Lisa O’Shaughnessy | Men’s Personal Stylist | Tailoring Consultant
When discussing my work as a stylist, people are surprised to find that I have marginally more male clients, than I do female clients at certain times of the year. With the age ranges on the whole falling into 2 groups, 28-38 and 50-55; however if you are outside of these categories, fear not I won’t turn you away!
One of the things I find really interesting and enjoyable about being a men’s stylist, is that many clients will express an interest in cultivating a sartorial style, by incorporating bespoke or made-to-measure tailoring into their wardrobe. Given the numerous options of Savile Row, London and beyond, this can be a mind-boggling choice, with clients having no idea where to start.
This is where my background as fashion designer (I also work as a freelance designer) really comes into play. I first of all make sure to match the correct tailor to the client’s personality and budget - both of which are extremely important factors. Having found a suitable establishment, I schedule a pre-appointment for myself to select several suitable fabrics and linings out of a vast fabric library and go through design details. When my client attends his appointment, everything is ready and waiting for him, making it a stress free experience.
For those of you thinking about visiting a tailor, below outlines 3 questions that I am often asked:
What Is A Bespoke Suit?
A bespoke suit is defined as a suit that is cut and made by hand. Hand cutting means that an individual paper pattern (see photo) is made specifically only for that customer and is then refined over 3-4 fittings, a couple of weeks apart. Thus enabling a superior fit that cannot be achieved by anything off-the-peg or made-to-measure.
Hand making/stitching also has both functional and aesthetic benefits. Functionally, it enables the tailor to shape and structure the jacket and trousers around the customer’s body shape. Knowing exactly to the millimetre where to add pockets, the width of the lapel and the break point of the jacket (first button position). Aesthetically, the delicacy of the stitching and detailing subtly elevates it above anything ready made. It is to put it simply the best suit money can buy you.
How Is A Made-To-Measure Suit Different From Bespoke?
Unlike the bespoke suit the made-to-measure suit doesn’t come with a hefty price tag! Made-to-measure is the middle ground between bespoke and off-the-peg. The suit would be cut, usually by machine, from an existing pattern, and adjusted according to the customer's measurements.With off the peg styles, you would wear the suit as it comes, possibly only altering the leg or sleeve length. At the other end of the scale, the bespoke suit is made for an individual entirely from scratch – every aspect is chosen by the customer and made explicitly for him.
The majority of the suit will machine finished such as the seams, but many tailors add in extra hand finished details like buttonholes or hand stitching at the lapels. The fit will also be far superior to ready-to-wear and a degree of customisation (depending on the establishment) will be allowed.
In short, made-to-measure offers the quickest and most efficient way to have a beautifully fitting suit made to your own specifications. This is a route I often suggest for Grooms and their Groomsmen, as well fitting wedding suits make better photos and a happy wife!
How Can I Incorporate Tailoring Into ‘Business Casual’?
With some companies now adopting a ‘business casual’dress code and suits are only worn on intermittent occasions for formal meetings, is there still a place for tailoring? In short the answer is an overwhelming yes! Tailored separates is a stylish and economical answer to this question. No longer having to keep 2 piece suits for work or weddings and wearing an obvious suit jacket with jeans doesn’t quite hit the spot. Tailored bespoke separates are less expensive than a full suit and can be worn on both formal and casual occasions.
Business Casual means after years of wearing a bog standard suit for years, you now have the chance to inject style and personality into your work attire. A tailored blazer in a subtle Prince of Wales, herringbones and a windowpane check is the perfect antidote to perk up a work wardrobe. However caution should be applied when adding trousers, complete your overall look by pairing with plain solid colour fabrics. To hold a separates look together make sure to go for mutually complementary tones across all elements.
All tailoring appointments take place in London, as this is where I am based. Whilst I am not affiliated with any tailors, I am able to access discounts for customers where possible.
If you would like to find out more about booking a tailoring appointment, or personal styling for men please do get in touch. More information about personal styling, wardrobe management and personal shopping also on my website.
Thank you for reading.