Off-the-rack, Bespoke, Made-to-Measure Suits – Chicago Menswear Pros Differentiate the 3

made to measure suits


Whether you are getting married or building your professional wardrobe from the ground up, if you are on the market for a new suit, a few of the terms that you will hear are off-the-rack, bespoke, and made-to-measure.

What is the difference between off-the-rack suits, bespoke suits, and made-to-measure suits? Chicago tailors say that in order to know the differences between the three, it is crucial to define each type of suit.

Off-the-rack suits

Off-the-rack suits, also known as ready to wear (RTW) suits, are manufactured in mass quantities following the style determined by a designer. This type of suit first became popular in the fifties.

One of the chief advantages of these suits is that they can be bought and worn immediately after you find one that matches your size and preferred style. You do not have to wait for weeks or even months to wear it for the specific occasion that you need it.

Generally speaking, off-the-rack suits are cheaper. This is due primarily to their mass production. However, it should be noted that there are suitmakers who offer quality off-the-rack suits at a higher price point.

But despite these advantages, these suits do have a few drawbacks.

For one, because these suits are mass manufactured, the fit can be off in some areas and just right in others. Another disadvantage of off-the-rack suits is that these are designed to appeal to the broadest possible number of people, leaving little room for personalization and self-expression.

Made-to-measure suits

Like RTW suits, made-to-measure suits are made in large quantities. However, a made-to-measure or MTM suit can be altered to fit the person who is going to wear it.

When you buy this type of suit, the salesman will take your measurements as well as note the fabric and style you have chosen. Afterward, your suit will be sent for alteration, typically to the same factory that made it. You may need to wait a few weeks to get your new MTM suit.

Essentially, MTM suits bridge the gap between RTW suits and bespoke suits by giving buyers options that are not available in off-the-rack suits, including personalized measurements.

But just like RTW suits, made-to-measure suits have a few disadvantages.

For one, the salesman who is taking your measurement may not necessarily be an expert. An expert tailor understands the importance of taking accurate measurements.

And while a salesman can take two-dimensional measurements, he may not be able to take an accurate measurement that takes into account your posture as well as your unique body features.

Bespoke suits

If you have the time to wait, menswear experts recommend choosing bespoke suits over the two aforementioned types of suits.

Bespoke suits are built from scratch using your chosen style and materials. The process of making a bespoke suit begins with a consultation with your chosen tailor. At this point, you and your tailor will discuss a few important things including the purpose of the suit, the design you might have in mind, as well as your needs.

After the consultation, your tailor will take your measurement, taking into account your body shape and posture.

The measurements will then be put into a paper pattern which will serve as a guide for the tailor/s working on your suit. This will be followed by the cutting of the fabric based on your measurements.

After the suit has been made, you will need to come in for fittings in order to ensure that you get the best suit made to your measurements.

Among the three types of suits to choose from, the bespoke suit is practically peerless when it comes to both fit and longevity. Furthermore, a seasoned tailor can help you express your personal taste and flair through your suit by giving you a good measure of creative control.

If there is one disadvantage to bespoke suits, it would be the fact that these take the longest time to make, especially when you factor in the measurements, the actual work involved in making these, the fittings, and the alterations.

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Some Benefits of a Custom Suit

We know that you are still having second thoughts on approaching a tailor for a custom made suit in a proper tailoring shop because you might have some misconceptions in your head and you can seem to find the right reasons why you should do this.

Custom Suit

We assure you that having a custom suit is way better than having buying a ready-to-wear suit because when you choose a ready-to-wear suit, you will jump from one store to another to find the perfect one, you are not only spending more money for the suit but you are also spending money for the gasoline that you use in finding and travelling just to find the one that will look presentable on you, see?

It’s not even good, just presentable and if you are a proper gentleman, you would not want this to happen right? You would want a suit that will represent you in the best way that it can especially on the colors, style and all the elements that there is. You should make sure that the suit will really fit your body and your personality so that you will make a great impression to others.

Here are some of the things that are considered as benefits that you will have when you choose to have a custom made suit. Please read more below to gain more information.


When the suit that you are getting can just be found on your local mall or boutiques, of course the style will be generic and there are only few choices for you regarding the style of the suit but if you hire a tailor to do the job for you then you can decide on what style would you want to have on your personal suit and your tailor will also advice you on what style would fit best on your body which is a huge plus. If you have found a design on the internet then you should print this design and present it to the tailor so that he will be able to follow the design that you want and it will be easier and faster for him which is also reflects as good for your side.

You can also choose the fabric that you would want because this suit is what you are going to wear in some events which means that you need to be comfortable in it and there is no other way to make sure that the fabric is the one that you want is for you to pick it out yourself.


No one in this world could argue this fact: custom made suit has better fitting than those that you can find on the racks in your local mall or boutique. The only way that a suit is considered as a smart suit when it fitted rightfully to the person and if a tailor has measured your size well to make a suit for you and your body alone that means that the suit will be really for you and surely, it will fit perfectly on your body improving its overall look when you are wearing it and of course every men would like a suit that would compliment there body shape and size in all forms.


Custom Made Suits

If you still do not know, there are many tailoring shops in the world or in your area that offers amazing services like the making of custom suits for everyone in just affordable and very reasonable prices. These tailoring shops are always devoted to making the best suit for you where you could use at any formal events and meetings. They also make sure that you are very comfortable in wearing it plus they supervise the production of this so they make sure that the quality of your suit is high and you do not need to worry anymore.

Custom made Suits

We know how difficult it is to find the right suit for you when you go for buying ready-to-wear suits in boutiques, malls and online shops because you are not really sure what type are you most comfortable and what style will best suit you. There is also no assurance that there will be a perfect fit for your body type and the sizes are also isolated and it does not offer super small suits or extra large ones for the bigger men.

We want to tell you that if you think that opting for a custom made suit will cost you a lot of dollars, that is very wrong because we assure you that when you go to a tailor for one, it will be so affordable for many people even those who are still beginners in their jobs.


We know that your ultimate concern on this is the price tag because there are many people who are spreading false news about this because as what tailors confirmed, the price of a custom made suit is very affordable and it is reasonable for its quality. It is even cheaper than those famous brands who sells ready-to-wear suits since the big brands in this field has very high prices and if we compare it, the custom made suits are still number one in terms of fit, style and quality and those are the things that you need to find when you want a suit for yourself.

You can even pick out your own fabric that you want so you can go to the market and find the best one for you because it is better if you decide on your own since your suit should also reflect your personality and there is no better person to pick up a pattern and a color that best mirrors you and your personality.


If you think that there is only one pattern and design that tailors follow when making you a suit, you are wrong again because if you want other patterns then you can tell your tailor about it. But, we should tell you that the tailor will ask for printed pictures on your desired design so if you decide to approach a tailor for a custom made suit then you should print out the design that you want and show it to the tailor for a direct reference.


Allegories Regarding Custom Made Suits

Some gentlemen out there may think that acquiring a custom-fit suit is too expensive and a guy that has a regular job and a regular life would not need a custom fit suit since they can buy a suit from the department suit that will do just fine for special events or proper meetings.

Custom Made Suits

We beg to disagree on this because we think that the claims about custom made suits are not all necessary true and we can even tell you some of the reasons why you should also go for a custom made suit for you so if you are interested in this then you should go on reading our article. See more below.

ALLEGORY: It is not convenient to go and meet a tailor

This claim is very false since it will be more inconvenient transferring from one store to another in a different location and fitting the suits one by one to see their fit on you. The process of going to the tailor and them taking your size and making the whole suit may sound inconvenient but we assure you that this is really much better than jumping from one store to another just for one clothing item and finding an item that is not really made for you but it is just acceptable for your size which is not worth it at all.

When you choose to shop from department stores for your suit then you have to make sure that you have a lot of gas and a lot of money to get ready for this quest.

Although the process of hiring a tailor to make a custom made suit in Chicago for you may take you days before you can get the finished product but this is really a great way on how to save money rather than buying one that is only pre-made from any boutique or store in your area. And you are not really sure if the pre-made suit that you are going to buy will satisfy your taste, your style, size, body figure and everything that you put into consideration and surely, if the quality is not point then it will not last a long time therefore you have to buy a new one every once in a while to keep you looking classy in a suit.


As what we have said above, there is really a difference between pre-made suits and custom made ones. A lot of people believes that there is little to no difference between the two but we beg to disagree because when you let a tailor do a suit for you that means that you can also choose the kind and type of cloth that you want to use and that means that you will be able to choose from different patterns and quality among the different types of cloth that is available in the market.

Also, pre-made suits are made by machines and they are produces in batches while custom made suits are overseen by the tailor and there is really one person who is making sure that the overall quality of the suit is on point.