A great stepping stone into the world of fine tailoring is made-to-measure. In a nutshell, a made-to-measure garment is a factory made garment that is made to the customer’s specification and fitted by an experienced tailor.
One of the most frequently asked questions that we are asked regards the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring. This can be a tricky question to answer because it depends a little on your definition of bespoke; there are many high street suit retailers offering a ‘bespoke’ service, but by our definition, a bespoke garment should be cut to a personalised pattern and fitted before finishing and buttoning. There should also be no limitations on cloth, style or cut, so therefore most ‘bespoke’ services found on the high street are in fact made-to-measure (or made-to-order) services.
The made-to-measure (MTM) process starts with choosing a style – most MTM services, including our own, offer a selection of styles, or ‘blocks’ to choose from depending on the individual customer’s preferences. Things like lapel style, length, fit, number of buttons, venting etc are chosen and then the tailor can move onto fit. As made-to-measure suits are based on factory presets, the first fitting is to ascertain the closest starting size; generally this is based on the fit through the chest and shoulders, as other parts are easier to adjust (either at the factory or in-house with the tailor). Finally a favourite cloth, lining and button is chosen before the order is placed with the factory.
After a few weeks, the finished garments arrive for a fitting. Any necessary adjustments can be made along with any in-house customisation before it is ready to be collected and enjoyed by the client.
At Healy & Son we pride ourselves on offering one of the most comprehensive made-to-measure services available, all with the benefit of having an experienced tailor perform fittings and offer advice as opposed to a salesman who perhaps lacks the knowledge, experience and eye to achieve the best fit possible. This same tailor will also personally oversee the alterations of the garment; many companies offering made-to-measure or made-to-order services outsource final alterations to a third party which can lead to more fittings than is necessary.
More and more MTM services are popping up, making this area of tailoring in particular an absolute minefield to the uninitiated. 90% of these services have their roots in low-cost, far-eastern production which may be affordable but generally do not fit well and are also not long lasting and therefore bad for the environment. Our view is that a MTM suit should be sharp, robust and comfortable as well as good value for money.
Our made-to-measure suits start at £695, feature the same beautiful geometry as our bespoke suits and are available in a wide selection of English and Italian cloths.