Made to Measure 3-8-2011

The next best thing to bespoke.

A guide to what makes Made-to-Measure clothing so appealing.

First, let’s recognize that the pinnacle of men’s fashion is bespoke. Working closely with an expert tailor on every aspect of a suit or dress shirt to create a wearable work of art is the ultimate that a man can aspire to. But if bespoke is the Everest, then Made-to-Measure is K2. For a man with a closet full of ready-to-wear suits, it is the next mountain to scale.

Becoming a made man.

With ready-to-wear, you’re limited to the styles and fabrics a retailer has in stock and the basic alterations a tailor can make to them. You either find something you like or go to the next store.

Made-to-Measure is offered at finer retailers where a specialist will help guide you through the process. One of your first decisions will be to decide on what level of customization you want. You can begin with selections that offer you a limited number of pattern, fabric, and tailoring options. And from there you can progress on up to other levels that offer more choices to where you literally have thousands of fabrics available, a variety of pattern choices, and a myriad of tailoring details to select.

Tom Jackson, Manager of Special Orders at Brooks Brothers, describes the results of the process like this. “One of the great things about Made-to-Measure is that all the measuring, tailoring, and other details come together to downplay a client’s less than perfect features and achieve an idealized physique.”

Why Made-to-Measure? It’s personal.

Made-to-Measure allows you to create your own style. Let the other guys fight over what’s hanging on the rack. With Made-to-Measure, you can get exactly the look you want without having the tremendous expenditures that bespoke requires. And you’ll never again walk into a meeting wearing the same suit as the guy directly across from you.

“Made to measure is a tribute to the individual, made for a market of one,” Mr. Jackson adds. “You get an authoritative house style with a personalized pattern that will wear better, last longer, and be more comfortable than anything ready-made.”

What are you waiting for?

A Made-to-Measure garment isn’t made completely from scratch like Bespoke, so there’s less wait time involved. That being said, the time it takes to create yours will depend on the availability of fabrics you have chosen and how in-depth the measurements are that your tailor has taken. Six to eight weeks, give or take, is the standard wait time for you to receive a finished suit. You can use the wait time to decide what to do with the ready-to-wear suits that you’ll be retiring.

Better by any measure.

Made-to-Measure is the best way to break free of the sameness of ready-to-wear. You can build your wardrobe exactly the way you want without the large investment of bespoke. And once you’ve conquered K2, maybe you decide that the view from there can’t be beat. Even by those guys over on Everest.

TAGS: Bespoke | Dress shirts | fabric | Made-to-Measure | Pattern | Ready-to-wear | Suits | Tailor

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