Bespoke, Made-To-Measure, Off-The-Rack – what do they mean? What’s the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure suits? And most importantly, why should you even care?

One type of build is not necessarily better than any other — each has its place. Depending on your individual need, One may better serve you than another.

The amount of money you spend does not guarantee better fitting or higher quality clothing.

Instead, the difference in terminology is about control.

It’s about an art form vs. factory efficiency, something being hand-made and 100% unique vs. another piece of clothing being uniform, mass-produced, and economically affordable for even the most impoverished student.

In this article, we will give you the 5 areas to keenly look for to decipher this mystery and clear out the confusion once and for all.

  1. Patterns
  2. The Number of Fittings
  3. Degree of Customization or Options
  4. Number of Fabric Options
  5. What Is The Difference In The Cost?
  6. Is Bespoke Or Made To Measure Better?

Difference #1 Patterns

A fundamental difference between bespoke and made-to-measure suits is where they start from.

Made To Measure

With Made-To-Measure (MTM), you need to have a standard, or pre-set pattern usually bought off-the-rack. An example is your trousers. When you buy an Off-The-Rack (OTR) or Ready-To-Wear (RTW) garment, manufacturers produce them for the general fit or the average person for a particular size.

The trade-off when buying off the rack is most men are not the same, which means without tailoring, they won’t fit you correctly in some areas.

With MTM, your tailor can make the necessary adjustments to the pattern to meet your specifications.


Bespoke is the tailoring of choice for clients with body deformities or imperfections that make any RTW or OTR unsuitable.

For example, if one leg is bow-legged, bespoke can make a trouser to mask this feature. The tailor takes note of the tiniest imperfections and creates a pattern to hide them in the final output.

Think of MTM as the fixer-upper of tailoring while Bespoke is like constructing a new house from a vacant lot.

Difference #2 The Number of Fittings

Tailor Measures for bespoke suit - difference between bespoke and made to measure suits

Made To Measure

For MTM, not much. It usually takes one or two fittings to get the dimensions and design a draft. For the final adjustments, another fitting happens to ensure that the final product is within the measurement range and the customizations added are within the client’s expectations.


When translated in layman’s terms, Bespoke means a verbal order given for something to be done. Since no base or standard pattern is involved, multiple fittings are needed starting from the skeleton baste fitting, followed by the forward fitting, and there’s the fin bar fin fitting. This is a systematic process where a new fitting builds from a previous fitting.

This garment is not a rush product. In some cases, it takes up to 8 weeks to finish because you need at least 20-25 measurements from three-four fittings to get the configurations right. Some bespoke even have at least 5 or more in between fittings in one custom job order.

This is where the best tailors make their money. Their attention to detail and love of craft make some pretty impressive pieces.

Difference #3 Degree of Customization or Options

Infographic - The Suit

Made To Measure

MTM shops can do several customization options. You can talk with your tailor about the number of buttons, the pant pleats you want, the type of cuffs, the pocket style to make.
Some can also do adjustments on gorge height, the width of the lapel, the button stance, and the interior lining. However, since Made-To-Measure uses a set pattern, the amount of customization design is limited.


Bespoke has its most significant advantage in customization. The options are unlimited, and the client is unhindered on which features, style, design, and fabrics to be used because the tailor does not have to worry about destroying the integrity of a pre-set pattern.

Difference #4 Number of Fabric Options

mens suit fabrics available in bespoke and made to measure suits

Made To Measure

When going for an MTM custom suit, the range of fabric you can choose is limited because the number of mills from where materials are curated is also limited, but some shops can have more.


Bespoke enjoys a broader selection of mills, between 8-10 mills, and sometimes more. So more mills mean more fabrics to choose from, including the high-end ones.

Difference #5 What Is The Difference In The Cost?

When you are looking for the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure suits, this is the one that will stand out the most to a lot of people.

Made To Measure

Since MTM does not consume much effort, time, and limited options from fabric mills, the average price range is more affordable and hits between $500-$1,000.


Bespoke is more costly because of the number of fittings involved, labor hours, fabrics used, and most of the work is usually hand-made and manually sewn. Services can range between $ 2,000-3,000 or more.

Is Bespoke Or Made To Measure Better?

difference between bespoke and made to measure suits

The choice is personal. It is a balance between cost and the quality of work. Made-To-Measure is preferred by many because it is more affordable, and the finished product is the same or almost at par with bespoke. Advocates of Made-To-Measure will tell you to choose a good clothier brand Off-The-Rack and have it modified by a reputable tailor to get the best results.

Both of these options focus on the three aspects of the style pyramid.

The higher price point is justified for those who love bespoke because it does not have the limitations of a Made-To-Measure, such as having more fabric and design options. Since tailors do most bespoke craftsmanship by hand, advocates believe that the finished product is superior and better than Made-To-Measure.

Everything from budget to timing to the number of customizations you want will help you decide which of these options is right for you.

The post What’s The Difference Between Bespoke And Made To Measure Suits? appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: What’s The Difference Between Bespoke And Made To Measure Suits?
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Published Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2021 02:53:00 +0000