What’s the Difference between Made-to-Measure and Bespoke?

Many customers looking to buy well-fitting clothes are always confused when it comes to the difference between made-to-measure and bespoke. In fact, the differences Bespokebetween the two types of tailoring are considerable. Below we take a closer look at the different stages in the tailoring process and how they differ in these two methods of clothes production.


A made-to-measure piece will take into account the pattern for a jacket, shirt or trouser in a certain size and modify this pattern if your measurements differ in any way from standard. The cutter will modify the standard pattern to account for any differences specific to you, for example shoulder width.

A bespoke tailor will create an individual pattern for your item. No modification or editing of a standard pattern is used, as a new pattern is drawn out unique to the customer’s requirements. A bespoke tailor takes into account more than just measurements including characteristics such as the arch of the back.


In most made-to-measure tailors there is no need for fittings during the creation or production process. An initial fitting is sometimes required to take measurements and draft a design, unless measurements are submitted electronically, and then a final fitting is offered after the item has been produced to ensure it’s up to standard. There are occasionally further adjustments post-final fitting.

To achieve a bespoke fit, regular fittings are essential. Some bespoke shops will insist upon 5+ fittings to ensure the item is perfectly fitted to the customer. Bespoke shirts for example need to be precision sewn and created to ensure the exact fit is more unique to the buyer than simply the measurements originally taken. The cost of bespoke fitting often stacks up due to this but it’s worth it for the quality of the garment.


Made-to-measure shops will usually provide customers with a small range to choose from – usually selected from one or two specific mills. The selection is wide enough for most but not so extensive that choice becomes difficult. Prices will often increase if more patterns are offered.

Bespoke shops will often provide customers with a selection of 10+ mills which means the fabrics to be chosen from are extensive. Some tailors even allow customers to have exclusive dyes and patterns for their items, to ensure their true uniqueness.

Customer Service

Made-to-measure tailors involve meeting with someone who works in the store who is trained to take measurements. This is very rarely the tailor themselves although they will be trained to ensure you are measured correctly.

When purchasing a bespoke garment you should meet directly with the person who will be creating it for you. The person who is creating the garment should be present to ensure they can create an item which perfectly suits your body type as well as measurements.

Bespoke tailoring is a fantastically extravagant and worthwhile choice if you’re looking for a special item of clothing for a special occasion. Made-to-measure items are also great for regular work and business use.

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