Promising complete individualism and originality from concept to production; discuss your ideas with us and we’ll produce something totally unique to you.
Full Pattern Bespoke is for the gentleman or Lady of means! When nothing else will do! When you, the individual wants only the very best! May we suggest, and guide you through the Bespoke process of handmade luxury. A process for the individual who has discerning taste and will not settle for anything less. Handmade Bespoke is not for the faint of heart. It is as individual as you are. This is not the time to be frugal. The handmade patterned Bespoke is an extension of you. Proprietary designs exclusive to the Bespokeman. One off patterns. Tons of detail. Fully canvassed and as modern as today’s news. Our Bespoke suits, jackets coats and even trousers will stop them in their tracks! Wondering why? They didn’t go the extra mile and do it first!
What Is The Difference Between Made To Measure And Bespoke?
Bespoke has become an exhausted term in the suit industry, and it loses meaning each and every time a made-to-measure (MTM) suit company uses it incorrectly. It rivals the over-baked term, “haute couture.”
I own a MTM menswear brand, so it occasionally frustrates me when I see companies in my space use the term Bespoke incorrectly. The term does have a proper definition and the distinctions between MTM and Bespoke are pretty clear cut, in my opinion. Here’s your 5-pt check:
MTM: Consider the individual patterns for a size 42 jacket … A MTM company takes these patterns and modifies them if your measurements are outside the range of what the 42 jacket was built to. e.g. The master tailor / house cutter will modify standardized patterns to take your body shape differences into account, like jacket length and shoulder width. Note that not all MTM companies do the same amount of modification – some have different thresholds for when to actually make adjustments to the original pattern, some skip important things like shoulder-padding, or armhole size. A good rough gauge is to see how many measurements they take. Some MTM outfits only run with 5-7 … not a good sign. (Note that the accessibility of Computer-Aided-Design, CAD, has made it easier for MTM companies to close the gap between Bespoke on this point.)
Bespoke: A new pattern is created for each individual wearer. No modification or use of base patterns, as that could lead the tailor to miss some of the small nuances of the wearer’s body. More than just measurements are needed to achieve this (what is the slope of the shoulder, the arch of the back, etc).
2) MULTIPLE FITTINGS
MTM: Generally no fittings during the creation process. An initial fitting to take measurements and draft a design, then a final fitting after it’s fully created. Depending on measurement accuracy / the preferences of the customer, there will be alterations to the final product, adding one last fitting at the end.
Bespoke: Achieving a bespoke fit requires multiple fittings during creation of the garment. Here’s where Bespoke clears MTM, and why some will argue that it’s worth the premium. First is the skeleton baste fitting, second the forward fitting, third the fin bar fin fitting, all being done at different stages of tailoring. I’ve heard of some bespoke shops doing 5+ mid-fittings. These fittings do more than just verify the original measurements were accurate in the beginning – talented tailors build on top each fitting, achieving a more precise fit along the way.
3) FABRIC SELECTION
MTM: Usually a curated selection is offered from 1-2 mills. Again, some MTM shops offer more, some offer less. To be clear, we’re not talking # of fabrics offered. We’re talking # of mills offered. This is important for selection, but also for price point / quality range.
Bespoke: Most bespoke shops have a selection of 10+ mills, where the term “library” becomes more appropriate than fabric “selection.” The option to commission a unique dye lot of fabric is often available, at a wild price that only the likes of Hosni Mubarark would consider. Seriously though: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femai…
4) DESIGN / CUSTOMIZATIONS AVAILABLE
MTM: A list of options that are available, and a list of options that are not. Always on the list: # of buttons on jacket, pocket style, vent options, pant pleats, cuffs. Sometimes available: interior lining, lapel width, button-stance, gorge height. Never available: Anything rare, that requires explanation. MTM is meant to be more of an efficient checklist.
Bespoke: No limit on options, regardless of complexity. A picture’s worth a thousand words
5) MEETING 1-ON-1 W/ TAILOR
MTM: You meet with a store worker or a sales associate who is trained to take measurements and provide them to the master tailor / production manager / lead cutter. The level of training among these individuals varies widely.
Bespoke: You should be meeting directly with the person constructing the garment. Some bespoke clothiers cut this corner. At the end of the day, the person cutting the garment and doing the needlework will always have more context and greater ability to meet the specific needs and varying body shapes of the wearer.
Given some of the more intimate requirements listed above, bespoke is damned to the corner shop. It will never be a scalable business. But for that same reason, the prices will always be in the $1000+ range. MTM, however, is an interesting blend between off-the-rack (OTR) and bespoke, but it’s important to note that not all MTM companies are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. I would say that there is a wider quality landscape in MTM versus OTR or bespoke. This is where I’m biased, however.
Notice I didn’t bring up quality or construction methods anywhere above. Various construction methods are used by all OTR, MTM, and Bespoke clothiers. I’ve seen some bespoke tailoring jobs that make me cringe. I also didn’t bring up the fit of the final product. A poor bespoke tailor can deliver a final fit that is worse than a talented MTM company, regardless of the number of fittings you have. It actually happens more often than you’d think.
Anyway, I hope this offers a good guide for evaluating whether you’re getting what you deserve when you go custom, and not being taken for a ride by some marketing director using flashy jargon.