Seek out bespoke.
Credit: Photograph by Chad Springer

The word custom is so overused that it doesn't mean much anymore. A custom shirt can run the gamut from a carefully constructed Turnbull & Asser from London to a Gap Oxford from the mall with your initials embroidered on. A custom suit can be an altered off-the-rack number or a carefully constructed original. Well-dressed men know to look for tailors who use the term bespoke, which refers to the bolt of fabric a client orders from a suit maker. It signifies something owned by exactly one man and implies that the suit will be based on a paper pattern hand-drawn to the exact specifications of your body. This may be an increasingly rare service, but it is still the ultimate in men's clothing.

Remember that a true bespoke suit should be designed to serve you and your particular needs – whether that means hidden pockets or exclusive fabrics. The sleeves should be attached by hand so you can move freely. You should be able to play some pickup ball if you want to – of course, we don't recommend it, but that's your call.