We are in an age when having something customised to your own specific style and individuality is more and more sought after. So when it comes to having your suit made to measure, it just makes sense to go the place that has been making and customising garments for more than 30 years. Working Style is your go-to destination to ensure you get something truly unique, and just right for you. We sat down with creative director Karl Clausen to talk about the process and trends in the made-to-measure industry.
How long has Working Style been making made-to-measure suits?
It has been a number of years now. Ours is a brand that has been established for 30 years, last year, and started as a made-to-measure shirt service, so making garments and tailoring garments for people is very much in the DNA of the brand. And as Working Style has solidified it’s place in the market, it very much became renowned as a made-to-measure specialist. But it must be getting close to 25 years that we have been offering this made-to-measure suit service. We understand what is involved, and the integrity of what goes into it is very much at the forefront of what we do and how we produce it.
Who should be buying one of these suits?
I think the point is: who shouldn’t be having one made? The suit is no longer worn for the sole purpose of wearing to a formal function; in a heavily corporate world, that has gone by the wayside. Somebody who gets one of these suits made is someone who wants something specific. They might want a suit that is going to fill their daily needs, or a special occasion, and so it could be a creative or someone who wears a suit occasionally. At the end of the day, [it will be] someone who is having a suit tailored because they want something specific, they want a particular cloth, they want it to fit in a particular way and/or they want to have a certain extent of personalisation that makes their garment unique to them. We are in a day and age of personalisation, and whether that’s clothing or whether that’s trainers or lounge suits, [people are] personalising everything to make it truly unique to them individually, and that’s the beautiful thing about made-to-measure.
Have you seen a spike in the number of young men coming in wanting this type of made-to-measure service, as we’re in an age where we want things customised?
There’s no two ways about it: younger men, and guys generally, now are definitely more style savvy, and they are influenced by social media and other external influences, and they are coming to us with an awareness around what they would like their suit to look and fit like, and we assist in delivering that.
What is the process for getting a made-to-measure suit?
Initially you will come in and we will have a meet and greet and get an understanding of who you are and what you are looking for, where you want to wear your suit to and whether or not you have any particular ideas around colours etc. We will then help you with your cloth selection and will talk around the details about how you want your suit styled and finished; that will be the cut of the garment, how many buttons, the pocket detailing, the top stitching, the lining, the working buttons, and essentially the overall styling of the suit. We will then fit you in what is called a ‘master garment’ and that is a starting point for us to take measurements, to ultimately craft and come up with your own personal pattern. Those measurements are then sent off to our tailors, the pattern is crafted, the cloth is cut and it will go through the process of putting all of those pieces together, constructing your suit. Then it will come off the line and be sent to us here in New Zealand. We will arrange to see you again to ensure everything we have asked for is correct, and if any fine tuning is required, we have our finishing tailors here in New Zealand who will undertake those tweaks to ensure it is just so.
How long can we expect this process to take?
We work to a five to six week turn around, and it is a really efficient process, considering the suits are made on the other side of the world in Europe. We would factor in a little bit longer if someone wanted the suit for a wedding, just to reduce those stress levels and to make sure we don’t cut things too lean for the big day.
How much can we expect to pay for one of these pieces?
Our made-to-measure suits are priced from $1899, and they go up in price; the final price is all-dependant on cloth choice as the suits are all made the same way, but the cloth choice will ultimately decide the final price of your two-piece suit.
If we are coming in to get a suit made soon, what styles are in trend now for us to choose from?
In jackets and coat styling, we are seeing a lot more of a soft shoulder, and for us, its the increased width of lapels on the coats; they have gone wider, and our ones have a beautiful, masculine presence about them. They still have a lovely soft suppression through the waist, to enhance the sense of a more considered fit without being super tight. Then you see other details, like a five-centimetre block cuff. The handwriting is very much southern Italian influenced.