Today is the first day of school for many students across the country. While I’m not planning to pursue any more formal education, Professor Tipple will continuing to teach Mixology 101 and we have a lot more cocktails coming up in the curriculum this semester.
As I continue to guide my many students in the fine art of craft cocktails, I wanted to look the part. So, I had a custom suit made. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt more like a bad bitch than I do wearing this three-piece bespoke suit – not even matching lingerie comes close to how dizzyingly powerful I feel in this.
All photos in this post were captured by the brilliant John-Finnigan Lin.
Bespoke garments are a significant investment of time and money but should yield a lifetime of wear if you’ve fine-tuned your selection to suit your personal style, avoided trendy cuts/fabrics, take good care of your pieces, and manage not to change sizes too drastically.
As this is my first custom suit (I suspect there will be more in the future), I wanted to choose a fabric pattern and weight that could be worn in all seasons. I will warn you, one of the hardest parts of designing a custom garment is choosing the fabric. After poring over endless swatches, I eventually landed on this lightweight flannel in a modern Prince of Wales plaid.
The liner brings another paradox of choice. Given that I’m somewhat of a booze enthusiast (not sure if you’d heard) I couldn’t resist the charm of this poppy red silk liner with a smattering of blue tequila bottles.
For the cut I knew I wanted a three-piece suit with pants, not a skirt. I lean towards timeless mid-century looks meaning I like a high-waisted, straight-leg pant and blazer that accentuates my figure by fitting close to the body. The vest, well, it’s just sexy as fuck. I feel the same about any menswear suiting trend when donned by women – suspenders, ties, lapel pins, oh my!
The process took about 7 or 8 fittings to finalize. The most challenging aspects were getting the right fit for the jacket and vest through my shoulders and bust. My shoulders are more defined than most professional basketball players which leaves me looking like “HULK ANGRY!” in most off-the-rack jackets. The bust is similarly well-rounded which means buttons are often trying to betray me.
After a series of alterations letting out and taking in again, we finally nailed it. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. In case you’re wondering, I worked with Third Son Tailor Shop here in Ottawa who handcrafted this beauty. I love the versatility that a three-piece provides, I can wear them all together or mix-and-match with other pieces in closet.
In this photo series, I’ve styled the suit with a Boss dress shirt. You know how I mentioned earlier that buttons often betray me? Well Boss has come up with a pretty clever workaround that solves for the dreaded gaping that regularly befalls the big busted. In this particular shirt, they’ve done away with buttons entirely. Instead, you pull the shirt on over your head and achieve that sought-after fitted look with the help of two concealed zippers on either side of the torso. This style – the Bashina – is always available in different colours and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across these fantastic navy blue shoes at a new local shoe store called Rmor. The owner, John Rmor, designs and makes bespoke footwear for fashionable people and also curates a small selection of beautiful brands. I highly recommend you stop in and check out his wares the next time you’re on Sussex in Ottawa.
My handbag is Mackage and I’ve owned it for several years now and they no longer produce this particular style but you can still find it on consignment often – like this one in black.
I look forward to getting many years of wear out of this beautiful custom suit! Have you or would you ever consider purchasing a bespoke garment? Let me know in the comments below.