Executive Image | EXECUTIVE IMAGE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Common questions about custom suits and sport coats
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FAQ

Common questions about Custom Suits and Sport Coats:

Why should I consider purchasing a custom suit or sport coat instead of just going to a store and buying one “off the rack”?

The principle reasons to purchase custom clothing are; fit selection, quality, design, and service. Many individuals cannot find clothing that will fit appropriately off the rack. We design a pattern just for you, so you won’t have to be concerned about fit anymore. The custom industry offers a selection of literally thousands of fabrics from which to choose. We offer the finest quality construction found in any garment in the world. You can design your own garment by selecting the interior linings, buttons, pocket treatments, even contrast stitched button holes. We provide a high level of professional service so you can express your personal style with your wardrobe.

What creates quality in a suit?

Two components determine the quality of the suit; fabric and construction. Finer fabrics provide a comfort, feel, and look that cannot be emulated with a less expensive fabric. The finest woolen fabrics generally are from Australian sheep that are milled in Italy or England.

The best garments are constructed with “canvas” interlinings that allow the coat to shape to the owner. The canvas is the foundation of the suit; that determines how the suit will drape and wear over time. It requires talented old world tailors to cut the pattern and hand sew the canvas to the garment.

What defines custom clothing?

A custom made garment is made to conform to the measurements and physical characteristics of an individual’s body. First the fabric is selected; then it is fit to the client’s size and body type. The style is determined by the client and clothier. Once the pattern is created it can be used again for repeat orders. A true custom suit will be able to account for different shoulder and posture attitudes. It will be cut one at a time and then fitted to check the accuracy of the process. Hand made garments have normal deviations from one another; no two are ever exactly the same. Each will have its own personality determined by the fabric, clothier, and client working together.

How long does it take to have a custom suit made?

Generally the process takes 4 – 8 weeks depending upon the season, origin of the fabric, and number of fittings required. It takes about 4 – 5 weeks to make the garment. A second fitting is scheduled where any necessary adjustments are identified. Our best clients generally place orders for their Spring / Summer wardrobes in February or March and Fall / Winter wardrobes in August or September. This gives the tailors plenty of time to assemble the garment for the upcoming season.

How much does it cost to have a custom suit made?

There is a broad range of prices based on grade of construction and quality of fabric. A moderately priced 2 piece custom suit will range from $950 – $1595. A suit of finer quality fabric and more hand work generally ranges from $1995 – $2995. Suits made from the most luxurious fabrics cost as much as $4000. When you compare the cost of a custom suit to the cost of a ready to wear suit at a fine men’s or better department store, it truly is an incredible value.

Do you offer wardrobe packages?

Yes. So you can maximize the value of your investment we offer package pricing at various quality levels. It’s an efficient way to build your wardrobe.

Do I have to get measured every time I make a purchase?

Generally we recommend you wear your most recently made garment to our wardrobe appointment so we can confirm your fit and measurements. However, if you are comfortable with your measurements or live out of town we can use your previous measurements which we have on file. We frequently have customers place orders with a phone call or an email.

Why should I buy custom shirts?

Properly proportioned custom shirts have the most dramatic impact on upgrading your appearance of any purchase you can make.

The most important benefit of wearing custom shirts is to make your face look good. Your face is framed by your tie and collar of your shirt. The design of the collar below the face has a significant impact on the way the face shape is perceived. A skilled custom shirt maker evaluates an individual’s face shape, length of the neck, and personal style to create a collar that is most appropriate.

Secondly there is generally no correlation between the size of a man’s neck and the size of his chest. Ready to wear shirt makers don’t have a choice. As the neck size increases they must increase the fit of the body. This creates a lot of ill-fitting shirts.

How do I know the shirt will fit?

We take up to 25 measurements and digital pictures of our clients that we send to our shirt makers. We guarantee a comfortable fit. With clients who are difficult to fit or want to place a large initial order, we recommend making one or two shirts first before placing the rest of the order.

Do all my shirts have to be the same?

Absolutely not. We offer over 600 fabrics in our custom shirt program. You can vary the collar, cuff, button closures, stitching, monograms and other details at will.

How much do the shirts cost? Is there a minimum order requirement?

The cost of the shirt is determined by the quality of the fabric and options chosen. Our shirts range from $155 for our most basic fabrics to $350 on fabrics from some of our European mills. Additional options such as monograms, contrast collars and cuffs, and tuxedo shirts can add to the cost of the shirt.

How do I take care of my shirts?

Our custom shirts are made with fine all cotton fabrics. We recommend they be professionally laundered where they will be pressed on commercial machines that will give them a professional finish. Some clients choose to wash their shirts at home and hand-iron them. This is time consuming and it takes a skilled use of the iron to make them look good.

For shirts that are commercially laundered we recommend the use of no starch. Starch chemicals degrade cotton, so heavily starched shirts will cause the fabric to breakdown.

What about shrinkage?

Custom shirts are made with a shrinkage allowance in the collar, shoulder yoke, cuffs, and sleeve length. The first time you have your shirt laundered most of the shrinkage will come out. We recommend clients have their new shirts laundered prior to the first wearing to allow the shirt to shrink to its appropriate size.

If your shirts are laundered appropriately, after 3 to 4 launderings the shirt will stabilize. There will be minimal shrinkage with future use. Unfortunately to speed production some commercial laundries steam press shirts at temperatures exceeding 325 degrees which is much higher than the recommended setting (280 degrees). This will cause the shirt to continue to shrink and can cause bleeding in dark colors.

How long will custom shirts last?

With proper care the standard life expectancy for a custom shirt is around 50-60 washings or about 2 years. Anything beyond this we call “free miles”. Shirts generally wear out in one of three areas; collar edge, cuff edge, or elbow. A heavy beard, a sharp watch, or a lot of “phone elbow” will cause the shirt to wear out faster.