The bespoke tailors who won't make you broke
We live in exciting times, when it comes to menswear. Men have developed a willingness to try something different — a sharper cut, a bolder pattern or even just a newer shade of a familiar colour. And best of all, the industry has caught up with us by providing us with a wider option of choices and price points. That doesn’t just mean a bigger selection of brands to choose from in the malls. New tailoring businesses are springing up all the time, and we have fewer and fewer excuses not to look great in a suit.
M7 Bespoke offers an interesting model to throw into this mix. It has two small bases, in DIFC and Emaar Square, but mostly visits clients at their homes and offices. Moni Nanda is the managing director and she tells us how and why they launched. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years as a hobby but wanted to turn it in to a career in Dubai,” she says. “There were so many options for women but the same couldn’t be said for men. There was a gap in the market and it’s a passion for me to make a perfect garment for a client.”
The gap in the market she refers to existed between the Satwa tailors and the very high-end bespoke and made-to-measure services only available to a very select few. And an eye-watering price by no means guarantees the perfect cut, in any case. More important than anything, as she notes, is attention to detail. “We give style advice, we ask questions,” says Nanda. “What do you already own? What is your body type? What will you wear this for? We don’t throw a book of fabrics at you; we’ll go through it together. And we don’t do a good job, we do a fantastic job. We want you to be 100 percent satisfied.”
This last part is important because, as a small brand, M7 bespoke relies on word-of-mouth for business. Suits are therefore fully bespoke, though there are hand-stitched and machine-cut options, according to price. And both have details such as working cuff buttons. Everything is made in Dubai using Italian or English fabric for the suit material. Careful attention is paid to the season in which it will be worn, with lightweight super-wool or mohair best suited to the summer and silk and cashmere for the cooler months. Clients are encouraged to try something different, but even if they go for classic blues and greys there are many different shades to choose from. “Ultimately it is their decision,” says Nanda.
The single most important factor is the cut — giving a client the nicest fit possible. “We suggest a slimmer shape, even for a guy who is quite heavy. It’s not about squeezing into a tight suit but rather sculpting around the body,” she says. “Our aim is to give a nice silhouette. You want to elongate — a narrower lapel, a button starting around the navel area rather than above it, pinching in a little near the waist. All this can be achieved without the suit being uncomfortable, because comfort is of equal importance.”
An added bonus is the price. Because M7 aren’t paying elevated rates for mall space, they can create a suit for as little as Dhs2,900, rising to around Dhs20,000 — though the average is Dhs3,500, and a little more for a groom’s suit.
Speaking of which, Nanda says they make a lot of wedding suits. The golden rule? Subtly complement the bride’s colour scheme. This could just mean a pocket square that lends a sartorial nod to her bouquet of flowers. It’s a small but nice touch that once again demonstrates the importance of detail — which you only get through a genuine conversation between client and proprietor.
Little wonder, then, that business is booming, with Nanda hoping to one day have flagship stores in Dubai, Singapore and London. But no matter how they expand, they will still come to you, drink a cup of tea and ask a lot of questions. Because, as we all know, a good tailor is someone you need to know and trust as much as you do your dentist or lawyer. Our advice? Find a good one and hang on for dear life.