It'd be an understatement to say that Ryan Chua, owner of Singapore-born Common Suits' Quezon City arm, knows a thing or two about the telltale trappings of a dapper gent. "The mission we have in the Philippines is to educate everyone on sartorial menswear, trumping all the misconceptions that come with it such as heat, hassle, and fit," he told Preview.ph in an interview. "Naturally, we want to be the trusted provider of well-crafted bespoke suits to the gentlemen of Manila."
Here, he talks to us about three things most men tend to overlook (but shouldn't!) when it comes to suiting up.
1. Breathability and comfort
"Yes, one can have both breathability and comfort in a suit. We at Common Suits have made it our mission to communicate this possibility.
"The real issue is the perception of a suit as something that's uncomfortably hot and a hassle to wear. This is only true because of what is commonly available: Fused or glued construction made with polyester. These make the suit cheap, hot, and not breathable, and limit gentlemen to suiting up only when needed (i.e. events, or any other formal occasion). Well-crafted suits offer much more mobility and breathability. While still an added layer, a bespoke jacket can be as light and breathable as your average single-layer hoodie."
2. Balance and proportions
"[This is] the most important aspect. One can have the most premium fabrics and still look terrible because its fit has failed him. Fit should flatter. Every piece must meet the proportions of the wearer and have a clean drape.
"Some issues I’ve seen are bigger men in slim fit suits, which make their heads look big, and men of modest height wearing low waisted trousers, which make them look more vertically-challenged. It is fine if that is their preferred look and style, but proper proportioning would make each detail work together to create a naturally flattering suit.This is one of the major reasons why bespoke is so great. Master tailors cut a pattern based on clients’ measurements, which are always taken every single consultation to guarantee that perfect fit. This, the most crucial element, will never be a problem."
"Master tailors prefer to work with high quality fabrics made with the best weaving methods to ensure you get a suit that will look good for a lifetime. Having one in full canvas construction, which uses no glue nor fusing, prevents suits from blistering and splitting as they age.
"Despite being higher-priced than your average off-the-rack suits, bespoke suits come out cheaper when you factor in its lifespan and how much value it adds to your overall presentability."