How Long Does a Bespoke, Handmade Suit Take Once It’s Ordered?

You may know the old saying; the best things come to those who wait… 

If you’re looking to order a tailored, one-of-a-kind suit, you’ll probably have an inkling that it’ll take a while to produce the end result. 

But what are the rough timescales for a tailored suit, and how long can you expect to wait? Well, it depends on a few different factors.

As a professional tailor with over 15 years’ experience, there’s nothing I love more than seeing the smiling faces of my customers when I finally hand over their unique garments that fit them like a glove. 

It’s always worth the wait. 

But I know it’s also important to make sure they know exactly what to expect in terms of timescales for a tailored suit – so they have plenty of time to ensure it arrives for the event or occasion they have in mind. 

That’s why I wanted to put together this blog post; so you can be prepared before you order (and choose one of our express options if necessary).  

How long does a bespoke, handmade suit take?

Okay, let’s take away all the suspense and get right down to it. On average, you can expect your bespoke, handmade suit to take up to 8 weeks until it’s ready for your first fitting (although it can often be a bit sooner – and express options are also available). 

This is because once you’ve gone through the process of selecting your style options, cloth, lining – and any extras – your chosen team of talented, busy tailors will get to work on cutting your paper pattern, before specialist stitchers bring your bespoke garment to life! 

Perfection takes time. But rest assured, tailors take their work very seriously indeed, with care and attention to detail going into every single stitch. 

Express options when ordering a bespoke suit 

Many tailors will also be able to offer you some express options if you have a special day or occasion in your calendar, and need your suit a bit sooner. 

Our own express options for a tailored, bespoke suit are up to 6 weeks (Mill & Merchant Cloth) and up to 4 weeks (House Cloth) – both at an additional cost. 

With our Mill & Merchant cloth options, we have a compulsory calico fitting at around week 4, an important stage in ensuring your pattern is correct ahead of cutting your cloth.

Please Note! If you do wish for your bespoke, handmade suit to arrive sooner, it’s important to make your chosen tailor aware of this from the very beginning, so they can fast track production of your suit.  

Other factors that can affect timescales for a tailored suit 

One thing that can affect timescales, and is worth noting, is if you have a specific cloth in mind that your tailor doesn’t have in their books, or in their stock. Most tailors will be happy to go the extra mile and source any cloth or lining that you would like (usually at an additional charge). This is exactly why we carry cloth options from cloth merchants and mill partners.

Occasionally, there may be other factors that can affect the expected timescales for a tailored suit, such as pandemics (well, it has affected just about everything else!), natural disasters, and issues with post here in the UK (if you’re getting your bespoke suit delivered). 

Some things may be out of our control, but again, rest assured that most good tailors will keep you in the loop if any unforeseen (and unavoidable) delays occur, and will do their utmost to ensure you have your beautifully tailored suit ready for when you need it.

Advice from an experienced tailor 

The best advice I can give you is to ensure you allow for time once your bespoke, tailored suit comes back for your first fitting. Most tailors will want to ensure your suit fits perfectly, so if any further adjustments are required, they should be willing to carry out a series of fittings as part of the service.

What we normally do here at ETC is make any adjustments required, and get you back into one of our studios in a couple of weeks. We’ll rinse and repeat this process until you’re 100% happy with the fit of your one-of-a-kind suit. 

When choosing the right tailor for you, take the time to explain what you’re looking for, find out what’s possible, and ensure they know when you’ll need it by. And always trust your gut: are they listening to you, and asking all the right questions? 

Feel free to ask them questions, too. A good tailor should be happy to help you find inspiration, and envision the kind of look you want to achieve – even if you can’t quite put your finger on what you need at first. It should be a fun experience. 

Also! Beware of tailors who promise your bespoke, tailored suit a lot sooner. It could be made-to-measure, rather than bespoke. Check out our blog to find out more about why this isn’t exactly ideal, and could lead to lots of extra adjustments later down the line!

To sum it up…

I hope this helped answer your question about how long a bespoke, handmade suit takes – answer is, how long is a piece of, ermmmm… thread! (Realistically, a standard order should take up to 8 weeks to arrive for it’s first fitting). 

Of course, if you need your garments sooner, most good tailors will offer you an express service, allowing you to get hold of your suit in as little as 4 weeks

Want to find out more about ordering a bespoke, handmade suit from Edinburgh Tailoring Company? 

Get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. 


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