A true custom company like Watson Ellis can really do anything when it comes to these customizable details. The lapels can be any width, the button-stances any height, and so on. Because our designs are made in collaboration between the client and an expert designer, and our clothes are handmade by expert tailors.
What that essentially means is that we have the freedom to basically design, cut and sew how we please. To give you an example, I made a tuxedo jacket for a client where I designed the shawl collar shape to reflect a unique vintage style, but I tweaked it to a specific width in order to best flatter his frame.
In adopting current trends, I made a three piece suit with wide-leg pants for a woman client recently (see below). She didn’t like the generally accepted tapered leg pant style, so I designed a special leg-width for her pant that would hug her upper leg and then slightly flare at the hem. The long length was very important due to the height of the heels she wanted to wear.
Any company that can't provide a client with this kind of freedom is not really a custom / bespoke tailoring company, they are a made-to-measure company. It's an important distinction that prospective customers should know about.
And finally, there are crucial and distinct differences between what I'm calling made-to-measure companies and true custom companies when it comes to garment construction and manufacturing.
They employ massive factories with thousands of employees who each sew separate parts of the garments together, meaning that each of the elements of any given garment are constructed in isolation. Expert tailors are not generally overseeing these manufacturing processes. To boil it down, the garments are constructed like ready-to-wear. In other words, you might think you’re buying slow-cooked custom, but you’re actually buying fast fashion.
Hand Stitching, not Machine Stitching. It really matters.
True custom suit manufacturing requires a lot of hand-sewing. Specifically, the canvas is padded by hand stitching the multiple layers of canvas together. From there the canvas is hand tacked to the shell outer fabric. What this means is that the garment over time will mold better to your body than it would if it were machine stitched. Having the sleeve set in by hand, which is a facet of true custom tailoring, will enhance a garment’s movability over time as well.