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What's the Deal with Bespoke Suits and Why You Shouldn't Care

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March 24, 2023 9:09:05 AM PDT March 24, 2023 9:09:05 AM PDTth, March 24, 2023 9:09:05 AM PDT

 What's the Deal with Bespoke Suits and Why You Shouldn't Care

What Is A Bespoke Suit?

At Alton Lane, we know there’s a lot of confusing terminology around the suit industry. Beyond the types of suits you can buy, the fit styles, and the myriad of lapel, pocket, and button details, there’s also the confusion around tailored and custom suits versus bespoke suits. What’s the difference?


If you’re wondering what a bespoke suit is and why you should care (or not), Alton Lane is here with all the details. Learn more about the difference between each type of customization and whether it’s even worth choosing the most expensive option on the market when looking for the best online custom suits.


Defining Bespoke Clothing


True bespoke clothing is patterned and adjusted for a specific customer. You go into a store in person and get measured for a pattern that is made specifically for you. Mockup garments are pieced together in muslin or a cheaper fabric before the suit is actually cut from the real more expensive fabric to ensure a precise fit.


You’ll need to go in for multiple fittings to make a bespoke suit. It’s super expensive and time-consuming...this is exactly what some people are looking for, but most of us simply don’t have the time and aren’t willing to pay the premium for a one-of-a-kind fit.


Understanding the Term “Bespoke”

We’ve defined what a bespoke suit is, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the industry is using the term accurately. Many times, the term “bespoke” is casually thrown around to make you think you’re getting something better than you actually are — similar to the way many fast fashion brands talk about clothing as “haute couture.” When something is truly haute couture, it’s a one-of-a-kind fashion piece made in France by a high-end designer that is registered with a certain organization. You won’t be finding haute couture in your favorite luxury designer’s collection unless it’s through a wild series of nearly impossible accidents. And a similar story can be said for bespoke suits.


When it comes to what a bespoke suit is, you have to do your research before trusting a brand that’s claiming to sell you one. Most often, a brand claiming their suits are bespoke is simply using the term for marketing. A truly bespoke suit is never sold off-the-rack and you must attend multiple pattern fittings and final fittings for one to be made in a true bespoke fashion.


The Main Difference Between Bespoke & Custom


At Alton Lane, we’re all about providing high-quality custom menswear for formal events that ensure you look and feel as elevated as possible without having to go the overpriced bespoke route. Each of our garments is custom-made to order and created for your precise measurements and specifications. We work to prevent waste while ensuring you a highly customized experience. Even though we make the best online custom suits, please note that they’re still not exactly what a bespoke suit is — and we think you’ll be happier for it.


One of the most significant differences between custom suits and bespoke suits is how long it takes to make a bespoke suit. This turnaround time is so long that it’s almost an inconvenience. Even off-the-rack tailored suits can be a headache when it comes to months-long turnaround times. But we have a solution:


Our revolutionary turnaround time is one of the standout features of our customized suits. We offer an industry-leading, two-week production period that simply can’t be matched. There are no other suit companies that are creating custom quality suits that are made just for you with such a quick delivery time. 


Some other differences between bespoke suits and the best online custom suits include:


  • Price Point: Bespoke Suits May Cost Between $5,000 - $65,000 | Custom Suits Start at $250
  • Production Time: Bespoke Suits Need 40-50 Hours and many weeks or months to create | Our Custom Suits Are Delivered In 2 Weeks
  • Style: Bespoke Patterns Are Fitted to You, In-Person which is Time-Consuming | Custom Suits are Cut and Made Just For You According to Your Measurements
  • Fitting Time: Bespoke Suits Need Multiple In-Person Fittings for the Pattern and Final Garment | Custom Suits Can Easily and Conveniently Be Ordered Online With or Without A Virtual Appointment

Levels of Customization

Even though the fitting and manufacturing of a custom suit isn’t as intense as what it is for a bespoke suit, there are still varying degrees of customization and personalization you can choose. Some companies simply alter a design to fit your measurements, while others allow you full control over the final design of your suit. We believe you should have fun customizing some details without being overwhelmed by too many options.


One of the reasons Alton Lane stands out as one of the best online custom suit retailers is the simplicity of the customization we offer. Customizing a suit can be overwhelming at some retailers. With too many options to choose from you can spend hours or even days choosing options you hope will look good together. But, at Alton Lane, we have done all of the hard work for you.


All you have to do is pick the finishing details according to your preferences - there are no right or wrong decisions here. After you choose the fit of your suit (classic, slim-fit, tailored/modern) you can easily decide what details you want to add:


  • Buttonhole Color
  • Jacket Lining
  • Jacket Piping
  • Monogramming Style and Colors


We have extensive hands-on experience fitting every size, height, and frame in person at our brick-and-mortar showrooms. Don’t have time to come in person? Don’t live close enough to a showroom? No problem! We also offer digital appointments with a seasoned stylist who can guide you through a virtual appointment and explain every aspect of our process. 


But, you can always order online with peace of mind. Our accurate made-to-measure algorithm was built around the 12+ years of hands-on measuring and expertise we have — now, you can customize everything from the comfort of your home.


Tailored Versus Custom


Another term that the industry uses interchangeably with “custom” and “bespoke” is the tailored suit. A tailored suit is simply one that has been adjusted for you by a tailor after you purchase it off-the-rack.


At Alton Lane, we don’t tailor ready-made suits, and we don’t create ready-made, off-the-rack suits. Instead, every garment we create is made-to-order and made to fit you. Every made-to-measure design — even our dress shirts, tuxedo shirts, and trousers — is made according to your custom measurements. This helps combat the negative effects of fast fashion and gives you a personalized experience you can feel good about.


Is A Custom Suit Right for You? 

You know what a bespoke suit is, and you’ve explored the different terms surrounding personalized suits. Now it’s time to decide if a custom piece or a bespoke option is the right choice for you. Your choice will depend on your financial means, timeline, and other personal preferences. But unless you need the absolute best, have plenty of time to wait, and live within a reasonable distance of a bespoke suit-maker, we recommend opting for a custom suit — especially if you’re just starting to build your formalwear wardrobe.


A custom suit provides more class and sophistication than an off-the-rack style, and it ensures an appropriate fit for your body. Custom suits also cater to your style personalization that will fit your needs without stretching your budget.


Customized Suits At Alton Lane

When you want a custom suit, you have plenty of options to explore. But we recommend you shop with Alton Lane because of the benefits we offer, including a higher level of customization, premium textiles from world-renowned high-end suppliers, a two-week turnaround time, and dedication to waste reduction with made-to-measure styles.

What custom suit will you choose? Explore our custom options for weddings, work, and other events today to find the perfect fit for the occasion.