You Are What You Buy: Made To Measure, Ready To Wear or Bespoke what are the differences?


Consumed by our society, the term “made-to-measure” seems unclear to some and I felt like demystifying it for all of you. Ready-to-wear is what most of us are familiar with. Companies offer pre-made clothing in different standardized sizes that are tailored to their primary demographics (US sized or UK sized for example). You try and if it fits, you buy. This process is manufactured.

Next up there is the made-to-measure. You make your own choice of details like the fabrics or the buttons and you give your measurements (or they take it for you) before receiving your custom item. This kind of process is also done in factories.

Finally there is the tailor-made, or bespoke. It is a craftsman who will advise you on your choice of garment details, take your measurements and make the garment himself for you. It is a very precise job and often needs a good amount of experience as well as expertise.

Depending on your budget, built and taste; each of these options have their own advantages. If you have a “not-that-common” built (i.e. long arms, large shoulders, narrow waist) it might be a good idea to go for made-to-measure or bespoke, as it will solve those kind of problems. Sure you can alter your ready-to-wear garment but in the end it will cost you just as much as buying one of the two other options and the result may not be very dapper. If you are the type of person that is attentive to details and likes quality, the help of a good tailor might just be your preferred option.

Time can also be a deal breaker for some. With ready-to-wear, obviously you have it right away (or just the time it takes to get to you by mail). 
Made-to-measure can take about 1-2 months and bespoke can take up to 3 months. 
On the other hand, if you find some small problems you’d like to adjust on a garment; it will happen a lot less if you work with a tailor vs ready-to-wear where you will always have to deal with the available offer and limit room for creativity.

Leave a comment