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Bespoke vs Made to Measure vs Off the Rack: Which is Best for You?

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Section: Men's Style - Blog

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Nuptials, career promotions, or makeovers typically prompt men to upgrade their wardrobes. Whatever the reason, suiting up to a bespoke suit epitomizes affluence.

However, to make sure you get what you pay for, you must know the differences between bespoke, made-to-measure, or off-the-rack tailoring. Here’s your essential guide to making the best choice, because while bespoke suits are for the uncompromising gentleman, all that attention to detail does come at a cost.

So, what's the difference?

When it's time to suit up, bespoke suits are one of many options:

  • Custom tailored suits (aka tailor made suits)
  • Made-to-measure suits
  • Off-the-rack suits

There are key differences between bespoke suits and made-to-measure suit. Firstly, bespoke suits are created from scratch. They require multiple fittings (sometimes as many as four or five) by a local tailor. Finally, they are created without using a pre-existing pattern, thus allowing for intricate control over styling details.

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In contrast, custom tailored suits are also made from unique patterns and individually hand-crafted to your measurements, fabric choice, and styling requirements. However, their manufacturing process does not usually include multiple suit fittings. Made-to-measure suits use standard patterns and styling options.

Compared to the former options, off-the-rack suits are a pre-styled, mass-produced product made to standard sizing rules, which may or may not fit you well. When you purchase off-the-rack, you generally compromise on:

  • Style
  • Fabric
  • Fit

Sadly, you rarely find exactly what you're looking for. Additionally, you waste time shopping around and trying on scores of jackets and trousers until you find one that is fits. And the hassle of dealing with pushy sales people? We just won't go there.

Where to Find Bespoke Suits

Mostly, you'll find genuine bespoke suits at local “bricks ‘n mortar” tailors. This is because many suit fittings are necessary to get the garment to fit properly, and the skills required to perform these fittings means the tailor needs to reside locally.

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Because creating bespoke suits is a labour intensive process, a fully bespoke suit is an expensive option. However, for those who care to invest in one, it is one of life's great luxuries.

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How Much Will It Cost?

Prices can vary tremendously depending on where you purchase your bespoke suit. Typical price points range $4,000 - $5,000. However, it's not unheard of for these suits to be sold for over $40,000.

How is Price Determined?

Price is predicated on factors such as:

  • Fabric selection
  • Styling options
  • Construction methods

A fully bespoke suiting tailor can adjust almost every single aspect of a suit to your personal desires and need. In fact, some offer hundreds of styling options for their clients to choose from.

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To justify the high price tag, a fully bespoke suits should be “fully canvassed” with a quality natural material like horse or camel hair. The suits should be fully hand stitched and use pure wool fabrics with high Super counts. During the construction stage of your suit, bespoke tailors should also fit you a number of times to ensure that you're getting the best imaginable fit for your garment.

Fully bespoke tailoring is designed for men who know exactly what they want and never compromise on quality.

WHAT DOES MONTAGIO DO?

We essentially do One Thing: custom tailoring with a "bespoke service."

What does this mean to you? As with other bespoke tailors, all suits are individually hand stitched from uniquely cut patterns. We offer a full range of styling options (just not a limitless range). We don't require 4 - 5 fittings. Instead of numerous fittings, we aim to achieve the perfect fit via alterations (if needed). This simplifies the process and keeps our prices reasonable.

We offer various informative webpages covering all types of suiting to counteract the misinformation in the marketplace because we find often our clients don't know what they are searching for or how to compare service levels.

"Bespoke Suits" by Montagio

Pros of bespoke suits

  • One-on-one personalised service and advice
  • Multiple fittings by a local tailor
  • One stop shopping for the fit, style and fabric you want
  • Complete control over every styling aspect
  • The highest quality materials and a large range of selections
  • High quality of craftsmanship and impeccable attention to detail

Cons of bespoke suits

  • Mostly price, which is over budget for most. Additionally, even if you can afford a bespoke suit, you may not want to spend that much.
  • Requires a lot of effort and thought. Most people don't have the time or patience to bother customising a bespoke suit to such an intricate level or keep coming in for multiple fittings.

Timescale

8+ weeks: Includes the whole process: taking measurements, multiple fittings, alterations and so on.

Effort Required by You

HIGH: Because there are so many options from which to choose, it takes lots of time and effort to configure your bespoke suit. In addition to the time required to finalize a design, prepare yourself to attend multiple fittings for your first bespoke suit.

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If you purchase other bespoke suits in the future, you might need more fitting sessions, especially if your weight fluctuates or your measurements change dramatically.

Cost

HIGH: What will a bespoke suit cost you? Well, the sky is the limit here. When we did our market research and surveyed the major bespoke suit tailoring houses in Sydney, we discovered the average cost was around $3,000 - $5,000, but there were some bespoke tailors known to have sold these suits for over $40,000.

Summary

Bespoke suits are for designed to satisfy the needs of those with discerning taste, no time pressure, and in many cases, an unlimited budget. When only the best will do, bespoke suits are the only garments that fit the bill.

That's why at Montagio we offer you custom tailoring with a "bespoke service" so you can the benefits of bespoke tailoring, without the high price tag. To schedule your personal styling session, contact us here or pop by our Sydney showroom to chat with one of our master tailors.

Image Credits © Igor Strajin | Dreamstime.com © Daniel Nagy | Dreamstime.com © Moniaszymanska | Dreamstime.com © Fashionstock .com | Dreamstime.com

Tailor Made FOR EVERY OCCASION

We tailor make mens suits, jackets and shirts for all occasions. Each garment is custom designed, precisely made-to-measure and is guaranteed to fit you perfectly. Unlike others, we offer you end-to-end service and a personalised styling session where we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you get the colour, style and fit you want.

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Never bought custom made before?

Wondering what all the hype is about? Here's why you'll never go back to off-the-rack:

How It Works

About Montagio

Since 2010, we've paved the way for uncompromising men to get suited up in style with our full service tailored mens suits, shirts and coats. Our showrooms are packed full of suit samples and thousands of fabrics making it easy for you to get the look and fit you want. We offer a remarkably personal shopping experience and specialise in individually hand crafted garments for business, weddings, formal and casual events. We have personally tailored mens suits for thousands of happy customers, and you too can experience the same red carpet treatment. Book your personal appointment today to have your uniquely styled and perfectly tailored garment ready within a few short weeks.

Steve Fambo

Hats off to the team at Montagio Custom Tailoring Sydney. I was immediately impressed once I stepped into their boutique showroom... more »

Scott Lasak

The suit and shirts I received were terrific and much better quality than ones I've found in stores off the rack. I would absolutely recommend them... more »

Yun Zhi Lin

I would highly recommend Montagio for anyone else planning a wedding or looking for a trendy tailor made suit... more »


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