Gentlemen's Guide: 5 Ways To Spot A Quality Tailored Suit


September 25, 2017 | BY Isabel Wong

Ede & Ravenscroft Focus

If we were to compare being a gentleman to being a superhero, a perfectly-fitted suit would be the costume of choice. And the first step to owning a quality bespoke suit is finding a trusty tailor.

Fans of classic British tailoring should look no further than Ede & Ravenscroft. As London’s oldest tailor—328 years old, to be exact—every commissioned bespoke suit is a work of exquisite, traditional craftsmanship. On your first fitting session, the highly skilled cutters at Ede & Ravenscroft will discuss your style preferences so that your creative ideas are the central focus in all stages of the design and development of your suit.

We spoke to Chris Potter, the master cutter at Ede & Ravenscroft, about what to look out for in a quality tailored suit.

Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Quality of the canvassing

The jacket should be fully canvassed by hand. This is hugely important as the canvassing sets the shape of the jacket and determines the final outcome from the very beginning of the making process. 

It's easy to check if your jacket is hand-padded, as your cutter would be happy to show you a work in progress. Otherwise, at the first fitting of your suit, take a look inside the fronts and you will see the hand pad stitching on the chest as well as a layer of canvas going all the way to the bottom.

Gentlemen's Guide: 5 Ways To Spot A Quality Tailored Suit
Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Silhouette of the jacket

A classic English suit will be a little fuller in the chest with good shaping at the waist and a slight flare at the bottom. Of course, this is all subject to changes and customisation based on your own design ideas.

Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Shoulder line & fit of the collar

The shoulders should be sewn by hand and can be finished in a number of ways. The classic English suit has a roped sleeve head, but the final outcome is ultimately up to you. The collar should fit closely around the neck without feeling tight and should not stand away from the back of the neck. If it does, this usually indicates a balance problem.

Gentlemen's Guide: 5 Ways To Spot A Quality Tailored Suit
Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

Balance of the coat

The balance of the coat is very important, as the relationship between the fronts of the coat and the back is key to a good jacket. You do not want the fronts swinging away and the back riding up and sticking out, or vice versa.

Photo: Courtesy of Ede & Ravenscroft

The finishing

The coat should be finished to a very high standard. The hand sewing around the fronts and collar should be just visible and not heavily sewn. The hand sewing of the linings should be neat and not too large and finally, the buttonholes should be well shaped and neatly hand-sewn.

Ede & Ravenscroft is known for delivering inimitable British tailoring of the finest quality with bespoke three-piece suit service starting from £4,395 (normally takes six to eight weeks). To arrange a consultation, contact


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