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Custom-fit, Made-to-mesure, and Bespoke...Learn the difference
April 15, 2015
Once the norm, tailor-made creations (both Bespoke and Made-to-measure) have been largely replaced by the "RtW" (ready-to-wear). However, as you know if you follow our blog, in the last few years a new vision of the tailor-made is developing fast, with the emancipation of the custom-fit.
It is now possible to dress yourself tailor-made from 200 to 7,000 Euros. So what do we mean by "tailor-made"?
Essentially, we could say that it is simply a garment made from measurements taken from the body. But actually, it is much more complicated than that!
Here, then, is a little glossary of various designations:
Chain manufacturing (RtW):
A textile design office determines a model in a specific size. Then, depending upon this pattern, the office makes gradations (standardized modifications of the pattern so as to create one for each size). The suits are then created in series; this is what we call the ready-to-wear: a finished garment, adapted to the largest audience possible, with imposed features and fabric. The client does not choose the fabrics, nor the features of the costume and the imposed size.
Some will sometimes talk to you about a "semi-custom" offer. This is a term with a vague definition. Some use it to talk about ready-to-wear with touch-ups included in the price. (A great address: JONAS & Cie, 19 Rue d’Aboukir who proposes RtW with touch-ups...But they call that ready-to-wear ;))
This is the heart of the offer that is currently developing: starting from a preexisting pattern (with gradations, such as with serial manufacturing), the "fashion advisor" (who is not necessarily a tailor in the full sense of the term) takes the measurements from his client and/or proceeds to fitting in order to identify precisely which modifications to perform on his pattern. A new and unique pattern is created for the client according to his measurements. Another characteristic element of the custom-fit is its "industrial" manufacture. This means that your suit is not entirely assembled by hand in artisanal fashion. Indeed, over 50 hours of work by hand is needed against just 4 to 12 hours (depending upon the construction: fused, half-canvas, full-canvas) for a garment made exclusively by machine. Blandin & Delloye create custom-fit suits. To assure a perfect cut, we take physical measurements during the ordering. However, we consider that this information is largely insufficient. Indeed, with identical measurements, two people can still be very different. Taking into account morphological features is made possible, well beyond our ability to identify them by observing you, through fittings with templates. This fitting enables us to identify the alterations to perform on your garment. This also allows us to understand the level of comfort that the client is looking for. We insist upon our order-taking process, as it is the element which will determine the quality of work on the pattern. Merely taking into account measurements does not guarantee a quality result.
Made-to-measure relies on existing patterns like that of custom-fit. That said, the confection is artisanal: it is done by a professional tailor capable of assembling your item from end to end. It enables you to have a quality product comparable to Bespoke (lifespan of a handmade suit: 10 to 100 years!).Careful, however, with custom-fit offers selling themselves as made-to-measure under the pretext that the production workshop makes more than 50% of the construction by hand. It is true that this makes a difference, but we are still in the custom-fit realm. The percentage done by hand is not a sufficient criterion for defining made-to-measure.
The best of the best, traditional production par excellence! To obtain this, you have no choice but to contact a craftsman tailor. And plan for a big budget! Between 3,500 and 7,000 Euros on average for a two-piece suit. The tailor will take your measurements and note the first morphological alterations that he identifies. He then works with a pattern-definition process by iterations: the tailor is going to create a first frame for your canvas suit, held together by basting stitches. Multiple fittings are necessary throughout the creation process. For the client, this necessitates a more serious personal engagement given the frequency of contacts. The tailor will spend more than 50 hours working on your suit, but will guarantee a perfect result!
Small summary in order to see more clearly in the purchase of a suit:
To conclude this article, two important reminders:
1 - It is better to have a good ready-to-wear suit than a poorly tailored one.
2 - Do not confuse "traditional" with "artisanal": artisanal work is the opposite of industrial work...That is to say, it is not done in an assembly workshop but by a craftsman tailor involved in each step of the construction of the suit. As for the "traditional" work, it is opposed to fused construction: we thus talk of canvas construction. Blandin & Delloye offer both types of construction (full canvas and fused). You can thus absolutely find a suit with an "industrial traditional" construction which corresponds to a product made traditionally in an assembly workshop where the piece is going to pass from hand to hand. Whereas in industrial, the suit construction is standardized, the finishing and canvasing can be made by hand, and can give rise to a suit having an excellent duration in time. Pour conclure cet article deux rappels importants :