THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BESPOKE & MADE-TO-MEASURE
(A quick Guide)
To consider what made-to-measure is, we must first ask what is bespoke tailoring?
Bespoke tailoring is the process of creating a garment that is as individual as the wearer. A tailor will take roughly 24 measurements for a two-piece suit. Once these have been collected and the tailor has discussed style and cloth options, the tailor will draft a pattern which is a two dimensional illustration of the jacket and trousers. If the customer has square shoulders, a protruding chest or a straight or rounded back, the tailor can also include this information on the pattern and make allowances in the cut.
A Basted M&M Jacket Ready for First Fitting
The tailor will then place the patterns on the cloth, chalk the outlines and cut. The garments are then partly made (a baste) for a first fitting. This allows the customer and tailor to see how it looks and for the tailor to make any changes. A customer can expect to have one or two more fittings after this, with the garment being constructed in stages.
An M&M Tailor Cutting a Customer's Cloth
The suit is made by hand (with the help of sewing machines) using skills and techniques honed over 200 years of bespoke tailoring. Bespoke tailoring is very labour intensive and very customer focused which is reflected in the price that start at around £3500.
As a result of this process, a relationship builds between customer and tailor which can last a lifetime.
For more information on bespoke tailoring, read our Q&A piece here: How Well Do You Know Bespoke.
Whereas bespoke tailoring is largely handmade, made-to-measure relies more on factory processes to create its suits, which reflects in the lower price. There is a chance, if you purchase online, that you will not have a one-on-one experience with a tailor, unless you visit the showroom to have your measurements taken.
Made-to-Measure Jacket Style Chart
Made-to-measure also uses a standard patterns as its starting point: A 37-38 chest is considered to be Small; 39-40 chest is Medium, and a 41-42 is a Large. Any differences that fall outside these patterns are modified by the tailor to compensate for extra jacket or sleeve length or note shoulder width. Compared to an off-the-peg jacket, the made-to-measure process goes a long way in ensuring a jacket, or trousers, fits the customer well. Couple this with approximately 1800 style variations on a jacket alone means a customer is able to create a garment that not only fits, but fits their personality too.
Made-to-Measure Garment Choices
As mentioned before, the factory process means the price is lower, starting at around £1,399 compared to bespoke's £3500. This lower price point opens the way for new customers, keen on moving beyond the off-the-peg suit, into more personalised tailoring. It also allows those who have bought a bespoke suit, who may have made more conservative choices (and wisely so) in that suit, to be more adventurous in their made-to-measure.
For more information on this, please visit our new Meyer & Mortimer Made-to-Measure online store.