Ask the Tailor: Why is the Term ‘Bespoke’ so Important?

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Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re covering the term ‘bespoke’ and why it’s so important in the tailoring industry.

It may just be a word, but the term bespoke is a very important one in tailoring. It refers to a very specific set of traditional tailoring circumstances, and us tailors are very protective of it.

Increasingly, the terms bespoke and made-to-measure are being used interchangeably. However, as any traditional tailor will tell you, they are most certainly not the same.

Bespoke tailoring…

…is when a garment is made from scratch to the customer’s measurements. When you visit a bespoke tailor, your tailor will create a pattern especially for you around your measurements and preferences. The end result will be a garment that is individually designed for you. Importantly, in bespoke tailoring this process is expected to be done by hand. 

Made to measure tailoring…

…is when a suit is cut to a customer’s measurements from an existing pattern. When you visit a made to measure tailor, you’ll be able to choose from a range of existing garment patterns that can then be cut to your own measurements. This process is often completed by machine rather than by hand.

Why is the distinction important?

Bespoke tailoring is a traditional practice that’s becoming more and more scarce. Modern manufacturing processes mean that it’s becoming uncommon to have a purchasing experience that is completely designed around you, the customer. 

Tailors like us want to preserve these experiences, and make sure that the word ‘bespoke’ can continue to be used to distinguish them.

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to explain all about how patterns are created. Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.