Men’s clothing can be a bit of a struggle if one doesn’t know the terms and options that are available to him. In this short article, you’ll know the differences in clothing, terminology, and your options with each. Without further ado let’s begin.
RTW otherwise known as Ready-To-Wear Clothing is the easiest to obtain, require no fittings, the fastest to tailor, and usually the least expensive. Though there are many positives that are great for most consumers, there are definitely some setbacks with this type of clothing as well.
For instance, since it is mass produced, the craftsmanship and comfortability will be drastically different than that of custom clothing. Your selection window will be narrow choosing from whatever is in stock. These are basic sizes, cuts and styles all determined by the brand designer, leaving you little room for your own personal expression.
RTW is considered “off the rack” purchasing. Since, you won’t be selecting your own fabrics, this directly correlates to the quality of the suit and therefore the longevity. And with no fittings and a tailor to look it over, you have to be extremely close to the model chart that was used in constructing the suit. With that being said, there is very little room for tailoring of these garments and we strongly recommend altering of some kind to it.
Moving onto finer clothing, such as MTM (Made-To-Measure), you’ll start to see the obvious differences in that of Ready-To-Wear. The craftsmanship of these suits are better than RTW, with a production time of 10-20 hours of tailoring. Meaning although MTM suits are in pre-determined fits and have basic sizing from measurements, you can still alter the fit to your body. Hence, the basic measurements will be your own. These suits require no real fittings, and measurements are two dimensional.
Keep in mind, while the suit does have room to be altered, there will still be limitations to how much and where. Along with choosing this type of suit you will have a list of options to choose from. You will be able to select your fabric, lining, style and some finishings as opposed to RTW. These suits will also be machine made and the cloths will be exclusive to the brand of your choosing.
Although you get to select your fabric you will be picking from already pre-existing patterns. Still, MTM will give you more of a personal expression of your liking than RTW. Depending on your interest, needs and brand, SOMETIMES there are more options available to you than bespoke suiting. The quality, comfortability and longevity of these garments will be better and longer lasting.
To aquire a MTM suit will take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete and can start around $1,000 USD. Here’s an interesting fact that consumers may not know:
RTWs and MTMs will usually and most commonly be made in the same factory.
Now onto Bespoke. First things first, before we delve into the facts, if you’re getting your first bespoke suit:
DO NOT make a flashy one!
This suit will undoubtedly be your most expensive and best fitting suit, by making it flashy or too contemporary you limit yourself in wearing it only to occasion driven events, only getting a couple of outings in it. But if this is something you are looking to rarely wear, by all means, knock yourself out. Now that we got that out of the way, here’s everything top to bottom on what you need to know about bespoke suiting.
A true bespoke suit will be handmade, cut and stitched by tailors, usually two of three of them. The suit is literally made from scratch–any fit, form, shape and material is completely up to the customer. The customer has limitless options and complete total creative control over the garment. This will be the most thorough suit experience you’ll ever have as in: literally all your measurements will be taken of your body to provide a 3-D image for the tailor, and extensive detailed notes should be provided for the tailor such as posture and weight fluctuation. This extensive fitting is crucial in two aspects:
First: It builds a relationship between you and the tailor which is key to have. Second: It provides the tailor with everything essential in preparing your garment correctly and exclusively to you for a superior fit.
Next comes the selection of fabric and pattern. Fabrics will be 10mil to 10+mil which is how tight the fabric is made, MTM suiting is usually 1-2 mils. Since you choose the pattern, every pattern is unique to its own client, and once selected, the pattern will be drawn on paper and hand-cut from the choice fabric by the tailor. Generally, the customer will be required to have three or more fittings since it won’t be done perfectly the first time due to the suit being made and composed in three phases.
During these fittings there may be tension felt by the customer and it can be easily adjusted to their liking unlike MTM or RTW, wherein any tension found stays there. The tailors will include hidden fabric within the suit therefore making multiple alterations possible and easy. Any adjustments over time will also become easier thanks to the handwork of the garment resulting in its true quality, comfort and longevity.
The production of this one of a kind suit will take anywhere from 50-100 hours to complete, and will take anywhere from 2-6 months before it is wearable. The starting price is around $5,000 USD for this everlasting lifetime piece, and by taking time and quality into consideration, it is well worth seeing yourself in this outstanding S-form you never knew you had.
“Before you speak your suit bespoke.” -Kanye West