In this article, we’ll explore the origin of Bespoke in fashion and what makes it different when compared to ready-to-wear and made-to-measure.
What is Bespoke Fashion?
Derived from the verb “bespeak,” – to speak for something – the term “Bespoke” in fashion refers to custom-tailored clothing made according to a client’s body silhouette, choice of materials, and design preferences.
Bespoke Fashion Origin
Bespoke tailoring originates in London’s Savile Row, a street in Mayfair, central London, known for traditional bespoke tailoring for men since the late 18th century.
Back then, Bespoke tailoring was more than a craft of fashion design; it was an art form that set the standard for excellence in men’s tailoring that still exists today.
Bespoke vs Ready-to-Wear vs Made-to-Measure
Bespoke describes the experience of having a garment custom-tailored according to your needs.
In bespoke tailoring, the tailor provides the fabric, cuts, and stitching options, leaving the customer to make the final choice.
Once the shape, fabric, and stitching method are decided, the craftsman cuts and sews the masterpiece by hand.
Made-to-measure in fashion describes the middle ground between bespoke and ready-to-wear.
In the case of Made-to-Measure, garments are created in standard sizes and later adjusted to fit an individual’s measurements.
Bespoke Fashion Usage
The “Bespoke” way of making clothing is prevalent in high-fashion and haute couture design.
In these instances, garments are created according to the client’s demands, body shapes, materials, and style choices.
The Bespoke way of making clothing is also used for special events like gala dinners or weddings.
In these cases, bespoke tailoring ensures the wearer looks their absolute best.
Most business executives wear bespoke suits tailored to meet the rigorous demands of corporate life, are comfortable for long working hours, and have a sharp aesthetic.
Influential Bespoke Designers
Anderson & Sheppard – pinnacle of men’s suits bespoke tailoring.
Catherine Walker– expert in bespoke gowns with clientele that includes British royalty.
3 Key Takeaway
- In an increasingly automatized fashion industry, Bespoke tailoring is the stalwart of individualism and quality.
- A world apart from a world of Ready-to-wear and Made-to-measure clothes, Bespoke tailoring honors artisanal craftsmanship and unique garments personalized to the client’s needs and body.
- For those seeking more than clothing but an intimate and customized fashion experience, bespoke tailoring is the ultimate sartorial indulgence.
Professional Styling Advice
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After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.