Commissioning a Made to Measure Suit with Beg Your Pardon

It’s time for a warm weather suit.

I’m commissioning it with Beg Your Pardon; a tailoring store on Union Street in Adelaide.

It’s a lovely little store with an atmosphere of classic charm, run by local entrepreneur and menswear aficionado Michael Bois. The store offers a range of ready-to-wear garments in addition to the MTM service, including a range of gentlemen’s accessories such as neckwear, pocket squares, hats, shoes and even a line of niche fragrances by Parfums Frapin.

Making an Appointment

The booking process is all online through the store’s website, and is quite straightforward. Clicking through allows you to choose a reservation from a calendar of available dates and times, then you fill out a small section relating to what you wish to discuss – i.e. making a suit, shirt, purchasing a specific item etc. – and a reminder to bring reference photos if you’re looking to make something in particular.

It only takes a couple of minutes from start to finish, then you’ll receive a confirmation email once the appointment is booked.

It’s straightforward and easy to navigate.

The Store and the Experience

As I mentioned before, the store is cosy, warm and inviting. It conveys just the kind of atmosphere that suits the menswear niche.

Michael’s greeting is a reflection of his overall manner, which is warm, genuine and friendly. He’s eminently knowledgeable about his craft and enjoys chatting about the finer points of construction and how certain things are put together or altered in order to create a certain silhouette, while doing the fitting. This is something I think everyone can appreciate; a budding sartorialist gets to absorb ideas, a seasoned customer gets an opportunity to discuss menswear with a like mind (so does the budding sartorialist) and someone brand new to this kind of experience gets both education and reassurance at once.

For an initial fitting, one of the ready-to-wear jackets is used as a reference point so Michael can see what would need to be tweaked in comparison to a standard pattern in order to ensure a correct fit. This allows for easier visualising of things like button stance, jacket length and lapel proportions.

For me personally, ordering MTM has become easier now that I have learned how certain proportions fit me better. For example, I know that a trouser front rise of 12″ and a jacket length of 31.5 to 32″ work very well for me.

However, even if I wasn’t sure of what would work best for me, I know that I could trust Michael to outfit me in a suit that would have flattering proportions. This was demonstrated quite clearly by his conversation and his manner, and most importantly his understanding of preferences between classic and modern tailoring proportions.

So, what am I ordering?

I went in knowing I wanted something lightweight and breathable for summer wear. I ended up deciding on a fabric made from a mix of wool, silk and linen in a mid blue colour.

I’ve gone with mid brown horn buttons. Not only do they complement the fabric nicely, but I think they’ll make the jacket more versatile as a separate.

My secondary goal with this commission – given that I still don’t have a wide range of summer tailoring in my wardrobe – was to try and make a suit which would have high versatility if worn as separates. I’m confident that this design will be.

The jacket will be single breasted in a regular two button configuation, with peak lapels, extended shoulders and a fairly plain quarter lining. I didn’t feel like going for a loud lining with this one, which surprised Michael as he knows I tend to wear less conservative colours and patterns on the outside. I don’t really know what drew me to a conservative lining, perhaps it’s a sign of my growing appreciation for understatement.

The trousers will be high waisted, with turn-ups, single pleats and side adjusters. I think it’s going to be a splendid suit, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

And now we wait…

One of the things I enjoy about commissioning clothing is the delayed gratification aspect. A few weeks’ wait gives time to get excited to see the product.

The initial consultation was a really good experience and I’m looking forward to the next time I visit Beg Your Pardon.

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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