I have worked in the men’s fashion industry since the early 1990s, working in Yokohama, Tokyo, LA and New York, before eventually establishing my customized menswear store Kazuna, in Sydney, Australia. Over the years, I’ve seen many trends come and go – I’ve seen styles change and develop, but one thing remain consistent. To look professional, you need to wear a properly fitted suit of quality materials. Your outfit should reflect your personality, your professionalism and your build, so you walk into your business role looking and feeling confident, focused and comfortable.
So how do you achieve that confidence and professional poise?
The perfect fit
The key difference between an off-the-rack suit and a custom-made suit is the fit. An off-the-rack suit will only come in a relatively small range of sizes which cannot accommodate physical differences. One man will look uncomfortably constricted across the chest while another man could be swamped in the same size suit, even if the two men are theoretically the same build. A made-to-measure suit, constructed from a base pattern fitted to your individual proportions, will fit perfectly while making the most of your natural build.
Some stores offer the option of bespoke garments, designed entirely from the customer’s individual measurements, although this is a costly and time-consuming process and doesn’t necessarily deliver a better fit than a made-to-measure garment. At Kazuna, we only construct made-to-measure suits as this method provides the perfect fitted garment within just a few weeks, without the need for endless measurements and fittings.
Complete customized coordination
For an investment to work, you need to present it properly. You wouldn’t try to sell a valuable investment property while the garden was overgrown and the paintwork was shabby. Most people already know that a tailored suit is a good investment, but they make the mistake of forgetting about the rest of the outfit. An ill-fitting shirt, a tie that doesn’t complement the outfit, or shabby poor-quality shoes will detract from your key investment.
Your suit is one element in a complete outfit – for the fully professional effect, you must coordinate each element, matching your suit with a customized tailored shirt, a complementary tie and smart shoes.
As the director of the only store in Australia that customizes every element of your outfit, I have seen countless customers transform, instantly gaining greater self-assurance and poise, simply because every element of their outfit has been tailored exactly for their build, so they are comfortable, confident and coordinated.
A reflection of your personality
A common misconception is that the traditional men’s suit lacks individual personality, but that is not actually true. You don’t need to rely on your tie to highlight your personal style – your entire outfit can reflect your individuality, through the wide range of fabrics, colours and style variations to choose from.
Besides a range of styles from classic to the latest trends, you will also have personal preferences about the type of suit fabric you feel comfortable wearing. Even your shirt can highlight your personal style. At Kazuna, we produce three models of shirts with a range of fabrics to suit every style. We also make made-to-measure goodyear welted shoes for business or casual occasions, also make made-to-measure neckties with a range of colours and basic patterns, so you have countless options regarding fabric, length, width and style. We also make casual shirts, jackets and pants for those who dress informally for work and want to add a professional edge to their casual work clothes.
You might think you’re lucky enough to have the build to carry an off-the-rack suit, but you can’t hide the fact that the fabric is poor quality and doesn’t last. Cheap fabric is generally synthetic so it doesn’t breathe or move well so you will feel uncomfortable and constricted. The lining will also be cheap polyester which traps heat and static. When the manufacturer economises with cheap fabric, you’ll see there are other cheap features as well, such as plastic flimsy buttons that break easily or no proper interlining (canvas) inside of the jacket.
At Kazuna, we offer a high quality range of fabrics including Japanese cloth, Italian cloth and English cloth and we work with the highest quality natural fibre interlinings (canvas) from Bertero Interlining Co. in Perin, Milan. Bertero interlinings are not only softer and lighter than synthetic fibres, they also add an elegant definition to the fit and feel of your suit.
Value for money
When you buy a quality made-to-measure suit, it will retain its definition and style, reflecting your professionalism long after a cheap suit has disintegrated. A suit is made of cheap materials will never give you that air of authority, and it quickly loses its shape and definition, so you are not saving money if you need to replace the suit every year or so.
Your time is also valuable, and a made-to-measure suit can be tailored to your individual measurements within a few weeks, which is a far more efficient than spending endless hours being fitted for a bespoke suit.
You invest in your own education and training to ensure you have the skills to do the job you love, and you invest your time and efforts into doing your job properly. So why not invest a little into your appearance, so the people you meet can recognize your air of authority and expertise? My passion is designing and creating suits that reflect your passion for your work, so you look and feel successful and confident.
Kaz is the director of Kazuna in Sydney, Australia, highly specialized Made to Measure suit designers who offer a full range of men’s clothing.