Since 2016


September 27, 2022 3 min read

by Monique Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


Nothing gives you a better fit than a custom-made garment to match your size and specifications. When searching for tailored items, the two terms to watch for are bespoke and made-to-measure. Though these words are often used interchangeably, they are more different than people realize, and if you choose the wrong one, you may not be happy with the product and features you end up with. So, what is the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure?

What Is Bespoke?

The word bespoke originated in 1583 as a past tense of the British word bespeak, which means “made to order”. Though it could be used for any goods, it was mainly linked to tailored men’s suits. These days, bespoke can refer to anything, as long as the item is made from scratch using a pattern created for a specific client. Bespoke garments are also hand cut and sewn by a tailor or craftsmen.

Pros Of Bespoke

Bespoke has several advantages over other tailoring options. First, since the pattern is made for an individual client, it is designed to match their body perfectly. There are 25 to 30 measurements taken to ensure the right fit. Customers return for several fittings throughout the process, including adjustments as needed.

For bespoke garments, thousands of fabrics are available to pick from, with an almost endless supply of linings, buttons, styles, and construction options. All the materials are high-quality and long-lasting for a suit or garment that you can wear for years.

Cons Of Bespoke

Despite the perfect cut and fit of bespoke fashion, there are a few drawbacks to consider before heading to the tailor. First off, such tailors are rare, so you may have to travel to find one to create your perfect garment. If you do happen to find one in your area, it could take between 8 weeks and four months for the garment to be completed. The timeframe is mainly due to the detail, customizations, and fittings required. Bespoke fashion is also pricey, so expect to pay a few thousand dollars higher than what off-the-rack garments would cost.

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What Is Made-To-Measure

Made-to-measure is a newer process that takes patterns for specific clothing sizes and makes a few alterations to those sizes. Such alterations can include the length of the jacket or arms and the shoulder width. Some MTM companies also include shoulder padding, armhole size, or shoulder and back angles in their adjustments, though this isn’t always the case. Pattern cutting and manufacturing are all done by machines.

Pros Of Made-To-Measure

Made-to-measure clothing is economical, costing a fraction of bespoke fashion pieces. The suit is still styled to your specifications, with a fit and cut that looks beautiful and well-made. Best of all, it only takes up to 8 weeks to complete an MTM garment.

Cons Of Made-To-Measure

Though made-to-measure fashion is a quality choice, a few disadvantages are worth noting. The limited options reduce the fabric, detailing, and customizations you can pick from. There are also only a few fittings. The first is when you place the order, and the second is after the garment is finished. You may need a third fitting if any alterations need to be made to the finished piece, though this will likely cost extra. Though the finished product fits nicely, it isn’t the perfect fit you’d get from bespoke garments.

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Final Word

Bespoke and made-to-measure fashion are fantastic options for those who want a new garment made, though one may be more beneficial than the other. Those looking for a unique piece that fits like a glove with several customizable options to pick from may prefer bespoke tailoring. For those on a budget who want a garment made quickly that still fits well, made-to-measure may be the better option.

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