Bijan – Bespoke Linen Sport Coat – Part 3 – Second Fitting

 

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I’d been looking forward to this meeting with Bijan and Josh for several weeks. Having had an overwhelmingly positive experience at the first fitting of this bespoke sport coat, I’d been anticipating what the coat would look like once the second fitting rolled around and the sleeves were attached.

As I’d highlighted in the post from the first fitting, the immediately noticeable point was in not really being able to feel the coat at all, after I put it on. A well cut coat can give a feeling that, rather than restricting the you, it seems to float on you. It’s a feeling which is very hard to find with anyone other than a very good tailor. Even at this point, with the sleeves now added, the feeling of weightlessness remained. So far so good.

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Regular readers would have seen that in the first post I’d been impressed by how well the coat followed the fairly pronounced curve of my back, albeit a bit too closely, so it was let out for this fitting. There’s a growing trend among younger men to wear their suits like muscle shirts, sticking to the body at every opportunity, but it lacks style and is a cry for attention. Moreover, it’s completely impractical. The purpose of a well cut suit is not just to enhance someones better features, while minimising flaws, but to do so in a way that allows him to be comfortable and move freely. So there’s little point in paying thousands of dollars for a coat, when you don’t look forward to putting it on because it’s uncomfortable.

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That’s a sizable digression, so in getting back to the fit, Bijan had taken the waist and back out slightly to allow it to hang more comfortably. After taking some time to weigh up how we wanted to find the right balance, we decided to bring it in again, only slightly, finding a point between the initial close fit and the slightly looser second option.

On to the sleeves. Like most people, one of my arms is a little longer than the other (for me, my left arm is longer). We lengthened both sleeves slightly, the left a little more than the right, aiming for half an inch of shirt cuff extending beyond the sleeves of the coat.

Adjusting sleeve length

Adjusting sleeve length

Once those adjustments were chalked up, Bijan had suggested adding an extra centimetre of width across the shoulders. I’d initially been happy with their position, but once he demonstrated what the extra centimetre difference would look like and how it let the sleeves hang off the shoulders more naturally, I could see his point and we agreed to make the change.

With the adjustments taken care of, we needed to choose the sleeve lining. Lining choice comes down to personal preference. Given that it will almost always remain unseen, it offers an opportunity (for those who want it) to get creative. I prefer subtlety, so I’ve decided to keep the lining more understated, but instead of choosing the identical lining for the sleeves, I opted for a white and blue striped bemberg, which will pick up the navy of the linen and add a little interest to the inside of the coat (even though I’m the only one who’ll ever see it).

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Before we finished up, the final detail requiring attention was to view a draft of the hand-stitched fish symbol which will take the place of the final button hole on the sleeves. It’s come up perfectly and will now be replicated on the finished coat. Whilst it’s been done here in a contrasting colour, the finished product will be completed in navy, to match the coat, making it virtually invisible to anyone else.

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Andrew is an Australian born writer, covering the world's leading bespoke tailors and craftspeople in menswear, with a focus on authentic quality, over branding. He spends most of his days running his successful (god knows how) consulting company and travels frequently to Europe for work and writing. He's a passionate cyclist, former trainee professional golfer and lover of all things Cocker Spaniel. He's married to his best friend and significantly better half, Mehri.

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