Made-To-Measure Tailoring, Custom Tailoring and Bespoke Tailoring – What’s The Difference?

21st June 2019
Pragati Gupta

You’ll have heard the words numerous times but might not know exactly what they mean. So what’s the difference between men’s custom suits and bespoke suits?

First things first, let’s clear up ‘ready-to-wear’ or ‘off-the-rack’. This is when you simply walk into a shop and buy a pre-made suit in your size. No tailoring takes place and these suits are designed to broadly fit a wide range of men.

So, what about men’s tailored suits? These fall roughly into three categories. The first one is the made-to-measure suit, the second is the custom suit and third is the bespoke suit. The term ‘men’s tailored suits’ is a catch-all phrase for any kind of amendments made to a suit.

There are five key areas where you’ll find differences between made-to-measure suits, custom suits and bespoke suits:

  • Pattern Making
  • Fitting
  • Selecting Your Fabric
  • Customisation
  • Personal Service

For each of the three types of tailoring, we’ll go through how your options with the above five elements will differ. If you are interested in learning more about custom or bespoke tailoring in particular, get in touch with the Senszio team or book on to an upcoming Trunk Show at a city near you to begin the process.

Made-to-measure tailoring (not offered by Senszio)

1 Pattern-making

When it comes to made-to-measure suits, the tailor simply takes your broad size (for example, 40 chest and 32 waist) and modifies standard patterns such as lengths and widths by taking into account your body shape.

2 Fitting

With made-to-measure tailoring, there’s an initial consultation to take measurements and the suit is delivered after production. There can be minor alterations to the final product.

3 Selecting your fabric

You get to choose a limited selection of fabrics from one or two mills. The choice is really among fabrics rather than mills.

4 Customisation

You get to choose how many buttons you want, your pocket style, number of vents and options around cuffs and pleats. Some men’s tailors will let you pick interior lining and lapel width.

5 Personal service

With made-to-measure tailoring, you’ll talk to a sales person rather than a master tailor. They’re just there to take measurements and relay them to the tailors. How skilled they are is up for debate.

Custom tailoring (offered by Senszio)

1 Pattern-making

You’ll get a new pattern intended just for you based on at least 25 body measurements and posture images. The tailor won’t modify base patterns in case they miss some individual detail of your body. For bespoke suits, pattern-making goes beyond just measurements.

2 Fitting

With custom tailoring, there’s an initial consultation to take measurements and another when your suit has been made.

3 Selecting your fabric

We work with over 15 mills for fabrics for different functions, e.g. suits, shirts, trousers, jackets, overcoats, tuxedos and denim. You might see a total fabric selection of over 3000 swatches during the consultation.

4 Customisation

When it comes to styling your custom suit, you have no limit on options. With Senszio, you can customize a wide range of styling options such as special pockets inside your jacket, monogramming your initials (key for wedding suits), or the colour of the button-holes.

5 Personal service

You will meet an expert Personal Stylist who has experience commissioning custom clothing for executives across Europe and the US in different industries. The meeting is a conversation about your lifestyle and professional routines that guides our stylist’s recommendation on fabric, fit and style.

Bespoke tailoring (offered by Senszio)

1 Pattern-making

This is the same as custom tailoring but the pattern is adjusted throughout the fittings (below). In custom tailoring, the pattern is adjusted after the final garment is made and delivered.

2 Fittings

You’ll need multiple fittings to get a true bespoke fit. It begins with the skeleton baste fitting, then the forward fitting, then the fin bar fitting. Some tailors will carry out more than five mid-fittings. This is intended to achieve an ever-more-precise fit as the process develops.

3 Selecting your fabric

This is the same as custom.

4 Customisation

This is the same as custom but you can customise elements of the garment between the fittings in case a particular element wasn’t discussed during the first consultation.

5 Personal experience

You’ll meet with the person who actually makes your bespoke suit along with the personal stylist. The person who cuts the cloth and stitches the seams should be the one who makes close acquaintance with the nuances of your body.


Whether you opt for a Senszio custom-tailored suit or a bespoke suit, you’ll be treated as an individual and will receive a finished product of faultless quality.

We’ll be coming to a city near you soon. To reserve an appointment with Senszio’s expert stylists, book an appointment at one of our Trunk Shows here.