If you don’t want an off-the-peg suit, you can choose between made-to-measure clothing and tailoring: Isn’t it one and the same thing? You’d think so, but it’s not! Our blog shows similarities and differences between the two variants. We also provide information on quality features, prices, and production.
Alternative to stock clothing
Crime scene men’s outfitter: Rows of dark blue, dark grey and black suits seem to draw in endlessly. It takes time and nerve to pick out the right suit. And then you are also forced to make compromises, because usually the beautiful dark blue double heron, which you paid attention to, is unfortunately not available in your size. Yes, then you just buy anthracite, after all you need a suit now… If you know the problem and are tired of it, we will show you possible solutions.
Made-to-measure suit – the measure of all things
The history of tailoring begins in the early Middle Ages. At that time everything was still produced in own and manual work. Only kings and princes could afford to have their garments made in the workshops of their own tailors. Whoever wore something from the tailor was rich and showed that too. For things like women’s custom suits NYC, we associate pure luxury with the tailoring trade mainly because a tailor-made suit is indeed expensive.
The high expenditure of time and the materials make a tailor-made suit so expensive. The production of a tailor-made suit takes so much time that no one would think of choosing cheap fabrics. The fabrics are usually purchased from the best weavers in England and Italy.
The expenditure of time can also be easily explained: On the one hand, the customer must be measured. This is usually a lengthy consultation in which the tailor must feel the customer’s taste and style in order to make the right suit. The cut, the suit fabric, the details – at the end everything has to fit into a harmonious picture that underlines the personality of the man. Once the measurements have been taken, the work of the tailor begins. Based on the customer’s data and the cutter’s many years of experience, a pattern is developed which is first drawn on paper and then on a sample material. After the individual parts have been cut to size, they are assembled by hand to form a temporary suit. The test suit is ready.
The sample suit is only made of simple materials. It is used by the tailor to check whether his measurements were correct and to consult with the customer so that he can make any change requests. If the customer and tailor are satisfied, the actual suit is only manufactured in the fine fabric on the basis of the first suit. When this is finished, the second fitting will take place. To do this, the customer must make another appearance. The suit is checked and the tailor accepts any customer requests. The suit is then revised. The procedure may well be repeated one or two times before the final fitting, the so-called handover, takes place.
The entire production takes up to six months. This should be taken into account before the purchase. During this time, a unique product is developed, the quality of which, however, is only revealed at second glance, because an old tailor’s saying says: “If someone praises your new suit, your tailor has done something wrong”. Because the only task of the tailor-made suit should be to underline the personality of its wearer with its noble simplicity. Then the passion for beautiful clothes was worth it, the money and also the enormous patience. When you finally hold the suit in your hands, you are richer by a noble outfit and poorer by two to three thousand dollars.
But what to do if you don’t have too much money or patience, but the same passion for beautiful, high-quality clothing with a perfect fit? You look for a bespoke maker!
Made-to-measure clothing fills the large gap between tailoring and bar stock. It is an alternative for men who neither want to put a fortune on the table nor want (or are able) to wait half a year for their suit, but still do not want to do without a high-quality suit and co-design.
The difference between custom-made clothing and tailoring lies in the approach. The tailor, as well as the tailor, misses his customers. The difference in the measurement situation, however, is that the customer is measured by a custom-made clothing manufacturer using a standard size system. This virtually ignores the step of manufacturing the sample suit. Instead, the customer’s measurements are adjusted on the basis of an existing test suit right from the first encounter.
Surprisingly, high-quality suppliers of made-to-measure clothing are in no way inferior to the tailor when it comes to fabric selection and personalization options. Often you can choose between the same Italian and English fabrics that a good tailor offers. Similar to a custom tailor, the customer is provided with a specialist advisor in order to be able to respond precisely to the customer’s wishes.
After the customer has been measured by the tailor and has made the fabric selection, his data is sent to a production facility where a computer develops an individual pattern which is then cut from the fabric with high-precision machines. The parts then enter a production process in which experienced seamstresses assemble the suit.
It is said among connoisseurs that the first hundred shirts of a seamstress are thrown away immediately, the second hundred can be sold at discount stores, the third hundred at mid-range stores. Only after about four hundred sewn shirts has a seamstress achieved the desired quality that you can expect from a first-class supplier of made-to-measure clothing. When the suit is assembled, it is checked for the smallest defects by a specialist with many years of experience. If only one seam is wrong, the suit will be produced again. Despite everything, a second fitting with the customer takes place after just under two weeks. As with the bespoke tailor, requests for changes are also accepted here and subsequently implemented.
In order to buy a reasonably made-to-measure suit, you have to put at least 500 dollars on the table. Depending on the material and extra wishes, the price can still increase significantly.
Beware of cheap suppliers of tailor-made suits
By the way: Hands off cheap providers, especially if their customers have themselves measured for a woman power suit. This is far too error-prone and inaccurate. These include, above all, various online providers who sell tailor-made suits for less than 200 dollars. The conditions are neither high-quality fabrics, nor does the customer personally come into contact with the tailor, who takes the necessary time and leisure to measure. Accordingly, there is a great danger that the suit will not have the right fit at the end. This is where the old rule comes into play: if you buy cheap, you buy twice. Therefore another rule is: You should always buy the best possible quality that you can afford with your current budget. Then you have more and also longer something of his clothes.
However, the Internet also offers advantages for the tailor, the tailor, and their customers. Once the customer has been measured by a trusted tailor, he can order a perfectly fitting and high-quality suit from anywhere in the world; at least as long as body weight and body shape have not changed significantly in the meantime. Then it won’t take six months, but only about two to three weeks. And also the price is more humane. In this case, you hardly pay more for another high-quality suit from a tailor than for an off-the-peg brand suit.
Conclusion: Tailoring vs. custom-made clothing
A perfectly fitting suit can save the day, but you shouldn’t expect too much. You neither become a British secret agent nor your belly becomes less because your suit fits well.
Custom-made suits are a piece of finished handicraft. This has its price, but you wear a suit that couldn’t be higher quality. Custom-made clothing, on the other hand, is a cheaper alternative. This modern variant of suit production often even offers comparable quality as well as a free choice of fabric and color. But as always, it’s up to you: Custom-made clothing or tailoring – decide for yourself!