Made-to-measure Vs Bespoke: When Pure Readiness Vs Pure Uniqueness

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Made-to-measure Vs Bespoke: When Pure Readiness Vs Pure Uniqueness

Shopping at TMS indicates that you’re after style, quality and even more so, wearing comfort. Thus it’s a must to know what benefits bespoke clothing has. Today, we’re hearing the word “BESPOKE” used more often in the U.S. This is just the British term for custom clothing, meaning the garment is “spoken for” by a particular client and not for general sale.

So, no need to confuse yourself. Call it custom or bespoke clothing – you’ll no doubt end up calling it the best garment you’ve ever owned!

However,  The boom of suits companies trying to talk people into buying something more than its true value has blurred the gap between bespoke and made-to-measure (MTM). The former loses meaning each time someone uses it incorrectly, while there’s obviously a clear distinction between the two.

Here’s what we use to tell customers (in ways that would most be easiest for them to relate to):
1/ Pattern making: an MTM suits usually have its standard, common measurements modified to fit your body shape differences. E.g: a bit longer arm, wider shoulder…etc. Note that while there can be up to dozens of modifications required for a suit to perfectly fit you, some MTM companies skip crucial things like shoulder-pad or armhole size, details that you would easily go along with. The trick here, is to notice how many measurements they take.

Meanwhile, a separate pattern is created for each individual customer when it comes to a bespoke. This means no modification, based on no patterns, and more measurement. (the slope of the shoulder, arch of the back..etc). So if you’re somewhat more than average and want your garments perfectly fit, there’s no choice like custom clothing.

2/ Multiple fittings: From the 1st point, you may have figured out that MTM only has a maximum 2 times fitting: an initial for measurement and drafting and a final alterations if needed

To achieve a real “bespoke” fit calls for multiple fittings during the creation process, also where it clears MTM. First is the skeleton base fitting, then the forward, the fin bar…etc. The list goes on to as much as 5+ mid-fittings. This helps if later your body grows from going to the gym or work out, then you can still do alterations if necessary, instead of having to tailor-make a brand new suit.

3/ Fabric Selection: MTM: since they are already made, just waiting to be “measured”, the choices are often limited to less than five, in which the number often ends at 3, taking both colour and quality into account, you’ll find yourself with very few options available.

Bespoke: Most bespoke shops have a selection of 10+ mills, where the term “library” becomes more appropriate than fabric “selection”, and depends on how “thick” your wallet is. The option to commission a unique dye lot of fabric is often available, at a wild price that you would rarely consider, though often the variety would be enough to leave you with awe.

4/ Design/ Customization available

MTM: if it involves something rare, creative, or require explanation, it will be crossed out from the list. It merely serves as an efficient checklist.

Bespoke: Although we strives for up-to-date colours, styles and fabrics that would seem to appeal to customers, you always have something of your own to add in. Thus, bespoke is a possibility you would love. It’s yours, one and only, you have all the voice in what you want it to be. The master tailor plays the consultant role only. A picture’s worth a thousand words:

5/ Meeting 1-on-1 with tailor:

Ordering a MTM means meeting with a store worker or sale associate trained to take measurements and provide them to the master tailor. The level of training among these individuals varies widely.

In the mean time, when you choose “bespoke” you are to be meeting the person constructing the garment directly.

In general, construction methods will surely affect the outcome of the final product. However, not all bespoke tailor can deliver a better final fit than a MTM, if not off-the-rack. Why? Craftsmanship don’t just come overnight. That’s why at TMS we have set out very high standards for our tailors. This ensures and enables us to meet our customer’s highest expectation. We hope that 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.

Custom clothing of course is more expensive than pre-made garments. You’d expect with the extra investment that the clothing would be absolutely first-rate and built to wear. You’d be correct. It is not unusual to see a savvy fellow in a custom outfit that is a decade old but looks as fresh today as ever. The fight between made-to-measure and bespoke goes on, the choice is in your hands. Check out our packages now: