While there’s nothing wrong with grooms purchasing their suits or tuxes off-the-rack, sometimes a custom-made approach can make the experience feel more creative and momentous. And if you've been thinking about going custom for your special day, you're not alone! Personalized formalwear has always been a huge trend in menswear, and when it comes to wedding day fashion, a bespoke look is at the top of the list for those looking to showcase their personal style.
With the help of menswear experts, Daniel Zisman and Kaitlyn Mentlick, we help break down everything you need to know when it comes to creating a perfect piece for one of the biggest days of your life.
Meet the Expert
The Process of Creating a Custom Suit or Tux
Unsurprisingly, the actual design process of creating a custom suit or tux is the most fun. “Your menswear stylist will listen to your vision and ideas for the wedding, and help that [become] a reality through the fitting and construction of the garments,” says Kaitlyn Mentlick, Boston market director at Blank Label. “You can expect a high level of customer service, attention to detail, and communication throughout the process.”
She also explains that grooms should expect to receive advice on all things related to wedding style, such as what their groomsmen should wear and what color tie would work best with a particular look. Following the initial meeting and consultation, grooms should also be prepared for few additional check-ins before the process is finalized. “The process entails a fitting, and typically one to two fittings post-creation to work through any needed adjustments,” notes Mentlick.
Daniel Zisman, public relations manager at Proper Cloth, also highlights that the creative process can vary depending on how much time the groom has. For grooms who start their experience early, a physical showroom visit is the best way to embark on creating a custom look. By visiting a showroom, you'll be able to see all the elements, first hand, that go into creating a custom suit or tuxedo. Elements such as “fabric construction, jacket style (lapel types), interior style, vent styles, exterior pocket styles, jacket interior lining, jacket melton, interior pocket styles, buttons, pants styles, pant cuff styles, pants waistbands, pants front styles, pants fly, suspender buttons, waistband closure, and pant pocket styles,” Zisman shares.
How Long Will It Take to Make a Custom Suit or Tux?
Mentlick suggests that grooms start the customization process about three to five months out. “Most custom makers can create a suit or tuxedo in two to five weeks, but the extra time before ordering (to design the look) and afterward (to adjust to perfection) are strongly encouraged,” she explains.
However, if you’re short on time, there are many retailers that offer a quick turnaround. Specifically, over at Proper Cloth, grooms can expect to receive their look in about four weeks. “There is no time difference for a customized size or design, versus a pre-made design on the site,” says Zisman. “All of our suiting is made-to-order, so nothing is made until the physical order is placed." The brand also provides a Smart Size Quiz, which will create a fully custom profile in just minutes, and Virtual Fittings via a video consultation.
Costs of Creating a Custom Suit or Tux
Custom menswear pieces will always vary based on a multitude of specifications like style, brand, design elements, and so much more! On average, a custom suit could cost anywhere from $800 to $4,000—a huge range! Thus, grooms opting for a custom suit or tux should have a budget in mind before entering the process.
And with the possibility of such a hefty price tag, we understand why many grooms may be deterred from creating a bespoke piece. However, before you completely write off this option, it's important to understand the benefits of going custom. When you consider the back and forth with a tailor (if you were to buy an off-the-rack look), the cost can often balance out.
“Sure, there is a little more work involved with creating a custom size, but once that is complete, you are set,” Mentlick shares. “No more trips back and forth to the tailor. If you factor in the cost and time of adjusting an off-the-rack garment, it is the obvious choice to go with a custom option.”
Customization Design Tips
If Mentlick were to give one piece of advice for custom designs, it would be to find an inspiration photo. “Since you can't always see exactly what your end result will be when placing your order, photos will aid in imagining the whole look,” she says. “It's also helpful to show to your stylist who can ensure you're making the right choices when it comes to customizing your outfit.”
As for Zisman, he has a few pointers for perfecting your tux. “Regarding jacket pockets, jetted pockets are your go-to here as they’re no-frills and the most formal option,” he shares. “In terms of belt loops vs. side adjusters, avoid belts whenever possible with black tie. Side adjusters are your best friend and will give your look a cleaner, dressier vibe.” Lastly, “Cuffs are for more casual trousers. When it comes to black tie, the clean lines of a plain hem make a huge impact,” he advises.
In all, and what's most important, is that you find a look and style that will make you feel your best. When it comes to creating your custom look, as with all aspects of wedding planning, be sure to have fun and stay true to who you are and what you want.