In the end of last year as I visited Sauma they told that they had got a new made to measure-option (in addition to Mabro, Sartoria Rossi and Willworst) to their selection, which was basically going to be made under their own name "Sauma private label".
I was at the moment in the process of looking for a new suit for work so I decided to give it a try as I also wanted to take a step from of off-the-rack suits which very often gives me problems due to my short arms and a bit problematic body figure to mtm-suits to see what kind of a difference does it make.
The process begins...
...By putting on a "trial suit", seeing how it fits, making the alterations that are needed and taking the measurements. In terms of the jacket for me the case was basically to alter the hem width, narrow and shorten of course the sleeves a bit and to do minor changes to the button stance.
But there, of course, a lot more possibilities to do in case it's needed.
One of the most important things to choose going mtm for me at least was the chance to select just the kind of fabric you're looking for and want.
Sometimes it can take ages to look for some particular color or pattern from ready-to-wear collections but in mtm you usually have hundreds of different possibilities to choose from.
After going through few bunches of choices I made the final call between really basic mid-grey flannel and a bit more eccentric blue chalk-striped flannel (inspired by Rose&Born and Tuomo from Sauma who has a really nice two-piece of that cloth), both from Vitale Barberis Canonico and ended up going with the mid-grey flannel.
Next step was choosing the construction for the suit. There are basically 3 different choices for the jacket which are:
1) totally unlined version with a minimal construction and soft shoulders
2) full-canvas construction (which gives a roll and support to the front of the jacket in terms that fused construction can not. Floating canvas will also never delaminate. In general this construction will make your jackets last longer than the fused option. The "negative side" of this is that it's usually more expensive in terms of both materials and labor required and that's way you don't see this construction in many entry-level rtw-jackets).
3) so called half-canvas construction, where the front is fused, but the fusing does not extend into the lapel area. The positive sides of this option is that it's less expensive than full-canvas, less sensitive to humidity than fused construction and it usually gives the jacket a good lapel roll.
(I'm not going into the details but to get a better picture of the differences between full-canvas, half-canvas and fully fused (which is not described above) suit construction I suggest to read this really good article written by Jeffrey Diduch who also writes a great blog called tuttofattoamano / made by hand - the great sartorial debate, which I recommend to take a closer look and save to your bookmarks as well.
After that it's time to choose the number of buttons you want (2, which is the most basic one, "hard 3" which can be described to be a bit more "classic and old-fashioned" option, 3-roll-2, which is a three-button-jacket where the lapel is rolled to the middle button and the upper button not even meant to be closed or even a single-button option) the type of jacket pockets and finally the stitching.
In terms of sewing, the "Sauma private label"-suits are pretty much entirely sewed by machine but only the hem is attached by hand. There are also some options to have the stitching made by hand as well.
The final touch comes by choosing the details including the color of (viscose) lining and collar felt (if so wanted), button-holes and of course buttons.
This is also a way to personalize your suit or jacket that can't be done with rtw-garments. I would keep in mind however especially if you're getting your first mtm-suit and you don't have a closet full of suits in general, keep it simple. Maybe you can play a bit with the lining but avoid contrasting button-holes etc even it might sound like a good idea in the first place.
My choice and delivery
I was looking something that would work as suit for work but that I could use in other occasions as well. I also wanted that the suit would work as separates to make it more versatile and easy to combine with my other sport jackets and trousers. As mentioned above I ended up choosing the mid-grey flannel fabric (340g) from Vitale Barberis.
For the reasons to make the jacket work as a sport coat as well I decided to go with the so called "American lining" which in this case means minimal construction, no lining and really soft, natural shoulder. I wanted 2 patch pockets and single-breasted jacket with 2 buttons. I probably would have gone with 3-roll-2 buttoning but it was not possible with the "American lining".
The trousers I wanted with 5,5cm cuffs and the only "bold" choice I made to personalize my suit was to have the back pockets of the trousers to be diagonal :)
The making of the suit takes approximately 4 weeks which can be defined as pretty normal delivering time for mtm-suits. After the suit has arrived there will be the "final (and only)" fitting in case there's any need for final alterations or fixing(I think it's pretty common that there are some).
In my case everything was pretty much as supposed only the jacket needed to be pressed a bit to give it a bit more room and better drape on the chest and the trousers needed to be shorten a little bit to get them be perfectly as I wanted them to be (which is a bit shorter than "normal brake")
Sum-up - Pros & Cons of "Sauma Private label"-suits
+ Wide selection of fabrics from different suppliers
+ Affordable option to go for mtm (prices starting from around 1000 euros with basic fabrics) and definitely worth considering as an option even for some higher-end rtw-suits.
There are not many options in mtm-suits (if any in Finland at least) you can get full-canvas construction in this price-range.
+ Possibility to take into consideration the different kind of characteristics of your body and the little details you're after
- In terms of construction some choices closes off each others
I pretty much got what I was looking for and the suit has got pretty much wear since I got in the beginning of January. It's also been nice to notice that since I got the suit it has felt maybe better and better with every single use as it "adapts" to my body. Grey flannel suit is one the most classic pieces a man can have and as I was lacking one, "playing safe" was a good choice.
Sauma started their mtm-days yesterday (saturday) and they will be on till Saturday 16.3.2013. All the orders made during the day are with -20% discount and all the rtw-clothes and accessories -10%.
In case you choose to go with the "Sauma private label" those will be -25% off during the mtm-days. If you're looking for a new suit (or well, even you aren't), go and take a look€¦