Our Head of Marketing, Rob O’Reilly, breaks down why a custom, made-to-measure garment is worth the wait (and actually better for it).
The hardest part of marketing custom, made-to-measure garments is educating customers on the wait time. Shoppers have become used to instant gratification on their shopping impulses - getting measured and waiting a month or so for your delivery is unusual when retail has been headed the other direction, offering same day delivery and short turn-arounds.
I get it - I’ve been waiting eagerly for my outrageous double-breasted purple seersucker suit, keeping my eyes peeled (and my fingers crossed) as the deliveries arrive each day. But here’s why that’s a good thing.
If you’re buying made-to-measure with a bit of a wait, you’re more likely to be purchasing the things you really want and need, not just in that precise moment, but over the garment’s lifetime. It’s about as far from fast fashion as you can get. You’re planning and thinking through the things that will be the most functional and useful, whether that’s for a specific event or just as a staple. It retrains your clothes brain - the more you plan, the more normal it becomes. And the more high-quality, high-use garments you’ll have to reach for as you need. It gives you the building blocks of a wardrobe that you really need, rather than an ad hoc collection of last minute buys (that tend to be reactions to dress codes and trends, instead of good quality basics).
Woolmark recently said the average garment is worn seven times before it’s discarded. That’s a lot of waste. The reason that off-the-rack bargain you got on sale is so heavily discounted is usually because the brand gambled on how many of them they’d sell, and over-ordered or stuffed up the quality. That means the fibres were farmed carefully over a long period, using valuable water and labour and land, shipped to a mill to be turned into a fabric, shipped to a factory to be turned into a garment, shipped to a warehouse here, often shipped back and forward to a few online customers who decided it didn’t work for them, and then eventually dropped down several price points until it was sold, often at a loss (because storage is expensive at scale). That’s a lot of damage to the environment for something that’s worn seven times.
No extra costs for tailoring, high quality natural fibres, and made-to-measure fit means you’re buying precisely what you want. We talk about ‘cost per wear’ a lot - $699 for a suit is expensive if it’s worn once, but it’s great value if it’s a go-to suit in your work wardrobe each week, or if it’s a tuxedo for your wedding that you can reach for in years to come. Buying things that fit well and are perfectly suited to your taste and needs increases the likelihood it’s going to have a better ‘CPW’.
Getting what you want at the moment it pops into your head is never as good. Christmas is exciting for kids because of the build up—telling Santa what they want, putting up decorations, seeing the presents under a sparkling tree. A holiday is fun because of the planning and waiting—finding the spots to eat and drink, getting recommendations off friends, jumping in an Uber to the airport and saying goodbye. The suspense builds, the gratification is delayed, and the experience becomes more than just a temporary zing of serotonin. It’s an experience, and experiences are always better than things.
They reflect who you are, in the details and choices. They remind you of when you bought them, whisky in hand and flicking through fabric books and buttons. They carry the stories of their own provenance - the farmers who grew the wool, the artisans that milled it, the Stylist who helped guide you through the journey. And they go hand-in-hand with the times and places you wear them, becoming part of your memories and the confidence and purpose you felt wearing them.