Off The Rack Suits
Let’s start with the obvious, the “off the rack” suit. This garment is the ready to wear type that you can find in most menswear stores. These suits are cut with the masses in mind, the pattern is designed to fit the “every man,” a mass produced garment that is designed to fit the average man’s body. This suit doesn’t take into account your lifestyle or bodily proportions, it’s simply cut to the manufacturers measurements.
Most men purchase off the rack suits and resign themselves with the knowledge that the fit won’t be amazing. The shop can usually take in the waist of the jacket, hem the pants and sleeves, but that’s the extent to which they can edit the suit. Over time, the quality of the construction and fabric will reveal itself, the fabric will wear and the overall feeling of the suit will fade away.
Purchasing an off-the-rack piece does not always mean you’re buying a less expensive garment. More prominent and well-established brands can go above and beyond in providing better quality for the right price. For example, a bespoke jacket is traditionally made with a layer of horsehair canvas sewn under the fabric to hold the shape of the jacket. This canvas will gradually mold to the wearers body over time.
Many off-the-rack suppliers use a fused interlining which is glued onto the fabric for a more cost efficient production. While this may work temporarily to achieve the same effect as the canvas, the glue may begin to fall apart as the garment is worn and drycleaned. Some high end off-the -rack brands offer horsehair canvas as an option, but will charge a premium for it.
Made To Measure Suits
While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably these days, a made-to-measure suit is not the same as a bespoke suit. Some premium brands have interchanged the terms, by offering suits that are constructed using multiple measurements – with a few added personal touches – to create a garment that fits well. The truth is that made-to-measure suits still conform to a pre-made design pattern to allow for manufacturers to produce them more efficiently.
Made-to-measure suit brands have streamlined their process for men of all body types. The measurements taken by a stylist or self entered through an online tailoring system are sent off to a factory algorithm with pre-calculated proportions. The suit is ready to wear in a matter of days. Very few handmade elements are incorporated into this garment.
In the end, the full range of customization is lost in the made-to-measure process. The process is essentially stripped down to taking measurements , picking a lining and buttons, and choosing the monogram on the inside. Made to measure works best for men that fit the algorithm of the company that produces the garment.
Buying a bespoke suit is a premium experience, and comes at a premium price. During the process, the bespoke suit will be designed not only to you body, but to your lifestyle.
Creating a bespoke suit requires more patience than a made-to-measure suit. Your suit pattern will be made from scratch, whereas there are only so many edits that can be made to a made-to-measure suit pattern. In addition to the extensive customization, every part of the suit is handmade by expert craftsman.
With a bespoke suit, we can make every guy look his best- the style consultant will collaborate with a client to optimize how the suit fits on his body.
These bespoke pieces are designed to last in your wardrobe throughout your life. Your bespoke suit pattern should also evolve with you over the course of your life. The quality and feel of the bespoke suit will not be compromised.