What to expect when visiting a tailor in Bristol

When you visit a tailor in Bristol, your appointment will usually be divided into a styling and a measuring section.

The initial conversation

Some customers come into an appointment with their tailor with a clear understanding of the kind of suit they’re looking for. Others aren’t as sure about the styles they like and decide to come as they are. A good tailor can fill you in on all the styles available to you and give you an idea about which ones will suit you and which may not.

If you like, bring your tailor a picture from a magazine or an image of your favorite suit. This can be especially helpful for people new to tailoring who aren’t familiar with the terminology.

Your tailor may want to know what occasion you want the suit for, whether a wedding or for business. This will help him or her inform you about what styles and cloths are most appropriate.

Looking at swatches

After your initial conversation, your tailor is likely to show you a selection of swatches. Swatches are small samples of cloth, which allow you to touch and see the types of fabrics you might want to use for your suit. It’s one thing seeing a picture of a suit on a website or in a magazine, but quite another to be able to get a sense of a fabric with your own hands.

Any given tailor will have hundreds of swatches and will need to narrow down the selection a bit by asking you how heavy you want the cloth to be, whether you like patterns, and what colour will be most appropriate. The tailor will select swatches based on his or her insights into the kind of suit you’re looking for.

Picking the Styles

Your tailor will talk you through each step along the way of designing your bespoke suit. You’ll get to decide exactly what kind of jacket lapels, pockets, and buttons you want, as well as the type of lining you’d like in your suit; these are just some of the details you’ll need to decide on in conversation with your tailor. You’ll also get to decide how slim or relaxed you’d like your suit to fit.

But don’t worry: your tailor will talk you through all these details, explaining the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.

The goal of the conversation is to determine all the details necessary to create a unique pattern (or blueprint) for your suit. Your pattern will then be sent to the cutting table, along with your measurements.

Taking the measurements

Having decided on the cloth, style, colour, and fit of your suit, the next step is to get measured.

Your tailor should take, on average, about 24 measurements. This includes enough measurements to make a complete three-piece suit and an overcoat, if required. If you’re only looking to buy a two-piece suit, your tailor may take just 20 measurements.

When you come in for an appointment, try to wear the kind of shoes you wear while wearing a suit. This will help when it comes to measuring your leg. Also, don’t wear anything too bulky: you don’t want to make measuring close to the skin difficult. In other words, it’s better to wear a T-shirt and trousers (not jeans which tend to hang).

When your tailor measures you, they’ll make sure the tape measure fits snugly without being tight. Whatever kind of fit you’d like – whether relaxed, slim, or ultra slim – the tailor won’t change the way he or she measures you. The fit of the suit is actually created on the cutting table; in the measuring session, everyone is measured according to their actual body.