Originally used for custom made clothing for men, bespoke tailoring is today every style cognoscenti's staple piece. The crme de la crme of the society have been sporting it for a while now, but now custom fit garments do not remain a possession of the well-heeled. Bespoke clothing is increasingly being the choice for the perfect fit and the exclusivity of designs that it has to offer.

Bespoke comes from the word bespeak, meaning speak for something, which was used by tailors of the Savile Row in London, where custom suits were made for men. In terms of modern usage bespoke refers to anything that is customized. Contrary to the prt a porter clothing, bespoke tailoring deals with garments that are created from scratch to make patterns and designs to perfectly fit the client's measurements.

Custom made designing and pattern making has existed since the time of the Kings and Queens, however, the tailors and craftsman of the Savile Row brought this contemporary art of dress making into the modern times. The custom tailors have formed the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which has drafted a code and has specified a pre-defined set of requirements to label garments as bespoke. The terms emphasize on hand cut pattern for the suits, hand stitched, and hand finished work contributing nothing less than 50 hours of tailoring. The bespoke garment also provides after sale instructions of maintaining it. Such craftsmanship and clothes were made with the finest of fabrics and generally came with a heavy price.

Bespoke clothing and fashion is making a comeback in a big way in the recent times. Not just for menswear but also in womenswear. Custom made garments are breaking the rules of mass off-the-rack garments. The money spenders and fashion savvy are turning their interest to designs and creations which are made to fit and slowly drifting away from the runway trends and fashion week styles.

The consumer of luxury clothes want to own a garment, which is exclusive to them, tailor made, and is a sound investment. Bespoke fashion offers individuality and extra finesse to the clothes. Moreover, the fact that the details of the silhouettes, the lapel, the hem lines, and every little specification are specially made for the buyer, makes the garment even more desirable and personal.


Bespoke clothing does not anymore cost an arm and a leg. Many small tailors do provide affordable services. Bespoke fashion is currently trending in men's and women's suits, evening wear, wedding wear, and gowns. Owing to the rising demand for bespoke fashion, many designer and luxury labels have extended providing custom made clothing for their customers. Along with customized tailoring, made to measure facilities are also gaining popularity. Made to measure garments are pre-designed and are replicated according to the customer's measurements, while custom made are designed afresh.

Alexander McQueen launched in the beginning of 2013, a bespoke tailoring and made to measure services. Berluti also positioned its label in the custom made and made to measure lines. Roberto Cavalli, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Prada joined the bandwagon and introduced bespoke tailoring to provide the privilege of exclusivity to their customers. The prices of such garments are expected to be 20% higher than the existing readymade outfits showcased in the collection.

Tailor made suits from Milan or London start from 400 and go up to several thousand Euros. While evening gowns range from 450 to 10,000, depending on the fabric, amount of work involved, and the style. The business is blooming at Savil Row, in London; on an average of 10,000 handmade suits are sold every year and is roaring with production orders despite the economic downturn.

Another reason for this fuelling trend is that bespoke clothing can be cheap and affordable if it isn't tailored by a well-known brand. There are several budding designers who have mastered the custom made craftsmanship and are just as good as their expensive counterparts. This has further given rise to many online clothing sales by getting measurements from their clients and customizing suits, shirts, and dresses for them.

Fashionista's today do not want to settle for a designer garment label made for a runway sized model. They prefer clothes that create perfect illusions, and cuts that are customized to make them look slimmer, taller, and curvier. Many young customers in their late 20's and 30's are exploring the custom made side of fashion and wish to invest money in a garment that is personalized and can be worn for a long time.


There is no way that a single size fits all, and looks great either. Readymade garments are no more the only choice for many, with bespoke tailoring being offered without costing a bomb. Customers do not want to take "we don't have your size" for an answer and have become more demanding than ever. Bespoke clothing, with the ideal fit and skillful tailoring techniques is winning hearts and has carved a niche for itself within the fashion industry.


1. Theguardian.com

2. Businessofffashion.com

3. Online.wsj.com

5. Wisegeek.com


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