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The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Custom Suit Online

Detail photo of custom suit

Buying A Custom Suit Online - Where to Start

Every guy needs at least one quality suit, for all the important events in his life. When it comes to quality, you can grab something off the rack, or you can get a custom suit online. If you want to look and feel your best, then a custom suit is the way to go. Learning about the process of buying a custom suit online can help you make a decision about what option is best or you. When you go custom, you will have a sharp-looking suit that is perfectly made specifically for you. Perfect for both your body, and perfect for your personal style. 

One-of-a-kind suits for one-of-a-kind men

When you’re looking to invest in a custom suit, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first is where you will be wearing this suit. If you’re only looking to keep one suit in your wardrobe, you will want to have something made that is suitable for most events. In that case, versatility is key when you go custom. If you’re looking to add a new suit to an existing collection you already have, you’ll have to consider what sort of events this suit will be worn to. Buying a custom suit online ensures that you have access to all of the options possible. That is to say, you are not limited by what materials a brick and mortar store carries.

When to go for the custom suit? It all depends

Different occasions call for different styles and elements. The same goes for different seasons. For instance, Fall Fashion varies considerably from Summer Fashion. Additionally, some design elements are better suited to more casual events, while others should only be worn in the most formal of situations. Check out the articles we have in our Gentleman’s Cafe for more information on picking styles and elements for any occasion.

two men in different styles of custom suits. One is wearing an overcoat.

Options Available When You Buy a Custom Suit Online

Go Custom: Your Build

Besides the purpose of the suit and the occasion, something you want to consider is your frame and face shape. The benefit of investing in a custom suit over grabbing one off the rack is that your suit will be designed with your shape and structure in mind. A well-made suit can work wonders on a man. For instance, it can accentuate features you love about yourself, and minimize the features you don’t. When we design your custom suit online, we take your build into account in a few ways. First, we advise you on design options that may complement and enhance your shape. And second, our tailors receive detailed information about your shape based on measurements and images to construct your suit accordingly.

Go Custom: Your Design

The design elements of a suit speak about who you are as a person and what kind of things you value. Are you a cigar and whisky kind of gentleman, or do you prefer craft beer? Do you prefer to be a quiet observer, or do you want to be the center of attention? The design elements of a suit – like the lapel style and width, or the button layout – are vital details. That’s because they can all send subtle, silent signals to the people you meet about what kind of man you are. Our stylists work with you over video chat to learn about your style, whether this is your first custom suit or hundredth. 

Buying Your Custom Suit Online

When you choose a custom suit designed online with HARTTER MANLY, you are in charge of the design and construction process. With guidance from experts, you’re in control from start to finish. And what you get is a one-of-a-kind suit for you, a one-of-a-kind guy. Our stylists walk you through all the steps of designing your suit, from the fabric, buttons, accents, and more, all online.

Your First Online Custom Suit Purchase

HARTTER MANLY has one goal above all: to create a one-of-a-kind tailoring experience for the modern gentleman. Our hybrid method combines bespoke craftsmanship and the speed of made-to-measure.  By doing so, we handcraft each piece to your unique style. Most importantly, we make sure your custom suit tells your story.

Get a Great Fit From Home

The first step towards your perfect custom suit is perfect measurements. With our new technology, you can measure yourself from the comfort of your own home using only your smartphone.

Mobile tailor by Hartter Manly how it works

Custom Suit Measurements, No Photographer Necessary

With our HARTTER MANLY Mobile Tailor‘s hands-free option, you don’t even need a friend to take the photos for you. Get every measurement down to the millimeter without a tailor or a tape measure. After that, we are ready to build!


One-of-a-Kind Suits for One-of-a-Kind Guys

With your custom suit through HARTTER MANLY, you will make all the choices. For instance, do you want your side-arm buttons glued or stitched? Additionally, what color do you want your stitches to be? Furthermore, do you want them to blend in or stand out as an accent? Need a suit to perfectly match a bridesmaid’s dress? We got you. In other words, every style and fit choice is up to you, ranging from lapel types to button layouts to vents. After you make your choices, watch your perfect suit come to life in superb quality.

Design a Custom Suit That Can Do It All

These suits feature modern twists on classic styles. Because of their versatility, you can wear them to any event, any way you want.

Can You Really Buy a Custom Suit Online Though?

HARTTER | MANLY Custom Suits Online: Superior Quality

Here at HARTTER MANLY, we create a custom suit experience that leaves you with a suit of impeccable quality, designed with your stylistic choices and measurements to ensure the best fit possible. We use European fabrics and have over 3,000 swatches available to choose from. Most of our suits are 100% wool, but we also offer cashmere and silk blends, to build a suit for you that makes the exact statement you’re looking to put out into the world. Our suits come with a half canvassed interlining (check out our article in the Gentleman’s Cafe for more information on interlining), but you can upgrade to a full canvas suit for an even better fit that will mold to your body with more with time and wear.

Go custom online with HARTTER MANLY for the options

Your suit from H|M will be a lasting investment: half and full canvas suits last much longer, and don’t lose their shape the way fused suits do. And the interlining of your suit is not the only choice you get to make. Designing your custom suit online through H|M, you will make all the choices: do you want your side-arm buttons glued or stitched? What color do you want your stitches to be? Do you want them to blend in or stand out as an accent? Need a suit to perfectly match a bridesmaid’s dress? We got you. Every style and fit choice is up to you, ranging from lapel types to button layouts to vents. Make those choices and watch your perfect suit come to life.

Here's an example:

Custom Suit Online Tool

With our online customizing process, you choose everything. From the number of buttons, down to the slant of the pocket and more. You’re the boss when you go custom.

Go custom with HARTTER MANLY for the fit

We fit better

Everyone is different, in endless ways. We go beyond chest, waist, and shoulders, because even if two people have the same basic measurements, no two shapes are identical. Bespoke suits are considered the top-of-the-line in menswear, but they have some drawbacks. They’re expensive (we mean expensive) and they’re a hassle. They take multiple fittings and require you to head into the tailor at least three times before your suit is complete. (Compare to no visits when you buy your custom suit online!) 

They work from scratch, not from a pattern, for a better fit. However, if you get your suit designed with a menswear provider that uses many measurements, you’ll get just as great a fit. Most importantly, it’s at a much friendlier price-point and comes with a lot less hassle. 

Our suits have that perfect-fit-feeling

In addition, having a suit tailored to your body and shape will do more than fit great – it will give you a unique wearing experience that you won’t find with any suit you grab off the rack. Not only do our suits look fantastic, they feel fantastic. You will find it easier to move in and it won’t feel claustrophobic or hot.


HARTTER MANLY custom suits online are made-to-measure. Specifically, they build off of existing patterns and use your personal measurements to make the required adjustments. In addition, we use 70+ measurements where most M2M suit providers will use 10 to 15.  That brings you a perfect fit that doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t take multiple fittings. Using this many measurements minimizes the likelihood that you’ll need it adjusted. Since you don’t have to take your new suit in to a tailor, there’s no waiting. You can take your suit out on the town as soon as it arrives at your door.

Examples of hair styles on longer faces

Make a statement

At the end of the day, investing in a suit is important. So why should you buy a custom suit online? A custom suit can make you stand out at any event. With fit and design crafted to your exact specifications, going custom makes a statement about your identity and your personal style. Moreover, it will fit like a second skin and make you look and feel like the best version of yourself. A suit says a lot about a man. What is your suit saying?

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Suit Fabric and Patterns: What They Are And How To Use Them

Suit design options are truly limitless. Designs come in an infinite number of combinations – from the buttons, to the lapel, to the leg break, to the pockets. But two of the most central and visible elements of a suit are the fabric and the pattern. Because these elements are so integral to a suit design, we wanted to break them down for you so you go into your next suit purchase with a solid understanding of these basics.

The Suit Fabric

The fabric of a suit goes beyond aesthetics. You’re looking for a fabric that wears well – one that forms to your body as you wear it and one that is season and weather-appropriate. Some fabrics are more casual, while others are better for the most formal of situations. So where do you start?

Fabric: Wool

Wool is the industry-standard for formal menswear. The majority of suits you find on the racks or while browsing online are wool suits. Wool comes in a wide variety of options, including different weights and preparations. 

A swatch book showing various suit fabrics and patterns. Yasamine June Unsplash

When To Wear Wool

This means you can wear wool in many different situations. We often think of wool as better suited for winter months that call for heavier, warmer clothes. To the contrary, wool is actually extremely versatile. Besides the heavy wool for winter months, there are lighter weights that are perfect for warmer weather. The best part about wool is that all weights are breathable, so even the heavier weights aren’t stifling. 

Types of Wool

Additionally, wool comes in two different preparations: woolen and worsted. 

Worsted wools are smooth, dense, and compact. The wool lays flat when woven, and is smooth to the touch. Woolen wool, on the other hand, is perfect for those lovely chunky winter blankets and sweaters. The yarn is thicker in circumference but lighter and fluffier in makeup. It creates a more textured look when woven into fabric. Lighter weight suits are typically composed of worsted wool, while the thicker, heavier suits are woolen wool.

Fabric: Cashmere

Woven Cashmere fabrics. Though not ideal for suits, cashmere works well in a blend. By Johnstons of Elgin Unsplash.

Cashmere is fabric that is made from long, thin fibers of goat hair. It gets its name from it’s origin in Kashmir, India. Cashmere has a long-standing reputation as one of the softest fabrics on the planet, and many high-end, luxury suits contain some cashmere . As such, it does carry a hefty price tag. Generally, suits that are not 100% wool are a blend.  For instance, the fabric might entail 85% wool, 9% cashmere, and 6% silk. 

Fabric: Cotton

Cotton is light and breathable, which makes it a pretty popular choice for suits as well. However, cotton is susceptible to creasing more frequently than other fabrics, so you must tend to and maintain your cotton suits. They’re less expensive from the get-go but are unlikely to last as long as a wool suit. Cotton is best for more casual events in the warmer months.

Fabric: Linen

Linen has secured its place as the fabric of summer. It’s light, airy, and flexible, and comes from the fibers of the flax plant. However, linen does have a reputation of being very easy to wrinkle. Therefore, like cotton, it requires regular upkeep and dry-cleaning.

Suit Fabric Patterns

You can use anything as a pattern in clothing! That being said, there are some staple patterns that are more typical in men’s formal wear throughout the years. Each pattern has its own flavor and uses – levels of formality, seasons, type of event, and so on. While a solid-color suit is appropriate in any situation, you can make a statement and have a bit of fun with your attire when you wear a pattern.

Patterns: Crosshatch

The crosshatch pattern isn’t so much a pattern as it is an elaboration on solid color. The weave of similar threads creates a pattern that looks almost solid. However, there are some lighter threads that create a bit of a watercolor effect to break up the solid color. It’s perfect if you want to try a pattern but are a little nervous about being too loud with your attire.

Patterns: Herringbone

The Romans originally conceived of herringbone when creating their roadways. Herringbone pattern’s use in textiles can be traced to 600 B.C.-era Ireland. It looks like the letter V repeated over the fabric, but it’s actually composed of rows of diagonal lines that look like slashes. The rows alternate so that two together make up the V-shape. It’s a relatively discrete pattern that is great for formal settings without drawing too much attention.

Patterns: Houndstooth

The earliest examples of Houndstooth textiles are from what is today called Austria, dating back to sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C. It’s a two-tone pattern that includes broken-up checks made up of pointed shapes. Houndstooth is an example of a tessellation – a pattern of geometric tiles that slot into each other like puzzle pieces. The continuing pattern, with no gaps and no overlaps, creates the visual effect. Because of the visual effect, houndstooth is on the louder side of commonly-used patterns. As such, you should be cautious of wearing it in formal settings. However, houndstooth can make a fun statement piece as a sport jacket.

Patterns: Stripes

Vertical stripes are either pinstripe or chalkstripe, depending on the stripe thickness. Chalkstripes are thicker and more broadly spaced, while pinstripes are very fine and closer together. Self-stripe is similar to pinstripe, but instead of using a different color thread, self-stripes appear due to a weaving technique. That is, the pattern itself comes from the fabric weave.

Patterns: Plaids and Checks

A plaid or check pattern is, essentially, a pattern in which intersecting vertical and horizontal lines create rectangular shapes on the fabric. There are a few different varieties of checks, but they all follow that general pattern.  

Glen Plaid

Glen plaid, for instance, is comprised of lines of different shades. Usually, two dark and two light lines alternate with four dark and four light lines. This method creates a collection of check shapes in different sizes throughout the pattern.

Check Pattern

Windowpane checks are squares of equal size, sectioned off by a repeating pattern of equidistant horizontal and vertical lines. It is a much simpler pattern when compared to the crowdedness of glen check. Buffalo check is the plaid style that you might expect to find a lumberjack wearing – often in red and black. It’s far more casual than the other checks mentioned here, so should be reserved for statement pieces in less formal events. 


Using what you’ve learned here, you can make more informed decisions about how to dress depending on the situation, season, and level of formality. Patterns and fabrics are the two most basic elements of a suit that will declare a look’s style. Besides the pattern, the framework, bones, and everything that comes after is seasoning. Before you worry about more specific details, ensure you’re dressing in the right fabric with an appropriate pattern. From there you’ll have a much easier time making decisions regarding the more minute details, and you’ll have a perfect custom look ready to go.

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Suit Mistakes To Avoid: Do’s and Don’ts of Formal Menswear

A man showcasing how to wear formal menswear. He is avoiding common suit mistakes

Suits can be tricky business. Like every other type of fashion, there are commonly accepted do’s and don’ts for styling a suit. In addition, what’s on-trend is always shifting with the seasons, adding another layer of complexity to getting dressed. Here we will go over the most common do’s and don’ts of formal menswear, so you have a solid base upon which to start building any look.

Suit Mistakes: The Jacket

The aesthetic and style of a suit heavily revolve around angles and lines. For example, in the jacket you have the angles and lines of the lapel, the pockets, the shoulders, the cuffs, and the back vents. Therefore, a significant percentage of what makes a high-quality jacket revolves around the visible proportions. Additionally, a well-made and well-fitted suit drapes over the body and creates an aesthetically pleasing silhouette.

The Most Visible Suit Mistake: The Length

So what makes a good jacket, and what makes a bad one? To start, consider the length. If the overall jacket length is off, the whole silhouette will look off. Additionally, this element is dependent on the shape of your body. Gents on the shorter side are going to want to have their jacket end just below the hip-bones. If you’re on the taller side, slightly longer than that is the way to go. Going too long or too short with your jacket can drastically affect the proportions of your silhouette.

Suit Button Configuration Mistakes

Additionally, the aesthetic style of a jacket can make a huge difference in the overall look. Even the button set-up impacts your look. Wearing the wrong button configuration for your frame will make it look more than a little disproportionate. Most body shapes do fine with a two-button set-up, but if you’re quite tall, go for three. If you do find that multiple buttons work best for your shape, always remember to never button the bottom one.

Suit Vent Mistakes

Additionally, the vents are important. Suit jackets typically come in single or double vent constructions. HARTTER | MANLY co-founder David Manly says to always go for the double vent option. Double vent is best for both aesthetic reasons, and to make sitting more comfortable.

Lapel Mistakes

The focal point of most suit jackets is the lapel. The lapel is the the border around the collar and neck of the jacket that transitions into the edges where the two jacket sides meet in the middle. We have an entire article specifically on lapel types. Our guide explains levels of formality each lapel type. It also tells you how to pick the right one for your body.

Suit Mistakes: The Shirt

A lot of mistakes revolving around the shirt involve the outer edges of the shirt. That is, the places where the shirt is exposed, such as the cuff and the collar. 

Common Mistakes With Shirt Cuffs

The most common shirt mistake is when the jacket sleeve shows too much or too little of the cuff underneath. Make sure the cuff of the shirt breaks right around the wrist-bone. In order to keep the look proportionate, leave only about a quarter of an inch showing underneath the sleeve of the jacket.

Suit and Shirt Collar Mistakes

In regards to the collar, a well-fitting suit is one that has almost zero space in between the jacket lapel and the shirt collar. If there is too much space between the two, the suit will appear baggy and poorly-fitted.

Suit Mistakes: The Trousers

For the trousers, the most common mistakes revolve around both the fit and the style.

Trouser Fit Mistakes

At the top half of the pants, mistakes usually involve the fit of the waist. While a great belt is important for a well put-together suit, the trousers themselves should not actually need a belt in order to fit. If your trousers won’t stay up without a belt, you have two problems. Not only are your trousers too big, but they also probably don’t look great. Extra fabric around the waist that is bunched up by a belt widens the appearance of the hips. A well-fitting suit is sleek and fitted from top to bottom.

Trouser Style Mistakes

For the bottom half of your trousers, pay attention to the break. The break is the point at which your pants meet your shoes, and is a vital detail. The trouser length should create a slight dent where the bottom of the trouser hits the top of your shoes. In order to ensure this, you want the trousers to extend about half an inch past the point at which the fabric naturally meets your shoes. If they’re too long, they will look baggy and bunched up at the bottom. If they’re too short, you will look like you’re wearing a pair of pants you outgrew in high school. 

Trouser Break Trends

H | M co-founder Eric Hartter has found that many of his clients have started wearing the break right at the shoe line for a trendier, bolder look, and this is just as acceptable as long as it’s truly right at the shoe line.

A wide shot of a bride and groom wedding portrait showing the groom in a well fitting burgundy suit. He is avoiding suit mistakes.

Suit Mistakes: The Bottom Line

There are vast numbers of mistakes that can be made when getting dressed for a formal event, the majority of which revolve around angles and lines. When you’re putting your suit together, think of it like a puzzle – the pieces need to be proportionate and fit together, otherwise the whole thing is a mess. These tips are here to help you put together your puzzle so it fits perfectly when it’s complete.