Fashion Glossary: from “Off the Rack” to “Bespoke Attire”

“Bespoke” has become a buzzword in the clothing world, and that’s causing some trouble for people that are serious about their fashion. In most circles, people use the world “bespoke” as a synonym for “high-quality” or “made to measure”. The truth is that a bespoke piece of clothing goes far beyond quality or measurements.

It’s important to know the difference between common fashion terms to ensure that you get what you want when you’re shopping. Ready for a crash course in men’s fashion terms? Here’s everything you need to know about terms you’ll run into when you’re shopping for a suit. 

“Off the Rack”

If you decide to go down the “off the rack” route when you’re shopping for suits, what you see is what you get in terms of fabric and style. Most suits will be made in standard sizes, and if you want anything changed you’ll have to go to a tailor. 

Off-the-rack suits are far from an ideal choice for savvy shoppers. Are you very tall? Do you have wide shoulders? Are you looking for more room in the chest area? If you buy an off-the-rack suit you’ll be spending a lot of time and money with a tailor trying to get things right. 

Going to a tailor isn’t a guarantee that your suit will fit the way you want either. Most can only manage taking in pant legs, letting them out, or lengthening sleeves. Anything else would require getting an entirely new suit. 

Made to Measure

Made to measure suits are a step up from off-the-rack, but it’s not a very high one. When you buy a made to measure suit a tailor takes your measurements and adapts a standard pattern to suit your size. 

When you buy made to measure suits you don’t have a lot of options for fabric. You may be able to choose a different color, but you should expect pretty standard blues, greys, and blacks. Extras like matching ties, pocket squares, or cufflinks have to be found on your own. 

It’s also important to note that a tailor can get the garment to fit your basic shape, but it still won’t be made 100% specific to your body. Made to measure suits still come from a generic pattern, so what you get will be close, but not perfect. 

Custom Suits

Custom suits are the next evolution of made-to-measure suits. A tailor still takes your measurements, but this time they’ll create a pattern for you. 

When you’re getting a custom suit made, everything from the slope of your hops and shoulds to the length of your legs will be taken into consideration. You’ll be able to choose a variety of things like fabric and accessories. 

If you’re looking for a comfortable suit, the custom route isn’t a bad option. You’ll have something that’s made to fit your unique shape and can have more say in how it looks. It’s also important to note that bespoke suits come finished and that any other adjustments will need to be made by a tailor once the suit is completed. 

Bespoke Suits

The process of creating bespoke suits is very similar to what you’d do if you were going to purchase a custom suit. You’d still get measured by a tailor, you’d pick out fabrics, colors, and accessories, and the end result would be a suit that fits your body well.

The main difference between bespoke suits and custom suits comes down to the entire shopping experience and outcome. 

Remember, the word “bespoke” means “to be spoken” for. People use the term to denote ownership and uniqueness. 

When you have a bespoke suit, you truly have a one-of-a-kind garment. The tailor makes and measures something that is specifically made for you and your body.  

The tailor wants to make sure that your suit will fit you like a glove, and that means that they want to get every single detail right. They won’t be using that particular pattern again for another customer.

On top of everything else, when you get a bespoke garment, you’re working with someone that truly wants to understand your unique sense of style. They work tirelessly to make sure you get everything you want with your suit. Whether you want a truly unique color or different fabric, they’ll do whatever they need to make their clients happy. 

Have a True Bespoke Experience

Don’t let a slick marketing tactic fool you into settling for less with your suit. Getting your measurements taken and picking out a stylish tie to match may help you get a nice suit, but it doesn’t mean that you’ve had a real bespoke shopping experience. 

Unless you’re getting quality 1:1 time with a tailor, have chosen every element of your suit, and have something that fits like a dream, you didn’t have a bespoke suit experience. Luckily for you, there’s still time for you to have one.

Book your appointment today so you can experience true bespoke fashion.