Made-to-Measure vs. Bespoke Suits Guide - Joseph Abboud
- by Off The Cuff
- October 14, 2022
- 5 min read
Go ahead and picture a well-dressed man.
Chances are, they’re in a tailored suit that fits them perfectly, from the shoulders down to the trouser length. Maybe they’ve got all of the right suit accessories to go with it, too.
Men’s suits cut and designed for the wearer not only project a strong and classy image, but they boost your confidence level as well.
When it comes to a tailored suit, you have two options: made-to-measure and bespoke. These two types of suits are often confused with each other, despite being extremely different—in both fit and cost.
Below, we’ll highlight some of the differences between bespoke and made-to-measure suits, along with our thoughts on which option you should choose. But first, let’s define what they are.
What are Made-to-Measure and Bespoke Suits?
A made-to-measure suit is chosen from a set collection of patterns, fabrics, and styles. They’re not fully custom—but they’re still tailored to fit your body. In other words, a made-to-measure suit will give you the fit you’re looking for, but it won’t give you the same level of design control.
The word “bespoke” describes any garment that is 100% custom-made for the wearer, and a bespoke suit is exactly that: A fully custom suit, from the fit down to the style and fabric.
It’s the most customizable suiting experience out there for men, usually involving one or more fitting appointments to get the garment perfect for the wearer. A bespoke suit is so much more than a suit: it’s an investment and an experience, too.
What Are the Primary Differences Between Made-to-Measure and Bespoke Suits?
Below, we’ve highlighted four key differences between made-to-measure and bespoke suits, focusing on price, fit, time investment, and level of customization.
Cost is one of the most important factors in any purchase. Not everyone has the same budget—especially when it comes to buying a suit.
Made-to-measure suits act as a pricing middle ground between completely custom bespoke options and budget suits with no customization at all. Since they offer more control over fit, they end up being a little more expensive than a starter suit that will likely need alterations anyway. Expect to spend around $800 to $2,000 at a brick and mortar in the US.
In contrast, bespoke suits are a major investment: They’re as custom as can be, with the perfect fit and your choice of fabric, style, lapels, and much more. You can expect to pay a little more for this premium suit experience, but it’s well worth it for the difference in build quality. Expect to spend around $4,000 to $8,000 for the complete concierge experience in the US.
In general, you get what you pay for—that said, expensive isn’t always better. It’s important to look at the brand and evaluate things like reviews and recommendations to make your choice. There’s a great suit out there for everyone—regardless of price point!
Our Winner: Made-to-Measure Suits
No matter how much you spend, if your suit fit isn’t spot on, you’ll be left with something that looks like it came straight from your dad’s closet. On the other hand, even the cheapest of suits can look like a million bucks if you nail the fit.
For a made-to-measure suit, once you’ve chosen the style you want, a tailor will take your measurements and alter the pattern they use to draft suits to fit your body type. This should give you a decent fit based on numbers alone. There are very few appointments needed to create this kind of suit.
However, made-to-measure isn’t perfect: Even the best tailors can’t make a flawless suit with just a few measurements. Made-to-measure suits can’t take into account the subtle nuances of your body outside of having numbers to work with for things like your height, arm length, and chest circumference.
Fit is one of the biggest advantages of choosing bespoke. With a bespoke suit, you’ll have appointments with a master tailor to take your exact measurements and adjust the fit in real time.
Think of a bespoke suit as a perfect snapshot of your body at the time of design. Some guys even use their custom suits as an inspiration to stick to their wedding workout routine!
Our Winner: Bespoke Suits
Some people wear suits almost every day. Whether it’s mandatory for the office or you’re someone who simply wants to look sharp at all times, wearing a suit daily while you’re out is certainly not uncommon.
However, for people who don’t own a go-to suit, some of them need one for an upcoming event. In some cases, this event might be last-minute or sudden. When this happens, you need a suit quickly—the time that it takes to get your suit is important.
Made-to-measure suits have a tailoring process to make sure that you have a great fit. However, the design process for these suits is typically much faster than bespoke.
With a bespoke suit, you’ll likely have multiple appointments to consider. The time investment is significant with a bespoke suit, but that’s the point—it’s to ensure that you have a “forever suit” that fits you perfectly to your exact specifications and design. Most bespoke suits can last 20 years or more with proper care.
It takes most tailors anywhere from six to ten weeks to design a bespoke suit for men. At Joseph Abboud, we pride ourselves on having master tailors that can complete the process in only three weeks’ time.
We always recommend giving yourself ample time to prepare for an event by getting your suit in advance, but we do understand that things come up that are beyond anyone’s control.
Our Winner: Made-to-Measure Suits
Level of Customization
A suit is an investment in both style and function. Even with a lower budget, a suit can cost a decent amount of money—it’s important that you get exactly what you want!
With made-to-measure suits, you’ll usually have a good amount of options to choose from, including pre-selected fabrics, suit styles, lapel styles, and more. However, you’re technically bound by the styles provided by the retailer. There isn’t much customization beyond your initial choice, if any at all.
Bespoke suits shine when it comes to designing a custom suit—they’re the ultimate custom option for suits! You get to choose everything, including your suit fabric, whether you want your suit to be single or double-breasted, your button styles, lapel styles, inside stitching, and more.
Although it comes at a higher price tag, there’s no beating the level of customization provided by bespoke suits.
Our Winner: Bespoke Suits
Which One Is Right for You?
Is made-to-measure worth it? Should you go for bespoke?
We’ll be honest, fellas: Deciding which type of suit you need is completely up to you. It’s going to depend on your budget and what you intend to do with the suit.
- Are you strapped for time with an upcoming event and working with a limited budget? Consider made-to-measure for now and look into bespoke options after.
- Been looking into getting a new suit for a while, and you’ve got a decent budget? The right bespoke option gives you a suit that is designed by you, for you.
Ultimately, there’s no beating the feeling of confidence you get from the right suit—regardless of what type it is. That’s one of the most important reasons for choosing a suit at all: the confidence you feel when wearing one.
As long as you have a great fit and feel confident, then you’re reaping the benefits of any stylish suit.
Find the Finest Suits at Joseph Abboud
Bespoke suiting doesn’t need to be complicated. Joseph Abboud can get you into the suit of your dreams in just three weeks’ time—whether you need it for the office, an event, or a wedding.
We also offer made-to-measure suits from our exceptional team of tailors when you need an option that isn’t quite so custom. Regardless of the suit you choose, we’re here to help you feel good—and look good doing it.