Tailored clothing is a rite of passage for any gentleman wanting to make his mark. Bespoke clothing, though, is a different kettle of fish.
Generally, custom clothing is just that – custom. Yet distinguishing whether they're worth it can be quite overwhelming. Fabrics, style, process, and cost – all of these considerations can make made-to-order clothes feel altogether excessive.
Before deciding whether the cost of a bespoke suit – or even a tailored suit – is prohibitive, let’s explore the differences between the two and all the options available around custom tailored clothing.
The Difference Between Tailored & Bespoke Clothing
Clothing specifically tailored to the body looks sharp, clean, and professional. It sends a message.
Whether your garments are tailored or bespoke, it will be clear that they were crafted with your unique physique in mind. The key difference between the two categories is the degree of personalization and craftsmanship involved in the creative process.
Tailored clothing entails adjusting a pre-existing garment to fit specific measurements. This approach has the benefit of accessibility and speedy turnaround while still accomplishing next-level sophistication. With tailoring, you can buy a suit off the rack and have it fit just right.
- Bespoke clothing, on the other hand, is made to fit from the very first stitch, and often takes several months from start to finish.
The process begins with multiple measurements and a hand-drafted pattern, including a number of highly-customized details. From just-so pockets and carefully-selected lining to shoulder shape and the ideal cuffs, bespoke garments showcase your individual style and personality in a way a tailored garment simply cannot. In fact, truly bespoke pieces require hand-padded lapels and hand-sewn buttonholes. A one-of-a-kind suit for a one-of-a-kind gentleman.
There are actually three types of tailoring. Made-to-measure clothing - sometimes referred to as MTM - offers an experience somewhere between tailored and bespoke. Made-to-measure suits are created from existing patterns that are then tailored during the sewing process to precisely fit the wearer’s body.
Note that MTM clothing is typically made from one or just a few sets of measurements, rather than the numerous sets taken over a period of time that drive the creation of a bespoke suit. With the made-to-measure suit, the alterations are built into the garment.
How Much Does Bespoke Clothing Cost?
Creating a garment from scratch means that every single option, down to thread choice, can change the final cost. That’s both the beauty and challenge of customization. Sartorial elegance is sometimes a double-edged sword!
Bespoke clothing doesn’t have to break the bank, though. After all, the whole point of investing in a bespoke suit is to get exactly what you want - and that includes cost. Adjusting fabric, lining, and even buttons will also change the overall price of the garment.
Bespoke suits can have a large price range - from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, and beyond. On average though, a bespoke suit costs between $3,000 and $5,000.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the details chosen by the customer. With planning and communication between the gentleman and his tailor, a bespoke garment can absolutely be financially accessible.
Of course, it depends on where you get your bespoke pieces too. Certain parts of the world offer easier access to affordable bespoke clothing, most notably Asia.
But reaching across the globe for your most prized pieces isn’t your only choice. There are plenty of places in the United States where you can source relatively affordable bespoke clothing. The key is to find a tailor who will work with your specific needs and wants for your handcrafted garment.
How much is a tailored suit in contrast? The cost of the off-the-rack suit, of course, plus $150 to around $500 for alterations.
The Charm of Handcrafted Accessories
In the same way a custom-cut suit is far superior in quality to one off the rack, hand-crafted fine accessories are head and shoulders above mass produced pieces. At R. Hanauer, all of our pieces are proudly made by hand in our workshop in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Randall and Randy Hanauer are deeply involved in the design process and personally select all of the fabrics, patterns, and combinations therein, as well as the woven elements, lining, and hardware for every R. Hanauer piece. When your name is quite literally on the product, ensuring that our quality is of the very highest caliber is tremendously important.