Quick Guide to Custom Tailoring

Here a few things to know when you are considering a custom garment:
  • Custom-made is sometimes referred to as bespoke, especially in the UK among the legendary custom tailors of London’s Savile Row. In the 17-century, tailors would put aside the bolts of cloth chosen by particular clients. These bolts were then “spoken for.” Custom-made means the garment is made from scratch to your exact measurements in your choice of fabric, style and details.
  • Off-the rack (or ready-to-wear or off-the-peg) is the term for mass produced suits and jackets that are made in standard sizes. Although the higher end product can have some hand sewing, off-the-rack garments do not compare to custom in fit or workmanship.
  • Proper fit is an important advantage of a custom garment. Your suit jacket fits properly when it hugs your shoulders and does not bunch or extend beyond them. The sleeves should just graze the crease of the wrist. The front of the jacket should drape across the chest and not bunch. And the back should cover your butt. The trouser bottoms should have a 1” break at the front crease where it touches your shoes.
  • Worsted wool is the most frequently used fabric in custom-made garments. It has superior breathability and drape and retains its shape even after many wearings. There are many different weights of wool and diameters of yarn and the higher the number (Super 100, Super 120, etc.) the smaller the diameter and the finer the texture or “hand” of the cloth.
  • Fabric strength is easy to see if you grab the cloth and squeeze it. If it springs back with little or no wrinkling, it has a strong structure that tailors refer to as “guts,” which is what you want in a fabric.
  • The interlining in a custom suit is the layer between the facing and the exterior, and it is an important feature for the right drape and silhouette. At Ernesto, this canvas layer is hand sewn into the front panels of all jackets and coats. If you pinch an inch of one of our jackets, it will feel to you like it’s floating between the inner and outer layers. At Ernesto we use a resilient canvas blend of pure horsehair and cotton to maintain the proper shape of the jacket.

To set up an appointment, call Ernesto’s at 856-429-2850, visit us at 237 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, or contact us by email at [email protected]

We take pride in our extensive selection of fine fabrics — it’s probably the largest on-site inventory on the East Coast. That means whatever you want, however you see yourself, we can make it happen.
Ed DeSumma