Even for the seasoned Suit-wearers, determining the quality of a suit can sometimes become tricky. Many details are easily overlooked during a fitting or even on a finished garment.
No matter where you are having your suit made; at a well-known tailor or a new one you just met as part of short listing the tailor, this 11-point Quality Checklist can help you to ensure that the garment you are buying is truly top-quality.
1. Symmetry and Alignment: Alignment of fabric panels is often difficult to achieve. Hence, make sure that the left-right proportions of the suit are equal. Check to be sure that central seams and features are truly centered. In particular, check the tops of the shoulders, pocket flaps, and other seams to ensure that stripes or patterns are not misaligned.
2. Fit: Make sure that your suit is not too baggy. Inferior tailors will often cut erring on the side of a garment that is too large. Your suit should be fitted to your waist. Raise and move your arms when checking this point, if you feel any discomfort, you must complaint to the tailor. The sleeve length should remain correct in every position.
3. Arm Holes: The fit of the suit around the arm holes is determined by the skill employed during the cutting of the fabric. The fabric around the armpits should fit your form and not be baggy.
4. Collar and Shoulders: Be sure to look at you back in a mirror when trying on a suit. Often the fabric across your shoulders will buckle if the cut is not right. Be wary of a tailor who attempts to fix this problem easily by cutting away the excess material. This will only result in another pitfall: a collar that juts away from your neck.
5. Proportion: During your fitting you should have the chance to determine the exact placement of the waistline button (the top button on a 2-button suit or the middle button on a 3-button suit). The placement of other elements such as the pocket flaps and breast pocket are determined using the waistline button as a central point. Therefore, the overall proportions of the suit depend on the correct placement of this vital piece..
6. Hand Stitched Lapels: Many tailors use machines or glue that result in a flat, lifeless lapel. However, hand-stitched lapels are always best and you can determine whether they are hand stitched or not by looking at the underside for tiny needle marks. This will ensure that your lapel holds and maintains is roundness and shape like a bird’s chest.
7. Cuff Button Holes: At the cuff should be four real button holes. Most of the ready made suits often feature false button holes and do not have this real button holes as their placement will vary from individual to individual.
8. Real Buttons: These days, most of the buttons are made of plastic which will not give a great appearance. Hence, you should prefer buttons that are made of real animal horns.
9. Backing: Without the right backing the shape of your suit will not last and may not look right at all. During your fitting be sure to check out the backing that lines the chest and lapels. The best quality backing will canvas made from a combination of linen or wool with horse, camel, or human hair.
10. Lining: Not just external look, but internal comfort should be a top priority. Polyester does not breathe well and does not provide the greatest comfort. The inner lining of the suit should be made of Rayon, not silk or polyester. Some rayon’s are made from cotton, corn, or even bamboo.
Silk provides not friction to catch in the suit fabric yet provides too much friction against your shirt. The result is that should feel like two layers of fabric feels and looks like three.
11. Inside Jacket: Inside pockets should also be carefully sewn which can be fastened securely by a handcrafted button.
Above all, when you wear your suit, you should feel comfortable. No part should pull or feel tight when you move. Hence, check all the above aspects before you decide to buy or stitch a suite for you. You may also want to ask your tailor before you order if he/she adhere to the all above factors.