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what differentiates bespoke from high end mtm?

dukeaw

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Like the title asks...
I work with a local tailor that offers both made to measure and bespoke options. His father does bespoke, and the son does the made to measure, which they both make in house.

With MtM there are 3 fittings. The measurement, the mostly completed garment without buttons or hemming, and the last fitting where finishings are added. His made to measure is machine stitched canvas. He does hand stitching on the collar, sleeve attachment, and I'm not 100% confident, but also the shoulders.

The bespoke is about 3x the price of made to measure. This is 3-5 fittings. He will hand stitch the canvas, and I'm sure there is much more handwork.

But I'm curious as to what the styleforum community would consider the major differences to be? I'm curious about bespoke, but trying to determine exactly what the extra quality proposition is over a high quality and well fitting made to measure garment? Does bespoke really fit that much better than a well fitted made to measure at 3x the price? Is there a major difference between machine stitched canvas vs hand stitched?
 

breakaway01

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The conventional meaning of 'bespoke' is that a pattern is drafted specifically for you, not modified from an existing pattern. MTM, on the other hand, starts with a pre-determined pattern that is modified to fit you better. But some MTM systems allow for more adjustments than others.

Does bespoke really fit that much better than a well fitted made to measure at 3x the price?
Can't generalize. It depends on how well you fit the pattern used by that particular maker for their MTM. If you are fortunate enough to require minimal changes to their MTM pattern then you will have a very good result. If you have a very unusual body type then bespoke may very well end up fitting much better than any MTM. Of course it also depends on the skill of the person cutting your pattern and making your garment.

In your case I would have an honest discussion with your tailor -- clarify exactly what they mean by 'bespoke' and 'MTM' as these terms are not consistently used. How well does he think your body matches the pattern(s) they use for MTM? If he thinks that you will need a lot of adjustments for their MTM to work, then maybe bespoke will end up being the better choice.

Is there a major difference between machine stitched canvas vs hand stitched?
Some will say that a hand-padded lapel (hand stitching the canvas to the lapel) will give a better lapel roll than a machine-padded lapel. I think @jefferyd has written about this. On the other hand some very well known bespoke tailors pad the lapel and collar by machine.
 

dukeaw

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I spoke with my tailor yesterday.

There were 3 main differences

1. They will do multiple fittings throughout garment construction instead of the basic fittings for mtm. This allows more fine tuning of fit. However, for mtm they will do minor alterations after the completion of the garment as necessary. (adjust hem, adjust back of jacket, adjust seat, adjust crotch, etc)

2. They will handmake the canvas instead of using a premade canvas. On a bespoke garment I saw that there were stitches on the backside of the lapel where they attach the canvas. Their mtm garments do not have that stitching. (Their house style is a very soft canvas and unpadded shoulders)

Does anyone have any insight into whether there is a drastic difference between a premade canvas and one the tailor makes? I've heard many bespoke tailors also use premade canvas.

3. On bespoke there is more handwork. For example, they will handmake each buttonhole.

Based on what he told me, their mtm is an incredible value compared to their bespoke offering. At anywhere from $1200-$2000 depending on the fabric compared to $3400 and up for bespoke, it is a very similar quality garment. The bespoke option has greater fine tuning of fit, and more handwork. But I'm not sure if the bespoke option is a tremendous step up from mtm unless someone has a truly challenging body to fit or wants all the detailed handwork.

My ego still want to do bespoke though...
 

breakaway01

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More fittings are not always better. If you need many fittings to get it right I’d worry a bit about the tailor’s ability to get the pattern close on the first try.
Still not clear to me whether “MTM” is a completely custom pattern or modifications to a block pattern.
Also wondering how the canvas is attached to the lapel on the MTM jacket if it is not stitched?
Can’t speak personally to benefits of a handmade canvas front but I think you might find this helpful:
 

dukeaw

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More fittings are not always better. If you need many fittings to get it right I’d worry a bit about the tailor’s ability to get the pattern close on the first try.
Still not clear to me whether “MTM” is a completely custom pattern or modifications to a block pattern.
Also wondering how the canvas is attached to the lapel on the MTM jacket if it is not stitched?
Can’t speak personally to benefits of a handmade canvas front but I think you might find this helpful:
That is also the main difference. Mtm is the alteration of an existing pattern. He says he has a computer program (cad) that he uses to modify it. Bespoke is a custom pattern. Although I’ve always been skeptical that it makes a huge difference with someone like me who has a relatively balanced body.

on the bespoke jacket you can see the pinpoints of stitching on the baking of the lapel. That isn’t there for mtm even though it is a full floating canvas for both
 

papado

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That is also the main difference. Mtm is the alteration of an existing pattern. He says he has a computer program (cad) that he uses to modify it. Bespoke is a custom pattern. Although I’ve always been skeptical that it makes a huge difference with someone like me who has a relatively balanced body.

on the bespoke jacket you can see the pinpoints of stitching on the baking of the lapel. That isn’t there for mtm even though it is a full floating canvas for both
I would be careful on saying you can only see that stitching on bespoke as if I understand what you're describing would be seen on makers who do lots of handwork even for RTW/MTM. My Oxxford and Orazio Luciano jackets have those details and they are rtw.
 

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