In the earlier parts of this series on men’s fashion, we first talked about the significance of starting with quality fabrics, and then we moved on to the importance of proper fit. The way we join those two aspects together brings us to our third topic, fabrication, or the way that suits are constructed.
In order to understand how fabrication makes a difference to how your final garment will look and feel, we need to lay out some of the basic differences between Bespoke, Made-to-Measure, and Bench-Made.
A made-to-measure suit is the first major a step up from simply buying off the rack. The process starts with an appropriate existing pattern (slim, mid, or full), which is then modified to your measurements, as taken by your wardrobe consultant. Three style fittings along the way ensure that the final item looks and feels as good as possible. For customers on a tighter budget, made-to-measure can be the best of both worlds, as it combines some aspects of customization and personal fit, while remaining less expensive than a truly custom fabrication.
Next, we go one step higher to bespoke. Rather than pulling from standard patterns, a bespoke suit pattern is made specifically for you, according to your exact measurements. Though the initial cost is higher than made-to-measure, your pattern can be used repeatedly, which means future suits created to the same pattern will only involve the cost of fabric and fabrication.
Bespoke tailoring is a highly individual process in which multiple people bring their skills and talents together to create a garment specifically for you. The higher precision of the fit is subtle but noticeable, and is especially good for those who find that ready-to-wear clothing is never really ready to wear.
For the truly discerning gentlemen, a bench-made suit is the ultimate immersion in luxury and style. Rather than being a team effort, this fully custom experience involves a single master tailor who is personally responsible for all the details, and who constructs everything by hand. It’s not just about making a pattern directly from your measurements; every element from start to finish is the result of a vision and mission created with you and only you in mind. Bench-made suits are unrivaled in their quality and customization, and the result is truly magical.
As you can see, you have a range of fabrication options to consider, based on your personal image, your style requirements, and your budget. There is some overlap in what each level of fabrication provides, so if you’re not exactly sure which level is right for you at this time, don’t hesitate to contact your wardrobe consultant for some advice and pointers.
Next week, in the final part of the series, we’ll talk about one of the trickiest aspects to navigate when it comes to men’s fashion: Form.