Melbourne’s Tailored Suits: Cost vs. Craftsmanship

One of the perennial questions that crops up when shopping for a tailored suit in Melbourne is ‘what’s the trade-off between cost and craftsmanship?’ Frustratingly, there is no quick answer and instead it’s an instance of ‘it depends’.

Despite that being the case, what we can provide you with is a handy checklist of things to consider when weighing up the pricing of a tailored suit to ensure you’re making a truly informed choice and getting value for money.

The fabrics on offer

At Oscar Hunt, variations in pricing are dictated by one thing and that’s the fabric you choose. We work with some of the finest cloth manufacturers from around the world and, naturally, this means that there is a range of pricing for their fabrics depending on the exclusivity of the fibre, manufacturing process etc.

We mention this because a good suit tailor should have fabric swatch books that are marked as being from certain suppliers. Taking an interest in who these suppliers are and asking the tailor for their back story can be an easy way of gauging quality.

The Construction

When it comes to actually constructing a custom suit, there are two techniques that are generally employed to ensure that the jacket sits properly on the wearer and both are based on a ‘canvas’. This is a layer that sits between the outer fabric shell and the lining and essentially helps the jacket to mould to the wearer over time.

In Australia, we predominantly employ a half-canvas construction whereby the canvas runs from the shoulder to the lower rib-cage. This makes for a slightly lighter style. The other - more expensive - option is a full canvas, which runs the length of the jacket and is very popular in British style tailoring.

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Bespoke vs. made-to-measure

Outside of the construction itself is how the garments are manufactured. When shopping, there are, again, two options for a custom suit: bespoke and made-to-measure. Made-to-measure is generally the more affordable option, employing existing pattern blocks and then altering them to the wearer's dimensions. These suits are generally also made faster.

In contrast, bespoke suiting is a true labour of love where everything is made from scratch by hand. This includes the pattern itself as well as the suit. A bespoke suit will generally take 10-14 weeks and cost upwards of $6,000.

Whether you’re currently weighing up options of the best men’s tailoring brands in Melbourne or simply wanting to be better informed when shopping, you can learn more by chatting with our team of experts. Stop by a showroom or give us a bell today