Our unique suit fitting process
Most custom-clothing falls under the category of “Made-to-Measure” or “Bespoke”. At Hall Madden, we offer a hybrid of the two services to offer clients the speed of “Made-to-Measure” but also a greater degree of precision you’d achieve thru “Bespoke”. Our unique process involves making all new clients a “test suit” before we make your final garment.
What is a “test suit”? It’s made from a wool muslin cloth and the insides of the garment are unfinished — but the fit and pattern is unique to you, the client. This allows us to see how well your custom pattern fits you before we produce your final garment.
We believe a “test suit” is crucial to making the perfect fitting suit for new clients and we’ve worked for years to develop this unique process.
While typical “made-to-measure” will go ahead and make your final garment after a single fitting and then perform alterations after it arrives, we’d rather go the extra step and make a “test suit” first. This allows us to fine-tune the more difficult aspects of a garment — such as posture and rise. It also gives our new clients greater confidence in every step.
Our “test suit” process is perfect for anyone who’s ever had a difficult time finding a suit off the rack or has been told by other places they’re a “difficult fit”. We’ve introduced this to remove all doubt in our ability to fit you!
First appointment (60 minutes): Get measured and fitted. We can fit chest sizes from 34” to 55” and waist sizes from 28” to 50”. We use templates in every single different size as a starting point for your suit and determine what adjustments to perform to the suit's pattern to fit properly. Then you pick your fabric and design the finer details.
**IMPORTANT: Come ready to make final decisions. If you require your fiancée, wife or friend's consultation, then make sure they are at your appointment.**
During your fitting we will look at how our initial templates fit you and determine:
Jacket sleeve length & taper
Jacket waist/seat taper
Jacket button stance
Jacket shoulder position & slope
Trouser hip/thigh/knee/ankle taper
Trouser rise & crotch height
… and more!
Adjustments for your pattern are recorded and production begins on your “test suit”, which will arrive in 2-3 weeks.
Second fitting (15-20 minutes): Once your “test suit” arrives, you'll revisit our studio to try it on and we take a further look at what additional adjustments are needed to perfect your pattern before making your final suit.
This is an opportunity for you to bring up any issues about comfort — or even change your mind about jacket length, lapel width or even design changes.
The “test suit” is NOT made from your actual fabric of your suit. It will be a cheap cloth and the garment will be unfinished with raw hems and exposed seams. The purpose is to quickly learn about how the custom pattern we’ve developed for you fits your body and perfect it before going into final production.
Pickup (15-20 minutes): When your final garment arrives, you’ll try it on and we’ll take another look to make sure it meets everyone’s satisfaction. We rarely need to perform alterations on these final garments when we use the “test suit”, however, if a subtle alteration is needed we can perform this gratis in 5-7 days.
Timeline: Plan ahead. We prefer a total of 8 weeks from start to finish for first time clients. This gives us enough time to do a second fitting, make adjustments and work around everyone's schedule without any pressure. Book your appointment early and don't procrastinate. Repeat orders take about 4 weeks.
Note: We use the same process for blazers, trousers, tuxedos, and overcoats. Clients don't need to be refit for future orders -- unless they've experienced weight changes. We can always provide updates to your fit pattern for new orders, just remember to bring your first garment.
Pricing is simple: number of pieces (2 or 3) and the fabric collection. We don't nickel and dime you or make it complicated. And we don't charge you for alterations you suit needs during your second fitting. Our prices are all in, all the time.
Entry level - $950-$1000: Year-round weight fabric, woven in Italy from Super 110s/120s grade wool. Perfect for guys who need to build up their professional wardrobe with durable fabrics to be worn hard. We also suggest adding an additional trouser to extend the life of the suit.
The step up - $1400-$1800: Our Italian sourced collection of Super 150s wool suiting with special events and weddings in mind. Softer and lighter hand in a wider range beyond the basics. Our best value and often chosen to be worn as a 3-piece.
Luxury heritage mills - $1750-$3000: The names say it all to men who know of and demand wearing the best available: Loro Piana and Ermenegildo Zegna. Fabrics woven with exclusive superfine Australian and New Zealand wool and blended occasionally with cashmere or silk. Pick from seasonal or perennial collections. We also upgrade suit construction to "handmade" to give more attention to these premiere collections of fabrics as they are sewn to achieve the best drape and fit for their unique properties. An incredible value alongside the perfect fit.
Our suit quality
Suits are a complex garment with a lot of components, which means there are a lot of choices to make about the quality of construction and materials used. We took the easy approach: use the best available to make the best.
All suits include:
Full floating canvas construction: a horsehair interlining "floats" in between the suit's chest. This gives the jacket it's drape, molds to the wearer, shapes the roll of the jacket's lapels, and contributes immensely to the proper fit of the jacket that only gets better with time.
Three shoulder options: Our German-made wool shoulder pads provide the character of the jacket. Opt for a traditional pad for your standard formal suit. A soft shoulder can be slightly casual and more comfortable. Or choose no padding at all for a deconstructed look that will express your shoulder line for as it truly is.
Reinforced stitching: Look close and you'll notice these under-the-radar details. Bar tack stitching reinforces the jacket pockets and trouser waistband. Stitching transforms fabric into a garment and we insist it be of high quality.
Buttons & lining: We offer genuine horn buttons standard. For lining, we provide Bemberg (also called "cupro") for the most superior breathability, durability, and frictionless touch.
Fabric: We procure our fabrics directly from the mills we've chosen to partner with for our suits. This decision came after years of trying various merchants and wholesalers. In the end, we decided to take a trip to Italy and build relationships face to face with those providing us the most beautiful and reliable fabrics we vetted. And our clients benefit directly from our sourcing to get fabric at an incredible value.
In addition to above, suits made with “handmade” construction include the following extra craftsmanship:
Buttonholes & buttons are hand-sewn with "crow's foot" stitching
Jacket's collar is attached by hand
Jacket lining is hand-sewn in the armhole and shoulder seam
Jacket features a curved "barchetta" breast pocket
Trouser interior waistband features hand-made box-pleat for comfort
Our fit philosophy
A lot of advice is online about "how a suit should fit", but most of it is written by people who have never worked in the business. Some of the advice is good and commonsense, some of it applies only to a few people with a certain body type, and some of it is outright wrong. At Hall Madden we have a few guiding principles on fit.
Fit starts with your body, not a picture of someone else's suit. Our suits are made to fit who you are and the shape of your body. How a suit drapes on a model or celebrity in a photo can be very different to how it drapes on you. We acknowledge your body as the framework from which we begin and seek to fit it in the best possible way.
Drape over "slim fit". We get it: you don't want to look like you're dressed in a rental two sizes too big. But on the flip side, cutting a suit skin-tight doesn't look good, either. We seek balance and want the cloth to fall and drape naturally over your body. We seek clean lines, room to move and fabric that isn't straining or creasing unnaturally.