A bespoke suit is a 1 of 1 garment, made to your exact measurements and preferences. Its turnaround time is usually three to four weeks, unlike ready-to-wear and made-to-measure suits.
Your tailor will take 25-30 body measurements, analyze your posture, and build to create a paper pattern to cut your bespoke suit’s cloth panels.
One of the most important things that sets a bespoke suit apart from a made-to-measure or off-the-rack garment is the stitching. Bespoke suits are hand-stitched, while made-to-measure and off-the-rack suits are machine-sewn. Hand stitching gives suit flexibility and movement, which is a big difference from a stiff and restrictive machine-stitched suit.
The way a suit is stitched also impacts its aesthetic. Hand stitching leaves clean and neat edges, while machine stitching can leave untidy zig-zag stitches. These details make a suit look expensive and high quality, so it’s important to choose the right tailor for your bespoke suit.
While machine sewing has its place, it’s a big part of what makes a suit look and feel cheap and low-quality. Hand stitching is more precise, allowing the tailor to fine-tune seams and ensure they line up correctly. The result is a suit that fits perfectly, moves with you as you move, and never needs to be pressed.
A well-made bespoke suit requires a lot of skill and time. That’s why a bespoke suit is much more expensive than a store-bought suit. The price tag reflects the amount of labor that goes into making a true bespoke suit. Creating a genuine bespoke two-piece suit takes at least 75 hours of work. That’s not counting the cost of cloth, lining, trimmings, horn buttons, rent, rates, and wages.
If you’re looking for a truly handmade suit, consider getting your next custom commission from a bespoke tailor like Huntsman. They have been creating bespoke women’s tailoring for more than 150 years and have dressed women like Coco Chanel, Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Nicole Kidman. Their dedicated Head Cutter, Magdalena Handwerker, is at the pinnacle of her craft and has a natural eye for interpreting form and shape. Their bespoke suits start at PS6,500 for a two-piece suit. Learn more about their craftsmanship here. Alternatively, The Armoury maintains locations in Tribeca and on the Upper East Side, where they offer custom suits that are made overseas using a digital customer pattern based on 25 individual measurements. They also sell semi-bespoke and full bespoke tailoring, with the latter offering more handwork at key points of the suit than the semi-bespoke option.
Many people (even those within the fashion industry) use the terms bespoke and made-to-measure interchangeably, but these are two very different services. Bespoke suits are masterfully crafted to your exact measurements using a unique pattern. This means your suit is one of a kind, and no one else will have the same garment as you.
A made-to-measure suit is constructed from a pre-existing pattern and altered using just a few body measurements. This process results in a much more accurate suit than off-the-rack or ready-to-wear, but it does not provide the same level of fit or detail as a bespoke suit.
The defining feature of a bespoke suit is the high degree of hand stitching used throughout the garment. This includes both the lining and exterior of the suit, as well as the interior pocket welts, buttonholes, and other small details. It is important to note that a genuine bespoke suit requires a significant amount of skilled labor, so the price tag is significantly higher than a ready-to-wear or made-to-measure suit.
Despite the fact that most of a bespoke suit is hand-stitched, there are some areas where a sewing machine is used. Generally, this is done on tasks that are too time-consuming or difficult to do by hand. For example, long seams (like up the trouser legs) are sewn by machine as it would take ages to hand stitch these.
In addition, some tailors also use machines to stitch the buttons and buttonholes. However, this should only be used for the most basic stitches, as a machine stitch is less refined than a hand stitch. Ideally, buttonholes should be sewn by hand using a tight zigzag stitch. Moreover, they should be sewn with natural buttons, such as corozo nut or horn, rather than plastic.
At Huntsman, we are proud to uphold the traditional values of bespoke tailoring. We use a combination of machine and hand sewing for all the fine details on your suit to ensure the finished product is perfect for you. This attention to detail is what sets bespoke tailoring apart from ready-to-wear and even made-to-measure. The result is a luxurious, comfortable, and sophisticated garment that will outlast off-the-rack or made-to-measure suits by years and give you the confidence to know you are wearing something uniquely yours.
The bespoke suit is a piece of art, from the selection of materials to the final details. A bespoke suit is hand-sewn, unlike made-to-measure or off-the-rack suits, which often have machine stitching. While this adds to the cost, it also makes a difference in how your suit looks and feels. The process begins with a consultation and discussion of the client’s needs and requirements. The cutter will take over 20 measurements during this meeting to ensure the most precise fit. The tailor will then construct a paper pattern that is unique to the client. The pattern will then be cut into the cloth that is to be used in the suit.
The pieces of the suit will then be basted together. Basting is lightly sewing the pieces together, ensuring that they fit correctly and are proportioned. During this stage, the client will be called in for a fitting, so any necessary adjustments can be made at this time.
After the pieces have been basted, they are then sewn together by hand. This is a time-consuming task that requires great attention to detail. The seams are sewn using white tailor’s thread that matches the color of the fabric. During this phase, the tailor will carefully sew each stitch, making sure it is neat and accurate.
During this time, the tailor will also sew the pockets and create the lapels. A bespoke suit’s pockets are usually sewn by hand. This adds to the quality and aesthetic of the garment, and it helps make it more comfortable to wear. The lapels are also sewn by hand. This allows the tailor to create a beautiful shape that fits the client perfectly.
Bespoke suits also use half-canvas and full-canvas linings, which are hand-sewn. This type of lining allows the suit to move with the body, which is much more comfortable than a fused or glued lining. This is a key difference between bespoke and MTM clothing, which often uses a pre-existing fused or glued lining. A bespoke suit’s hand-stitched seams also help to give the garment its natural drape and flexibility.
When you choose a bespoke suit, it is custom-made to fit your specific measurements. It is a unique and masterful piece you will wear for years. Bespoke suits are a great way to make a statement but can be expensive. The high cost of a bespoke suit is due to the amount of work that goes into it. A bespoke suit is almost fully hand stitched, with only menial tasks being done by machine.
The process of creating a bespoke suit starts with an initial consultation and fitting. The tailor will take detailed measurements and observe your posture, build, and stance to create a base pattern. This will help the tailor understand your style and fitting preferences and will allow them to advise you on fabrics.
A bespoke suit takes 4-8 weeks to make and requires at least two fitting sessions. During the first fitting, you should wear a dress shirt and a suit jacket so the tailor can get a good idea of your style and personality. The tailor will also ask you about any changes you want to make to the suit and will begin making alterations.
During the second fitting, you should try on your completed suit. It may need a few more alterations to be perfect, but that is okay. The tailor will continue to fine-tune the suit until it is just right.
Once the suit is finished, it will be transferred to the “finisher,” who will hand sew on the buttons and finish the buttonholes. This will ensure that the suit looks polished and professional.
Many bespoke tailors will also finish the sleeves and pants by hand to give them an extra touch of quality. This will add to the life of your suit and make it feel more like a second skin.
Choosing the right fabric is very important in a bespoke suit. It should be high-quality wool, cashmere, or cotton. Choosing a natural material will help the suit hold its shape and resist wrinkling. It is also important to choose natural buttons such as horn, corozo nut, or metal instead of plastic ones. The buttons should also be sewn on by hand to prevent the fabric from cracking over time.