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Bespoke vs MTM

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can anyone in the forum enlighten me (a newbie)as to the the difference in these two processes as I only have a vague idea (Bespoke is basically anything you want... whereas MTM is cut from a predefined design). Has anyone tried the MTM route? I'm considering getting one in Brisbane, Australia.
post #2 of 7
If you do a search, you will find endless discussions of this, some approaching the talmudic in their level of esoteric detail. Briefly, the acid test is whether a pattern (the paper template that determines the shape of a garment) is drawn one at a time, for an individual (that's bespoke) or if a stock or pre-existing pattern is modified to better fit a particular customer (made-to-measure).  With both bespoke and MTM, you should be able to choose any cloth and any style (SB or DB, 2-button or 3-button, etc.) or detail (slant or straight pockets, one or two vents, etc.).  The true differences between the bespoke and MTM have most to do with the precision of the fit, and the subtleties of the silhouette.  This applies to suits and coats and trousers and shirts. The case of shoes is slightly different.  A truly bespoke shoe is made on a last (a wooden model of the foot) that is carved de novo for an individual client.  Some top bespoke shoemakers (e.g., Foster's in London and Lobb in Paris) call this process "made-to-measure", which is mildly confusing.  There are also firms that modify stock lasts to change the fit for individual customers.  These modifications can range in extent from slight to extensive.  Some call this process bespoke, others use other terms, and still others do it but have no name for it.  Finally, there are stock specials or special orders.  This process allows you choose the leather and color you want and design the style of the shoe yourself.  But the shoe will be made on a stock last, with no adjustments to the fit.
post #3 of 7
Don't have any bespoke suits, but all my suits (that I wear, anyway) have been MTM. It is lightyears better than RTW, in my opinion. RTW never seem to fit right, particularly the jacket length. Of course, I suppose that every reasonably well-fitting RTW could me modified to the point it fits very well, but by the time you shorten jackets, sleeves, nip the jacket waist, shorten legs, bring in the pants, taper/narrow the leg to your taste, you still have a suit that may not be the perfect fabric or details you would have chosen yourself had you had the opportunity. Bespoke seems definitely the way to go if cost is no object. But considering the fit/cost ratio, MTM is the sweet spot for suits.
post #4 of 7
There was an article in Esquire (so consider the source) a year or two ago that suggested MTM is better because the fabrics are cut by machine, rather than by hand, and therefore the outcome is more consistent. However, many of us on the SF appreciate the slight imperfections that indicate handwork.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
There was an article in Esquire (so consider the source) a year or two ago that suggested MTM is better because the fabrics are cut by machine, rather than by hand, and therefore the outcome is more consistent.  However, many of us on the SF appreciate the slight imperfections that indicate handwork.
Better if you fit perfectly into the first suit--- then you know that copies 2, 3, and 4 will fit equally well. Huge assumption built into that, however, which has never panned out for me.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
There was an article in Esquire (so consider the source) a year or two ago that suggested MTM is better because the fabrics are cut by machine, rather than by hand, and therefore the outcome is more consistent.
Preposterous.  The skill of the cutter is not in the actual cutting (which even I could do, with a little practice) but in the drawing of the pattern from which the cloth is cut.  No machine can do that as well as a skilled, experienced human cutter. As for the consistency of the result, assuming that the pieces were cut correctly in the first place (whether by machine or by hand), that depends on the sewing.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your help guys. I will be looking for mtm options in my area soon and will let you know the outcome
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