made to measure suitWhen most men think of buying a suit they imagine going to the big menswear or department store in their neighborhood or near work and picking something off the rack.

Once they find an okay suit they’ll have it tailored either by an outside tailor they trust or the crew that works at the store where the suit was purchased.

However, more discerning men who really want a better suit that fits them correctly should consider a made to measure suit.

Like bespoke suits, made to measure suits are tailored to your body, but the process is considerably simpler and more cost-effective when you choose a made to measure suit over one that is made from scratch.

If you’re still unclear about what a made to measure suit is and why you should order one, you’re not alone. A lot of men don’t really understand what a made to measure suit is.

Use this guide to help you figure it out. Your wardrobe will thank you when you’ve got a few great suits in the closet.

Patterns and Build Process

When you order a made to measure suit, you will be picking from a pattern that already exists. Most of the time you’ll have more than enough choices, and a lot of companies that build made to measure suits will have well over 1,000 different swatches for you to choose from.

Once you pick your pattern, the tailor will make alterations to fit you. For example, if a pattern is based on a size 42 jacket and you wear a size 46, the pattern will be altered to make sure that it looks right on you. Your measurements will also be taken into account to make sure that the suit you’re ordering fits you correctly.

What confuses many men about made to measure suits is the use of the term bespoke. Bespoke suits don’t start with a pattern – they are created from scratch, putting more work in the tailor’s hands.

made to measure suit

Fabric Selection

Most made to measure suit companies work with one or two different mills, offering many different fabrics from those mills. However, by working with one or two different fabric mills, most made to measure suit makers have a fairly specific price point and level of quality.

When you choose a made to measure suit maker, you’ll want to pick one that carries high-quality fabrics (if you want a suit that’s built to last). A lot of made to measure makers carry lower quality options because these are ideal for people just joining the workforce who want suits that fit better than off the rack.

If you want to look your best, though, you want to pick high-quality materials that will last and wear properly over time.

Fit and Fittings

A made to measure suit is going to fit you better than one you buy off the rack, unless you happen to have the body of a mannequin. Of course, most men have a distinct shape that isn’t quite like any other guy, even if they wear the same size.

When you have a made to measure suit made for you, the first thing you’ll do is have a basic fitting where your measurements will be taken. From there, the individuals working on your suit will make it and you’ll be called back in for a final fitting. In most cases, your made to measure suit is going to be pretty perfect after the final fitting.

However, in some cases, your tailor may need to make a few adjustments to make the suit perfect for your body. This is common, and any alterations that are needed won’t take too long for your tailor to make.

made to measure suit

Customization Options

When you have made to measure suits built, you will be able to customize your garments much more than when you buy off the rack. For example, you’ll be able to pick your vent style, pant pleats, cuffs, button style, the number of buttons, your number of pockets and pocket style.

Most of the time you’ll be able to pick out things like your button stance and lining, though not all makers who offer made to measure suits allow their customers to pick these. Generally they are reserved for high-quality, more expensive made to measure makers.

Most made to measure makers have a relatively efficient checklist that they use to offer clients basic customization options while keeping the process streamlined. That’s the beauty of made to measure suits and why the process is more cost-effective and faster than having a bespoke suit made.

Overall Cost

Made to measure suits can range in price from less than $1,000 to greater than $5,000, depending on the materials that you pick. However, a made to measure suit generally cost less than bespoke suits because less work is involved in terms of tailoring.

In a lot of cases, made to measure suits are comparable in price to high-quality suits with a designer label on the inside. What you get is often a much better fit than buying off the rack though, and you also have the ability to pick a more unique pattern.

You also have some say in terms of customization, which is important for many men who want excellent suits to add to their wardrobe for years to come.


Ralph Lauretta

About Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.

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