A bespoke suit is the ultimate suit in menswear. It is the most discussed and sought after clothing among menswear enthusiasts. The process of making a bespoke suit starts after you walk into the store. A base pattern is drafted based completely on your body, the measurements and slopes. A trial garment is prepared to make sure that the curves and allowances fit and drapes on you well. This is the most essential part of a bespoke suit. Getting the basics right. Based on the fitting of these trial garments the pattern is adjusted and actual garments are cut. Followed by a baste fit to adjust the minor details and proceed to finish the suit that is truly made for you.
With different varieties of non – off the rack suits available, the word bespoke seems to have been diluted. Made to measure (MTM), made to order(MTO), Custom made, tailored etc are the words that are commonly used to describe a non ready to wear suit. With each company providing different levels of services, it is easy to get lost in the words of the hyper marketing world.
In this article I would like to explain about the 2 biggest myths about bespoke suits.
1.Bespoke is expensive: With the influx of technology, making a bespoke suit is not as labour intensive as it was 50 years ago. From fabric manufacturing- to garment making each step has become less tedious.
For example, The time taken to draft a digital pattern requires only ¼ time that drafting on a paper with pencil and scales. With the added advantage of accuracy and ease of saving patterns the digital process is super efficient and less expensive. A tailor with skills in both the art and technology will be able to adapt easily.
2.Baste fit means bespoke suit: The most common notion people have is that if a tailor provides baste fit ( fitting using half finished garment) then the garment is true bespoke. This is absolutely false.
Most of the tailors these days do not own their production facility, outsourcing the manufacturing is the new norm. MTM. MTO, Custom made are terms used to describe this type of tailoring practices.
It is very easy to get a half finished MTM garment to tailor shop and do baste fit. But does this baste fit serve the true purpose? I leave that to you to decide. You will surely have a clean finished suit without flaws, but it may not accentuate your physique as a bespoke suit. The whole idea of a bespoke is to build a suit that accentuates your physique.
In short, All bespoke suits are not expensive and not all expensive suits are bespoke. You may pay a bomb for a suit in a fancy place, but the suit need not be bespoke. If you are looking for true bespoke choose a tailor who drafts, cuts and sews their own garments.
Tip: A look through photographs of the tailors would give you a fair idea if they are bespoke. If all suits in the pictures have similar cut and silhouette, then the establishment is surely not bespoke. At a bespoke atelier the cut and silhouette changes according to the person’s physique.