FAQ: The Perfect Suit

For a suit that is tailored perfectly to your body, you can go for either bespoke or made-to-measure creations. To shed some more light on the matter, Frédéric Gelberg, the made-to measure manager of Lanvin which is the oldest running couturier in Paris, shares valuable insights on sartorial personalization

The Perfect Suit

Outfit by Lanvin, shoes by Tod’s

What is a bespoke suit?
A bespoke suit is one that’s made completely by hand, including the finishes.

What makes bespoke suits different from made-to-measure pieces?
While a bespoke suit involves only human hands in the working process from start to finish, a made-to-measure suit usually requires part of the work to be done by a machine.

What kind of personalizations can one have on a made-to-measure suit?
The points of personalization can vary from having open buttonholes on the sleeve, which are a signature of fine tailoring, to getting one’s initials stitched into the underlining, to choosing a certain type of fabrics.

What’s the difference between Italian and French tailoring?
Patterns and colors, mostly. Italian suits usually sport bold patterns such as a large check and a combination of strong colors. In contrast, French suits may look a little bit plain at first glance, but a closer inspection often reveals subtle stripes or a fine check on the fabric. It’s all these little subtleties that matter most in French elegance.

Speaking of French style, what makes Lanvin’s made-to-measure unique?
Lanvin stays true to the French style. Everything is done in the spirit of fine tailoring—for example, we don’t use glue for anything as it might reduce the life of a suit. We also have a lot of fabric suppliers, from Belgium, England, France and Italy; and each season we provide 16 kinds of fabrics with a larger number of seasonal materials for the made-to-measure creations. For the cutting, there are two propositions: classical (atelier line) and fashion (profile line). The fashion cut typically has a shorter and slim-fit jacket.