Mens

Everything You Need To Know About Men’s Suit Tailoring

By Katie Stow
mj bale wedding suit

For so many grooms, picking out their wedding suit will the first time dealing with a big-ticket clothing item and wrangling the often-confusing world of custom tailoring. However, it’s an essential part of the wedding planning process so we’ve grilled the suiting geniuses over at MJ Bale to answer every single question you may have about wedding suits.

Take a look through this helpful post to figure out how much wedding suits cost, whether you should go off-the-rack or custom and where the heck to start with picking out suit fabrics.

What style of wedding suit should I wear?

Your style of suit will depend on both the theme and location of the wedding, which ultimately determines its formality. The primary consideration when selecting your suit is to consider colour and then the fabric – the rest can be decided later! So, what location dictates which groom suit style?

Best groom suit for a church wedding

If you’re thinking about having your wedding in a church, a tuxedo, or a conservative suit (navy is the most versatile choice) made of superfine Merino wool is de rigour. However, weddings held outside institutions have move leeway.

Best groom suit for a garden wedding

Garden weddings work best with suits that complement their settings, stronger colours (in solid or patterns) and cloths in wool and/or wool blended with other natural fibres like cotton and linen.

Best groom suit for a beach wedding

Beach weddings demand light-weight fabrics and warm colours (if opting for a dark jacket consider wearing a pair trousers in a brighter colour and vice-versa).

Best groom suit for a cocktail wedding

The cocktail wedding is the most flexible of options, so there’s are no strict rules.

What’s the difference between a tailored suit and a non-tailored suit? 

The terms tailored suit and non-tailored suit can often be confusing. It is better to look at them with “custom” and “off the rack”.

A custom suit is a suit that is made specifically for the client. This involves a fitter capturing a series of personal measurements which is then passed onto a cutter who then drafts up a pattern (the blueprint of suit), and then to a tailor who constructs the suit. Often a custom suit will involve at least two fittings. The first fitting is to capture the client’s details; the second to make any adjustments to the suit if required.

An “off-the-rack” suit by contrast is a suit you can buy in-store. Unlike a custom suit there is no pattern that has been drafted specifically for the client. These suits are cut to a standardised shape and are designed to be altered by the client where required to achieve their desired fit.

Why are wedding suits expensive? 

Suits are expensive for multiple reasons the most important ones being construction and fabric and that they should only be considered expensive relative to other clothes, because at no other point in history have suits been more affordable than they are now!

Unlike simpler garments like a t-shirt, jacket or jeans, a suit is comprised of multiple layers of material each of them playing a special role in creating a distinct shape and comfortable fit. Each of these layers interact with each other in unique ways and vary according to the weight of the cloth, the type of construction, as well as the body of the wearer. Also, it goes without saying that there’s a high degree of expertise required when manufacturing a suit that goes beyond most other types of clothing.

The second reason suits are expensive is the fabric. A good quality suit will be woven from high quality natural fibres such as superfine wool, linen and cotton. These fabrics are designed to maintain their good looks throughout the day without loosening their performance. Natural fibres are breathable, offer flexibility, and conform to the shape of the wearer over time to produce a more individual shape.

 

Are tailored wedding suits more expensive than off-the-rack high street suits? Why? 

Yes and no. Tailored or made to measure suits can be more expensive than off-the-rack high-street suits due to the labour involved in fitting a made to measure suit however there are other factors which might make the price of an off-the-rack high street suit higher. This includes but is no limited to: cloth quality, quality of construction, cloth exclusivity, design exclusivity and whether or not a high-end designer label is hanging off!

How much should I budget for a wedding suit?

At a minimum you should budget $500 for an off-the-rack suit plus an additional $200 for alterations. This is assuming that the suit is made of natural fibres, has a half-canvas construction (a layer of fibres between the suit outer and interlining that allows it to conform to your body shape).

For a custom suit you should budget at least $900 to receive anything of reasonable quality.

 

What’s the lead time on wedding suit tailoring? How far in advance should I have my wedding suit made?

For an off-the-rack suit the recommended lead time for alterations is 1-2 weeks. A made-to-measure suit typically takes 4-12 weeks to make (depending on the number of fittings and specifications of the client).

 

What if I put on/lose weight between the tailoring and the wedding?

If you’re buying an off-the-rack suit an alterations tailor can adjust the suit to fit you within a 1-2 week window (assuming that the amount of weight loss or gain is not dramatic). A made-to-measure suit once completed can be adjusted by an alterations tailor as well!

If I’m on a budget, how can I still achieve a tailored look without having to invest in a full wedding suit?

If you are on a budget the best way to achieve a tailored look is to invest in a blazer or sportscoat which can be worn with pre-existing trousers or smart-casual pants like chinos. This will allow you to reap some of the benefits of tailoring without making a full commitment.

 

What’s the difference between these different wedding suit materials: Wool, Cotton, Linen, Mohair, Silk, Blends?

WOOL WEDDING SUIT // Wool is a natural fibre sourced from sheep. It is breathable, thermoregulating and has a natural spring meaning that it will hold is shape well. Wool of a superfine grade has a natural lustre that makes it suitable for more formal suiting.

COTTON WEDDING SUIT // Cotton is a natural fibre sourced from the cotton plant. It is extremely durable, breathable and non-irritating. It is most often seen in casual suiting.

LINEN WEDDING SUIT // Linen is a natural fibre sourced from the flax plant. It is one of the oldest known textile fibres (first sourced along the riverbanks of the Nile) and is extremely durable, breathable, highly absorbent and dries easily. This quality makes it a favourite of lightweight spring/summer suiting.

MOHAIR WEDDING SUIT // Mohair is a luxurious fibre sourced shorn from the fleece of the Angora goat. Like wool mohair is durable with a natural spring that gives it resilience and helps it gives it shape. At comparable levels of fineness mohair sheen and lustre is superior to wool. It is typically reserved for only the most formal tailoring and can be blended with wool to bolster its appearance and performance.

SILK WEDDING SUIT // Silk is a natural fibre sourced from the cocoon of the silkworm. When refined, its most significant quality is its luxurious lustre which makes it ideal for accessories such as ties and pocket squares intended for formal occasions. It is also occasionally blended with other fibres in cloths intended for tailoring for a more polished appearance.

BLENDED WEDDING SUIT // A blended cloth is a cloth made of a blend of fibres. Blended cloths are engineered to combine the benefits of different fibres to varying degrees.

 

If you’re now ready to get your groom wedding suit, we really recommend heading into MJ Bale to find the perfect suit for you. Take a look at their wedding collection here and happy shopping!

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