There’s a first time for everything, and visiting a luxury tailor for the very first time brings excitement and anticipation. But in some cases it can bring some trepidation too. The world of Savile Row tailoring can come across as a tad exclusive and unwelcoming, and Savile Row itself can often seem like a row of closed doors to those who haven’t stepped inside before. That's a real shame.
But visiting a luxury tailor should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran. Indeed, even your very own tailor was once stepping into a studio for the very first time, looking forward to being fitted for their very first suit.
To help dispel any fear of the unknown, here are a few things which you can expect to experience when you visit a luxury tailor for the first time.
A Very Warm Welcome
Perhaps an even warmer welcome than what you’re used to. You’ll be offered a comfortable place to sit down, refreshment, and enough time to gather your thoughts. That’s life in the business of luxury goods—customer service is just a lot more engaged with you.
Rest assured, a good tailor won’t be cold shouldered and taciturn with you, especially if you’re new to this world. Their warm reception of you will help settle you down, feel more relaxed and enjoy the occasion as it ought to be enjoyed.
Plenty of Questions to Begin
It’s your tailor’s responsibility to help you reach the right decisions, so once you’ve settled in, you can expect them to ask you plenty of thoughtful questions—which garments you’d like made, where you intend to wear them and how, what your budget is, and so forth.
All of this key information allows your tailor to build up a picture of what you want and what will look great on you. In turn, this will also allow them to narrow down which options for fabric and style they should present to you.
Remember, bespoke tailors have thousands of cloth options, weights, weaves, and dozens of stylistic flourishes to offer, so these questions will prevent you from being overwhelmed by the vast selection.
More Than Just Measurements
Tailors are experts at measuring down to the last millimetre, but there’s much more to this than simply running a tape around you. They’ll establish whether you want slim or regular fitting garments, or even relaxed or skinny fit.
A skilled tailor will take a keen look at your body type, your gait, as well as your seated and standing posture. All of this will influence how your garments will be cut, as the tailor will take note of where they will come under strain, where the fit can be relaxed a little to preserve the garment, and where they can tighten things up.
As mentioned above, there are thousands of choices of fabrics in a variety of weights and weaves. Depending on your reason for purchase, your tailor should narrow the choice of fabric down to a few key choices through which they can guide you.
For suits and jackets, the most popular choices are wool—particularly for business suits— and cotton, while the likes of linen, cashmere, mohair and vicuna are even more luxurious options. We've written a comprehensive guide to cloth selection, should you wish to learn more.
Rather than simply bombarding you with information, your tailor will have gauged both how much you’d like to know about the fabric, and how much is worth your knowing, in your initial conversation. They’ll talk you through the qualities of each, share swatches and other sample garments with you to get a feel for each fabric, and allow you to make the best decision for you.
Discussion on Details
All the little things that really make your tailored garments what they will be—collar & cuff styles, lapels, half or full canvas interlining, pockets, hems, vents. You’ll be able to see plenty of examples of these at your tailor’s studio, and they themselves will be able to help you see which are the most suitable for you.
Just as with the fabric selection, it’s the tailor’s job to gently guide you through the myriad of options, clarifying things that may seem complex, all the while letting you know that ultimately, you are in control.
First Fitting Arrangement
Once your order has confirmed, you’ll pay a deposit to secure your purchase. At Marc Oliver, this is a standard fifty percent of the total cost. Then, it’s simply a matter of arranging your first fitting. While some lower end tailors arrange first fittings within days or weeks of this appointment, luxury Savile Row tailors require a number of weeks.
All Marc Oliver garments are made in Italy, thus the first fitting can usually be arranged after approximately five to seven weeks. Some clients like to book their first fitting there and then, but it’s also often arranged once your garments are nearing the first stage of completion. Whichever way works for you will do just fine.
We trust that you’ll feel a little more relaxed and informed about visiting a luxury tailor now. Remember, it’s all about enjoying the experience and getting the very best clothing you can— clothing which will last for thousands of wears and carry a timeless style for years. Book an appointment with Marc Oliver, when you’re ready.