OK, here we go. Most people that are not tailors hear the terms custom, bespoke, and made to measure. They make up their own idea of what the terms mean. They then tell others, and soon everyone misunderstands. Lets look at made to measure. Usually in made to measure the important work is done on the cutting table. A standard size pattern is placed on the cloth. The cutter then chalks around the pattern edge. He will pause at times to move the pattern so that some part gets larger or smaller according to instructions on the customer order. there are many other moves that are used longer, shorter, tilted, forward, backward, pivoted closed, pivoted opened, among others. only when thats done do the shears begin cutting cloth. In very large shops, the work is divided. A "blue pencil man" reads the customers order and diagrams the chalking changes to be done. Then a "chopper" follows the instructions for chalking and cutting. Then comes construction. Large shops may look just like a big ready to wear assembly lines,each person doing only one operation. In small shops people have multiple jobs. When the garment is finished its shipped to you.If this is being handled through a local tailor sometimes arrangements can be made for basted fittings [at cost]. Some ready to wear manufactures also may have a made to measure program. the procedure is the same, the blue pencil man, the cutter,etc. In this case your garment goes through the same assembly line that the ready to wear garments are made. The finished garment is then sent to the retail store. Custom/Bespoke Why the slash? Because they both mean the same thing. The customer is measured,a pattern is made, cloth is cut. A coat maker makes the entire coat. A vest maker makes the entire vest. a pant maker makes the entire pant. Each tailor is a specialist. One or more fittings are made to be sure things are going right at different stages of construction. This is controlled by the cutter/designer/fitter. That's all one person. There is also the single tailor that does everything himself. My dictionary says "bespeake" is to ask or arrange for in advance. Also "custom made," the dictionary says, is made to order. Notice that the definition is either case each term has nothing to do with quality or degree of workmanship. When I began my apprenticeship in 1949, there were many real custom tailor establishments in the U.S. [Alas, there are very few today]. They all proudly called themselves custom tailors, not bespoke. In fact few even heard of the term. In recent years somehow the term came here from across the pond. People seemed to like the sound and elegance of the word. So the American custom tailor became bespoke. A sad turn of events. I think that custom is still a good American word. Check your dictionary.