Today for my first article, I'm taking you through my experience of ordering my very first made to measure suit!
But before I get to the ordering, and what I chose, let's put it in context.
As I already mentioned in my presentation, you know that I fell into the sartorial world like many of us, thanks to Hugo Jacomet's videos. It is therefore quite natural that I started by developing tastes relatively similar to his at the beginning.
Therefore, I started to appreciate full suits, formal shoes, wide lapels, ties. This approach got me started quickly, but it also had its drawbacks. I enjoyed a style that I couldn't really wear every day, although it was totally to my taste. When you're under 20, it's not necessarily easy to wear a full suit and shoes every day. You also lack the opportunity to do so.
Some people would say that we should do what we like, regardless of what people think. But I still believe that you have to adapt to the context of what is around you, to a certain extent.
In order to choose the shop that would make my suit, I once again listened to Hugo Jacomet's advice, and that's how my choice quickly fell on Howard's. I had discovered the shop during a video about their shirts, and when I went to their website, I noticed that they also offered a made-to-measure suit service.
Back then, I had set a budget of 1000 euros, and Howard's seemed to meet all my expectations at the time, so I made an appointment.
The 1st appointment
I went to the first appointment with my family, accompanied by my brothers and my parents, as their opinions were particularly important to me. I was greeted by Quentin, who was in charge of the shop in Paris at the time and who you probably know on Instagram as @quenteu. I was very well received, and I was able to chat with Quentin for several hours. In the end, Quentin advised me to take a few days to think about the two fabrics I was hesitating between.
The 2nd appointment
So, I went back to Howard's two days later, quite certain of my choice. And as Quentin pointed out to me, you never regret your choice because you won't see how the costume would have looked if it had been made with the other fabric anyway. After having clearly defined what I wanted, we were finally able to start the customisation phase of my suit. “The funny part” as Quentin would say.
I went for a double-breasted suit, with 12 centimeters lapels, a structured shoulder, 3 seasons blue Vitale Barberis Canonico fabric, flap pockets, and 1 millimeter AMF, if I remember correctly.
And finally, an aubergine lining. I chose brown horn buttons and 4 kissing buttons on the sleeves.
For the trousers, I took French (forward) pleats, side tabs, an extended waistband with a single loop, no hem, and a slanted finished bottom.
I left delighted, and eager to get my suit, which was due to be delivered 4 weeks later.
The 3rd appointment
A month later or so, I get the phone call I was looking forward to: "your suit is ready to be picked up at the shop". A week passed and I finally found the time to go to the shop with enough time to enjoy the experience.
Quentin was not there that day and I was welcomed by Frédéric Costa, founder of Howard's.
We chatted for a while and then quickly moved on to the fitting of the suit.
Frédéric had warned me that a first made-to-measure suit was never perfect, and that each time I placed an order I had to adjust a few details to get it just right. However, for a first suit, Frédéric was surprised to see that the suit was close to perfection.
The fact that I am a size 48, and that the fitting jacket already looked good on me, helped make the process easier. The alterations to be made to the fitting jacket were not substantial.
During the fitting, I was delighted with the way the suit looked and felt, and it took me a good hour before I finally decided to take it off.
How I feel, a year later
In May 2022, it has been a year since I owned the suit. The least we can say is that in 1 year, my tastes have changed a lot. Indeed, all the purchases, or almost, that I made a year before, have been resold or I stopped wearing. My style has become much more classic, with looser cuts, longer jackets, high waists, and lots of odd jackets.
Obviously a wardrobe is built over time to be representative of a taste, and like many, some of my previous purchases no longer reflect my tastes and the evolution of these.
However, this Howard's suit is one of those purchases that I do not regret. Indeed, Quentin had perfectly anticipated my tastes and their evolution by directing me towards a more classic style at the time. The ankle opening seemed wide to me at the time, and today I would have gone even wider!
Of course, if I had to do it again today, I would change some measurements, like the length of the jacket, the height of the waist, or the general width of the trousers. But when I made the suit, Quentin insisted that the measurements were quite classic, so it's really not far from my current ideal!
I would like to thank Howard's for my first experience in tailoring, and especially Quentin who gave me the best advice.
See you soon for a new article.