BY SUSANNAH JAFFER
Whether it’s a wedding, special occasion or a brand new job, there comes a time in every gentleman’s life when he needs a good suit. As a general rule, buying one off the rack can be troublesome as it can be ill-fitting or made from poor quality material. What’s more, in the end both the jacket and trousers can require additional tailoring adjustments, taking time and more hard-earned money to get just right.
That’s why opting for a bespoke suit right from the start can be the more sensible and mature decision. You can work closely with a tailor to achieve something customised exactly to your personal tastes and preferences, that fits like a glove, and that will have you feeling like a million bucks, whether you’re a business executive or a member of the savvy fashion set.
That special touch
This customisation process is something that the accomplished team from The Prestigious Bespoke, based in Boat Quay, pride themselves on. Helmed by veteran tailor Thomas Wong, every commission is crafted in house at the atelier by himself, head tailor Marcus Lio (both lecturers at LASALLE) and a team of five other junior tailors and apprentices, four of which graduated with first-class honours from LASALLE’s menswear specialty programme.
For new clients, a bespoke suit typically takes 6 to 8 weeks to create and requires several stages of fittings, a similar time that it would take at London’s infamous Savile Row. Each hand made suit takes five full days to craft, and incredibly, each buttonhole takes between 30 to 60 minutes to sew and create (there’s around 11 buttonholes per jacket – now that’s attention to detail.) To give us non-experts more insight, head tailor Marcus Lio gave us his tips on what to consider before commissioning your bespoke piece!
Hi Marcus! So, I want to get a suit tailored – what’s should I be considering?
First off, think about your deadline. When do you need the suit by? It’s an important detail which means we can work backwards to figure out the timeline we’ll have to craft the suit.
Next, ask yourself what you’ll be using it for. How often will you be wearing it, and under what circumstances? A good bespoke suit worn over many occasions will be a better investment than a cheaper, trend-led one. Also, factor in the weather where you live – this will help narrow down the best materials to select from the vast options available.
It might be an unusual question, but we also ask our customers what impact they want to make with the suit. What do they want to convey about themselves? Do you want to stand out from the crowd? If so, what type of fit, fabric and details can help you achieve the look?
Finally, ask yourself how you’re able to maintain the suit. If you travel a lot, can you wear it straight out of the bag? Is the material easy to transport? If you’re wearing it frequently (for example, at work) are dry-cleaners within easy access.
Heritage tailoring houses along Savile Row comprise large teams of tailors, while most Singapore-based tailoring shops are run as single man operations. Why the difference?
It’s important to understand that most tailors in Singapore are order-taking fronts that channel sales to outsourced contractors, many of which are often based out of the country. As a sales-focused outlet, there isn’t any need to develop a skilled production team.
In Savile Row, each tailoring house undertakes the commission and completes it entirely in house and in order to do so, must nurture and enhance internal skills and capabilities. Also, given the demands that go into crafting a good shirt or suit, a team needs to be built to allow for operational efficiency. We’re really proud of the fact that we’re the only new and relaunched tailoring house in Singapore to establish and nurture it’s team, and that enables us to craft out exquisite suits time after time.
What, do you feel, makes The Prestigious stand out from the rest?
It all comes down to the authentic experience. Any order placed with us is hand drawn, cut and sewn from scratch, right here in Singapore. When you step into our boutique, you see tailors working on commissions, concentrating over large cutting tables and sewing machines. We’re also truly invested in nurturing the craft of tailoring for the next generation too through our apprenticeship training program, and our talented junior have proven it’s success.