Bespoke versus made to measure clothing

By on March 7th, 2013

As a custom clothing provider we are often asked about bespoke versus made to measure (MTM). And while they may seem to be synonymous, nothing could be farther from the truth.

If a suit is considered made-to-measure it means that a customer’s measurements have been taken and that the garment will be cut from a pre-existing, standard pattern that is then altered to roughly fit those measurements. The key term here is pre-existing, which simply implies that a pattern is not fashioned from scratch for an individual customer.

Generally, more machine work is involved in made-to-measure garments with a limited amount of hand work. Regarding the construction of a suit, machine sewing usually makes a relatively lifeless coat. Hand sewn jackets look and feel better, moving as if they are part of the wearer. Remember the suits that James Bond wore? Yup, those were certainly custom.

Bespoke, or custom garments, are a different story altogether. The customer’s measurements are taken and then a pattern is fashioned from scratch – these garments tend to be made mostly by hand. The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak or to “speak for something”. From a fashion perspective, the term bespoke is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing. When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have been spoken for. Therefore, a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called “bespoke”. Using your pattern, the cloth is cut and trimmed and the specific parts of the garment are sewn together.


Bespoke clothing offers a man full control over the tailoring process. At The Bespoke Edge we are proud to offer the following benchmark standards:

  • Hand work used almost entirely on all garments
  • The individual cut of your personal pattern
  • Tremendous selection of the finest fabrics available
  • Your measurement profile stays with BE
  • Unparalleled personal service and consultation
  • 30 years of menswear experience

In most cases, when a man has full control over the creation of his custom clothing the cost will be higher – not the case with BE. We are able to keep costs down and offer our customers an affordable priced garment because there is no middle man.

Men who try bespoke tailoring often become lifetime advocates, simply because no off-the-rack garment or made to measure garment can compare. Let us show you the bespoke experience!