Ask Jake: What’s the difference between off-the-peg, made-to-measure and bespoke?
When can we call a tailored suit bespoke and what is the difference between off-the-peg, made-to-measure and fully bespoke?
These suits are mass-produced in a factory in standard sizes and are literally taken ‘off the peg’ (or more likely, rack) and worn. However, you are limited by the range of sizes and fits available. A tailor should be able to adjust it to your measurements but they won’t have the chance to create something uniquely tailored for you.
Made to measure suits are cut based on a pre-existing pattern, so you will try on a variety of samples at your first consultation. The tailor will help you choose which of these best suits your frame and make any necessary adjustments. You choose the style you want: the colour, fabric, single-breasted or double-breasted, notched lapel or peaked lapel, the choices are numerous but are often limited to a few cloths and some basic styles. The pattern for the suit will then be cut according to these measurements and specifications. Once the suit has been made, you will come in for a final fitting, where any last-minute alterations can be made.
A bespoke suit is completely handmade and sculpted to your own individual shape. There are an infinite number of options when it comes to style, and typically thousands of cloths to choose from making this the ideal option for those looking to have something truly exclusive. A unique pattern is created to your precise measurements. You will attend a baste fitting a few weeks into the process, where you try on a shell of the suit, allowing your tailor to sculpt the suit, making sure that it corresponds perfectly to your shape. Based on this fitting the original pattern will be amended and then the suit will be hand stitched by a highly-skilled team, a process that takes over 50 hours of precise, detailed work. The end result is a beautiful suit that will be a totally exceptional, one-of-a-kind garment.
An Interesting Fact:
The word ‘bespoke’ has become synonymous with anything vaguely customised from kitchens to fence panels but its origins lie in tailoring, and the home of custom made suits, Savile Row. In years gone by a man would choose from lengths of cloth held at his tailors. Once cloth was selected it would be marked as ‘bespoken for’ and it is from this term that the word bespoke derived.
King & Allen Bespoke
At King & Allen our ethos has always been to bring you the best value bespoke suit of anyone in the UK. What makes our suits the best?
We don’t believe that bespoke suits should only be available to people who can afford a starting price of £4000 to have a suit made on Savile Row. A beautifully-tailored suit should be available to anyone who wants to have something special, made to their exact measurements. We want you to enjoy the experience of having a suit customised to your particular requirements. To this end we have created two distinct methods of construction which can be viewed in more detail here.
Over the years many terms have been coined to describe different ways of making a suit thereby creating huge confusion to the average suit buyer not familiar with the meaning behind the terms. We will explain a few of these terms and how our ranges fit into them.
With our traditional bespoke method you are getting what Savile Row would call ‘true bespoke’. This is also sometimes known as ‘fully bespoke’ or a ‘fully canvassed’ suit but the essence is the same; it means that a unique pattern is created for you.
The internal construction is canvassed not fused and a baste fitting is conducted where you would try on a partially-completed suit. The suit is hand-stitched and takes around 50 hours to make and is for those that want the very best in bespoke tailoring. Our starting price of £899 for a full canvas suit is truly exceptional value.
Our modern bespoke range has a half canvas construction and padded lapel for an authentic tailored look but without being fully hand stitched it is a more affordable option. The canvas chest piece covers the chest to give structure to the jacket and continues into the lapel, creating a subtle roll which is a sign of a bespoke suit.
We are able to offer a staggering array of style options and the same cloth selection as our traditional bespoke range which is why it deserves the label ‘modern bespoke’. At prices from £499 to £1099 this range is perfect for those who want a suit that is cut to their measurements and enjoy being able to choose their own cloth and style but whose requirements do not warrant the full canvas range.
If you require more information to make your decision then please book in for a consultation. There is no obligation to buy and we would be happy to explain in more detail about all our ranges and how we manage to be the best value bespoke tailor in the UK.