Made to measure

Made to measure

Made to measure typically refers to clothing that is sewn from a standard-sized base pattern. A tailored suit is a common example of a made-to-measure garment. The fit of a made-to-measure garment is expected to be - superior to that of a ready-to-wear garment, because ready-to-wear garments are constructed to fit the manufacturer’s definition of an average customer, while made-to-measure garments are constructed to fit each customer individually;- but inferior to that of a bespoke or "custom made" garment, because made-to-measure garments always involve some form of standardization in the patterning and manufacturing processes, whereas the a bespoke garment is truly unique.Typically, a made-to-measure garment will be more expensive than ready-to-wear garment but cheaper than a bespoke one.

To order a made-to-measure garment, the customer’s measurements are first taken by a made-to-measure retailer. Then a base pattern is selected that most closely corresponds with the customer’s measurements. This base pattern is altered to match the customer’s measurements. The garment is constructed from this altered pattern.

The primary benefits to the customer of made-to-measure clothing are that the garments will be well-fitted to the customer’s body and the customer may have the opportunity to customize the fabric and detailing. The primary disadvantage of made-to-measure is that the customer must wait up to several weeks for the garment to be sewn and delivered.

Made-to-measure retailers often travel internationally meeting clients in cities, providing samples of the latest materials and styles.

Unlike bespoke garments, which are sewn by hand, made-to-measure manufacturers use both machine- and hand-sewing. Made-to-measure also requires fewer fittings than bespoke, resulting in a shorter wait between customer measurement and garment delivery.

The distinction between made-to-measure has been somewhat blurred by a ruling of the British [Advertising Standards Authority] [cite web |url=|title= Sartoriani London |accessdate=2008-10-09 ] . The ruling is based on the Oxford English Dictionary definition of bespoke as "made to order". Yet, while this distinction is perfectly valid in terms of etymology and helpful with respect to the specific difference between bespoke and ready-to-wear, it clarifies nothing about the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure. Actually, the ruling did establish this difference in the following terms: "A made-to-measure suit would be cut, usually by machine, from an existing pattern, and adjusted according to the customer's measurements. A bespoke suit would be fully hand-made and the pattern cut from scratch, with an intermediary baste stage which involved a first fitting so that adjustments could be made to a half-made suit". In a sad way, after having made this fine distinction, the ruling concluded that a "majority of people, however, would not expect that [bespoke] suit to be fully hand-made with the pattern cut from scratch". In his discussion of the ruling, Michael Quinion considers "it was legitimate for a tailor offering clothes cut and sewn by machine to refer to them as bespoke, provided that they were made to the customer’s measurements" [cite web |url= |title= bespoke|accessdate=2008-10-09 |publisher=Michael Quinion |date= September 13, 2008] . Nevertheless, it could be argued that the specific difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is not whether it is cut or sewn by hand or by machine, but the extent to which the garment's is unique: how many measurements are initially taken, whether the pattern is made from scratch or based on a pre-existing one,the importance of the adjustements made during the fittings on the basted garment and the deviation from the standard manufacturing process in order to satisfy the customer's needs.

Made-to-measure is sometimes also referred to as personal tailoring [cite news|url=|title=Just how personal can you get|last=Brooke|first=Simon|date=March 31, 2007|work=Financial Times|accessdate=2008-10-09]

ee also

* Bespoke
* Ready to wear


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Made-to-Measure —    Clothing that is made to an individual s body shape by creating and fitting on a custom made dress form, from body measurements, or from a bodyscanned image. Made to measure clothing had been very popular until the introduction of ready to… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • made-to-measure — /ˌmeɪd tə meʒə/ adjective made to fit the requirements of the customer ● made to measure kitchen cabinets ● a made to measure suit …   Marketing dictionary in english

  • made-to-measure — or[tailor made] {adj.} Made to fit a special set of measurements or needs. * /John has a new made to measure suit./ * /The club is tailor made for Jane./ Syn.: MADE TO ORDER …   Dictionary of American idioms

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