There is something quite special about wearing custom-made clothes. 

The fit is immaculate, of course. Immediately you feel at ease. And you look good too. There is no better way to lift the mood and boost your confidence.

Remember, your custom-made item is unique to you. Whether it’s a suit or a jacket, a coat or a shirt, it’s something you have helped create: you discussed the cloth; you picked the details; you agreed the shape. One of our skilled team will advise you throughout the process. And more importantly, will measure you so we achieve the perfect fit. We take up to 15 measurements, just to be absolutely sure. This is yours and you want it to be perfect. 

What We Provide

At Ashworth & Bird we offer a broad selection of custom-made outfits: suits for weddings or work; coats to beat the chill; jackets and blazers for all occasions; as well as formal and casual shirts. Everything is made specifically to order, ensuring a great fit  

We can also arrange matching ties, pocket squares and waistcoats for weddings. 

But what is perhaps most important, is that we employ skilled advisers whose role is to make your journey into the world of custom-made clothes easy and straightforward. They will guide you through each step of the custom-tailoring experience, to ensure the result is a great fitting, good looking piece of clothing.

Before You Arrive

Before coming to Ashworth & Bird, please give some thought to what you need your new piece for. Is it for a special occasion, such as a wedding or significant birthday? Do you need it for work? And where will you be wearing it? Will you be in a warm climate? 

For example, if you are looking for a suit to wear to a wedding on a Caribbean island, we will be able to guide you towards lightweight fabrics and, if you want, lighter colours. Whereas, if the wedding is closer to home or likely to be in a cold climate – say a winter wedding in Scotland – then we will guide you towards heavier, warmer cloths and richer tones.

Also, please give some thought to styling. In your mind’s eye, are you expecting a single breasted or double-breasted suit? Are you hoping for a classic look? Or something a bit more fashionable? If you see something that you like – in a magazine or being worn by somebody – take a picture and show it to us at your first consultation. We will use it as inspiration as we help you create the perfect outfit.

And finally, think about pattern. Do you want a plain cloth or are you hoping for, say, a woven stripe or check. We understand that pattern can be quite daunting, but we would suggest it often lifts a garment and makes it quite special. And, of course, it doesn’t have to be a bold weave – a birdseye or a pindot can add visual interest and texture without being overpowering.

Other Considerations

If you are buying a suit for work and expect to wear it regularly, consider buying an extra pair of trousers. They are often the piece that wears out first (the jacket may spend a large part of its life over the back of a chair) and it can be frustrating to have a perfectly wearable jacket and worn out trousers.

Again, if you are coming to see us for a suit, think about buying a waistcoat as well. It adds to the versatility of the outfit. For weddings, a pale-coloured contrast waistcoat is a very stylish option. While a matching waistcoat will allow you to dress-up or dress-down as necessary.

We hope you will get much wear out of anything we make for you. And, of course, much pleasure. We will always advise on how to make the most of your purchase.

Three Steps to Great Custom- Made Tailoring

Step One

The Measurements

One of the major benefits of buying custom-made is that it fits perfectly. Everything is made to order and, more precisely, to your size and shape. 

Our skilled and experienced advisor will take a host of measurements from the size of your chest to the length of your back, from the length of arms to your waist and inside leg. On average we take 15 separate measurements, but often we take many more. Our focus is creating a suit that will fit.

Importantly, custom-tailoring makes allowances for all those lumps and bumps, be that a well-developed chest and biceps or a well-lunched middle and a sloping shoulder. It means you don’t have to go up a size just to accommodate one aspect of your body.

Step Two 

Cloth & Linings


Once you have been measured, it’s time to choose your cloth. At Ashworth & Bird we have over 500 tailoring fabrics to choose from and another 50 plus linings. 

But don’t be daunted. Our advisor will guide you through the process and help you choose the right cloth for you. First and foremost, we will want to know when you expect to wear your new suit or jacket. And where. This will help us guide you to the right construction and weight as well as allowing us to suggest colour and pattern.

As a general rule, we work with natural fibres - wool, linen, silk, mohair, cashmere and cotton – either on their own or as a blend. Pure wool is a very versatile cloth and can be worn all year round, depending on the weave. Mix it with cashmere for a more luxurious feel, add mohair to add a sheen and extra strength, or weave it with linen for a crisper, lighter summer fabric (with fewer creases). 

Our advisor will discuss all the options with you. Again, much will depend on when and where you will be wearing your outfit.

We will also discuss linings and whether you want something bright and jazzy or a more sombre fabric, in matching tones. For many, the lining has become a great way to add some life and personality to a classic garment. We can cater for all tastes.

Step Three

Styling and Details


The final step is agreeing how your new piece will look. It is the tailor’s ultimate skill, taking a piece of flat cloth and turning it into a 3-dimensional piece that looks great when worn.

The first decision is single-breasted or double breasted. And then the number of buttons. After that it’s agreement on pockets, lapel width and trouser shape. 

If this bit sounds the most daunting – don’t worry. This is where our advisors come into their own. They can show you examples, make suggestions and gently guide you through the whole process. Their role is to ensure that you end up with something you are completely happy with.

And with everything agreed, we then send it all to our workshop. It’s their job to turn your vision into reality. 

One Month Later

Your first fitting will be within a month. This is where we check everything is as you want and when we make sure it fits. Most times clothes come back from our workshop perfect, but occasionally we need to make small tweaks and adjustments to ensure it is just right.

And after any necessary alterations, your item will be yours to take away and wear with pride.

After Care

If you have bought a suit, jacket or coat from us, you will also be given a shaped hanger and carrier. Please use them to store your item. The hanger will help keep the shoulder in shape and the carrier will protect your item.

After wear, don’t put it straight back into the wardrobe, let it hang out for 24 hours so that odours can escape, and the cloth can settle.

Beware dry cleaners. Unless you give something very heavy wear most items only need dry cleaning once a year. Invest in a good clothes brush and after wear remove dust and small particles in the cloth by gentle brushing. A damp sponge will normally remove any stains.

If your item is creased or crumpled, hang it in a steamy bathroom – the steam will relax the cloth - all but the most stubborn creases will drop out. 

You will also be given spare buttons with your item. Please keep them somewhere safe.

Do not iron directly. Again, use the steam function on your iron to help remove creases. If your trousers are creased behind the knee find a doubled-up damp cloth or tea towel, place over the creased area and press.

A Word on Pockets

If you buy a suit from us, you are likely to have at least seven pockets. Do not feel the need to put something into each of them. Stuffing your pockets will spoil the line of the outfit. The outside jacket pockets come sewn up. We suggest you leave them that way.

Image credit: Eton Shirts