Ten Questions To Ask A Tailor
If you’re looking for the right tailor, or think you may have found them, here are ten really useful questions to ask to make sure you’re a good fit.
You don’t have to be an expert on cloth, style and cut to visit a bespoke tailor – that’s their job after all. A Savile Row tailor is an expert on style and cut, and will know exactly what to show you after some well-chosen questions.
However, a few well placed questions of your own will serve you well when choosing a tailor. These can help filter out any unsuitable choices, and ultimately save you a great deal of time, effort, and money. They can also help set you at ease, sure in the knowledge that you’ve chosen the perfect tailor for you.
We’ve taken a look at the best questions and requests that you, the client, could ask of your tailor to ensure the best possible service. These are by no means exhaustive, but should be used to qualify any prospective tailor before employing him.
10 Questions To Ask A Tailor
“What kind of tailoring do you specialise in?”
This kind of question will help you identify key differences between a tailor’s work, for example, whether they are a made-to-measure tailor or a bespoke tailor.
A made-to-measure tailor uses a pre-existing pattern when cutting your cloth, so his service will have some inherent limitations affecting both cut and style. A bespoke tailor on the other hand, does everything from scratch.
Ask to see some examples of suits he has made already. Tailoring, after all, is a somewhat generic term used to cover a range of services. Good tailors will have a website explaining their services and their working process. Note down any things that may be a little unclear to you and ask them to explain in more detail.
“Will my suit be made from scratch?”
A straightforward question that will help you understand where and how the suit will be made, and by whom. Your tailor should refrain from using complex jargon in his answers and instead use terms he knows you will understand. Remember, a made-to-measure tailor works from a pre-existing pattern, while a bespoke tailor will, or at least ought to, be making your suit from scratch.
“What style will suit me?”
A good, experienced tailor will intuitively know what looks good on you, and they will tactfully communicate that if need be. After all, tailors aren’t just people who cut cloth — they also work as fashion and style guides.
They should be able to make you think about what you want, ask considered questions, and then make recommendations that hit the brief without forcing anything on you. In a sense, a good tailor may actually know what you want before you do, and can lead you to this conclusion through suggestions and questions.
“How much input will I have?”
You should always have the final say. This is, after all, your party. You should have input in all the important areas, while your tailor might make test judgements in some specialist areas, always leaving you with the right to “veto”.
The last thing we would want you to feel is an uncomfortable acceptance of everything whilst remaining unsure of the direction. A Tailor should ask a lot of questions to build up a picture of what you want and uncover some hidden needs you may not have thought about.
Your decisions on cloth and preferred style will also influence the final look of the suit. You are not looking for a yes-man after all, but someone who can add real value to the decisions you make.
“How do I choose the right cloth?”
Savile Row Tailors are experts on cloth and the unique properties of each. As well as this, they should instinctively know which choices of colour and pattern will suit you best, and guide you towards making your own sound decision.
Before meeting your tailor, spend a little time considering where and how you will wear your garments. This will allow your tailor to present the most appropriate options to you. A sensible discussion on fabric price and personal budget should also be included, keeping you in control of the final price you’ll pay.
While we’re on the subject, here’s a helpful Guide to Cloth Selection for Luxury Tailoring.
“Can I see some examples of your work?”
A tailor should be happy to show you his work upon request. If they’re not, consider this something of a red flag. Ask to see some physical examples as they are more representative of his work than glossy images on a website or in a magazine.
“How long will it take?”
No customer wants to become involved in a lengthy process which they have little influence over. Know that a made-to-measure suit typically takes between five and six weeks to make; however, a fully bespoke suit should take around eight weeks. Make sure to ask your tailor early in your first meeting approximately how long will be needed.
Don’t forget to ask your tailor how long any additional adjustments after the first fitting are likely to take. Typically, adjustments should take no more than a week.
Some forward planning on your part will help keep you in control of all your choices, and will also help alleviate any stress for both you and your tailor.
The initial appointment itself is a fairly quick affair, usually taking between thirty minutes and one hour. Existing customers will need even less time as we will already have a pattern for them, while we can even send suitable fabric swatches to them ahead of time. This is something we can also do for new customers if requested.
“How much will a suit cost?”
In truth, you should know the answer before you visit the tailor. They should have an indication of prices on their website, or should let you know in your initial correspondence. But do make sure to find out to avoid any surprises when you meet.
If you are looking for a well-made Luxury Savile Row suit, you shouldn’t really consider a starting price below approximately £1,600. Remember, a good suit requires around forty five hours of labour to make, and uses approximately three and a half metres of fabric.
“What if my weight changes easily?”
Perhaps you’re getting a suit for your wedding, and aim to be a little more trim by the time it rolls around. Let your tailor know this, so they can act accordingly.
Rest assured that the tailor will want to avoid making you an unflattering suit that you will quickly grow out of, so this is as much their concern as yours. Try to be honest with your tailor regarding your weight, body type and body image plan — they’ve worked with all figures and forms and certainly won’t judge.
A great tailor will offer you solutions that can add real shape and help you develop a look and style that increases confidence in your own appearance.
“Could you read the order back to me please?”
Make sure your tailor can provide you with a succinct and understandable recap of what you have agreed to, and confirm which items are included in the final price. This is often the most exciting part as you will have made some great choices. Your anticipation to see the finished suit will now be growing in the knowledge that you know what it’s going to look like on delivery day.
Thanks for reading. We hope this helps. If you’re ready to invest in some luxury tailored clothing, we’re happy to help. Get in touch to schedule an appointment.