Jamie Hamilton is New & Lingwood’s Made-to-Measure Specialist. Having worked in the best menswear environments for over ten years, he has a wealth of experience in tailoring, proportion and fit. He has dressed a broad spectrum of clients from royalty, to captains of industry, Members of Parliament, as well as many happy grooms!
Simon Maloney, our Product & Marketing Director asked him to explain the process behind this service….
Simon: From personal experience, it can be a little overwhelming if a customer is new to the world of made-to-measure tailoring. What should they expect from an appointment with you?
Jamie: The most important part of the appointment is the initial discussion, which is to understand the customer’s personal needs and expectations. It’s a dialogue ultimately and it will take up most of our time together. Once I’ve fully grasped this, it makes the rest of the experience much more straightforward. I’ll want to know their personal style, are they looking for discreet tailoring or a standout piece for a special occasion, whether they prefer single-breasted to double- breasted, pleated or un-pleated trousers, narrow or full legs, even the types of shoes they intend to wear with the final garment.
Simon: Once you’re happy that you’ve got this, what would the next stage be?
Jamie: Then we’d move onto the cloth selection. There’s a wide choice from some of the world’s best mills and it can be confusing, so I’d want to know if the customer prefers a wool or a linen, if it’s wool do they like flannel to a worsted cloth, and if they’re unsure, I’d then ask in which situations the suit would be worn; which countries? Is it for travel? I’d try and advise them based on pattern scale.
Simon: And once this is decided…...?
Jamie: I’d then want to go through the various styling options: lapels, pocket styles, trouser details and style, buttons, linings and other hidden details.
Simon: When do you take measurements?
Jamie: It’s only at this stage that I start to take the customer’s measurements. And it’s not just about simply measuring; I like to get the customer to try on a few jackets in our range, so that I can assess the customer’s ‘figurations’ and appropriate ‘block’ to use.
Simon: How long does a made-to-measure suit take to make?
Jamie: Depending on the chosen fabric’s availability, usually 8-10 weeks.
Simon: Are there any other details the customer might expect?
Jamie: For customers who are trying this service for the first time with us, we will usually leave cuffs and trouser hems unfinished because this enables us to achieve your precise measurements at the final fitting.
Simon: What happens at the final fitting?
Jamie: Once we’ve received the garment, we notify the customer and invite them in to try on the finished piece. If needed, we make additional alterations at that stage, to ensure that you are entirely satisfied with your purchase.
Simon: What if the customer gets home and feels he needs to make some minor changes?
Jamie: We believe that the final suit is as much ours as it is yours; after all, it carries the New & Lingwood label. For this reason, if you need any tweaks within the first few months, we would carry these out free of charge.
Simon: And what if the customer likes this suit and wants to order more?
Jamie: Once we know the customer’s block and fit and provided you have maintained the same shape, it makes it a much smoother and quicker experience for any subsequent orders. We are able to send swatches to you by post so there is no need even to visit the store if they are busy travelling or live in another country. Although selfishly, I like to see my customers come back, so that I can ask them how they’ve found the things I’ve made for them.
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