I have seen a lot of brands and department stores releasing made to measure services over the last year and it got me thinking whether men know the difference between this and bespoke tailoring. As a massive advocate for English heritage and the businesses of Savile Row in particular I thought it important for education on the matter.
Made to measure is normally a more affordable alternative to bespoke tailoring. With made to measure your suit will be created from standard size patterns. These are pre-cut patterns that are then altered to fit the customer. Your measurements are first taken and a pattern with the closest fit is then used, this service reduces the amount of customisation needed, making it more convenient and this is reflected in the price.
Bespoke tailoring will require one-on-one appointments with the tailor who will then cut specific patterns just for the customer ensuring you have full creative control over the design and fit. Bespoke suits will also be sown by hand whilst made to measure will typically use a mixture of machine and hand sewing.
In terms of the varying levels of details that go into suit making, ready to wear would be in third, made to measure in second with bespoke tailoring at the top and this is nearly always reflected in the prices.
Savile Row for me is the pinnacle of men’s suiting and is a sartorial mecca for those that can afford the price points that come with bespoke suiting. Over recent times though many Savile Row tailors have released made to measure services as a way to open up their stores to a wider audience and become more approachable and affordable.
For me having a bespoke suit made on Savile Row is right near the top of my bucket list.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.