Thursday, 14 August 2008


What is the meaning of the word bespoke? In American English it is a synonym for custom made, while in Britain, the term derives from bespeak, which is to ask for something. On Savile Row, London's world-famous tailoring street, a client would bespeak a length of cloth that would then be his alone to be made into clothes of unparalleled taste and style. Bespoke suits are the ultimate personal expression of the gentleman who knows better. Quality at the top-level is sublime: sewing is precise and cleanly finished; the shape, tasteful and elegant—the fit, irreproachable. And bespoke suits are most often made from the finest cloths available. But bespoke clothing is not for every civilized person of taste. Bespoke suits are painfully expensive. And the careful process requires at least two fittings, sometimes more, depending on several factors, to include body shape, individual requirements, and the special needs of one's tailor, a highly skilled craftsman who must indulge his own idiosyncratic process. If a fellow lives far away from London, New York City, Paris, Naples or Rome, the cost of making a bespoke suit in one of the great tailoring centres can rise to stratospheric levels. Many top tailoring firms charge between £1500 ($3000 USD) and £4000 ($8000 USD) for a bespoke suit. Add to this colossal expense the additional charges that travelling will bring and you are fast sailing toward the final frontier of "economic" engagement. Bespoke suits are the finest that lots of money can buy.

Made-to-Measure suits present many advantages over pure bespoke. Not every gentleman has a definite idea of what particular jacket and trouser models will fit him best. Made-to Measure clothes offer house-specific styles from which to choose that may then be whittled or expanded to fit a gentleman's unique shape. Made-to-Measure will not give a gentleman the nearly endless choices of bespoke, but neither will made-to-measure potentially confuse its client with overly expansive options. If a gentleman likes a made-to-measure suit style offered by a certain firm, he may reasonably expect to come out wearing a suit that resembles the style in question, properly fitted to his physique. In addition, made-to-measure is vastly more reasonable to buy, prices ranging as they do from £350 ($700 USD) to £1250 ($2500 USD), for what should be the best made-to-measure suit available in the known universe.

Made-to-Measure inevitably offers a fine range of traditional cloths. Some made-to-measure houses present sophisticated British woolens of the highest quality to rival elite bespoke tailoring firms. Made-to-Measure suits may be divided into three simple categories: the first involves visiting a tailor who will make attractive a made-to-measure suit option that functions as an entry-level service; the second most often includes up-market department stores that will offer made-to-measure suits as the ultimate expression of an off-the-rack ready-made luxury label (this can be a costly way to try made-to-measure; the service comes at a premium above already expensive ready-made luxury clothes); the third made-to-measure option includes web-based firms that ask their clients to measure themselves or their own garments. This third made-to-measure suit option is attractive for economic reasons and you don't even need to leave your house.

Bookster offers an online made-to-measure service with bespoke options, hand-cut from superb British cloth, for a mere fraction of the cost of bespoke clothing. Bookster communicates effectively with potential clients, answering questions clearly and giving solid advice on how things fit, while realistically addressing client needs and expectations. A superior made-to-measure firm like Bookster will know how to guide its patrons in the right direction, leading to excellent results, just as a bespoke tailor exists to markedly improve his clients' appearance.

Jacques de Mesterton