Guide to designing your own suit

The illusion of designing a suit

Understand that for bulk of the world’s tailored suits, the tailor does no design work. Neither does the customer.

Most suits are conservative, i.e. black, navy blue, grey etc.

To make the point about design, I juxtapose my seer sucker with my black suit.

If we ignore the funky pockets for the moment, my seer sucker would look exactly the same in design as my black suit. It is a regular jacket with lapel, collar, pockets and sleeves that is made of a fabric that I chose. That’s it.

It follows that the design concepts, where there actually is design, of my seer sucker are:

  • accentuate the seer sucker patterns by using solid colour fabric against it, and vice versa.
  • using two different styles of pockets to make the jacket a fun one that can be worn with berms.
  • making the seer sucker contemporary by matching it with a white pair of trousers. I would look ridiculously dated if I had opted for a matching pair of seer sucker pants.

Read also: Guide to finding the right tailor

To understand design better, I juxtapose my black suit and seer sucker with my brown checkered jacket too.

It should be apparent by now that this jacket is hardly designed. Any design refers to the design of the fabric, i.e. brown checkers, and not the jacket.


The herd trajectory has been hijacked by minimalism

Using bags design to illustrate further

If one takes a handbag for example, we easily identify two straps and a main compartment. Any more compartments within or any other embellishments like gold zippers etc contribute to the bag’s design. But a handbag is ultimately a handbag regardless of its fancy elements.

An element handbags have over suits are shapes. It can be square, round, wider at the base, basket shaped etc.

We can’t change the shape of one’s suit like we change a bag’s shape. The shape is the gentleman’s body shape. Hence, an entire element has been removed from consideration.

Ladies’ gowns

In the same vein, apparels for ladies can manifest in a wide range of shapes such as the dress, the pant suit, the mini skirt etc.

To this end, if one is considering designing a suit for himself, it is almost always as simple as choosing a fabric at the tailor’s and he does everything from thereon.

Custom suits

“Custom” has a strong suggestion of design. However, it mostly refers to made to measure jackets with some illusions of customization, such as double vents etc.

He will always agree with you as he has seen enough “custom” suits that all look the same. Single vent, double vent all doesn’t matter

Long jacket, trench

Using colours and fabric design to accentuate one’s body features

Appearing different

It follows that when others look at you, your jacket appears designed when in fact it is a regular tailored jacket but just of a different fabric when compared to the sea of conservative jackets.


Anything also becomes designer

Age and colour

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