To truly appreciate the craft that goes into a bespoke suit you need to understand the difference between the terms bespoke and made to measure.
So what does bespoke mean?
So often I hear – “I got this suit, I chose the cloth and design myself, they took my measurements so it must be bespoke. It was cheaper than I expected and ready in just a week.” In the tailoring world this is not classed as bespoke. A ‘pure bespoke’ suit can take up to 90 hours to create due to its intricate construction and will be handstitched throughout. In addition to that, there will also be a number of fittings to ensure the accuracy of all the measurements.
You will have your own unique pattern created by a skilled cutter to your exact measurements. Be prepared to leave a few months for your first bespoke garment to ensure there is enough time to achieve excellence.
Made to measure alternatives will only be fitted to the nearest centimetre using a pre-made block. It will be primarily machined and although some of the outer stitching especially around the lapels could be done by hand to give the illusion that its bespoke, it isn’t. Furthermore it won’t take into account any body variations you may have. I explain this in more detail in my blog post: https://craigfeatherstone.com/2016/04/25/bespoke-or-made-to-measure/
My clients want bespoke because their garments are unique and fit them like a glove. They appreciate the quality, the craft and the history in tailoring. They are prepared to wait the necessary amount of time it takes to create their own commission – just like a piece of art, it’s an investment. A bespoke suit is sustainable and can last forever if you look after it. Craig