Technology has transformed many aspects of our lives, making the day-to-day easier and more efficient, and there are very few industries that haven’t harnessed its benefits.
One of the more recent transformations in menswear is one such example. Decades ago, the industry moved from bespoke tailoring to mass production, and retail standardisation of sizes to make clothes instantly available and more accessible. Now an equally revolutionary change is afoot thanks to made-to-measure tailoring.
It began gaining popularity in early 2000s and provides a bridge between bespoke and retail. Although efficient manufacturing and off-the-peg suits are incredibly convenient compared to the lengthy and expensive process of bespoke tailoring, this option just doesn’t work for the many men who demand a sharp, precise cut, but can’t afford the accompanying price tag.
Made to Measure vs Bespoke
Many consider bespoke tailoring to be an art form, with a tailor working personally with you in creating a garment from scratch. It takes anything from 2-6 months to have a suit made and prices start at £3000+. With the need to accommodate 3-5 fittings to complete the garment, no wonder that it isn’t just the cost, but the time commitment that puts people off. The great appeal of bespoke though is that the garment is made to last you a lifetime and will answer to all your demands in terms of style and fit.
The benefits of made-to-measure over bespoke tailoring are a more affordable price, starting at £600 for a very basic suit, as well as shorter lead times of 4-8 weeks. Made-to-measure tailoring focuses on making simple alterations to the garment cut and allows you to choose many design details, like cloth, buttons and lining. The result? A garment that will have a better fit than an off-the-peg suit does and gives you a chance to customise the look.
Made to Measure Tailoring Today
In recent years made-to-measure tailoring has gained in popularity and seen investment and advancement in approach. One great example of advanced made-to-measure tailoring is Artefact London – an innovative tailoring business founded by Tatyana Kozhevnikova, who in 2018 was acknowledged by Forbes as one of the 30 Under 30 List in Art & Culture. Her brand was recognised as a high-tech tailoring business modernising Savile Row and the first tailor in the world to accept Bitcoin payment.
She saw the need for a broader offering in terms of design and the rising expectations of the made-to-measure model. Her vision was to close the gap between made-to-measure and bespoke tailoring after failed attempts by her husband to get a decent made-to-measure suit. Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) and laser cutting technology, Tatyana and her team create individual patterns based on measurements taken during appointments at their Mayfair studio. An extensive catalogue of designs and handmade finishings allows for customising every small detail.
Currently, Tatyana works personally with every customer and seeks feedback after every commission to continually improve the three-year-old business.
The Future of Made to Measure Tailoring
While Artefact London currently focuses on made-to-measure suits, Tatyana has ambitious plans for the future. “Made to measure started with suits. We now work towards creating a wider offering in smart casual,” she says. “In 2019 we started offering raincoats and jeans, will release quilted overcoats in early 2020. You cannot underestimate the convenience of being able to customise many design details of a garment to your taste. And the comfort of it being tailored to fit your body is absolutely priceless.”