Often confused, but do they mean the same thing? Bespoke and Made to Measure (MTM).
No, they do not mean the same thing. In fact, there differences are even more than you probably can imagine.
Despite this fact, many custom clothing companies still treat these two terms as synonyms, so it's really no surprise that many clients have grown to believe that bespoke = made to measure.
I have made some pretty exhaustive research to make sure you can be as informed as possible after reading this blog post, so you can take it as your very ultimate guide to know what are the differences between Bespoke and Made to Measure!
Let's learn together!
In what ways are bespoke and made to measure different from each other?
(Don't feel like reading? Scroll down to see the Infographic)
Pattern. Bespoke calls for individually created patterns according to the measurements of each client. This means a single, new pattern will be created just for you. Pretty cool feat if you ask me!
Made to measure suits will normally take into consideration your measurements and apply those to previously created patterns. This is in most cases good enough to have a great fitting suit.
Measurements. You can expect several measurements to be taken by a professional tailor when buying a bespoke suit. These measurements can be taken at your home or office, saving time, money and effort.
Made to measure will require just the right amount of measurements, but never as exhaustive as bespoke measurements. In this case you will most likely have to visit the tailor, which is fine unless you are lazy! ;)
Fabrics. You can expect a countless amount of options to choose from when browsing through the fabrics selection. Prices will definitely be higher for these fabrics. Can it be overwhelming to have so many options readily available? Well, maybe.
Made to measure offers the basic options of fabrics, some companies will offer you more, but never will match the offer of bespoke companies. Of course, prices will be lower, so this might be a good option if you're looking for a simple garment!
Production. Bespoke garments will mostly involve handmade processes, therefore increasing the quality of the end result.
Made to measure clothing will replace handmade steps (not all of them) with sewing machines. Some of the construction steps will still be made by hand.
Options. If you are going for a bespoke suit, then this is the moment you were waiting for to let your imagination go wild. Pockets, patterns, styles,... if you can imagine it, your tailor can do it! (maybe this is a good time to read my blog post on mastering the art of overdressing!)
When going with MTM, chances are you will be presented with a (quite extensive, but limited) checklist of options you can choose from. Once again, for simple, conservative suits this will be more than enough.
Tension. Tailors will use different stitch tensions throughout a bespoke suit, therefore allowing more freedom of movement in certain places and a tighter fit where it's needed.
On the other hand, the same stitch tension will be used all over a made to measure suit. Truth be told, you might not even notice this difference at all.
Fittings. You can expect several fitting sessions before a final result is achieved for bespoke suits. This is one of those features that makes bespoke suit so special when compared to other options.
A limited number of fitting sessions are needed for made to measure suits. Usually once before the production begins and a couple more before the suit is complete.
Alterations. For bespoke, several alternations are available after a suit has been completed. Normally there will be extra fabric available to make these alternations possible.
Made to measure will only allow a very limited of possible alterations, but you can be sure the most basic will usually be available.
Turnaround time. A bespoke suit will usually take from 2 up to 6 months for a perfectly fitting item. Sounds like too long for just a suit? Well, the end result will be worth it. Trust me.
A made to measure suit will normally take 2 months to be completed. The fit will definitely be very good, but will never match a bespoke suit. A good option if you are in a hurry to get your suit without much delay.
Price. For a bespoke suit you should be prepared to pay $5,000 USD or even more. This can seem like a very high price for a single suit, but you can also expect the best possible quality.
Made to measure suits will normally start at $1,000 USD, which is a very good price for what is an excellent piece. You really can't go wrong with this one either!
An image speaks more than 1000 words
As you can see, both bespoke suits and made to measure suits are above the normal off-the-rack quality you can get at any store. Each of these has its own place, its own client base and purpose.
You can't go wrong with either one when starting to create your own style. It all comes down to how detailed your needs are and your personal budget.
It is no lie that nothing beats bespoke, but you need to put all different features in a balance and determine if the higher price is worth it for you.
Made to measure is without a doubt an excellent alternative, and you can't really beat the quality you get for the price you pay.
What has been your experience in buying both bespoke and made to measure suits? Please leave your comments and advice below!