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MTM; closer to OTR or bespoke?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
First off THANK GOODNESS SF is back!!! And thanks to Ask Andy for hosting us during the downtime.

here's a question for those who have had all three: OTR, MTM and full custom bespoke suits made.
I am at the OTR - graduating - to - MTM stage and basically am more concerned initially with getting a much better fit. I can do OTR but not very well. Eventually as funds allow I'd love to go bespoke and get some really fine fabrics but right now I just need one or two staples, well tailored, such as a solid Navy and solid Grey 2B SB suit for interviews, etc.

I am set for an appt with Martin Greenfield at Brooks' trunk show, but I am wondering If I'd be better served at half the price going for a Brooks Ease and getting the right pants/jacket fit cheaply.

The question - is it a bigger jump from OTR to MTM with a small leap up to bespoke? Or, a small step up from OTR to MTM with huge leap up to bespoke? OR, equal intervals between the three? Mind you, I am talkling about FIT - I realize details and fabrics are yours providing the funds are there.
post #2 of 13
Each step up is a big leap from my experience. Off the rack merely has sizes that they think will fit most. Made to measure is essentially an OTR suit taken in some places to better fit the wearer, but you don't have quite as great a fit or as much flexibility in what you want done. Bespoke is the best, overall. Usually the most expensive, but you can make some crazy choices if you want (like having no sleeve buttons, no lapels, etc.) Also, if you're getting tailored by someone in person, you can tell them to make adjustments to how you want it to fit. Say, for example, you want a suit with a very suppressed waist but larger armholes than the Savile Row standard. Basically, get bespoke if at all possible in your budget. There are some companies overseas that do a sort-of bespoke in which you can make all kinds of crazy specifications, but you simply submit your measurements. While this is usually inexpensive, you MUST make sure you know what you're getting (fabrics, construction, etc.) and give really accurate measurements. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks Jovan.

I am at a tough money point right now - am looking for a new gig come summer, so I wanted a good fitting interview suit. I originally shot for Logsdail, but went down to Brooks Bros (which is $1k less) and now thanks to a rather dismal tax return (as in NO return) I wound up looking at Brooksease separates.

I am still considering the BB MTM - but I wanted to know if it was really worth the added expense for FIT alone. If the Brooks Ease can get me looking sharp enough for an interview, at $600ish , that might hold me over till I can skip MTM and just go full bespoke with Logsdail (unless I win lotto and go straight to London)
post #4 of 13
It depends a lot on how easy a fit you are for RTW, and your expectations. MTM seems to help with the big measurements - shoulders, chest, waist, etc. - and less with the certain issues, dealing with posture and the nuances, that are better built into the body. I personally have no experience with MTM so cannot tell you exactly how it performs compared to bespoke. From what I have seen, the difference is often noticeable for a reasonably trained eye.
post #5 of 13
Ahhh yes. I forgot about that, whoopee. Thomas Mahon talks about that a lot, and gave an example where one of his customers' arms couldn't bend back all the way straight like normal. So, he adjusted the pattern for that arm accordingly. Very nice.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
the only major fit issue I have is a fairly big drop (46 chest, 38 waist) and long torso/short inseam, so I need a trouser with long rise but regular jacket (long and short jackets won't work for me, and reg or short pants are tough because of the rise).

Otherwise I am like a nice Saville row profile which I realize BB is not the epitome of......But I would settle for a nice generic BB profile with a few tweaks (side vents, higher armholes, etc). For my basic interview requirements the typical BB?hickey freeman cut is okay. I wear a bunch of oxxford suits now (all bought 2nd hand) so I am okay with that look. Eventually as funds allow I would go with a more clean and trim british cut.

I should mention I do own a solid grey suit (medium grey, but inexpensive [Kasper], fairly worn if presentable, and a slightly casual crepe fabric) and a couple of Navy pin or chalk stripes in SB and DB.....would those be just as good as a solid Navy SB for interviews?
post #7 of 13
It sounds like you can be accomodated by MTM.

The solid grey and navy are the safest choices. Crepe is not ideal and for the interview suit choosen a worsted of some sort.
post #8 of 13
MTM and bespoke can lead to great results, however be prepared for several iterations to get the fit correct. The first suit may not have the perfect fit, and it may take another couple of suits to get it right. You may also get lucky and get it right on the first try. But set your expectations appropriately.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys

I have one MTM/custom experience so far (vogel shoes) so I know it's a process. I was a bit disappointed to find my first pair fit far worse than most OTR shoes! The second pair was better but still not the near-perfect fit I'd hoped for.....
post #10 of 13
This is one of those questions that can only answered with "It depends." 1) As others have noted, it depends on how easy you are to fit. The easier you are, the less of a jump you will see; unless of course you have a lot of very specific ideas that can only be implemented bespoke. 2) It depends on the quality of the MTM program. Some are better than others. Some are more flexible than others. Some might work well for one build, but not so well for another. 3) It depends on the skill of the bespoke tailor in question. Good MTM is better than bad bespoke.
post #11 of 13
Firstly, unless you are very lucky, OTR will not fit well without at least some tailoring. If you're reasonably lucky, OTR with some minor tailoring can fit well.

MTM is a much better result, provided you choose a manufacturer with a cut that will work well with your specific measurements. See whether the OTR version of the suit is "good, but not quite there". If it's not even close, choose another maker, because in my opinion, there are limits to what MTM can acheive.

Bespoke is indulgence unless you are seriously difficult to fit OTR. But a wonderful indulgence. You can definitely see and feel the improvement in fit over MTM, but whether it's worth the extra cost is totally up to you. And of course, if you have some interesting, specific ideas, bespoke is the only way to get them.

Disclaimer - I own all 3 types of suit. For my shape/figure, MTM is probably the sweet spot for price vs fit but I still want more bespoke items simply because they are closer to what I consider perfect and I'm prepared to meet the extra cost... some of the time, anyway!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I bit the bullet and got MTM fitted by Greenfield at BB.

I am just hoping the rise will be adequate.....will post results for those interested.
post #13 of 13
I would like to know your thoughts on the BB mtm?
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