Bespoke vs. Made to Measure

Bespoke vs. Made to Measure

April 19, 2021

Recently we have gotten questions regarding our “Free Alterations Service” and what it entails.

There are three main types of alterations service, and we want to clarify the differences so that you understand what we offer, especially when you purchase one of our suits or pants. 

The three overarching categories of alterations are:

  1. Bespoke  
  2. Made-to-measure
  3. Ready to wear (a.k.a., off the rack)


A bespoke suit is not to be confused with made-to-measure, as bespoke suits are made completely from scratch, just for you. Thus, no fabric is cut and no pattern is made until you have been fully measured. Companies could say that they make “custom” suits, but keep in mind that custom is a term that could be applicable for made-to-measure, fully bespoke, or any type of suits in between. If bespoke suits are what you are looking for, keep in mind you will require to spend a lot more money and time waiting than made-to-measure and definitely ready to wear suits. However, if you do have the luxury to afford one, a bespoke suit is great since the tailor would see every little asymmetry in your figure, which allows the tailor to really customize the suit to fit your body. 

Made-to-measure (MTM)

Made-to-measure suits begin with multiple fabrics that have already been cut, that will then be customized according to your preferences and measurements. Which means these fabrics were already pre-cut, awaiting for a new customer to place an order with their measurements. Most brands nowadays sell made-to-measure suits. The process for this is largely the same, as you are asked to submit your measurements online or go in their store to get measured. After measurements are taken, you will select fabric and details, then they will submit the order to a factory that will make your suit, which will then be sent to you over a month later. 

Ready to wear

Ready to wear suits are the most common in the market, and is what we’d suggest for first time suit buyers. These suits will be the most time efficient and budget friendly especially if suit buying isn’t something you do on the ordinary. Once you pick out your suit, definitely have it tailored, no matter it is to have the sleeves shortened, jacket taken in at the waist, or pants hemmed. You’d have to make sure that certain parts of this suit that are unalterable, such as the hips and shoulders will not pose a huge problem. 

However, here at Outerboro, we offer free customized tailoring and alterations, so as long as you have the measuring tape at hand, you can send your request in and our in-house tailor can help with the basics, plus all the other alteration services that most tailor will deem unalterable. If let’s say you need shoulders and hips to be altered, we would advise for you to go a size larger so that we have more fabric to work with on your suit. The services we offer are definitely more than what your typical RTW suit brands would do. We encourage you to email our customer service if you have any questions regarding the service we provide.

So, what type of suit should you get?

Here are some questions you’ll have to ask yourself:

  • What occasion is the suit for?
  • Have you purchased any suits prior?
  • Will your body type change (gain or lose weight or height)?
  • What is your budget? 
  • How much time do you have before you need the suit?

We hope no matter what your choice is, the resulting final suit is what you are happy with! Happy shopping. 

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