Distinguishing Bespoke from Custom Made

Key Difference – Bespoke vs Custom Made

Bespoke and custom made are two terms that are used in fashion and tailoring. Traditionally, there was no difference between bespoke and custom made; the two terms were interchangeable – both fashions indicated clothing that was specifically made for a particular customer. The selection of the basic pattern, designing process, fabric selection, etc. were all controlled by the customer in contrast to ready to measure method, which involves altering an existing pattern to fit the customer.
However, the meanings of these three terms – bespoke, custom made and ready to measure have become obscure. Custom-made is sometimes used to refer to bespoke style and sometimes used to refer to a style that is a combination of bespoke and custom made.

What is Bespoke?

Bespoke style or fashion includes clothing that is made to individual specifications. In other words, the pattern, fabric, design, and fit are all created to suit the wearer. The wearer also has carte blanch over all aspects of the clothing.

Bespoke method may require some multiple fittings as the pattern is drafted directly on the person. However, bespoke garments have many benefits such as superior fit, longevity, and uniqueness. The main drawback of bespoke garments is time and money; it may take a long time to create a garment since it is made from scratch, also resulting in a higher cost. Bespoke garments are more expensive than ready to wear, made to measure, or custom made garments.

What is Custom-Made?

As mentioned above, the term custom-made can have a variety of meaning in the fashion industry. The term custom made generally means ‘made to individual specifications’. In this sense, this is similar to bespoke. However, some shops or manufacturers use custom to refer to any garments that have not being purchased off the rack.  Some designers offer the custom made option with a limited fabric selection, sizing, designs and features, in addition to low-quality fabrics and materials.

What is the difference between Bespoke and Custom Made?

Bespoke: This method offers a variety of patterns, styles and materials.
Custom Made: This method may offer a limited selection.
Bespoke: Bespoke garments are very expensive.
Custom Made: Custom made garments are not as expensive as bespoke garments.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Key Takeaways

  • Bespoke garments are made to individual specifications, with the wearer having control over all aspects of the clothing.
  • Custom-made garments can have varying meanings in the fashion industry, sometimes referring to bespoke garments or to garments that are not purchased off the rack. Some custom-made options may have limited selections and lower quality materials.
  • Bespoke garments are more expensive than custom made garments, due to the higher level of customization and superior fit.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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