“Just because you spend a lot of money on a suit made by a well-known brand, that doesn’t mean it will fit you,” says Mats, who is dressed in his favourite grey flannel suit from Trunk’s own made-to-measure service. “We all come in different shapes and sizes, so finding something that truly fits can be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes, we have one arm that is slightly longer than the other, or the length of a jacket isn’t quite right. With made to measure, none of that is a problem.”
Mats is standing in our Chiltern Street shop, perusing a catalogue of canvas-bound fabric samples; he’s on the lookout for a new suit to wear to a winter wedding in December. Store manager Aidan stands nearby, armed with a yellow tape measure draped around his lapels. Picking up a tome filled with Fox Flannels fabrics, Mats hovers over a navy sample with a classic windowpane check. “We have so many fabrics, we have several hundred from Loro Piana alone — being able to choose is a truly special experience,” he says.
In true Trunk style, however, the fabric offering — much like the clothing that fill our shops — is a curated one. “On Savile Row, there is often an entire wall filled with books of cloth, it can be overwhelming,” says Aidan. “Trunk offers an edit of fabrics which, while still extensive, makes the experience less intimidating. We have a consultation, find out what the suit or even just the jacket or the shirt is for, and we narrow down the fabric choices to two or three very quickly. Our clients are often time poor; we want to make made to measure easy.”
Speed, style and efficiency are key to our made to measure offering, which is made in Italy. Our silhouettes stem from the Trunk suiting line; the Chiltern is our everyday work suit, while the Weymouth is our unlined casual suit, and the Wigmore is a smart-casual hybrid with an Italian three-button fastening. These suits act as a blank canvas for customers to put their own stamp, choosing everything from the pocket construction to the buttons, plus the rise of the waistband. “Many customers are choosing to have a side adjuster instead of belt loops, as it’s more streamlined and a little more casual,” says Aidan, who does all our fittings in London — we also offer the service in Zurich.
The initial consultation lasts for one hour, where our tailors will measure, guide through silhouette choices and advise on fabrics and finishings. “We’ve seen almost every iteration of every suit,” says Aidan. “We know instinctively what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to be tweaked to make it the best possible version. Some customers want a suit for a warm-weather wedding, others just want a casual blazer or a perfectly fitting shirt to wear to the office every day. Some ask for a business suit fit for travelling, for which we’d suggest a high wist wool fabric — it prevents creasing. We refine the design options and refine the fit until it’s perfect.”
The real possibility in made to measure, though, is the input you can have. “You might see a corduroy jacket from a brand that’s a bit too casual, but with made to measure, you can create one, removing some pockets to make it feel more appropriate,” says Aidan. “And it fits perfectly because we build it around you — making the sleeves a tiny bit longer, or shorter. Sometimes it comes down to millimetres. But in this field, millimetres make a huge difference.”