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What is the difference between ready-to-wear/off-the-peg, made-to-measure, and full Bespoke Suits?


A true bespoke suit is of greater value than anything else available. They look better, fit better, and last years longer than anything else.
Even so, £2000 [about $4000 USD, at time of writing] is a lot to pay. With modern technology there are acceptable ready-to-wear, manufactured suits being made, starting at only a few hundred pounds. So regardless of your budget, you have a lot of options.

Here is the basic hierarchy to consider:
1. A totally machine made, off-the-peg suit
These cost around £100 to £600. The production systems are simple, a suit is literally made in minutes. With machine-made suits, all manufacturers have pattern designers who create a basic pattern that will be acceptable to most people. So, you are guided by the fit and the feel of the jacket around the neck and shoulders.
If you´re in-between sizes, get the larger size and pay an alteration tailor £20-£30 to have it taken in.
2. Made-to-measure
Not to be confused with ´bespoke´, you are getting the same machine-made suit as number one, but the basic pattern will reflect slight alterations to improve the overall fit. Expect to pay anywhere between £450 to £800. You have more opportunities to personalize the suit, pocket details, style, etc.
The person who measures you may have limited experience; they are only running a tape around you and checking style boxes on the order form.
There are retail chains that offer this service and even proper tailors are out there. A.J. Hewitt, an excellent tailor, is a good example. The tailors at My Custom Tailor offer true ´bespoke´ that ranks with the best. They also offer made-to-measure which isn´t the same quality as their best ´bespoke´ suits. They are simply offering the option of only climbing halfway up the sartorial ladder. Ultimately with made-to-measure, your suit is at the mercy of the manufacturer. However, when you have an experienced cutters like those at My Custom Tailors to measure you, there is far less chance of disappointment.
3. Hand-made, off-the-peg
These are made by hand and the quality is generally very good. But it is still an assembly line, using humans instead of machines to cut from generic, standardized patterns, not your own individual measurements. Yes, the button holes will be hand-sewn, just like ´bespoke´ and your coat will be made with a floating canvas. But the assembly line will still crank out twenty five ´size 40s´ in a single shift. The quality is acceptable and you can order the suit in the morning and be wearing it by the afternoon.


Other commonly asked questions about Product Features

  1. How does a fully-constructed, tailored jacket differ from semi-constructed or unconstructed jackets?
  2. What is a semi-constructed jacket?
  3. What is an unconstructed jacket? What is the difference between a fully constructed and an unconstructed jacket?
  4. How are your jackets, pants, and shirts made? What type of construction is done on your jackets, shirts, pants? What are your manufacturing specifications?
  5. What sort of religious criteria can be added to custom tailored clothing?
  6. Are your jackets hand-basted or fused? Can you do hand-basted canvas fronts? Are shirt collars fused? What about the seams?
  7. What are the MyCustomTailor.com production standards?
  8. How do I know if My Custom Tailor is for me?
  9. What about big and tall sizes?
  10. Can I order for others such as family?
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