Even if the actual price is far, far cheaper.

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