• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Which Garments to get Bespoke over of the Rack Tailored?

FujinRaijin

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2023
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Title.

So I just started to go down the Bespoke rabbit hole.

I've seen there's some items worth getting bespoke made like suits, blazers, jeans, overcoats, peacoats, dress shirts, trousers, etc.

Versus items that are worth buying off-the-rack and getting tailored like t-shirts, light jackets, chino shorts, etc.

And then there are others where fit doesn't matter that much to even get tailored. Like knitwear, belts, oversize clothing, bulky outwear, etc.

In terms of style-impact. Which everyday items, in your opinions, are "no-question go bespoke"?
 

TheIronDandy

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
314
Reaction score
1,108
Title.

So I just started to go down the Bespoke rabbit hole.

I've seen there's some items worth getting bespoke made like suits, blazers, jeans, overcoats, peacoats, dress shirts, trousers, etc.

Versus items that are worth buying off-the-rack and getting tailored like t-shirts, light jackets, chino shorts, etc.

And then there are others where fit doesn't matter that much to even get tailored. Like knitwear, belts, oversize clothing, bulky outwear, etc.

In terms of style-impact. Which everyday items, in your opinions, are "no-question go bespoke"?

Some reflections:

Bespoke* does not always mean better. I think there are two good reasons to go bespoke:

1. You want something in a style that you can't find off-the-rack or even made-to-order. In this case, you should always consider WHY something isn't available that way. Spectacular fabrics and unusual cuts may be appealing, but they can easily end up being rarely worn because they are so unusual. This is particularly true today, when wearing tailoring is in itself rather unusual.
2. You have a hard time finding things that fit off the rack, even if taken to a good alternations tailor.

I've had a fair amount of bespoke done because of category 2. I'm tall (6'4) and fairly slim (about 200lbs), and prefer longer, more traditional jackets rather than the shorter, unstructured ones that have been in vogue the last 10+ years. Even buying oversized long models and having them taken in doesn't give good results, so going bespoke for sport coats is a given. I also tend to favour bespoke or made-to-measure trousers for the same reason: I have very muscular legs, so trousers that fit at the waist are very tight in the legs.

If you have trouble finding RtW things that fit, bespoke is usually a good option. If you CAN fit into RtW (perhaps with some alterations) it's often better to go with that. Remember, with RtW you can see how something fits you, you can feel the material and the construction. Bespoke is always a bit risky: you might end up with something that doesn't work for you; most tailors are NOT designers or stylists, and most likely you aren't either.

Assuming you will go bespoke, the biggest benefit is in sport coats/suits, because a jacket has the most elements that benefit from the personalised fitting. Outwear (coats of all kind) can be lovely to have made bespoke, but since they will often be a bit bulkier (to allow you to wear different layers underneath), they are rarely as carefully fitted as a jacket. Trousers are worth having done bespoke if you want specific fabrics or cuts, but they generally don't need the same exact fit as a jacket.

Knitwear (in case you can get it custom made) is an interesting case, as you generally want it to work with the rest of your wardrobe: for example, if you wear higher waisted trousers, you generally want somewhat shorter knitwear, and you don't want your knitwear longer than your jacket. I could definitely see the value in MtM knitwear, probably more so than for a pea coat, for example.

Finally, remember that bespoke is a long-term thing. A tailor will get better at fitting you as you have more garments made - your first bespoke garment will rarely be perfect. So if you're going bespoke, find a tailor who's style you like, and be ready to build a working relationship with them.

* As you mention bespoke for some items which are normally not done bespoke, I thought I'd just clarify (sorry if you already know this, but better safe than sorry): bespoke means specifically a thing made specifically for your measurements, on a personal pattern. It's quite rare today, mostly done from old tailoring houses in London and Italy, though there are a few in the US and far east as well. It's usually only done for suits, jackets, vests and (from different makers) shoes. Bespoke usually has a lot of elements done by hand rather than by machine, which can influence the fit and shape quite a bit.

Much of what is marketed as "bespoke" today is actually "made to measure" - they use a standard pattern (rather than the customised one of bespoke) but allow you to change some measurements. MtM is usually made mostly by machine, though some makers offer MtM with several hand-made elements. MtM isn't WORSE as such, but it will not always be possible to change the measurements enough to accommodate more unusual body shapes. MtM will let you pick fabric and some details, but usually won't have as many choices as a true bespoke tailor.
 

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
4,387
Reaction score
4,630
Great post by @TheIronDandy
want to emphasize a few points

1) what is often marketed as 'bespoke' isn't bespoke at all but rather modified from a block pattern. Understand what you're actually getting when you're ordering a custom garment. I'd generally avoid anything marketed as bespoke that isn't actually bespoke because that's dishonest and tells you something about the maker's motivations.
2) any custom garment (MTM or true bespoke) may not actually fit you better than RTW with tailoring. There is no way to be certain of the outcome at the time of ordering. There have been many examples of custom garments posted here over the years that fit quite poorly.
3) related to point #2, avoid cheap custom clothing. It is not likely that you can spend $500 on a custom suit and end up with a well-constructed suit that fits you well in a decent fabric.
 

Featured Sponsor

How important is full vs half canvas to you for heavier sport jackets?

  • Definitely full canvas only

    Votes: 91 37.6%
  • Half canvas is fine

    Votes: 90 37.2%
  • Really don't care

    Votes: 25 10.3%
  • Depends on fabric

    Votes: 40 16.5%
  • Depends on price

    Votes: 38 15.7%

Forum statistics

Threads
506,846
Messages
10,592,333
Members
224,326
Latest member
submach1n3
Top