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7 Things you need to know before buying your next men's suit

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When it comes to buying men's suits, there are seven crucial things you need to know. Here's a quick comparison of the challenges most men face when it comes to suiting up.

In the article Want a new men's suit but don't know where to start?, we looked at the 3 types of suiting options from which you could choose. Here is a quick comparison of the challenges most men face when trying to decide between Off-The-Rack, Custom Tailored, and Bespoke suiting.

Additionally, you may to check out 7 Reasons why you should beware of buying Custom Made Suits & Shirts Online before making your final decision.

Off-The-Rack Experience


You try on scores of jackets and trousers hoping to find one that fits you right


  • Next, you shop around until you find a suit with the style you want (e.g. lapel width, pocket style, number of buttons). Ultimately, you end up taking whatever you can get.


  • Shop around to find a suit in the colour you want. Again, you settle for what you can get.


Typically, your suit requires alterations, hence costing you more time and money.


$500 - $1,000


  • You get what you pay for
  • Glued ‘fused' construction (mass produced)
  • Often marketed as “Pure Wool,” but is it really?
  • Usually 100% machine stitched (not hand stitched)
  • Made overseas
  • No second fittings


  • Consider the amount of time needed to shop around and try on multiple suits to get the right fit, fabric and look. Add in additional time to take the suit for alterations.


You may get lucky and score the trifecta: fit, style & fabric. However, the overwhelming odds are you'll have to compromise on something. You may also be forced to deal with pushy salespeople who are under pressure to sell you anything to reduce their stock and meet their quota. Pricing is reasonable, but if alterations are required, the Off-the-rack option can cost much more than Custom Tailored.

Custom Tailored (Full Service) Experience


Made to your exact measurements


  • Personalise your suit's style
  • View real sample suits


Choose the fabric you want from real wool swatches; you can choose from thousands of fabric options for all occasions. You get to touch and feel the fabrics so you can verify it is real, good quality wool before purchasing.



  • Most Full Service tailors include some kind of alterations credit.
  • Montagio Custom Tailoring offers aPerfect Fit Guarantee with no out-of-pocket expense


$700 - $2,500


  • Half or full canvas construction
  • Both machine & hand stitched, with better quality companies using fully hand stitched construction
  • Made overseas (can be made locally but price will be higher)
  • Offer second or third fittings to get it perfect


  • Everything is done for you
  • One suit fitting (usually)
  • First time takes about 30-45 mins
  • Subsequent suits take 10-15 mins
  • Local end-to-end service


Full Service Custom Tailored suiting represents the lowest effort, best value for the money. Unlike online shops, you get to touch and feel the fabrics and sample suits. Akin to Bespoke suits, you also get to deal with a local supplier and receive end-to-end personal service. With this option you can relax because you know you'll get a perfect fitting suit, styled the way you like it.

Made to Measure (Online) Experience


Made to your measurements (often using a premade pattern)


  • Personalise your suit's style
  • See only photos of suit samples


  • Choose from photographs of fabrics.
  • Images on the computer screen are often poor representations of the actual suit fabric.
  • Limited fabric options
  • Fabric you receive may not meet your expectations since you could not touch and feel it before buying.


You pay for any alterations out of your pocket and then claim them back (at the discretion of the online proprietor)


$500 - $800


  • Hard to tell what the canvas construction is; it is usually fused to offer cheaper price points.
  • Primarily machine stitched
  • Made overseas
  • No second fittings


  • You must take your own measurements
  • You'll have to enter your order in yourself
  • No suit fittings
  • No local service
  • Alterations are up to you and are a hassle. You'll have to take photographs, pay for alterations upfront, and then scan and send the receipt to the online retailer to claim the alteration credit. Sometimes, they credit it to your next purchase rather than giving you a refund.


This option is perceived as a cheaper alternative to Full Service Custom Tailoring, but as you can see, you'll be the one doing the work and taking your own measurements. You may even take your measurements incorrectly, which can void any alterations credit offered. Buying a suit online has its risks, but if you really want to try and save a few dollars, consider this next option.

Bespoke “in person” Experience


Made to your exact measurements


  • Personalise your suit's style
  • View real sample suits


Choose the fabric you want from real wool swatches; and make your selections from thousands of fabric options for any event or purpose. Touch and feel the fabrics for yourself so you can verify it is real, high quality wool before purchasing.



All included


$2,500 - $6,000


  • Full canvas construction
  • Fully hand stitched construction
  • Often made locally, hence the high costs
  • As many fitting as it takes to get it perfect


  • Very personalised
  • Numerous consultations
  • Multiple suit fittings
  • Local end-to-end service


A bespoke suit is the finest garment money can buy. This option is for those with discerning taste, no time pressure, and in many cases, an unlimited budget. While this may or may not fit your budget for your first suit, at some point you will likely decide you deserve a bespoke suit.

At Montagio, we are ready to help you with your first suit, your next suit, or all your suits. Call or stop by our Sydney showroom to schedule your personal consult today.

Image Credits © Fashionstock .com | Dreamstime.com

© Vonora | Dreamstime.com


We tailor make mens suits, jackets and shirts for all occasions. Each garment is custom designed, precisely made-to-measure and is guaranteed to fit you perfectly. Unlike others, we offer you end-to-end service and a personalised styling session where we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you get the colour, style and fit you want.

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Never bought custom made before?

Wondering what all the hype is about? Here's why you'll never go back to off-the-rack:

How It Works

About Montagio

Since 2010, we've paved the way for uncompromising men to get suited up in style with our full service tailored mens suits, shirts and coats. Our showrooms are packed full of suit samples and thousands of fabrics making it easy for you to get the look and fit you want. We offer a remarkably personal shopping experience and specialise in individually hand crafted garments for business, weddings, formal and casual events. We have personally tailored mens suits for thousands of happy customers, and you too can experience the same red carpet treatment. Book your personal appointment today to have your uniquely styled and perfectly tailored garment ready within a few short weeks.

Steve Fambo

Hats off to the team at Montagio Custom Tailoring Sydney. I was immediately impressed once I stepped into their boutique showroom... more »

Scott Lasak

The suit and shirts I received were terrific and much better quality than ones I've found in stores off the rack. I would absolutely recommend them... more »

Yun Zhi Lin

I would highly recommend Montagio for anyone else planning a wedding or looking for a trendy tailor made suit... more »

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