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Suits you, Sir –
Look your best in bespoke

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SPW Contributors

Sanlam Private Wealth

A well-made bespoke suit is a wonderful thing. Slipping into beautiful tailoring is like draping yourself in confidence. Quality fabrics, first-class design and a spot-on fit deliver both a sharp, flattering line and a truly individual garment.

Pair this with heirloom cufflinks, vintage-car print lining and a discreet silk pocket handkerchief, and you’ll exude an enviable je ne sais quoi thanks to one of your smartest style investments. It’s no different, really, to smart wealth management.

But as with most things, the how of wearing it is as important as owning it.


Bearing in mind that even the world’s most expensive suit can look second rate if it doesn’t fit well, you’d do well to heed these small but deal-breaking details before suiting up and setting out in style.

Slit the back vent stitch
Whatever the style, your new jacket will be tacked shut by a small ‘X’ of thread at the back vent/s. This only serves to stop the fabric getting rumpled in transit or in store. Slit the thread before you wear it or that X will mark the spot where your sartorial credentials are questioned.

Cut the pocket stitching
The pockets of a new jacket are sewn shut for the same purpose – to look better on the rail and stop customers stuffing their hands in them and stretching the fabric.

Leave them shut and avoid temptation to use them. You should never put anything in your outside pockets anyway – it makes the fabric bulge and sag. You may, however, open up your breast pocket to make space for a pocket square.

Leave your functioning cuff buttons undone
If your suit has surgeon’s cuffs – that’s functioning buttons on the sleeve – leave the last one undone. Once reserved as the signature of expensive tailoring since they require more work and skill, brands today include them even on cheap suits.

Remove the shoulder stitching
The line of cotton thread down your suit’s shoulder is not a design touch – it’s a tradition from the days when all suits were bespoke. A tailor would make adjustments to its fit on your body with temporary ‘baste’ stitches, which would be removed when the suit was permanently altered.

They serve no purpose other than to make you look like you don’t know why they’re there. Snip in the centre and remove carefully.

Never use an iron
No matter how careful you are, suits do get creased. So it’s understandable that you might reach for the iron. Don’t. Applying heat directly to suit fabric flattens the fibres and renders them shiny.

Let gravity do the work. Suit fabric is resilient – hang up your jacket on a wide-shouldered wooden suit hanger and most creases should drop out overnight. For anything more stubborn, pass a handheld steamer over the jacket arms and pants legs.

Don’t dry clean too often
A suit certainly does require occasional dry cleaning, but probably not as often as you’d think. Once a season should do. But it will need some maintenance. It’s important to air your suit after a wearing and steam occasionally with a quality handheld steamer.



From left: Dominic Evans (The Tailor Shop), Grant van der Bergh (Frank Bespoke), Linda Makhanya (LM Tailored), Rahim Rawjee (Row-G)

"You want to know that you’re getting the best return out of your suit."
DOMINIC EVANS - The Tailor Shop

"Just keep it classic."

"Accessories are there to enhance, not take over the suit."

"If you can afford it, why not?"

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