If you’ve watched the famous cit-com “Suits” than you know the look on Harvey’s face when his assistant Mike Ross asked him “Why does it matter how much I spend on a suit” . Yu, amazed of surprise Harvey was, as power dressing and custom-made suits are his trademark. “ Dress for success” , is Harvey Specter ‘s philosophy, and unsurprisingly, of many other people in the real world. It seems more than normal, and even expected for a person in high power position of work or in society to look for tailoring services when they need to make a refreshment in their suit collection. The reasons for this are many, and although some of them may sound irrational or completely irrelevant compared to more important aspects like the quality of your answers on an interview for example, how you dress, and how a suit looks on you – matters big time. Or to put it in Harvey’s words: “People respond to how we’re dressed, so like it or not, this is what you have to do “
So, what type of suits are we talking about? People that look for tailoring services never buy tailored suits from stores; instead, they look for custom-made or bespoke suits. Now, although there’s a confusion around the two terms, the final conclusion is that they don’t mean the same thing. There’s a huge difference between the two suits, and when you look for tailoring services, you should know them so you can avoid the unpleasant situation when you realise the difference between the price tag on both.
A custom-made suit
A custom-made suit is also referred to as a MTM, or made-to-measure suit. A MTM suit is made by your specific measurements, but it still follows a certain previous pattern. This means that you can still get a completely personalized suit, a much better option than a suit bought from a store’s rack.
A “bespoke” suit
A bespoke suit is literally a state-of-the-art suit, and is created only for you, following your body shape, and measurements. This is an entire procedure from which the data, such as your measurements and the pattern of your body, gets saved and archived for further use. That’s why it’s important to have your own tailor. So, although marketing gurus often use the term ‘bespoke’ for MTM suits, it’s not the case at all. A bespoke suit is a completely hand-made suit, made by a pattern that’s also made from scratch. There’s a first fitting in the bespoke suit creation process, in which the skeleton of the suit is created, without pockets and additional elements; and a second fitting, which is more like the final chance to try on the suit before it’s completely finished. This is the best suit you can get, and therefore, it’s the most expensive.
An important mark of bespoke tailoring is that the tailor that does the measuring and creates the pattern, is usually the same tailor that does the cutting of the fabric and the sewing. Creating a bespoke suit requires a combination of tailoring and cutting expertise.
All in all, if you really want to ‘dress for success’ just like Harvey Specter does, do your research and find your tailor. Tailoring services vary much in price range and quality of performance. Ask someone who wears bespoke suits, where does he/she get them. Pay attention to this step in your tailoring experience, since the tailor you choose once, is never to be changed. This is a person you create a bondage of a life-time.