Tailors

If you’ve had a custom suit made recently, you may have noticed a mind-boggling number of choices piling up in front of you. Would you like contrast threading? Two or six-millimeter pick-stitching? How do you feel about buttonholes?

The decisions are easier to handle with a trusted tailor, but with Web shops opening up left and right, it can be a genuinely befuddling moment. Unless you’ve spent the last few years studying StyleForum, you might not know the coded sartorial meaning of kissing buttonholes or the dozen other affectations swirling around the edges of a custom suit.

So we’re going to explain it all, here and now. The good news is, it’s simpler than you think.

The fabric matters. The fit matters. The cut matters. Everything else… not so much. So don’t worry about it.

Men’s style forums are full of questions asking about the “right choice” between double vents and single vents, or contrasting liners, or the right number of buttons to have on your cuff. It can be hard to admit that there’s just no right answer. There isn’t even really a style. Just wear what you like.

Sure, you’ll find a few more kissing buttonholes in Italy than in England, but this is a moment for marking out your individual style. It can be hard to face down that many choices. (If we were feeling fancy, we’d refer to the Paradox of Choice, which is all about how ten options can be more stressful than two.) There are few enough opportunities for individual style in the world, and you should grab this one with both hands.

And, if necessary, check out a lookbook or two.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom