January 6, 2005
what is "bespoke"?
A lot of people use the terms "bespoke" and "made-to-measure" interchangeably. They are mistaken.
'Bespoke' is actually a term which dates from the 17th century, when tailors held the full lengths of cloth in their premises.
When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have “been spoken for”. Hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called "bespoke". This is unlike “made-to-measure”, which simply uses a basic, pre-existing template pattern, which is then adjusted to roughly your individual measurements.
The first thing I'll do is discuss with you what type of suit you are looking for, and its uses. Then a cloth is chosen from the full range available today, and also which type of style and fit would be most suitable for you.
Clothes made by me have all the hallmarks you would expect from true bespoke tailoring:
More than 20 measurements and figuration details are taken from the customer. Then a personal pattern will be hand-drafted and cut from scratch- not the basic, adjusted template pattern, as used by so many other tailors these days.
Using your pattern, the cloth is then cut and trimmed, along with the finest linings and silks available. A single tailor is then given the parts of the garment to sew together, from the earliest fitting stages, to the final, complete suit. Each suit is completely hand-made, even down to the button holes.
[For a fuller explanation of the different levels of tailoring (ready-to-wear, made-to-measure, bespoke etc) please go here.]
Posted by tom at January 6, 2005 10:44 AM
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I have the utmost respect for a true tailor. It is a dying art, kept alive by people like yourself.
Here in the United States of America it is very difficult to find someone who does what you do. Most clothing is made to measure, like most of what I provide for my clients, and it bothers me when others in my profession claim to make a 'bespoke' suit. They use the term too loosely. There is something exclusive and regal about wearing a bespoke suit.
If ready-made is good, then made to measure is better while bespoke is the best. Prices should reflect this but sometimes people get caught up in paying a hefty price for a designer label in a ready-made suit.
Posted by: Jeff Collins, Professional Haberdasher at April 22, 2008 11:42 PM
Super -- learned a new word! I've never heard it used in the States -- would that be because there aren't many bespoke tailors here?
Posted by: Joey at Sewing Stash at December 24, 2008 2:20 PM