We are thinking about buying a new suit and we often read or hear about terms that we sometimes don’t know exactly what they mean. Let’s pick out the differences that will certainly come in handy as soon as we need to enrich your wardrobe.
Let’s start with the simplest: ready-to-wear or dress size. prêt-à-porter clothes, as we know, are sold ready-made, i.e. in a shape and style determined by the designer who has worked with standard dimensions. Each size suit is therefore made according to a generic, pre-established pattern, divided into sizes, and is usually made by machine.
Given that it does not fit everyone perfectly and cannot be customised, a dress in a size is ideal for those who have no demands on their look.
What should we do if we are interested in having a dress that enhances our physique, or if we are interested in being able to customise our dress and choose all the details?
Let’s get to the heart of the matter in order to provide a more complete guide for the most demanding customers interested in making their wardrobe a sign of distinction and personalisation.
The tailored suit
The made-to-measure suit starts from a basic pattern, i.e. from an existing industrial pattern that is chosen by the customer to be modified and fits better than those in size because they are made to precise anatomical measurements.
Unlike ready-to-wear (i.e. pre-packaged) clothes, it is therefore possible to customise the garment with precise dimensions as well as patterns and fabrics of one’s own taste, thus making it more wearable and ‘tailor-made’. The rest, the internal structure, the details and all the options and customisation, remain the factory ones.
Thanks to new technologies and the advent of the internet, it is now possible to buy made-to-measure clothes not only in a specialised shop, but also online. Many e-commerce shops offer the possibility to customise your garment by taking measurements from the comfort of your own home. However, it is always better to go to a tailor, both to touch the fabrics and check their quality, and to have the guarantee of a product made in Italy. In this case, in contrast to buying online, you will have to be a little more patient, as it takes longer for a tailor to make a made-to-measure suit.
A made-to-measure suit is the perfect middle ground, the ideal choice for those who want something more than a normal dress size and want to treat themselves to something unique and elegant.
Finally, let’s talk about the tailored suit or bespoke, an English term to define tailoring and which means “to order to make”; it is a term that derives from English tailoring in the 19th century and was born in an exclusively artisan context.
The difference between a handmade bespoke suit and a tailor-made suit lies in the quality and, especially, the work involved.
It is undoubtedly the ultimate expression of craftsmanship and an extraordinary and indispensable luxury for all connoisseurs of classic elegance who have no intention of sparing any expense for their wardrobe.
The handmade clothes are created from the fabric, made strictly to the customer’s measurements, respecting their particularities; they are designed and handmade by expert cutters and tailors. The tailoring process takes up to 4 meetings, during which the customer’s measurements are taken and the dress is modified each time until the desired fit is achieved.
Like a made-to-measure suit, a tailored suit is modelled around the body and allows any imperfections or physical defects to be concealed. For example, everyone has one shoulder lower than the other: this misalignment can be adjusted so that the silhouette still looks perfect.
The making of a tailored suit becomes a true collaboration between customer and tailor, who “make the garment together” to achieve the best possible shopping experience.
Even in tailored clothing, there is a choice of materials, construction, styles, buttons, and linings.
This type of dress is the most complex of the three listed here, but the result is a one-of-a-kind dress, and if made well and with high quality materials it can last a lifetime.
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