For most of the last century, the term bespoke has been most commonly associated with Savile Row’s bespoke men’s tailoring. Today, we hear the word bespoke thrown around, out of context, in many common advertisements. For example, we may hear the words bespoke being used by interior designers to market a new kitchen or a restaurant offering a new item on their menu.
The misuse of the word bespoke has left many feeling muddled and confused about what it truly means. Our goal is to clear up any confusion around the word bespoke and to give you a better picture of its true meaning.
What Is The Definition Of Bespoke?
When you think of bespoke, the first thing that probably comes to mind is “high-priced” and “luxury.” The term bespoke describes something custom-made for you and you only based on your specifications. Although not limited to clothing, the term bespoke is most often associated with men’s professional attire, such as suits, tuxedos, sports jackets, and more.
What Does Bespoke Tailoring Mean?
When you think of Savile Row, bespoke is often associated with bespoke tailoring. However, true bespoke tailoring is the pinnacle of men’s attire. Bespoke tailoring combines the core principles of bespoke and elevates them with the masterful craft of tailoring. To be a true bespoke garment, it must be made with the highest quality regarding materials, construction, and skilled craftsmanship.
Bespoke tailoring uses a pattern that is individually created every time a skilled cutter makes a garment. During a fitting for a bespoke garment, your master stylists or tailor will take over 40 measurements to ensure the perfect fit every time. From your measurements, your tailor will construct a pattern used as a construction plan for each of the different sections of the garment during construction.
In addition to the other specifications, for a garment to be truly bespoke, it requires a series of multiple fittings and must always be fully canvased.
What Is The Difference Between Bespoke Tailoring and Made-To-Measure?
Unlike bespoke tailoring, made-to-measure (MTM) is written-up and cut out by a computer vs. a skilled craftsman. Made-to-measure garments always involve a form of standardization in the pattern and manufacturing process.
Since a computer is used to help aid the construction process, it only considers some of the more minor details that a skilled cutter would consider. As a result of the need for more customization and automation in the manufacturing process, the overall craftsmanship of the garment needs to improve.
Over 90% of men’s garments produced are made-to-measure. Some familiar companies that offer MTM include Indochino, Suit Supply, and Joseph A Bank.
Having a bespoke garment means that everything is 100% customized to fit you as an individual. You are getting a one-of-a-kind garment that considers your body shape, wear preference and overall sense of style.
Why Should I Choose Bespoke Over Made-To-Measure?
Buying bespoke tailoring comes down to two things: fit and quality. To truly determine if bespoke is right for you, it depends on what you are looking for.
Not all areas have bespoke tailoring shops. Bespoke tailoring can only be bespoke if you come in person to do a fitting. Anything bought solely online is not considered bespoke, even if you give them your measurements. To be bespoke, you must come in person and get professionally measured by the shop’s stylists or master tailor.
If you need a garment that day or the quality of the fabric isn’t necessarily your top priority, made-to-measure will probably be a better option.
A large factor does have to do with the budget you have in mind. Anything custom-made for you will have a higher price tag; however, consider you are paying for a higher level of quality and a perfect fit that is made exclusively for you. It is important to note that to be bespoke does not mean it is at a higher price point. For example, a made-to-measure garment can be just as expensive as a bespoke garment and not be considered bespoke.
With a made-to-measure garment, you eliminate many of the customization options you can get with bespoke clothing. In addition, since made-to-measure uses a computer to cut out your pattern, you are limited by the company’s set patterns and pre-existing options.
Another key point to consider is that bespoke tailoring creates a one-of-a-kind garment that no one else will ever have. It is 100% made for you and you alone, while made-to-measure may have 50,000 other people wearing the same suit as you.
To be a true bespoke tailored garment, everything must be made of the finest quality fabrics worldwide and use the highest quality craftsmanship during construction. Bespoke garments are meant to last a very long time. With proper maintenance, you will have your bespoke garments for 30+ years. This means you are buying fewer garments while saving money over the long run.
What To Do And What Not To Do On Your Fitting Appointment
- Your research. Look into the store’s owners’ backgrounds and read reviews from other customers before coming in. It also helps to know a few styles of what you are looking for before coming for your appointment.
- Be open to suggestions. Your stylists knows what they are doing. All stylists should be properly trained in color theory and proper garment fit. We suggest listening to their advice and using them to help guide your purchasing decisions.
- Come in with an idea of what you need. Since you are on a pre-set apportionment fitting time, it is helpful for you and the stylist to know what you are looking for beforehand. If you need a formal tuxedo because of a special event, look more towards formal wear vs. casual options. Remember always to be open to suggestions.
- Specifically, dress up for your fitting. It is helpful to wear a dress shirt, but beyond that, you don’t need to dress up for the occasion. Your stylists need to properly assess your measurements and your unique sense of style based on your lifestyle.
- Buy something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. The goal of bespoke is to create something you will wear for years to come. The idea shouldn’t be to buy it, wear it once, and discard it. Think of bespoke as art and that art is meant to be seen and worn as much as possible.
- Remember that bespoke is going to cost more! Remember the level of craftsmanship, fabric quality, and overall experience. All of these factors go into the price tag of your garments. Not to mention the longevity of your pieces.
Final Thoughts On Bespoke Tailoring
There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to men’s clothing. What is better for one person might not work for another. So it boils down to what you are personally looking for. At Jaxson Maximus, we specialize in making 100% true custom garments exclusively for you.
Nothing we produce uses a pre-set pattern or computer. Instead, we take over 34+ individual measurements to ensure your garments have an impeccable fit and are made just for you and you alone.