I was a little anxious today, going with my colleague to pick up his suit from A Suit That Fits. Knowing I was going to review the result; knowing that they knew I was going to review the result.

Overall, though, the impression was very positive. Much of this is down to my colleague’s build. A rugby player with a big chest and shoulders, he has a rather extreme drop from chest to waist: something like 46 inches down to 36.

The standard drop on a suit is six inches. So a 40-inch chest comes with trousers with a 34-inch waist. I need a seven-inch drop (40 down to 33) but this can easily be dealt with in the adjustment of trouser and jacket waist.

Ten inches is a little harder to cater for. And although my colleague has always had his suits adjusted in the waist, it is pretty much impossible to adjust a standard jacket to those kind of proportions.

When I saw the silhouette of the suit from the back, it was impressive. That kind of drop creates a rather statuesque figure in a well-fitting suit. The Atlas silhouette, it is often called.

To my colleague it felt rather snug, both in the waist of the jacket and in the trousers from the knee downwards. I think that is probably because he has never really worn a jacket that fits that close through the waist and hips, and because trousers with a 36-inch waist tend to come with rather wide legs.

Then the waist button popped off.

As he was buttoning up the jacket, the waist button pinged onto the floor. I resisted the urge to make a comment about his girth. Well, almost.

The staff offered to sew it back on; I’m sure it will be as good as new. But it does make you think about the quality of the workmanship. This is tailors in Nepal, good as they are, and not Savile Row.

But then I have commented on the same thing on my suits made in Hong Kong. Buttons have come off occasionally and I have sewed them back on. One seam needed a little attention once, but that’s about it. In every other area the suits have worn well after four years. And sewing a button on is a small price to pay for perfect fit.

This point should be emphasised. For my colleague, it is his first experience with made-to-measure. He doesn’t know quite how slim he wants the fit. And with A Suit That Fits he can have his suit altered any time, as many times as he wants, for free. After a while he will know what’s right, adjust his template and have all his suits made according to that in the future.

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aubrey

I, too, have a 10″ drop (42 to 32 inches), so can you elaborate on your statement, “it is pretty much impossible to adjust a standard jacket to those kind of proportions”? Is there just too much material in the waist and skirt?

info

I have been following your experience with a suit that fits over the past few weeks with interest. As the owner of a tailoring business my self I find myself asking the questions:

– How does the suit wear over time?
– And what is the consistency like, i.e. if you buy a suit in a years time, does it fit as well as the first?

If both these questions are answered positively then it sounds like ASTFs have a good offer. However, from experience these are the two biggest challenges for any company that adopts a glocal sourcing model.

With regards to your comments about the drop ratio. In the majority of cases I would suggest that you don’t try to follow the contour of a 10″drop as it will completely destroy the balance of the suit. As you quite rightly pointed our a 6 inch differential should be the max.

Anonymous

As someone with a 13 inch drop (42 to 29), I can sympathize with the limitations of even an excellent tailor. Additionally, my height (6’1) makes pants difficult to fit because the legs are never long enough in relation to the waist. I finally went all out and bought the Italian suit that was practically made for me. Apparently, Europeans are built like me, so I should have searched there first!

Anonymous

Seriously, Anon?

I’ve got a 10-12in drop 42-43L and 30-33 pants depending on style, and I’ve found your usual Italian fare like Armani to be horridly baggy. Ungaro suits are OK-ish, though you still have to toss the pants. Haven’t found anything better 🙁

Anonymous

Suit drop has always been a problem for me. I live in a very rural part of the States. There are no custom tailors within a 2.5 hour drive. While in NY on business a while back I had my measurements professionally taken and a suit ordered. Unfortunately, I only ordered one. I recently called to order others and the new owners will not order any more for me until I come in so they could take my measurements again. Can anyone recommend an athletic cut suit or another off the rack suit that has a large drop that may work for me until I get in to see a tailor? I’ve got a 20in drop, a 56XL jacket and 36XL pant. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Unknown

If the dinner jacket illustrated is the item in question, shouldn’t the tailor have pointed out that dinner jackets do not traditionally come with flaps on the pockets?

Dressing well can be a minefield and an advantage of getting a tailored suit should surely be that the tailor has his own experience and advice to give?