Made-to-Measure vs. Bespoke Clothing

There are misconceptions when comparing made-to-measure and made-to-order (bespoke) clothing. It seems that clothiers use the terms interchangeably and the two are far from synonymous. It’s the equivalent of comparing meat quality of burgers from McDonald’s and those of your favorite steak house. Technically, burgers are to be consumed and clothes are to be worn, but there is a difference in quality- no matter how subtle or stomach churning obvious.

By definition, made-to-measure clothing is constructed by “tweaking” existing patterns and sizes to fit a customer’s measurements. These clothes rarely address the wearers nuances (i.e. one shoulder more sloped/ square than the other, the curve of the upper back, hips higher/lower than standard, etc). Most often, customizable features are limited in number and feature type. For instance, jacket cuff buttons may not be functioning, you will only be able to select lapels types but not full or narrowness in style. Also, made-to-measure clothes are comprised of premade components of clothing, mass produced by different methods, and then assembled to create one garment per order.

Bespoke clothing goes far beyond using mere measurements to construct clothes. Bespoke garments are made from individually cut patterns produced from the wearer’s measurements and recorded nuances. This goes beyond mere sizing as it includes the curvature of the shoulder, the precise measurements of wrists, biceps, shoulders, and every nuance that makes each person unique. These products tend to have more hand-work and less machine-making as part of the construction process. The hand-made craftsmanship results in better fit and greater garment durability.