Archives: Suits

What’s the difference between Bespoke and MTM?

stay cool in a suit

As a custom clothing provider we are often asked about the difference between bespoke and made to measure (MTM) clothing. And while they may seem to be synonymous, there really are some big differences.

Let’s start with made-to-measure.

What is made-to-measure?

When a suit is described as made-to-measure, or MTM, it means that some number of your measurements have been taken and that the garment will be cut from a pre-existing, standard pattern that is then altered to roughly fit your measurements. The key term here is pre-existing, which simply implies that the pattern used to make your clothes is not unique. Instead, your vendor is beginning with an approximate pattern and going from there.

bespoke suits are different from made to measure

Generally speaking, a large amount of machine work is involved in made-to-measure garments with a limited amount of hand work. What does this mean regarding the construction of your suit? Machine sewing usually results in a relatively lifeless coat – it’s not going to have a very good drape. Whereas hand-sewn jackets will look and feel better, moving as if they are a part of you.

In summation…

Made-to-measure suiting:

  • Only a handful of basic measurements are taken: Sleeve length, jacket sides, pant waist size, etc.
  • A standard suit size is selected and then altered to generally fit you

That being said, let’s take a look at what bespoke clothing is.

Bespoke

Bespoke, or custom garments, are a different story altogether. All of your required measurements are taken (20) and then a pattern is fashioned from scratch specifically for you.

The word bespoke is derived from the verb to bespeak or to “speak for something.” When one would choose a length of material, it was said to have been spoken for. Therefore, a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is said to be using a bespoke method.

Using your individual pattern, the cloth is then cut and trimmed and the appropriate parts of the garment sewn together.

Simply put, what makes a bespoke suit so unique, is that it’s the result of skills that only a trained hand can perform.

working buttons on bespoke suit

What this means to you is really two things:

Firstly, that the fit of your suit will be completely unique to you and your contour. It will fit exactly as you want it to. For some men this is a very slim and modern fit. For others, they take advantage of the bespoke process to subtly conceal certain areas and accentuate others.

Secondly, bespoke clothing offers a man full control over a long list of details and customizations: Lapel width, thread color, pick stitching, working button holes, button selection, lining selection, and so on.

Your list of options can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

Bespoke suiting:

  • A large amount of hand work
  • 20 measurements go into the making of each suit
  • Suits are created without the use of a pre-existing pattern. Bespoke clothing is traditionally cut from a pattern that is drafted from scratch for each client.
  • Complete customization regarding lining, fabric, thread color, etc.

accent button holes

Wrap up

I hope this article helped to shed some light on the difference between bespoke and made to measure clothing. And most importantly, now you can be educated in your search for your next suit. Whether it’s with us or someone else, we want you to be well informed.

Men who try bespoke tailoring often become lifetime advocates, simply because no off-the-rack garment or made to measure suit can even come close.

And remember, when you work with Ron, you are working with a man whose experience in menswear is pushing 40 years. You’ll also receive some scrap fabric with your suit to prove that it was cut from a unique pattern.

The biggest difference between bespoke and made to measure is that the former is really an art form. And proven experience is really the only way to get it right.

Dress sharp, guys.

By Ryan Wagner

Unique linings on a bespoke suit

Questions? We’re always here to help. Contact Ron today at 970-231-4588 or ron@bespokeedge.com.

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Everything he needs to know about finding the right wedding suit

bespoke-edge-weddings-suits-denver

Originally published on MyWedding.com:

Recently engaged? Congratulations! As you dive into the wedding planning, you’ll probably begin with the big ticket items — the venue, the photographer, the caterer, etc. But one item that is often left until the very end is finding the right wedding suit or tuxedo. What will he wear? Will he be pulling something from his closet or renting or buying? And what’s appropriate? A suit, a tuxedo, a vest with tie, something else entirely?!

Don’t worry. When it comes to finding the right wedding suit or tuxedo for your groom, it can be relatively straightforward. However, there are some things that you will want to keep in mind. And the earlier you begin this process the better.

All you need to remember going into this is that your groom’s wedding suit is going to be something very special. The following tips are some of the most useful tidbits of advice that I can provide to give you some practical guidance. So, read this article carefully, share it with your fiance, and you’ll be well on your way to having a sharply dressed groom waiting for you down the aisle.

How formal will your wedding be?

Black tie or country casual? Beach or ballroom? These are some of the venue questions that you’ll be asking yourself (or maybe you already have!). It should come as no surprise that the level of formality of your venue will go hand in hand with your wedding day attire. What this means for your fiance is that he will need to consider the wedding’s level of formality when choosing what he will wear.

As you may expect, a very formal wedding will likely equate to a black tie event, but what about a very casual wedding? Or someplace between the two extremes? Let’s go over a few examples.

Casual

For discussion’s sake, let’s take a look at a beach wedding.

Your groom will need a breathable fabric to keep him comfortable; something like a linen or a cotton. And his shoes will probably be relatively casual as well — after all, the two of you may be standing in the sand! Also, I’d recommend opting for a tan or some other light colored fabric to refer to the beach theme.

Semi-formal

But what if you’re someplace between a formal, black tie event, and the beach? You’re probably not going to be wearing a tuxedo. And maybe you’re considering a venue outside. It could be a grassy open space — a ranch, a chic barn, etc.

In this instance, something that I see quite often is a groom choosing a 3-piece wedding suit. Now this may seem quite formal, but not if he chooses a softer shade in something like a gray tone or navy. And steer clear of pin stripes; they belong in the office.

Formal

This is the look that you’re probably most familiar with. It’s what you see at a lot of weddings and has become a standard. On one end of the spectrum, you have a full tuxedo with a black bow tie, and on the other end, a dark suit.

A tuxedo is probably self explanatory, but what about the dark suit? A dark wedding suit will be pretty special. Go for one with peaked lapels, which will give the jacket a formal and confident look. In addition, it will be made with a very fine and soft fabric — something smooth to the touch, almost like silk.

Sample attire for a black tie event

Fit is the most important thing

It doesn’t matter whether your groom wears a suit, tuxedo, vest, or even a t-shirt — the fit must be right. Sloppy clothes — baggy shirts, short sleeves, pants that are too long, etc — don’t just look bad, they obscure the man wearing them! You want people to see your groom on your wedding day, not him in a suit that doesn’t fit well. And when clothes appear a bit sloppy looking, it can be very noticeable and distracting both in person, and in the photos afterwards.

So, what can you do? When it comes to wedding suits and tuxedos, it’s best to consult with an expert. Regardless of where you end up shopping, make sure you can find someone who can help your groom get an amazing fit. And if you’re reusing something that’s already in the closet, the same advice applies. Sometimes some careful tailoring can update an older suit, but always be honest with yourself — if it just doesn’t look right, then it may be time to go shopping.

Splurge, just a little

Almost all couples have to stick to a wedding budget, but one area that I can justify spending a little more in is the clothing, be it your wedding gown or your groom’s suit. In the years after your wedding, you probably won’t remember much about the food you served your guests or the table settings, but you will remember what you wore because you’ll have so many wonderful photos.

Personally, I think that a very special day calls for special clothing. This doesn’t mean that your groom needs to wear a ridiculously expensive suit, but spending a bit more than you would on a day-to-day basis is part of what makes your wedding special for you as well as for your future husband.

A great watch and cufflinks will elevate your wedding day attire

Finding the right wedding suit

I hope this post gets you thinking a bit about your groom’s outfit on the big day and helps you in finding the right wedding suit. Tailoring of store-bought suits can take upwards of a week, and custom suiting can take up to 6 weeks. So, the sooner you start thinking about menswear the better. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to send your questions my way!

Did you enjoy this post? Then you may also enjoy reading about some of the easy ways that your groom can look his best on the big day.

By Ryan Wagner

Photo credit: Emily Sacco Photography

 

5 things about suits you have completely wrong

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about wearing suits. And in today’s typical work environment, where so many men are wearing dark jeans and polo shirts, these myths are easily reinforced.

And so this week I want to take a closer look at the typical complaints men have of wearing a suit. Here are 5 things about suits you have completely wrong.

Myth #1: Suits are always uncomfortable

Truth: We all have memories when we were young and the parents would dress us up in a heavy wool suit. It was invariably a low quality fabric and so yes, it was a little scratchy, didn’t feel very good against your skin, and you couldn’t wait to get out of it. Fast forward to your high school graduation and your first real job interview, and not much changed. Right?

You developed the perception that suits were always uncomfortable.

But the truth is that there are suits and there are suits. The latter are comfortable and do feel good when you wear them.

What it really comes down to is the quality of the fabric. A high quality wool can actually breathe relatively well. And it’s going to feel light and slick, almost like a silk. If it is summertime or you live in a warm climate, you can always look towards cotton and linen-blend suits to help keep you comfortable.

The takeaway is that suits are not inherently uncomfortable. If you look for high quality fabrics, it is entirely possible that you’ll find something just as comfortable as your casual clothes.

Myth #2: Dark suits are all there is

Truth: There’s a time and a place for a dark suit. And if you only own one suit, it should honestly be of a darker hue. The reason being, is that it’s just going to end up being a more versatile suit for you.

But it’s easy to think that this is the only way suits can be. But remember, a suit is just a style of clothing, the color can be anything you want it to be. So, take a look at some of the interesting fabrics out there. Sharkskin, plaid, windowpane, houndstooth, etc. You have plenty of options besides charcoal and black!

Myth #3: You can’t stay cool

Truth: Ask me about my experience as a groomsman and the first word that will enter my mind will be hot. Indeed I rocked that rental tux like a pro, but what I’m talking about here is the temperature.

When you need to look just like 5 other groomsman, that usually means you will be renting a tux from one of the big chains. So, yes, I was guilty of many of the bullet points in Myth #4, below.

But what I really remember was that I was sweating bullets more than the groom! Under all that heavy wool, I felt like I was in a sauna. And that’s the same reaction most guys have when they think about wearing suits, that they will be hot and scratchy and all around, uncomfortable.

However, fine woolens and cottons and especially, linens, are all very comfortable fabrics. It’s the lower quality fabrics that you find in off-the-rack stores that are going to feel heavy and coat-like. And remember to actually feel the fabric. Does it feel light? Does it feel comfortable? Always touch a suit fabric before you buy. 

Myth #4: It’s easy to find something that fits

Truth: Odds are that your suit doesn’t fit. That’s the harsh truth. If you own a BE suit, you’re obviously exempt :).

But if you’re still wearing an off-the-rack suit, one of the following items is probably a trouble spot:

  • Your jacket is too long
  • Your jacket is too short
  • Your arm hole is way too big
  • Your lapel wasn’t sized proportionally to your body
  • Your pants have too much of a break at your shoes
  • Your pants are baggy

This is just a short list of what we regularly see when we work with new clients. And it’s the reason that I spend so much time blogging on a wide range of topics – because we want to start putting good information out there and help you look your best. Even if you don’t end up shopping with us, you’ll at least be better educated when you work with another clothier.

Myth #5: You should treat your suit like a prized possession

Truth: One of the things I always notice in James Bond movies is how willing Bond is to absolutely destroy his suit! You’ve seen the movies, haven’t you? One moment Bond is at a baccarat table and the next, he’s in a full sprint or kneeing a bad guy in the gut in self-defense. And he’s doing all of this in a dinner jacket (aka, tuxedo).

Growing up, we are all taught to wear your nice clothes to “such and such event.” That our nice clothes are to be treated as though they are prized possessions.

I’m certainly not suggesting you take to changing the oil in your car wearing your BE suit (please, please don’t do this!), but what I am arguing for is that you remember that your bespoke suit or custom shirt are still just clothes. That you shouldn’t be acting any differently when you wear these clothes. Instead, you should be living in your suit just as you would with your gym clothes or what you may wear to a baseball game on opening day.

Clothes are just clothes.

I can’t remember who it was that said the following quote – if you recognize it, please email me – but this gentleman said that “style is all about putting care into how you dress yourself, and then completely forgetting about what you’re wearing.”

I think Bond would agree.

Wrap up

Did I forget something? What are some of the other big misconceptions about wearing suits? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

By Ryan Wagner

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Why we don’t sell suits online

custom wedding suit your new style

We don’t compromise.

That’s what makes BE, BE.

It’s a lesson my father taught Brett and I when were were still young.

We could sell suits online, but…

We would not be able to stand behind the fit.

And that’s very important to us. Our reputation is built on great fitting clothes.

Sure, we could put in the time and energy to build out an online customization process for ordering suits. We could build in options for surgeon cuffs and lapel options, and so on. And we could make videos to teach a friend how to measure you.

But we just don’t think that the finished product would fit you like you had imaged.

To better understand our reluctance to sell suits online, consider a typical BE appointment:

Ron meets with you in your home or office and gets an idea for what it is you’re looking to accomplish. And the occasion. Once you decide on a fabric and appropriate style details, then Ron pulls out the tape measure. For the shirt, the process is relatively straight forward.

However, a suit can get a whole lot more complicated. Ron takes 21 measurements. The whole time he’s pulling the tape measure across you, he’s applying “the art form.”

A little tolerance here, a little tolerance there…

All a function of your posture and the line of your shoulders.

It all adds up in a way that will meet (or exceed) your expectations in fit. These tolerances are based on your conversation with Ron – the occasion, your sense of style, your goals – all integrated together to constitute your measurement profile, one as individual as your own signature.

That’s tough to do in an online store.

We won’t ship unless we are sure the fit is correct

Sometimes, we’ll ship your shirts to you. But only if you’ve purchased clothes from us before. Why? Because we want to be sure that the fit is perfect.

That’s why for new clients, Ron will always personally deliver the suit, shirt, pants – whatever it may be – so he can be sure you’re happy with what you ordered. The second time around, if it’s more convenient for you, we can ship your order via FedEx.

But for suits, they just aren’t something we are willing to ship. Instead, we take the time to freshly steam your suit purchase and make sure it’s looking like a million bucks. Then, Ron will deliver it to you in a valet cover and you’ll get to see it in all its glory.

Other ways that we refuse to compromise

  • Ron could end the appointment the moment his parking meter expires, but that would be compromising your experience.
  • We could save some money by not offering any further tailoring, but that would be compromising.
  • We could offer you fewer fabrics, but that would be compromising.
  • We could tell you that we’re only available for appointments Monday through Friday, but that would be compromising.
  • We could choose to partner with any vendor we wanted to – including those that may not reflect our same level of quality in their product – but that too, would be compromising.

And you could shop at the mall for your suit, but we know you don’t want to compromise either….!

***

From all of us at The Bespoke Edge, we want to remind you that we are in it for the long haul.

You’ve put your trust in us, and so it is our duty to you to never compromise. To keep exceeding your expectations, day after day.

By Ryan Wagner

Featured image credit: Ash Imagery