4 Ways to Speak to Your Suit Maker

Sean Connery Getting Tailored
 United Artists / Handout / Getty Images

A tailored suit is the holy grail of men’s fashion. Find out how to speak to your suit maker, according to Savile Row tailors David Mason of Anthony Sinclair and Gabriel John of October House.

1. Know your “drop”

In tailor speak, a “drop 6-inch” jacket is the standard measurement indicating a waist size that is 6″ smaller than the butt size. Don’t be afraid to deviate: With well-developed glutes, for example, ask your suitmaker for a “drop 7 inch” (or higher), to ensure the fit isn’t too snug.

2. Play the numbers

With wool suits, the higher the yarn count, the finer the fabric—but if you go too high, the suit will be prone to tearing.The magic number: 120–150. As for weight: Do you sweat a ton? Stick with “9oz, max—light enough for warm days but with plenty of body,” says John.

3. Canvass the place

Ask your tailor whether the suit is “fused,” “fully canvassed,” or “half-canvassed,” says John. “If it’s fused [just a fancy word for glued] turn around, run for the hills, and don’t let the dust settle behind you.” (For the record: Either of the other options is fine.)

4. Don’t be a snob about “handmade”

Don’t fear “machine” involvement in your suitmaking. What really matters is if the tailor hand-stitches the exterior. “It may be controversial, but on some elements, especially the hidden seams, machines can be better than humans,” says John.