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Savile Row tailor Ray Peck reveals how to pick the perfect suit

September 23, 2014
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Picking the right suit can be overwhelming, with different weights, grades, fabrics and a whole range of different styles. Sometimes opting for a bespoke suit is the best option to make sure you step out in a well-fitted ensemble. Ray Peck, the Director of Tailoring at Pins and Stripes London, shared some of his top tips for picking the perfect suit with HELLO! FashionScroll below for Ray's tips on picking the right suit for you

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David Beckham is often spotted in well-fitted, tailored suits
Pick the right fabric for the job

There are so many weights and grades to choose from and it is vitally important to get it right. For example, if you're buying a suit for a wedding in the Bahamas, you need a nice lightweight fabric – don't go for a 14oz worsted fabric unless you want to melt away into a sodden wreck after just a few minutes. Your tailor should guide you and with this.

Take your time

Don’t be rushed by the tailor, you will likely be selecting a fabric from a small swatch and it is difficult to picture the finished suit. Think about what the suit is for, what details you want to include, the style. Your tailor should be offering you advice on all of these, and should know the right fabric design and style for your shape and height.

Avoid all glues and fusing

Many suits, particularly off the peg, are constructed cheaply and use a glue to bond the fabric to the inner fusing on the jacket, but when you take it to the dry cleaners, the bonding substance melts leaving bubbles on the jacket and lapels. Make sure to ask the tailor how the jacket was made, and go for a half or fully canvassed jacket.

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Ryan Gosling is renowned for his tailored suits on the red carpet
Your tailor should spot any peculiarities

If you know you have sloping shoulders, bow legs, or a full chest, your tailor should spot these and make allowances for them when he takes your measurements. If he doesn't… run!

Order a second pair of trousers

If you are ordering a suit for work, I always recommend a second pair of trousers. Most men take their jacket off once they get to the office so consequently the trousers wear out far more quickly than the jacket. By ordering a second pair you can alternate the trousers and extend the lifespan of the suit, and save money in the long term.

Bring your favourite suit along

If you have a favourite fitting suit in your wardrobe, bring it along when you order a new suit. Your tailor will be able to copy the fit from this and improve on any areas that are not quite right.

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David Gandy rarely steps out in casual clothes, preferring a well-fitted ensemble instead
Dress for the fitting

Once the suit is made and you are having your fitting, it's a good idea to wear the shirt, tie and shoes you will be wearing with it. This way you get a good idea of exactly how it will look, and enables the tailor to make any fine tuning adjustments.

Double check the final suit

When it's ready, take a few minutes to double check all the options you have asked for have been applied. Your tailor should have already checked but for your own peace of mind just take a look and make sure you are happy.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Occasionally you may notice something you are not entirely sure about with the fit, even though it appears to fit perfectly. Don't be afraid to mention it to the tailor and ask questions so he can take a closer look. If you are not 100% happy, say so.

Give it time

Like a new pair of shoes, a suit needs a few wears before it finally sits on you correctly. Give it 6-10 wears to allow it to mould to your body. If you notice anything you feel needs attention after that, give your tailor a call and he should be more than happy to take a look and advise you if any changes are needed, or make any necessary adjustments.

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