To misquote Benjamin Franklin, "the joy of good quality lingers long after the price is forgotten". Or as my mother always says if you wear something once for every £5 you paid then you've won.
People often ask me what the point of buying a bespoke item is, especially as there are now so many good alternatives on the high street. There are two main reasons. Either you don't fit the designated proportions of a brand, or you want something that will out last its requirements, and custom-made clothes, when done right, will do exactly that.
As an intern in a tailor's West End workshop, I spent five months on alterations. Almost everything I worked on was older than me.
The point of a bespoke garment is that is made with longevity in mind. The rows of pad stitching in the canvas, lapels and collar mean the shape will hold and the collar won't curl.
Inlay (extra cloth) is left at the edges to allow for expansion over the years. And the hand felled linings allow easier access to the seams to make alterations cleaner.
The handsewn buttonholes are cut first to allow the silk to be wrapped around the raw edges, sealing the loose threads. Machine-sewn buttonholes only hinder the fraying for a short time but repetitive wear and tear will soon break through those thin cotton barriers.
If these practical reasons aren't enough to persuade you to go bespoke, how about a sentimental one.
My brother recently wore the suit my father wore for his wedding in 1981. My niece never looks sweeter than in a cardigan passed down from her great-grandmother. I have an overcoat that belonged to my great-grandfather who I never met. I can't tell you how much any of these bespoke garments cost but I can tell you what they mean to me. And its a great deal more than the jumper I bought in the last January sales.