A Guide to Getting Your First Tailored Suit

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If you are getting a tailored suit for the first time, it can be quite tricky. A tailor will not only take your measurements and colour and fabric preferences. There are also various technical terms that a tailor will be using that you might not understand.

Although the tailor usually explains these to the customer, understanding the different terms will go a long way and aid in the decision-making process. Here is a brief guide on getting made to measure suits.


The fabric is the primary material that a tailor uses to create a suit. Cotton is one common type of fabric often used in shirts, underwear, and other clothing sold in stores.

In suits, however, the types of fabric used are relatively less common compared to mass-produced clothing. Tailors often use mohair, a kind of fabric that is lightweight, silky, and textured. Other materials include:

  • Worsted Wool
  • Flannel
  • 120s


A suit jacket has lapels, a folded fabric that appears just below the collar of the inner suit. Lapels often come in different types, but the most common are:

  • A flat and continuous lapel with no folds.
  • The most common style of lapel that folds in the upper part.
  • A variant of a notched lapel, with folds pointing upward.


Vents are the slits at the back of the suit jacket; they are more than just design elements: they help the wearer in moving easier amidst all the layers of clothes. Like lapels, there are three main types of vents:

  • No vent
  • The most common form of a vent; the slit is at the centre
  • There are two slits on opposite sides of the suit jacket.

Pant breaks

A pant break is the length of the pants that meet the wearer’s shoes. The amount of pant break varies per tailor, but most refer to the types in terms like “quarter”, “half”, and “full”. Full pant breaks almost cover the shoes, and many first-time suit buyers prefer quarter and half pant breaks for starters.

Inner pockets

Made to measure suits often give one the option to decide on pockets. Traditional outfits often come with several types of inner pockets which serve particular purposes.

One kind of pocket is the ticket pocket in the pants. It is named in this way because it was intended to store show tickets for people who plan to attend one.

Meanwhile, there are the classic inner pockets in the suit jackets that are often used to store important files, like IDs, passports, and, in the modern times, gadgets.

Customization abound

These are just some of the basic customisations from which a tailor will ask his customer to choose. Most will offer more choices, and, when unsure, it is best to ask about the meaning behind the terms.

Having a thorough understanding of the different customisations allows your tailor to create a suit that meets your overall requirements down to every single button and seam.


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