You’ve heard of the pre-fab home. It’s a dwelling that’s manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. They were extremely popular in Britain during WWII because they were cheaper and faster to build, albeit made to specification.
I think of made-to-measure suits as the pre-fab home of menswear.
What is a made-to-measure suit? Made to measure typically refers to clothing that is sewn from a standard-sized base pattern. The fit of a made-to-measure garment is expected to be superior to that of a ready-to-wear garment, because ready-to-wear garments are constructed to fit the manufacturer’s definition of an average customer (whatever that is!), while made-to-measure garments are constructed to fit each customer individually.
A made-to-measure garment will be more expensive than a ready-to-wear garment but cheaper than a bespoke or custom tailored one. And I mean “cheaper” in price, quality and fit.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Made-to-measure items involve far less workmanship than bespoke or custom tailored garments, because made-to-measure garments always involve some form of standardization in the patterning and manufacturing processes, whereas a custom tailored garment is made entirely from scratch based on your exact specifications.
When it comes to menswear, I’m definitely an old-world kind of guy. When you purchase a custom suit at Davelle, it has been cut from a single bolt of fabric, and measured to your form, not reproduced from a pattern.
Put a made-to-measure suit next to a David’s Signature suit, and there’s no comparison. It’s like the cab parked next to the limo.
Which way would you rather travel?