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Wedding suits are an important investment. Well-fitted, bespoke suits will help you and your groomsmen feel and look your absolute best in the wedding day photos that you’ll look back on for the rest of your life.
But where do you start? How do you pick a style; a fabric; a colour? And if you have a keen eye on cost, where can you make savings without compromising on the finished look? Because it’s so important to choose the right wedding suits, Leeds Manchester and Birmingham-based bespoke tailor (and MD of Crown to Cuff) Gareth Beckwith has compiled the following step-by-step advice for grooms-to-be:
Step one: choosing a wedding suit style
Have a look around online and collect some images of wedding suits you like. Speak to your partner about your ideas. You can discuss broad colour and style themes – classic, formal, quirky, regal, rockabilly, hipster etc – while still keeping the final outfits a secret. Also bear in mind the venue and the season you’ll be getting married in, as weather and setting will affect how your suit looks and feels on the day.
Step two: setting a budget for wedding suits
You should also have a rough idea of your budget before you go shopping. The four factors to consider are:
• the level of tailoring (ie off the shelf, made to measure or bespoke suits – see our blog on this for more details) [LINK]
• the fabric (which covered later in this blog)
• the construction (eg is the jacket fully canvassed or fused?)
• and any extras such as pearl buttons.
Step three: wedding suit shopping day: preparation for getting fitted
Shopping for your suit in the same season as your wedding means there will be more choice of suitable fabrics, ie lightweight pale colours in summer and darker warm fabrics in winter. Book your appointment on a weekday morning, as it will be quieter so you’ll have more time. Take a trusted friend or family member with you. Someone who will be honest and whose opinion you trust when it comes to style.
On your shopping day, do a trial run of your wedding day grooming routine. Trying your wedding outfits on while cleanly shaven will give you a much clearer idea of the final look on the day. Also, you want to feel good! Ditch the sports socks and wear thin dress socks instead. Take your wedding day accessories – cufflinks and shoes etc – with you to try on alongside your suit.
Step four: Selecting fabric for wedding suits
The location and season will heavily influence the colour and weight of fabric for your wedding suits (Manchester and the Bahamas will each require a very different approach!). But within seasonal parameters, you still have a huge range of choices. Bespoke suits in heavier fabrics like barathea and wool mohair will hold their shape well, but light fabrics such as lightweight tweed can still create a sharp silhouette.
Crown to Cuff can draw on luxurious fabrics from various local companies around Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, as well as larger UK-wide stockists. Cloth Dormeuil, Scabal and Smith & Co. (Woolens) Ltd. are part of our regular supplier list. Bespoke wedding suits can be created in anything from pure wool to silk, and cashmere to mohair; plain or with patterns such as stripes, plaid, herringbone and hound tooth – the options are endless!
Step five: finishing the look
Once you’ve been measured up and have talked through your style and fabric preferences with your tailor, the final step is to accessorise.
You may wish to leave your suit to do the talking, opting for flair and flourishes like intricate edging, pocket details, statement buttons or a strikingly shaped lapel. Or you may wish to keep the suit simple so that you can wear it again, and instead add personality through your accessories.
Statement cufflinks and a designer watch can be enough to finish an outfit off. Or more quirky additions like braces, a pocket watch and a cravat are also popular nowadays too. High quality shoes in keeping with the suit style are essential to complete the look.
Crown to Cuff stocks a wide range of ties, hankies, cufflinks, shirts, braces, pocket watches and tie bars. Most importantly, we can give you expert advice on what will look good on you personally. We want your tailored wedding suit to look as good as you do on your big day!
We have been tailoring suits for generations, and have established a reputation as one of the UK’s leading tailors. This has recently been recognised by The Wedding Guide UK, which named us ‘Best Customer Service’ (Menswear category) at the Wedding Awards 2018. We are particularly proud of this accolade as it is voted for by our clients.
Making clients happy is what drives us every day. If you’d like to look your absolute best on your wedding day, contact us today for an informal chat about your requirements on 07734 703066 or email email@example.com.
When it comes to fittings for wedding suits, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds customers are visited frequently by our team, but we are happy to travel throughout the UK.
Not all bespoke suits are the same. In fact, not all bespoke suits are actually bespoke suits. There is so often confusion about the difference between off the peg, bespoke and made to measure suits. Leeds based tailors Crown to Cuff unpicks this debate, so you can be clear about what you’re buying.
Nobody wants to be ripped off when they’re investing in a high end product. Ultimately you want to know if you are paying the right price for a good quality product. Here’s our run-down of what to expect.
What’s an off the shelf suit?
Let’s start with off the shelf. This one is self-explanatory: you try a suit on in a shop, and you can buy it there and then, off the shelf. This is the cheapest option. You might then go and get some alternations done, but there are no patterns involved.
But what about if you want a more personal cut, something fitted to your body shape? The next step up from off the shelf are made to measure suits, which use a base pattern modified in various places to fit your specific measurements. Finally, bespoke suits are created completely from scratch and offer an infinite number of design and fitting options.
Let’s explore in more detail, what to expect from made to measure and bespoke suits. (Leeds based Crown to Cuff Bespoke offers both.)
Bespoke versus made to measure suits
(1) Suit pattern
Made to measure suits utilise standard suit patterns but are created from modified versions of these patterns, to ensure a better fit for the client. A master tailor will make a number of modifications to standard measurements such as shoulder width, jacket length and size of the armholes.
Bear in mind that the number of modifications made can vary enormously between different tailors and tailoring companies. Any fewer than five or six modifications means the additional cost you pay for made to measure over off the shelf suits may not be worth it. However, a made to measure suit with a large number of modification points can rival a bespoke suit for quality of fit.
Bespoke suits require no pattern modifications, as a completely new pattern is made for every single client. A higher level of skill is required to create bespoke suits as they take into account subtle nuances of the client’s body – such as the arch of the back, the slope of the shoulder, and the curvature of muscle groups across the chest and back – alongside all the standard measurements. Creating a unique pattern also allows for much more flair in terms of style and design.
(2) Number of suit fittings
Made to measure suits usually only include two or three fittings. The first is to take the initial measurements for the pattern modifications and to discuss design options. The second is a “final fit” once the suit has been made. Then depending on the accuracy of the measurements and client preferences, there may be another fit after final adjustments have been done. There are usually no fittings during the creation of the suit.
Bespoke suits, on the other hand, require multiple fittings throughout the creation process. Firstly, there is the baste fitting, modelling the cloth with the white basting cotton. The second is the forward baste fitting, progressing to a fuller design with width adjustments that can be made to the shape, lapels and buttons. The third is the ‘fin bar fin’ fitting, roughly translating as ‘nearly there’, for the final touches. Each fitting is done at a different stage of the tailoring process, with each fit building on top of the previous one to achieve a more precise fit as the suits progresses. Multiple fittings also give clients the chance to follow progress and give tailors the chance to incorporate modifications along the way.
(3) Range of fabric choices
‘Made to measure’ companies usually only offer a curated selection of fabrics from a couple of different mills. The number of mills on a tailor’s supplier list is important because it will signify the range of choice available to a client, in terms of variety, quality and price points.
In contrast, most bespoke tailors offer fabric from seven or more mills, giving their clients much more flexibility and a huge library of fabric to choose from. Crown to Cuff suppliers include Holland & Sherry, Cloth Dormeuil, Smith & Co (Woolens) Ltd and Brook Taverner. View our full fabrics supplier list here.
(4) Number of customisations available
There are a fixed number of customisations available with made to measure suits, providing an efficient checklist. For example, our clients can customise their tailored suits by adding more buttons, picking a pocket style, vent options and varying the cuffs and trouser pleats.
Bespoke suits allow for unlimited choice. The design is completely unique to you, offering infinite customisation options and allowing you to create a real statement suit design limited only by your imagination!
(5) Meetings with the tailor
In most made to measure companies, you will not meet with the master tailor. Instead, your fittings will be done by a sales assistant, who will pass your details on to the tailor. The experience level and training given to these assistants can vary hugely.
When buying bespoke, you should always expect to deal directly with the tailor who will be designing your suit. This ensures that they have context and insight from your fittings to inform the production process and guarantee the best possible cut and finish.
Crown to Cuff is different. Our master tailor Gareth Beckwith likes to meet with all our made to measure and bespoke clients. Providing the best possible client care is at the heart of what we do, and that’s why The Wedding Guide UK recently named us ‘Best Customer Service’ in the ‘Menswear’ category at the Wedding Awards 2018.
If you would like to discuss the creation of made to measure or bespoke suits, Manchester and Birmingham customers can contact us today on 07734 703066 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Leeds customers can pop in to our Leeds store.
With physiques that do not conform to traditional shapes and sizes of the average male, Gareth knows how to cater for bodybuilders’ needs to ensure a suit that fits perfectly. Several Bodybuilders spoke out about their experience with Gareth.
Mark Etherden has been competing in the British Championships since 1996:
‘I’ve been struggling for suits in the past but when I went to see Gareth it was brilliant. I’ve already recommended him and I will definitely get some more suits off him in the future.’
Aaron Hudson has been Bodybuilding since 2011 and has been training for 6 years. He first met Gareth when his wife picked up his card at a Bodypower expo ahead of their wedding.
Aaron talked about the fitting process and how an off the peg suit wasn’t an option for him:
‘He came down twice and he got my size. I would have looked an idiot! Anything off the peg isn’t big enough.’
Aaron also said how he would recommend Gareth to other Bodybuilders looking for a high quality, tailored suit:
‘Yeah I have done he’s absolutely great. He’s a really nice guy as well.’
After competing with NABBA and WABBA for 15 years, Super heavyweight Bodybuilder Martin Stevenson recalls his experience with Gareth:
‘I met Gareth at NABBA UK when he was on the opposite stand. I got chatting to him and he’s a really nice guy. I’ve already bought four or five suits off him.’
Martin also outlined how Gareth ensured he was given a professional look, whilst also highlighting the excellent service that Gareth provided:
‘I’m a business development manager at Mitsubishi and I have to look the part, I wanted to look like a professional and Gareth got that immediately’
‘As I have a busy schedule, what really impressed me about Gareth is that he’ll come and measure you. You don’t get service like that nowadays.’
Martin finally spoke about the great value for money Gareth’s suits were:
‘It’s a reasonable amount of money and top quality material is used to make the suits. I’ve recommended him to not only Bodybuilders but also close friends of mine.’
So if you’re an athlete or bodybuilder who struggles to fit in an off the peg suit, see how Gareth can tailor for your needs!
BAFTA winning actor Dean Andrews discusses his acting achievements, as well as his experience with Crown to Cuff’s Gareth Beckwith. Dean has starred in many hit TV series’ including Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Last Tango in Halifax and Buried; which won a BAFTA award for best drama series in 2004.
Dean revealed how he got into acting by luck but one opportunity led to many future acting successes:
‘Having never acted before I was auditioned for a film by the great director Ken Loach. After numerous call-backs I was given one of the lead roles in "The Navigators", after it premiered I was offered professional acting roles and the rest as they say is history.’
Dean then talked about how he always aspired to be a professional singer rather than actor when he was younger:
‘I never had acting role models as I only ever aspired to be a professional singer. My heroes were Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Bobby Darrin.’
After playing many different roles throughout the years, Dean highlighted that playing DS Ray Carling in both "Life on Mars" and "Ashes to Ashes" was his most enjoyable character role of his career. Dean also defined his feelings when he won a BAFTA, describing the event as ‘…an amazing night and of course very proud!’
Talking about his experience with Crown to Cuff’s Gareth Beckwith, Dean explained why he has chosen Gareth to tailor for every award ceremony he has attended including the prestigious BAFTA’s:
‘Gareth is everything you would want from a professional. His attention to detail is faultless and the end result proved that........ A beautifully made suit of the highest quality.’
Dean revealed that there will be another series of “Last Tango in Halifax” to be made in the future, which we will all be looking forward to seeing!
At Crown to Cuff, Gareth understands the importance of your career and also the image that matches. With suits that ooze quality and sophistication, Crown to Cuff can support you as a professional, helping you stand out from the crowd. Several professionals praised Gareth and his tailoring service.
Harry Stoyles is a former firefighter who now works as a school councillor. Harry explained how he had never had a tailored shirt before, but with Gareth’s help and expertise it was a decision that Harry did not regret:
‘I’d never had a tailored shirt so I thought I’d give it a go, he came and measured me. I wanted a red shirt with a white collar and cuffs. I ended up buying 3 shirts off him.’
Harry then commented on how Gareth helped him at the fitting stage:
‘It was brilliant. He didn’t have any transport at the time but came to the house with a case full of samples, he was really helpful. He knew what buttons and materials would look good.’
Harry finally outlined why he decided to go with Gareth as opposed to buying from a shop:
‘I was being supportive of him. I liked the personal service; he came to us in our time.’
At Crown to Cuff Bespoke, Gareth ensures that your wedding day will be a special one with quality, handmade attire for the groom and the guests. Some of Gareth’s customers discuss how he made their big days memorable:
John Barber explained how Gareth catered for his brother in law’s wedding day:
‘I met him as he’s a friend of my brothers. If we had any problems with the suits he sorted it out straight away, I’m getting married myself so I will definitely be using him for my suit.’
Martin Grandery described how both the fitting process and the home service Crown to Cuff delivered was exceptional:
‘He was very helpful, at every stage and every process. In fact he was more than helpful. We struggled to get the right material but Gareth went out of his way to sort it, It was brilliant. He turned up when he said he would and called in advance.’
Aslam Hanif highlighted the great work Gareth did for his son’s wedding day:
‘He did my son’s wedding at first and then did some other jobs for me, he came down to measure twice. He was really quick and it was great service. I recommend him to anyone in the world! He was absolutely brilliant.’
When Neil Blackburn’s two friends were getting married two years ago, Gareth catered for a party of 12. Neil first met Gareth through a bodybuilding friend who saw Gareth at a bodybuilding expo:
‘There were 12 of us who descended on Gareth, all to get measured and he really looked after us’
Neil went on to explain how Gareth’s outstanding assistance led to them remaining friends after the fitting process:
‘It was a really, really good service. He actually kept in touch with us on a social level. It looked so much better than an off the peg suit.’
Neil was then quick to recommend Gareth to others, whilst stating that he would buy more suits off him:
‘Oh definitely without a shadow of a doubt. I wear a suit for work and he will get repeat custom off me.’
So if it’s your wedding, friends or a family member’s, Gareth will ensure that you look spectacular for the big day, making this special day unforgettable. Contact Gareth (Contact details) to see how he can cater for your wedding.
In this blog post, Crown to Cuff tailor Gareth Beckwith recalls when he first met Bodybuilding idol Gary Lister and also discusses his relationship with Rugby League’s Bradford Bulls.
Gareth first met Gary Lister at a bodybuilding show when he coincidently selected a stand alongside Lister’s main sponsors. After immediately being attracted to Gareth’s business concept, the sponsors encouraged Gary and Gareth to meet up. However, it was unbeknown to Gareth that ‘Mr Universe’ Gary Lister was guest appearing on the day. “He’s like David Beckham to a footballer in the bodybuilding world. “I was just in awe, I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea he was coming down. They introduced me to Gary and he’s a really humble guy and very softly spoken. When I shook his hand it buried my hand!” Crown to Cuff are now into their third year of sponsoring Gary.
“His name, his brand and his body reinforces what I’m doing that nobody else is doing at the moment.” Gareth also spoke about his experiences and ever growing relationship with the Bradford Bulls. He first met the Bradford Bulls when Jeff Banks asked him to measure them up for a Debenhams casual range: “I measured 9 of the Bulls players and 5 of the directors. It was great, it was a really fun day measuring them up and getting to pick bits of cloth. I’ve got really friendly with some of the players”
Gareth also expressed how working with the Bulls has driven his admiration for both them and the sport:
“I wasn’t massively into the Bulls but I am now. My girlfriend has been a Bulls fan forever and I think I’m going really get into the sport now off the back of this.”
Bespoke tailor Gareth Beckwith discusses his tailoring background and wealth of experience in the industry. After studying Business, IT and Computing at school, Gareth realised he didn’t enjoy it and began to work in retail. He worked at Principles For Men in the suiting department and after enjoying this experience, he subsequently ran shops for the last 15 years until setting up his own business- Crown to Cuff, 12 months ago.
He also talks about his work with legendary fashion designer Jeff Banks. It was three years ago when Jeff approached Gareth to consult for him. At the start of last year Gareth gained permission off Jeff to start up a new business, using the name and brand of Jeff Banks.
“He’s very, very good. He gives me a lot of support, a lot of help, a lot of guidance and has taken me under his wing somewhat. Things have to be better than perfect and if they’re not he’ll tell you!”
Banks opened his first boutique- ‘Clobber’ in 1964 and has gone on to create his own fashion label, as well as introducing retail outlets in leading department stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Banks has also been the face for BBC’s ‘The Clothes Show’, where he presented over 320 episodes, often drawing in over 10 million viewers.
With Jeff on board, Gareth describes the tailoring opportunities that have been created by the influence of Jeff Banks:
“He opens up a lot of doors and puts me in the right room, at the right place with the right person. Without his name behind me and his confidence in what I do I would never be able to get anywhere with these people.”
Gareth revealed how past generations of his family were also master tailors- a fact he only discovered 8 years into his tailoring career. He found out about his grandfather’s tailoring history, in some of his old books. Gareth was then hit by another astonishing revelation, when his mother explained that her grandfather was also a master tailor.
“I opened the books up and there were pictures of jackets, trousers, shirts, line drawings, “I had no idea I came from a line of tailors in the family.”
Gareth explained his feeling of pride when he discovered his family’s tailoring history:
“It made me really proud. I just thought you know what I love what I do, I didn’t get pushed into what I did I made a choice to do it. Probably a little bit of fate pushed me in that direction,
“I love what I do, I’ve got a lot of passion for what I do and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
You’ve found the Crown to Cuff blog, which we aim to update with informative posts on all aspects of bespoke tailoring. You can navigate to each post by clicking the below headings. Have an idea for our next blog post? We’d love to hear from you. Email email@example.com with your suggestion.
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