Who buys a bespoke? The simple answer is anyone! As little as twenty years ago buying a bespoke suit meant visiting Savile Row and the sort of people who visited Savile Row was limited to barristers, bankers and politicians. In short you were not just anyone.
Times have changed though and buying bespoke is becoming increasingly common. Although Savile Row prices still make a trip ‘up west’ the preserve of the wealthier gent, affordable bespoke tailors are setting up shop across London and around the UK. There’s nothing quite like a bespoke suit and with its exquisite detailing and superb quality fabrics, tailor-made is a rapidly growing trend amongst professional men as awareness grows and prices fall.
This might sound an obvious questions but what is a bespoke suit? A truly bespoke suit is one-of-a-kind: handcrafted to fit you and only you. Don’t be confused or misled by suits which are described as ‘made-to-order’ or ‘hand-finished’ – these are off-the-peg garments which are made using standard patterns and won’t take into account your unique measurements, body shape and gait.
What has driven this increase in demand for bespoke tailoring? It’s hard to identify anything specific but the advent of online shopping has made male consumers more engaged and therefore more discerning when it comes to fashion. Today’s men are looking for something individual and this is where bespoke tailoring comes in: despite the fact that it’s clearly not possible to buy a bespoke suit online, men now see custom tailoring as a way to make their mark.
The very best tailors recognise what men in the know have known for some time: a suit makes a man. Wearing a bespoke suit demonstrates that you understand detail, take pride in your appearance and are professional. In today’s competitive world donning a bespoke suit is an unbeatable way to stand out from the crowd.
Another factor which may lie behind the rise in demand for bespoke is the increasingly competitive job market. Everyone works hard these days to develop their own personal ‘brand’ and employers know this. It’s now a fact that the biggest employers in the UK search social media when recruiting new staff and look for people who know how to present themselves. Turning up at an interview wearing a cheap, ill-fitting suit just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore.
There’s a world of difference between a truly bespoke suit and a cheaper, made-to-measure custom suit and this is reflected in the price of bespoke tailoring. Whilst there’s no denying that ‘going bespoke’ is still not a cheap option, if you’re undecided as to whether to take the plunge, it’s worth bearing in mind that a bespoke suit will last decades and, provided you don’t become emaciated or pile on the pounds, could easily outlive you. This makes the investment in bespoke tailoring well worth considering.
At Norton & Townsend, based countrywide, they have an insight into one of their markets “Many men buy bespoke for the first time when they get married and what better excuse could there be than buying a beautiful, handcrafted suit to buy on your big day? After all, if your bride is going to spend big money on a dress…”
Wedding suits aside, a bespoke suit also makes an incredibly useful and versatile addition to your professional wardrobe. Yes it might cost more than an off-the-peg version but the self-confidence that comes with wearing bespoke is pretty hard to beat and you never know, it might just give you that competitive edge you’ve been looking for. So if you think you’re the type of man that would never wear bespoke, don’t you think it’s time to think again?