Tailoring a (Wedding) Suit in Singapore

Updated on 8th September, 2010.

Exactly three weeks after I had my first appointment with my tailor, I went back for a fitting session.

To be honest, there was no major problems when I first tried on the suit. Overall, it looked great when I first tried on the suit! However, we took our time to go through the details, after which we decided there were some minor alterations to be made :

  • The pants was a wee bit loose, so I requested for the waistline to be reduced by half an inch.
  • The shirt came with single, instead of double cuff. I was informed that it’ll be changed, before I even noticed it.
  • Turned out my left and right arms (not my shirt sleeve) were not of equal lengths. Minor alteration had to be done to achieve an even, symmetrical look.

A second fitting session in one week’s time, which should also be the final session. Will post another update in a couple of days!

The post below was first published on 15th August, 2010.

If you are a normal guy in Singapore like myself, chances are you will probably have little need to wear a suit on a regular basis. Just as I have recently discovered, the process of tailoring a suit can be pretty mind-boggling if you did not do your homework prior to visiting a tailor. Lucky for me, I was well prepared for the onslaught!

Going for off-the-rack suits may be a little easier when it comes to decision making, but a made-to-measure suit at the tailor is definitely worth considering. Nothing beat a well fitting suit to bring out the best in you, right?

Over the weekend, I have made a visit to a tailor to make my very first suit. Meanwhile, I’ve put together a little Suit 101 for the average guy who knows next to nothing about a suit, listing the possible choices you’ll have to make while at the tailor. I guess that’s all for now! I’ll have to wait till end of this month before I go for my first fitting session at the tailor.

Good luck hunting for your perfect suit, and happy reading!

Suit Tailoring 101

1. Colour & Material

Take your pick! For obvious reasons, black is classic and most versatile, going well in a variety of situations. Also, you get to choose from a variety of texture and materials.

2. Single-Breasted vs Double-Breasted

In the case of a single-breasted suit, when the jacket or coat is buttoned up, there is only a narrow overlap of fabric. Most of the suits you see here in Singapore are single-breasted. Check out Wikipedia’s detailed explanation for single-breasted and double-breasted.

3. Lapels

Lapels are the folded flaps of cloth on the front of a jacket or coat. Basically, there are 3 types of lapels – notched, peaked, or shawl. Notched lapels is the most common and versatile. See here and Wikipedia for more information.

4. Number of Buttons

You can have 1, 2 or 3 buttons depending on what style you like. Compared to a 3-button suit, 2 buttons create a deeper ‘V’ at the front of the suit, providing a illusion of height for you. From what we understand from the tailor, 1-button jacket is more casual. While it is fine as a dinner jacket, it is not formal enough for a business suit.

5. Front Pockets

Typically, one breast pocket and two at the waist level. Waist pockets can be horizontal or slanted, and with or without flaps. The tailor can make flaps that can be tucked into the pocket, hiding it.

6. Flaps

You can choose to have the front flaps of the jacket to be rounded at the bottom, or straight.

7. Vents

A vent is an opening at the back of the suit. Suits have either single, double, or no vents. While the single vent is the most traditional, one thing about it is that when the tail panels are pulled apart, you see the part of the anatomy people would rather not show. My personal preference is a double-vented suit.

8. Long Sleeve Shirt

A basic, white shirt should do the trick. You do get to choose what type of collar you’ll like, what shirt material, and whether you’ll like your shirt to be single or double (french) cuff.

9. Pants

Just when you thought it is all over, there is the pants to worry about! I would go with a flat front as it looks better, though pleated front is a possible choice. At the pants leg, a simple rule is that flat front and cuffs do not go together. What is a cuff, you might ask? See Wikipedia here. You have a choice of making the opening of the pants front pocket slanted, or straight down. Also, would you like buttons on your back pockets?

10. Accessories

You’ll probably need some little things to help bring out the look. Perhaps a tie, or a set of cuff-link?

11. Resources

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