Well-crafted clothing is fundamental when you want to look your best. In fact, dressing up also changes our own psychology, according to a recent study. The research, conducted at California State University, Northridge, found that formal attire goes beyond making us feel more powerful to even allowing to us to think more broadly and holistically. Surely those sophisticated thought mechanisms make it easier to strategize, prioritize, and manage within business, as well as in personal settings.

Formal attire comes in a range of qualities, though, the highest quality of which is bespoke or custom. Perhaps the easiest way to understand why custom suits are the right choice is by looking at them in comparison to the two other options: off-the-rack (OTR) and made-to-measure (MTM).

Bespoke vs. off-the-rack: More efficient

Having custom clothes made is more focused and less unwieldy than shopping for mass-produced garments.

When you shop off-the-rack, it can be challenging and tedious to find something that really fits your personality and needs. If you are not someone who enjoys shopping, this process can be painful.

When you have clothing made for you by a tailor, you will have something that is specially crafted for you instead (the clothes fitting you as opposed to you fitting the clothes). With a tailor and the bespoke or custom route, you have a timeline of when your suit will be complete, and then you just go pick it up.


Also, if there are professional expectations in your workplace to prioritize dress, bespoke suits can be virtually essential. You may be too busy on the weekends running other errands to go to stores, and the value of the suit can be enormous in the right contexts. By making you look exceptional, the choice of a bespoke suit can even improve your credibility and reputation.


To make the best use of a tailor, make sure that you let them know everthing you can about what you want and need. Also be aware that a tailor may have good recommendations since they likely have experience dressing thousands of people (assuming they have been in business for many years).


Bespoke vs. off-the-rack: Longer lasting


Many off-the-shelf garments will degrade quickly since they are part of a temporary, planned obsolescence market. The intelligent way to shop is to think long-term and not be scared away by the upfront cost.


When you do view clothing from more of an investment perspective, a bespoke suit is clearly the best option since it is made out of better materials and with stronger design. While any suit breaks down over time, the speed will be slower with custom ones.


Bespoke vs. off-the-rack: Better fit


Since pieces of clothing are objects, it is easy to simply think in terms of the garment itself rather than considering the ultimate priority of its relationship to your body: fit. A custom or bespoke garment is designed specifically to fit your body so the entire look is as flattering as possible.


Fit is very important to those who want to show off the strength and health of their body. However, it is essential to any person, regardless of body type, to have clothes that are handcrafted to best suit their specific measurements.


Bespoke vs. made-to-measure: Your own pattern


For a made-to-measure suit, standard, previously created patterns are used. For instance, the starting pattern might be for a standard size 42 jacket, and then adjustments are made.


With a bespoke garment, on the other hand, patterns are created for every single suit. Since no preestablished patterns are used, the tailor must base measurements directly off your body and its nuances. A custom suit goes beyond simply taking and applying measurements since the complex shape of your body is ultimately the determining factor.


Bespoke vs. made-to-measure: Additional fitting


There are no fittings during the creation of a made-to-measure suit.


With bespoke, there is an additional fitting: the basted fitting. The basted fitting does more than simply confirm that the measurements taken are completely aligned with the wearer’s body. A strong tailor will use each fitting to make improvements and tweaks.


Bespoke vs. made-to-measure: Fabric selection


With made-to-measure, you will typically be able to get various offerings from one or two mills.


With a bespoke tailor, you will get more of a library of fabric options, with many different mills represented.


Bespoke vs. made-to-measure: Potential for customization


Made-to-measure suits will have a list of how you can and cannot adjust the suit. These parameters might include the number of jacket buttons, style of the pockets, cuffs, pant pleats, and vent options.


With a bespoke suit, you are not constrained by a set of standard options. Your specifications can be extensive.


Your bespoke suit


Do you want a suit that fits impeccably and is truly customized to your body and preferences? Alan David Custom is a pioneer in pattern-making techniques. See our Fit Guarantee.