When it comes to the pecking order of high end mens suits sitting at the very top you will find the bespoke suit. In the tailoring world this word is thrown around quite loosely yet is held with the highest respect. the question is what does bespoke even mean?
In London’s Savile Row you will find the answer. For decades this little strip of land has been known as the golden mile of tailoring. Legend has it, it is here that the word bespoke was coined.
As the story goes, customers would browse the dozen or so shops looking for the exact style and cut they would prefer and as they found it, begin the selection process of picking the right fabric. Occasionally they would choose one that had already been previously selected. At this point the tailor would let them know that it had already “been spoken for”…bespoke was born.
In mens suits this means so much more than just a tailor made suit.
The word implies exquisite quality, unmatched craftsmanship, and unequivocal pedigree, yet many places that are not bespoke continue to throw the word around.
Here are the facts:
Bespoke suits all start from a fresh and new pattern based on the wearers own measurements.
Bespoke suits are made entirely by hand by the actual tailor and or his apprentice.
Bespoke suits require many fittings to perfectly fit the customer.
Some places try to pass of their Made to Measure (MTM) suits as bespoke but they will miss one, if not all three of the points listed above. While made to measure suits are totally great, there is something wrong about being told you are getting a bespoke suit and ending up with a MTM. There are so many MTM suits out there masquerading as Bespoke but if you ask the right questions getting what you are looking for wont be too difficult. Bespoke is a lengthy process that can come with nose bleed high prices but if you are patient the end product is truly something special.
About the Author
Chris is a fashion trend spotter for custom design house Requisite specializing in bespoke mens suits , dress shirts and formal wear based in Los Angeles