I recently got to meet Sandeep Gonsalves, the utterly suave (and terribly cute) genius behind SS HOMME—a bespoke menswear label he runs along with his even better half, Sarah Sheikh. I’d been hearing about these guys for some time now thanks to friends like suit and bow-tie aficionado Sid Shah and Diageo brand ambassador Tim Etherington-Judge. And now, it seems they’ve batted it right out of the park, over-hauling the Indian man’s wardrobe one bond-esque suit at a time!
The name is HOMME, SS HOMME.
When Nowshad‘s birthday rolled around this year (and having exhausted every possible gadget-gift I could think of by now!) I decided to get him an SS HOMME bespoke suit surprise. The brand even set up a luxury grooming experience at Truefitt & Hill for him as a bonus, which btw, is every bit as fancy as it sounds. So, 1,000 points for me in the what-the-hell-do-you-get-a-guy-for-his-birthday gift department (aside from some sexy lingerie for yourself, right Nitin Mirani?).
FYI, I had no idea the bespoke suit process was this involved. Now I can safely say, having witness it first-hand, that boys are every bit as happy to indulge in a little quality retail therapy as we are. A big thank you Sandeep and Sarah for making this experience possible!
Here’s a peek at their signature bespoke process:
Log on to the website www.sshomme.in, fill in your contact details, select the choice of garment (for Nowshad it was formal wear), and select a date and time. Voila! Your appointment is booked for the consultation with SS HOMME. Alternatively you can call the SS HOMME Store and book an appointment. In this case it was a conspiracy that brewed itself at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards afterparty as I was admiring Sandeep’s jacket pin!
Nowshad met with Sandeep Gonsalves at SS HOMME so the designer could find out his requirements for a formal suit and suggest an appropriate selection of fabric. They then proceed to finalize the design specifications.
Here’s what we went for:
Fabric – Navy Italian worsted wool
Suit Style – Single breasted two button with a slim peak lapel
Shirt Style – Classic white
Button – Horn buttons
Lapel – Peak lapel (this took some discussion. I had no idea men were so particular!)
The tailor at SS HOMME took the required measurements while supervised by the designer.
Suit: Jacket length, chest, stomach, hips, shoulder, cross back, arm round, armhole round, sleeve length, sleeve cuff (with room for a watch), neck round (for shirts).
Trouser: trouser length, waist, thigh round, trouser bottom, U – Fork. Also, the body shape of the client is noted to enhance the fit of the suit.
Did you know? Perkins Tailoring Instruments are used for bespoke tailoring to work out more accurate measurements to get the best fit? The shoulder incline and back incline kits help in understanding the slope of the shoulder and the arch of the back. Both elements help tremendously in achieving precision.
The Bespoke process doesn’t involve the use of a pre-made pattern, so the pattern is drafted on the fabric directly. It requires accurate measurements and a skilled master to avoid any room for error.
The garment is constructed in a raw manner for the baste fit (or the first trial). It is hand stitched with canvas.
The hand-stitched suit is tried on by the client. The designer and the tailor make notes of the alterations required for a perfect fit. The lapel size, jacket length, trouser fit, and length are paid close attention.
Following the alterations at the baste fit, the necessary changes are made. The suit is partially hand-stitched and partially machine-stitched at this stage.
At the second trial, the ready suit is tried on by the client. The fit is hopefully perfected by this stage. In case there are changes, they are taken note of.
Finishing touches such as the Corozo or Horn buttons and adding the brand label are added at this stage.
At the time of pick up, the suit is accessorised with accoutrements such as the tie, pocket square (optional), and cufflinks if required to match with the garment. The suit is then packed with detailed instructions on how to care for your new garment.
Last comes a follow up with the client to ensure everything looks and feels fine. A client image is shared with team SS HOMME.
“Men have increasingly become conscious about their wardrobe. They follow trends and are open to exploring, but they don’t always know what will work best for them according to their body structure. Made-to-measure or ready-to-wear doesn’t always guarantee the best fit for everyone. The bespoke process on the other hand, emphasises quality and precision. In India, there was always a focus on tailoring and not much ondesign. SS HOMME has made the process a lot more design centric, while paying attention to details like fit and quality. Nowshad’s suit for example is a classic navy, but every detail such as the buttons, tie and tie bar have been styled by the team to make the perfect attire.” -Sandeep Gonsalves, SS Homme Founder & Fashion Designer
And there you go! Doesn’t Nowshad clean up nicely?! Btw, they do custom shoes too but that’s a whole other blog isn’t it :)
Happy Birthday Nowshie :) I hope you liked your birthday surprise and the pampering at Truefitt & Hill that consisted of an epic one hour royal shave fit for no less than royalty themselves!
Psst! I even asked the birthday boy what he thought of the whole experience and this is what he had to say!
“I’d say personalization is the ultimate form of luxury. An experience or product that is precisely delivered to your individual tastes not only feels really special, but almost always guarantees a happy outcome. And when that service is delivered by people who are as passionate as they are talented in their craft, then the whole process is a joy from start to finish. I couldn’t think of two places that better represent this than SS Homme and Truefitt & Hill. Getting personally suited by Sandeep and Sarah was an amazing privilege, from the moment I met them to the time my impeccable suit was delivered. Meanwhile, my man Saddam Hussein (yes, that’s his real name) at Truefitt made a one hour straight shave fly by as he indulged me at every step with his mind-boggling collection of shaving creams, oils and hot towels! And that was just the beginning of my evening of pampering at their men’s grooming salon. So yeah, I was pretty spoiled this year, but then again that’s nothing when it comes to MissMalini and birthday surprises.” –Nowshad
Perfection! So, in the words of the great Barney Stinson…