Birmingham

Birmingham

A tailor made success with A Suit That Fits

Over the last 5 years there has been a renaissance in British Tailoring, and A Suit That Fits has played a major part in this silent revolution. Programmes like the Apprentice and today’s ever growing need to look the part in an increasingly competitive job market illustrate the importance of a good suit and the difference it can make in representing the person you want to be seen as.

When Warren Bennett stayed with a family of tailors during his gap year in Nepal, he never could have imagined that, five years later, A Suit That Fits would have grown into an award-winning tailoring business offering suits that fit a suit lover’s frame, budget and personal style – starting from £200.

I am fascinated by the brand and have become slightly obsessed with their wonderful build your own suit or shirt website which allows you to create each element of your made to measure garment so that it reflects your individual style and personality.

Although much of the world’s tailoring is done in the East, A Suit That Fits is by far the most ethical company that you could come across.

On returning from his gap year, Warren met school friend, David Hathiramani, and they decided to use their respective engineering and IT backgrounds to work with the family of tailors and create the world’s first online tailoring company. Since the business was founded in June 2006, A Suit That Fits have donated 5% of the cost of each suit to the school in Nepal where Warren volunteered, and have paid their tailors 50% above the local rate.
 
It all began in June 2006 when Warren and David did some simple market research at a stall on Hampstead Market. Within 20 minutes of opening they had sold their first suit.

Overnight they created a website (just about able to build a suit and take payment). It was rapid growth for the young entrepreneurs however. Quick to build a reputation for excellence in 2007 they won ‘New Product of the Year’ at the Growing Business Awards.

Since then the business has gone from strength to strength recently purchasing Savile Row tailoring company Sartoriani and opening countless stores around the UK putting them firmly on the map as two of the most forward thinking entrepreneurs in the country.

The Birmingham branch has been open for just under a year located at 67 Newhall Street, Birmingham City Centre. When I arrive Jonathan Haynes greets me and immediately I notice the detail on his suit with a hanky peeking out from the jacket pocket. No sooner does Jonathan introduce himself he tells me that my appointment will be with his identical twin brother, David.  Jonathan then leaves the room and David walks through the door in a remarkably similar suit but with a different colour tie and make of shirt. It is quite a start to my journey along bespoke Britain.

David quickly builds a rapport asking me about everything you can think of, slowly getting a picture of who I am, what I like, and that sort of thing.

“This is all part of the tailoring process”, David explains, “building a personal relationship and that traditional values quality that comes with handcrafted work.”  

After a few minutes of putting the world to rights we take a look at some of the fabrics from a wide selection in the swatch books on the table. David takes some time to show me some examples of previous suits and shirts made for his customers around the UK and tells me a little bit more about the history of the company.

Then comes the measuring stage where countless measurements are taken to ensure that each length, curl, and stretch of fabric fits your shape exactly. David tells me that “There are about 30 to 32 measurements across every angle of the body. Sometimes one hand hangs lower than the other, so we take all of those measurements, and then we take three pictures to see how much the slope of the shoulders is, how the waist sits etc. Also, we take in how the customer wants to look such as a slim fit or relaxed. We create shirts and suits, for big or small. A Suit That Fits can offer anything a customer wants, like hand stitching, handmade button holes, different linings, or name embroidering on the inside of the jacket or cuff of the shirt.”

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After 10 minutes or so of looking at fabrics, I find a colour which I’ve always wanted to try but never found the right style. Now that I can create my very own, it seems the perfect choice - a striking red sea island cotton. Once the measuring is complete you can choose anything from the shape and style of your collar, through to the colour of the buttons and stitching on the fabric. I decide to go for something a bit ostentatious with a classic twist, red and white mother of pearl buttons all the way down odd and even all the way down, an extra cutaway collar for a sharp look and a white stitched monogram with my initials on the left cuff. From start to finish the whole process should take about 4 weeks.

A few weeks later, I get a call from Jonathan to me to tell me my shirt is ready to collect.

The red looks even better now the shirt has been made. The colour is rich but subtle, as though it has aged like a good wine. The details are stunning with each measurement making it fit perfectly to my frame. The monogram on the cuff is also a great feature, and likened to most tailors you find in Savile Rowe the price is also very reasonable. Even suits start at just £200 which is well worth the investment.

For more information or to book an appointment visit www.asuitthatfits.com or call
020 3006 7999