Suit Basics – Made to Measure

Made-to-Measure is a pretty loose term in the fashion industry, and refers generally to a garment made according to your personal measurements.


How exactly your unique measurements are translated into the garment is the main difference between made-to-measure and bespoke. It should also be noted that even a customized pattern can be put together poorly, but in general these suits will be better made than off-the-peg because they target a higher spender.


The made-to-measure service is either adjusting existing patterns to your unique measurements, or drawing a new pattern with your measurements using computer aided drawing.


Because of the general uniformity of menswear, it’s actually rather simple to take a standard pattern from the arsenal and manipulate a few key areas to accommodate your unique measurements. It’s a bit of an art to know which portions of the pattern to manipulate and how, and what other pattern pieces will be impacted and themselves require adjustment. Although CAD is faster, it’s only as good as the formulas behind it, which tend to disappoint when it comes to difficult bodies or unique fits.


The advantage is of course a far superior fit to anything you could get off the peg. Although I have some disdain for this tailoring method (mainly because it’s sold for what it’s not, look out for the term ‘Demi-bespoke’) it’s a great way to get clothes that fit you well for a reasonable price. And is also a great way to ‘get into’ having bespoke clothes tailored.

pattern lengthen


The disadvantage is that, because we’re dealing with rigid or semi-rigid formulas, certain things will work great (like your unique height and girth). But the depths of your crotch, armhole drop and shoulder slope are not going to accommodate your unique physique. Though it does permit custom garments to be made remotely, opening up all tailoring houses in the world to the internet connected consumer.


I know I can get a bit negative about made-to-measure, but it really is a great way to get something personal made in haste. Especially if it’s a standard garment and you have a pretty regular shape. I think my greatest gripe is the price, with unscrupulous tailors selling you a service you aren’t getting. Don’t fork out for bespoke tailoring unless you actually know what you’re buying.


If there’s no basting it’s probably made-to-measure and not bespoke. Which is totally fine so long as you’re not being charged bespoke prices for made-to-measure work.


– More on Suits –

Introduction to Suits– Brief History of Suits – The Trouser’s Fit – The Jacket’s Fit  – The Waistcoat’s FitThe Shirt’s FitOff the Peg Suits – Made to Measure Suits – Bespoke Suits – Some Suit Mistakes –




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