After having tried their offer of trousers and shirts (article here), it was time for me to place my first order for a made to measure suit from Collaro. This was my first time ordering a remote made to measure suit. I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about the idea of having a made-to-measure jacket made remotely, but that was without counting on Collaro's expertise and flawless support.
I'll take you with me to explain everything in detail! Let's get started!
My state of mind
First of all, you should know that I ordered this suit with the intention of wearing it between November and March/April. You know by now my taste for light and natural colours like brown, beige, cream, etc... even in winter. Well, this winter I wanted to go back to some basics and classics of the men's wardrobe and change my habits a bit!
I think it also comes from the fact that at the moment I'm very inspired by English suits and aesthetics, and their slightly "rough" side, which I appreciate very much in winter.
It's therefore quite naturally that I started looking at flannels, but not just any flannels.
Choosing the fabric
I have had in mind for quite a while now a very specific suit, but I never really had it in me to commission it, until now! Maybe I was afraid I would not get enough out of it, or by fear of not being able to pull it off?
Well, after keeping it in mind for a long time, I came to these conclusions:
- My wardrobe really has evolved since I started thinking about this suit, and I can afford to have a suit that I wear a little less often.
- The environment in which I evolve gives me more freedom than before.
- I now have absolutely no doubt that I can pull off such a suit.
I had made up my mind, I was going to commission my first pinstripe suit.
My requests were the following: a textured fabric, pinstripe, stripes that were not too wide apart, a fabric that was heavy enough but not too heavy as I would be wearing it a lot indoors, in a very classic and "rough" colour.
This year Collaro have two pinstripes in their collection that caught my eye: a blue and a dark grey. I was worried that the blue would be too business-like for what I was looking for, therefore I went for the grey one!
It is a 320 gram English flannel, with a 1.6cm spacing between each stripe! Exactly what I was looking for!
Choosing the suit
Now that I've chosen the fabric, I still have to choose the type of suit I want. Double-breasted? Single breasted? What lapel width? Which pockets? What pleats? What about the cuff of the trousers? Belt or side adjusters? A lot of details that actually have their importance. So here we go!
Let's start with the jacket:
I chose a half-canvassed construction. I don't think I've got the eye for a fully canvassed jacket yet, but I will! So in the meantime, the half canvassed is perfect for me!
If you're going to make a pinstripe suit, you might as well go all the way... So I went for a double-breasted suit with 10.2 centimeter lapels. It's (much) thinner than what I'm used to (remember my first pinstripe), but I wanted something more understated maybe. I also worked with Collaro on the notch of my lapel so that it would be fairly flat. This is the advantage of working with a MTM company that has its own workshops and cutter. I'll let you appreciate the result on the photos!
I opted for flap pockets, which I will wear mostly tucked in to get the jetted pocket look I like on my more formal suits. I chose to make a semi-lined jacket because as I mentioned earlier, I will be wearing this suit a lot indoors, I rarely take my jacket off indoors, and I don't like to be warm. I'd rather be cool!
On the sleeves I had 3 functional non touching buttons put. I like the little tack they do at Collaro on the sleeve. It's a detail, and has no purpose, but it's nice and I like it.
Now onto the trousers:
You know how much value I give to the trousers in my outfits. I'm convinced that they can make the outfit perfect or totally disastrous. Well, that's also the case with the jacket. But we still see more ugly trousers than ugly jackets.
I hesitated for a long time between belt loops and side adjusters on these trousers. I was torn between the desire to fall into the very classic suit with belt loops, and the desire to make trousers cut to be worn with braces. In the end, I chose the second option. After thinking about it for a while, I wanted something a little less busy on the waistband, as the suit fabric is not the most discreet.
So I had an extended tab made with a belt loop to keep it in place, and a button. I added to this "pistol" side adjusters. The rectangular buckle is made of steel. I really like this belt as it is quite timeless, and I don't seem to get tired of it as quickly as all the others I've tried. I also find Collaro's pistol adjusters particularly aesthetically pleasing, especially with the little loop that keeps the excess fabric in place. Nothing too eccentric, and that's what I like about it.
When it came to the pleats, I took the easy way out and went for something I know well: double reverse pleats. I love the depth and comfort they provide, while remaining quite discreet. Next time I order a suit, I'll go for forward pleats as on my first suit! It will be a bit of a change.
Recently, I noticed that my usual 5 centimeter cuff didn't suit me anymore, and that I thought it was too big... On these trousers, I tried a 4,45 centimeter cuff, and I'm very happy with it! I'm thinking of going to 4 centimetres for my next suits. What do you think?
Only one back pocket on these trousers because... well I don't know but why not? I wanted to try it! And it looks neat.
The trousers are lined at the back and front of the thighs! It's more comfortable for a winter suit I think. I also had buttons added for braces!
After validating the order, Collaro will systematically send you an email to clarify some points about the measurements you have taken, and to ask you for additional information in order to best approach your order.
They will ask you to send photos of how you took the measurements, a photo of a worn jacket to see your posture, in short a very pleasant and above all very reassuring follow-up that shows their competence and attention to detail.
The trial jacket
As I said at the beginning of my article, I was quite dubious about the idea of making a remote made-to-measure suit . Not so much because of the trousers, as I now know my measurements quite well now, but rather because of the jacket.
Indeed, the jacket, especially when it is a double breasted, does not really leave any margin for error. And this is true both visually and in terms of comfort. If the cut is not perfect or almost perfect, it's over.
In order to be sure to have the most convincing result possible, Collaro advised me to use the trial jacket service.
For those of you who are not familiar with this service, let me explain:
Collaro offer the possibility to make a jacket in a test fabric to check your measurements and adjust what is needed for the final jacket. This service is, in my opinion, almost mandatory if this is the first time you are making a remote made-to-measure suit. It's a small price to pay for such a service in my opinion. Not only does it reassure you, but it will also ensure that your jacket is absolutely perfect when you receive the final product. When I received my test jacket, I realised that the sleeves were just a little too long, and Collaro explained that they would also modify my shoulder line slightly.
Collaro also asked me to let them know how much of the shirt fabric I wanted to be visible on my suit at the sleeves. I have always preferred to expose very little of my shirt, so I had them remove 0.5 centimetres from the test jacket.
I was lucky to have an "easy" fitting because I have a very "basic" physique without any distinctive features, but also because Collaro made a very good first jacket. And yet Collaro still managed to see things that needed to be changed to improve the line of the garment. It is their cutter who checks the photos of the test jackets, which allows him to adjust his work to make the most perfect jacket possible. His expertise allows him to rectify the test jacket, even with more complex physiques.
This is what a trial jacket looks like!
Receiving the suit
The suit arrived about 7 weeks after ordering. This is slightly longer than normal, as I needed a trial jacket and was away for the few days I had to give feedback on the trial jacket! But Collaro generally make their jackets in 5-6 weeks! To make sure they get the jackets right, Collaro don't accept rush orders with tight deadlines. For them, good work takes time, and they are right.
Receiving the suit, everything is absolutely perfect. The Collaro team and the cutter did an amazing job and the result is everything I expected.
The packaging is impeccable, the jacket is well folded and the trousers too so there are no irreversible creases.
As you can see, I opted for a very classic cut. The jacket is not excessively fitted, the sleeves are wide (yes, you can even choose the width of the sleeves at Collaro), the jacket is long, the trousers break slightly, the trousers are straight, and the cuff is not very big! In short, the recipe for a perfect suit in my opinion! I particularly like this lapel on which we worked with Collaro. A bit vintage and very "wise", but at the same time, it's an imposing double-breasted. I think it's very well executed.
My final opinion on this Collaro suit
I have had this suit for some time now. I have already had the opportunity to wear it, and to live in it. The measurements are so precise that it is very comfortable. I have always found double-breasted suits to be more restrictive than single breasted ones, but thanks to the cut of this one, I don't feel like I'm wearing a suit at all.
I find the cut to be very well done and the fabric is particularly comfortable to wear. It is perhaps my suit that has received the most compliments. People are not necessarily used to seeing suits like this one, almost from another era. And I thought I would get some negative comments, but so far: absolutely none!
To me the only improvement that could be made would be to structure the shoulder line a little more. Maybe a little padding? We will see about this on my next suit with Collaro!
In the meantime, I invite you to have some fun on Collaro's online configurator. This is the perfect time to order a suit for the winter months, so don't hesitate! Cease the opportunity to start the year 2023 in style with a nice made to measure suit!
Thank you for reading me, see you soon for another article!