In the world of men’s high end fashion, there are two terms most often used with clients: bespoke and made-to-measure (MTM). Both require custom work by a tailor but there are very real and important differences between the two.
Bespoke made clothes are created when a new pattern is designed for each individual. There is no modification or use of base patterns, as that could lead the tailor to miss some of the small nuances of the wearer’s body. More than just body measurements are needed to achieve this (For example, the tailor will ask: What is the slope of the shoulder? What is the arch of the back? Etc).
Achieving a bespoke fit requires multiple fittings during the creation of a garment. Here’s where bespoke sets itself apart from MTM, and why some will argue that it’s worth the premium. First is the skeleton baste fitting, second the forward fitting, third the fin bar fin fitting, all carried out at different stages of tailoring. Some bespoke tailoring can require as much as 5+ mid-fittings. These fittings do more than just verify that the original body & pattern measurements were accurate in the beginning. Talented tailors build on top of each fitting, achieving a more and more precise fit along the way.
Made to measure (MTM) on the other hand works from a previously established baseline. Consider the individual patterns for a size 42 jacket. A MTM company takes these patterns and modifies them if the customer’s measurements are outside the range of what the 42 jacket was originally built to accommodate. A master tailor or house cutter will modify standardized patterns to take the client’s body shape differences into account.
(Note that the accessibility of Computer-Aided-Design, CAD, has made it easier for MTM companies to close the gap between Bespoke and MTM on this point.)
Generally, there are no fittings during the creation process. An initial fitting takes place to take body measurements and draft a design, then a final fitting after it’s fully created. Depending on measurement accuracy / the preferences of the customer, there will be alterations to the final product, adding one last fitting at the end.
In both cases, taking the body measurements is a fundamental step at the beginning of the creation process of a garment. This initial step is extremely important, not only to enable the tailor to obtain the outline a customer’s body shape, but also to enhance the experience of receiving a custom experience and to truly understand the client’s body shape.
Knot Standard has combined a modern approach while respecting the classic tradition of tailoring to create a ‘modern bespoke’ service:
Every Knot Standard pattern is bespoke, individually cut and customized to the individual customer based on their own unique measurements. There is no baseline pattern already made. Instead, Knot Standard creates a new pattern for each client using laser cutting technology, a modern take on the traditional method of hand drawing and cutting patterns. Also, Knot Standard includes the other great element of bespoke, customization, allowing clients to customize every detail of their garment.
Alongside this, we also take a great aspect of MTM: the customer gets to physically try on a master garment, to really get to experience the look and feel of the garment that will be created for them, something that bespoke doesn’t usually offer. This is what makes Knot Standard unique and innovative, and in this way, makes it a leader in ‘modern bespoke’ – the future of high end men’s fashion.