|>>|| No. 4711
I am going to hold your hands and take you through the mysterious land of Saville Row, although this applies to any global centre of excellence in tailoring. It is not necessarily as expensive as you think it is. I will drop a few links at the bottom which are related as well.
Firstly, bespoke suits: They are pricey, but not as bad as one might believe. My tailors (who are very much the best of the best) could knock you up a bespoke two-piece and a couple of shirts for something in the region of 3 grand. These will last a life time. One thing to remember is that this is likely to take 6 months, and they only expect half of the cash upfront. This can make the difference between buying one or not. Once it is made take the suit down to a hald decent local tailor and get him to cut panels matching the suit's cut - from now on you can present the panels to any tailor and they will be able to provide an almost perfect match - so the initial outlay will drop signiicatly per extra suit made. If you happen to spend time in Pakistan or Dubai, this will *really* work in your favour.
Made to mesaure: in Saville row can be done for 600-800. Not as good as bespoke, but close to. Also will be delivered within weeks, and look far superior to supposed "fashion labels" such as the one mentioned in this thread, or Gucci, Armani, etc. Will also last a life time.
Off the peg: also available in Saville Row, from as little as 300. The quality will be far higher and the life-span far longer than any equivalent off the peg suit - most (non-Savilee Row) places you will see offering off the peg suits at this price or higher use the "if we overcharge for a suit that falls to pieces in a couple of years and looks like shit, fools will still think we provide quality" marketing method. See: Apple.
If you walk into a place in Saville Row and are treated like shit at the door, especially by someone just out of school (Oh hi Gieves and Hawkes), walk. First time I went into my tailors I had spent the morning redecorating the kitchen. I didn't bother changing, was wearing paint covered jeans and hoody, and was fussed over for 2 hours without a blink. If a tailor is being sniffy, it is because they are not as good as the others, and being in Saville Row as their only selling point. Nowadays, I actively try and look scruffy when visiting bespoke merchants, as their reaction will tell you a lot about the quality of their stock - the real guys assume you know how much it will cost in advance and are happy to part with the cash. My tailors took two hours before talking about money. This is a good sign, as it shows supreme confidence in their work.
And now, for the cheat code: did you know Saville Row do a January-February sale? They do. You can pick up excellent of-the-peg and to-be-altered items for as little as 175 quid with a little luck. You will find this advertised on their websites, have a google around and see what is on offer.
To avoid a nasty shock do give the ones you like the look of a call and ask a ball park figure for what you want if it is not displayed online. You should not need an appointment for your first meeting with them, but do check.
Finally, do not be intimidated by high-end places like these. The guys there are not from epically posh backgrounds, will be young, and should do their best to make you feel at ease. There is nothing better than a good tailor, and the looks on arseholes faces who have just been fleeced for a suit as you walk out of the finest tailors looking like a tradesman, but with a branded bag is priceless.
I also cannot recommend the last link enough. It is worth actually noting these down before heading to The Row - and have the balls to check. If you are asked why you are looking at technical things (especially when buying off the peg) just ask to speak to the head tailor and show him the list and check that they do all of it. He'll likely know the guy who wrote it anyway.
http://thechapmagazine.co.uk/content/section_links/tailors.html Mine is the one at the top...
And a must read: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/fashion-and-style/10373114/Trade-secrets-what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-suit.html
Sage checked for possibble typos. Any further questions pleace ask.