You’ve heard about them: alterations, made to order, made to measure, and bespoke tailoring. What are these, and how do they vary?
Alterations, made to order, made to measure and bespoke tailoring are all tailoring options. All of these provide ways to make garments fit you better, but each alternative offers a different level of customisation.
The bespoke tailoring, Dubai-based designer brand and atelier Kristina Fidelskaya briefly explains each tailoring option. Read about them below.
You bought trousers in the shopping centre. It is from a brand you like and perfectly fits your waist and hips. However, it’s much longer than you need or want. What should you do? The answer: Get it altered.
Alteration refers to making minor adjustments to clothing so it can fit better. It can entail hemming a pair of trousers so the legs are the exact length, adding darts on a dress or a shirt to lend it a better shape, letting out seams to make a dress bigger, or taking in seams to shrink it.
Alteration is probably the most accessible tailoring option. Alteration shops are ubiquitous and can be found in department stores and retail outlets. You can also do the altering yourself as long as you know your basic stitches.
Made to Order
As you enter your favourite shop in the high street, your eyes fall on a gorgeous, tobacco-coloured peasant dress. It’s in silk tulle, with a sculpted bodice, intricate beading and lovely draping. Eyes shining, you approach it diffidently, almost as if you’re afraid the dress would vanish if you get too close.
A closer inspection proves your eyes are not deceiving you. It’s your dream dress, indeed, in material, design and colour. You eagerly call a shop assistant to ask if you can try on the dress. ‘Of course!’ she says. She asks for your size, and you give it to her. The shop assistant’s face falls, and yours follows suit. They’re out of your size!
It’s a catastrophe, but fortunately, you can put in an order with the store, and the brand will remake the dress in your size. The sales associate gets your information and places an order on your behalf. She also gets your measurements so they can work on any necessary alterations (i.e., hemming, taking in seams, or letting out seams) in-house before they send you your order or before you pick it up.
This is made to order, a tailoring option you can try the next time you go shopping and your size is out of stock.
Made to Measure
You fall in love with a camel silk camisole maxi dress. It has such a gorgeous burnished gold colour, and its svelte silhouette stands out.
The dress is available in your size. However, it’s not a perfect fit for your bust and hips. The waistline of the dress is also lower than your natural waist, so you want it raised accordingly. What should you do?
If it’s any other dress, alterations can suffice. But, this time, the dress construction is such that you cannot alter it without damaging it.
In this case, made to measure is the solution. With this service, you can order a dress in an existing style but have it made precisely according to your specific measurements.
The made-to-measure tailoring service, therefore, ensures that you can have a dress that looks exactly as you imagine it on you. In other words, it will look as enticing as it does on a mannequin in the shop window or the model in the online shop’s product photo.
You have an important dinner for which you must show up in your best. What dresses you’ve seen online and in stores are great, but you have a specific dress design in mind. You also want to make sure your dress will be literally one-of-a-kind. It will not be something anybody else can get because it will be designed and made specifically for you.
In this scenario, what you need is bespoke tailoring. Bespoke tailoring is to alterations, made to order, and made to measure as private jet travel is to commercial air travel. With a private air charter, you travel on your terms, while with bespoke tailoring, you get a dress made according to your vision and exact measurements.
In bespoke tailoring, the designer will create a design based on your preferences. Next, they will take all necessary measurements and create a pattern from scratch.
Bespoke tailoring involves multiple fittings. With every fitting, the designer will adjust the dress as needed. For instance, depending on how the fabric looks draped on you, they will alter the dress design or construction to ensure it will come out as you and the designer imagine.
Indeed, bespoke tailoring is an involved process, and it takes a lot more time than simply picking a dress off the rack and having it altered, made to order or made to measure. However, bespoke tailoring trumps all other options if you want to be unique and look your best.
Nothing quite looks as good as a piece of clothing designed for you and made according to your specific measurements.
A bespoke dress will fit like a glove or drape as expected, accentuating all the features you want to emphasise and skimming over others you wish will remain obscure.
Alteration, Made to Order, Made to Measure, or Bespoke?
You have four options to ensure a garment fits you well.
You can get it altered if you simply want it to fit you better. If your size has run out, you can order your size (made to order) and add in any alterations that may be necessary. You can also have an existing style made to your measurements. The best option, however, is bespoke tailoring, as it gets you an outfit designed exclusively for you and according to your exact measurements.
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