Dear Simon,

I hope that you don’t mind me emailing you, but I have a few questions regarding bespoke and made-to-measure suits that I need to ask someone who knows about style, and you seem to be one of the most knowledgeable on the subject.

I’m looking to get my first tailored suit, and I think that I’ve settled on my tailor of choice which is Thom Sweeney (it was a decision between Tom Baker and Thom Sweeney, but I feel that Tom Baker’s style may be just a little too outlandish for my taste).

The suit will initially be used for my wedding in Las Vegas, but after this I’m hoping to use it for special occasions and possibly the odd “suit” day at work etc. I don’t wear suits regularly for my job, and due to the costs, I’m hoping to get a multi-purpose suit, striking a good balance between formal & casual.

So, onto my questions. I’m looking at getting a nice 3 piece, navy colour, maybe edging towards midnight blue. The cut of the suit in the picture above is absolutely stunning. However, I’m thinking of adding some extra personal touches, just to make it more of my own.
Would opting for a M2M suit allow me to customise things such as the colour of the lining? I’m hoping to get a vivid green colour lining for the suit.
Are bespoke buttons available? I was wondering if I could get buttons that had a very slim matching green rim to the button on the suit or waistcoat. 

Thing is, am I going to get laughed out of the shop if I asked for things like this? Would it spoil the suit? Is there anything else that I could do to make the suit that little bit more personal to me?
I hope that you may have time to give me some advice on this, as I really am a little lost in the whole tailoring world!

Yours sincerely, 

Hi Matt,

Let’s start with the easy questions first. Yes, a made-to-measure or bespoke suit will allow you to change the colour of the lining, and there’s quite a variety so I’m sure you’ll be able to find the green you want. Buttons, however, will be harder. There’s normally a choice of colours of horn, but you’ll struggle to find the green you’re looking for. You’ll have to source them yourself or – probably best in my opinion – stick with brown or black horn.

You won’t be laughed out of the shop for either question. Thom and Luke are great guys and very open to style questions.

As to things that could make it more personal, I would stick to picking out the cloth, and decisions like the number of buttons, lapel shape etc. – particularly as this is your first tailored suit and you want it to be versatile.

But this moves onto the tricky area of casual/formal versatility. The suit you have picked out from my previous post is actually a midnight blue tuxedo – with satin-covered buttons and satin lapels. Thom and Luke will definitely make you a suit that is similar, but losing the satin elements to take it away from tuxedo territory. Above is a suit from their website lookbook which demonstrates this – albeit in a different blue and without peak lapels.

However, a midnight blue suit (with the Thom Sweeney trademark horseshoe waistcoat) is never going to be casual. It will be great for your wedding and for the office, but won’t be as versatile as, say, a tweed or woolen check. Indeed, nothing will bridge to gap between that and a wedding. They are at different ends of the formality spectrum.

I hope that helps