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Bespoke Shirt Fitting - What to Look For? - Page 3

post #31 of 33
Originally Posted by David Reeves View Post

With respect Carl this just makes you sound like you don't understand what luxury is.

Here is my opinion on the term bespoke and being in a luxury business (taken from an interview in Luxe in a city)

In your words, what is the bespoke suit experience? What makes it different to the "made-to-measure" experience?

Fundamentally, made to measure is an item made from adapted patterns. We make an individual pattern for every client. This is one of the few things that most people can agree on what differentiates a made to measure suit and a bespoke suit.

Nowadays the term Bespoke is a very trendy word. In London, the Savile Row association tried to legally enshrine what a bespoke suit was. The courts decided that the term had moved on and was applicable to made to measure as well. So does this mean that the term is now useless? Well not really, although today it’s not a guarantee of quality or that you are getting a definitive article.

As a consumer you need to look beyond the label, look at the product that is being offered and the service. For me the term isn’t a buzzword I discovered last year. When I started in this business 15 years ago, Bespoke was very much a niche luxury business, it was as simple as that and it was important for me to understand this. Is custom clothing in general a luxury business now? I would say less so when you can measure yourself and get sent a shirt a week later cranked out of a factory, order made to measure out of the back of a truck, or be assailed on the subway by suit salesmen because you are dressed well. However, those makers are not dealing in luxury and they do not understand it.

The Bespoke experience, as I see it, is not simply about having a suit made for you, but having a beautiful garment made for you—it’s always more luxurious, because it’s made for you and you alone. We are getting back to the days when everyone had custom clothing, before they were mass produced. In that time all clothes were not created equally. Naming and semantics aside, I am simply in the business of making some of the best custom made clothing in the world.

Read more: DAVID REEVES BESPOKE - Tailoring Men Fashion in NYC

we could have this disagreement for days.

what you grew up with in terminology in London is not what was terminology in the USA . I have been in business for over 30 years.
when i started, the term Bespoke was not used in NYC. at that time there were numerous custom tailors that made patterns, cut by hand, either made the garments themselves, or had a team of tailors in house. sometimes the pants were made by outside pantsmakers. John Reyle, NIno Corvato, Firovanti, Steve Salen, etc all were/are custom tailors. none of them used the term bespoke.,
these tailors turned out some of the finest garments in NYC. the customers of these tailors went to them, because they knew they were paying for, beautiful well fitted garments. They did not go, because of the word luxury.
Saville Row was the same way. a gentleman had his cutter/Tailor. maybe they dealt with someone from the Front of the shop, but the cutter/ttailor made the real fit decisions.
The term Bespoke was brought into use in the USA by people with out tailoring or Cutting skills to make unaware customers perceive they were getting something special.

I am not a bespoke shirtmaker. I can sew a button on a shirt. that is the extent of my sewing skills. the only thing I cut is 2 yards off of a roll of fabric to hand off to my cutter. BUT, i have a great team behind me.
I do my best to deliver a well made, well fitting shirt, At a price that i fell is fair. I guess if I added the words bespoke to my company name i could raise my prices 50%.

Not sure how a garment that is made in a large factory is Bespoke. a paper pattern, does not guarantee a better fit then a tailor who adjusts from a block, or just chalks onto fabric.

a Basted fitting does not mean that the end results will be perfect.

My point is that the term luxury like the term Bespoke and artisanal, no longer mean what they once did.
post #32 of 33
In many ways we are not disagreeing but I use the term myself because I always did, Its part of my heritage and my culture, I worked for two Savile Row companies, I was there, I was that front of house guy.

My company was also established in London prior to my arrival in New York (about 6 years ago) and a lot of the graphics, terminology, way of doing things etc was not built specifically for an American market, I just brought it over.

And you know me I'm not some marketing svengali or someone that doesn't know what he's doing. I hear what you are saying, but for me theres an authenticity to me using the term, I even outsource to Bench tailors in London to make that authentic Bespoke garment. I am not saying other people cant use the term but I have as much if not more right to use it than most people in the business I think.

As I was saying though, and we do agree on this, its all about what you produce not the label, so I don't get really upset when people sell MTM as bespoke online or out of the back of a truck outside my office at Union Square.
post #33 of 33
Well said, David. I agree with you.
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