Michael Murphy measures up to Paul O Connell

Michael Murphy measures up to Paul O Connell

Why would a man get his suit made to measure when he can just walk into a shop, try one on and take it away there and then, and probably pay far less? There are a couple of reasons why it makes sense to go made to measure.

Firstly some men have unusual body shapes and no matter how hard the salesman tries to convince you otherwise, the off the peg suit just does not seem to fit right. Some men have extra big thighs, shoulders or another body part and the off the peg suit just will not work. A made to measure suit means the cutter will shape the suit to make allowances for size irregularities.

Another reason a suit might have to be specially constructed is that the person’s trousers size and jacket size do not correspond to the norm. Many men will have a 40 inch chest but might not be the corresponding 34 inch trouser waist. In fact the majority of men will need significant alterations to one part of their suit as the set of trousers and jacket rarely fit perfectly. The made to measure option means that the trousers or jacket does not have to be hacked and butchered to fit the client.

The range of fabrics on offer to someone interested in a made to measure suit are vast. The colours, textures and pattern mixes are far more interesting and varied then the ready made suits in a store. Obviously it is much less of a strain on a retailer to offer hundreds of styles in a small sample cloth cutting then be over stocked with quantities of unsellable suits. The made to measure cloth books will show styles that are no longer available in the shops or that cannot be sourced easily.

Finally it is possible to have unusual features added to your suit that might not be available to the regular store shopper. Internal linings, buttons, lapels and pockets can all be custom made to reflect the specific tastes of the customer.


The Van Kollem Autumn/Winter suits just arrived in store. The most important colours are the charcoal, silver and black in a fine weight wool. The grey suit will continue in popularity because it matches up so well with (the colours of the moment) purple and lilac. A grey suit with a purple shirt will probably be the most consistently sought after look in mens formal wear this season.
The other good news is that Van Kollem has brought down the price of their suits. They retail for €249, which is a very keen price for suits of such renowned quality. Linings for the seasons will be quirky strips with lilac trims. Most of the classic range will feature a stylish second ticket pocket on the front. The fit will remain on the slim side but most of the range will avoid the  ultra slim.
The legs of a Van Kollem suit will be tapered in slightly to give a fashionable look and feel, even though overall appearance will still be classical.

Van Kollem grey suit

Van Kollem grey suit


For some 50 years or so, we have been selling menswear by Magee of Donegal, specialising in formal wear and mens suits for business and special occasions. It is an Irish owned company that employs hundreds of workers in its joint location of Donegal town and Ballymena.

With a Magee suit, the trend and classic colours and designs are brought to life in their world-renowned luxury fabrics to create the ultimate feel good garment. The Autumn/Winter collection is no different and recently a director of the company summed up what we can expect from the latest offering of mens suits.

“Our focused tailored-look and classic-fit suit offer is comprised of super wools and wool rich blends in micro designs, checks, strong and shadow stripe designs in flannel and pressed finishes.

The flannel look is a key trend for AW10, a move away from the chintz look of previous seasons. Soft, brushed fabrics with cashmere touches are a key trend across the entire collection as customers seek traditional luxury.

Regarding the fit- the silhouette is still narrow, tailored and neat. Waists are nipped, lapels and pocket flaps are thin, shoulders are narrowed and trousers are slim. The trims are colourful and made from natural materials.

The trend and classic colours and designs are brought to life in our world renowned luxury fabrics to create the ultimate feel good garment.”