It could be that you’re deciding whether to make your first foray into the world of bespoke tailoring, or perhaps you’re a loved one looking for advice on commissioning a bespoke suit, or it may be that you are just intrigued as to what actually constitutes a bespoke suit rather than one that’s off the peg. Without trying to sway you too much, we’ve put together some pointers that might help make up your mind as to whether to go bespoke for your newest sartorial purchase.
What actually constitutes bespoke tailoring?
The word ‘bespoke’ is defined as goods, especially clothing, made to order. There are different ways and different means to creating a bespoke suit, none of which are better or worse than the other. Whether your suit is cut by a seasoned professional or computer cut to millimetre precision, if its bespoke, you will have still been measured to create an individual pattern to your specific measurements.
Whether the sewing is completed in-house or outsourced, it is still sewn by the hands of a highly skilled machinist, using the fabric you have chosen and finished with the details that make that suit yours. A bespoke suit will fit you like no other suit you can buy, the process gives you total freedom to create a garment unique to you and the quality will provide unrivalled longevity.
There are numerous terms within tailoring that relate to different purchase options; ready-to-wear, off-the-peg, made-to-measure, custom, bespoke and so on. Only bespoke is truly custom – you can have a ready to wear suit altered or have a suit made to your measurements from a pre-defined pattern, but only a bespoke suit is made from a pattern that is unique to your measurements, only bespoke is truly unique.
So why make the move to a bespoke suit?
Although we are biased, we would never speak ill or look down on the other forms of tailoring available to the discerning customer. There is enough stuffy-headed mentality around bespoke tailoring without adding to an already over-complicated industry definition. There are of-course pros and cons to all options for tailoring that vary depending on your point of view, your budget, and of course your style.
‘Off the peg’ or ‘ready to wear’ tailoring is (in the short term) the most affordable means of purchasing a suit whilst being convenient and easy, with no need for measurements or fittings. However, it is nigh on impossible to find an off the peg suit that fits you at the waist if it fits you in the shoulder or indeed a trouser that isn’t either dragging on the ground or revealing too much sock.
And although they may be more affordable to purchase than a bespoke suit, they will certainly not be as hard wearing or as timeless. Bespoke tailoring focusses on longevity, creating personalised takes on tried and tested suit styles, rather than following high street trends that will inevitably go out of fashion quite quickly. So consider, if you can buy one suit that will last you one or two years, why not spend the extra on a bespoke suit that will last you double that?
What are the benefits of a bespoke suit?
The devil is in the detail as they say and this is certainly true where tailoring is concerned. The craftsmanship involved in a bespoke suit is far higher than that of its high street counterpart, from the lining of the waist band to the stitching of the pockets – the attention given to the little things is what really adds to the bigger picture. With better craftsmanship comes better quality fabric, only adding to the longevity of your suit.
The fit of a bespoke suit is incomparable to anything bought off the peg, even an altered suit will not cut the same impeccable silhouette that a bespoke suit will. A hand-crafted suit cut exactly to your measurements will be more flattering, will provide you with better movement and will ultimately provide more comfort.
Bespoke tailoring affords you the luxury of total creative control. When else would you have the opportunity to decide how a pair of trousers or a shirt fits you? To choose the colour of the fabric or the finer details of your jacket? It is a rare opportunity to craft a truly unique garment in the details, materials, shape and finishing.