Tailored versus off-the-peg: what makes the difference?

03 February 2014

If the time has come for you to purchase a new shirtblouse, jacket or suit, you’ll be left with one of two options: head to the shops for an off-the-peg outfit or have an item tailored bespoke for you. It’s unlikely to have escaped your attention that off-the-peg items are usually less expensive than their tailored counterparts, so what exactly does that extra money get you? Is it really worth paying more for an item made to your specifications? If you’re a fan of individuality then there really is no contest...

The fit

Humans come in all different shapes and sizes, and while off-the-peg clothes are available in a variety of sizes, the chances that you’ll fit perfectly within the neat paradigms of a designer’s size chart are slim indeed. Even if you find an item that you love on the racks of your favourite high street clothes shop its unlikely to fit you perfectly everywhere. If it’s narrow enough in the waist for you it may be too long in the arms, or it could fit your broad shoulders but sit baggily around your narrow waist. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful but ill-fitting outfit, and professional tailors know that the perfect shirt, blouse, trouser or jacket can’t exist without the perfect fit. Regardless of your body shape, tailors will be able to develop items that fit you perfectly and look fantastic.

The quality

Very few high street clothes shops will use the finest-quality fabrics, and if they do then you can expect to pay premium prices for these so-called ‘designer’ items. The fact of the matter is that clothing retailers are big businesses, and as such will strive to maximise their profit margins wherever possible. You’ll notice that the stitching on many high-street items isn’t as good as it might be, that the materials are a little scratchy or thin and that the overall quality of the garment leaves a little to be desired. Tailored clothing will always benefit from the rigorous standards of the tailor themselves, with exquisite hand-stitching and accurately cut fabrics contributing to a far greater level of quality than you’ll ever get in the shops. When purchasing tailored items you can select your own fabrics, too, so the quality will always be as high as you require it to be.

Your input

It isn’t only the fabrics you’ll get to select when purchasing bespoke tailored items, however. When you buy items off-the-peg, there’s always going to be something that you wish was slightly different about the garment, regardless of how much you love it. ‘This jacket looks great,’ you may think, ‘but I wish the lapels were a little slimmer.’ ‘I love this shirt but the style of the collar isn’t quite me,’ you may lament, or ‘the lining of this blazer would look so much better in royal purple.’ There’s always a minor element you’d change about any shop-bought garment, but when you purchase tailored items you’ll have complete control over the final look and feel of the item. If there’s something you’d like then simply ask for it - cuts, styles, materials and finishes are all yours to decide!

Dressing well is about expressing your individuality, but it’s impossible to be truly individual when you haven’t got ultimate control over what you’re wearing. Here at Hemingway Tailors we understand the importance of the needs and desires of the individual, so if you’d like a garment that’s truly you this year, why not take a look at our bespoke tailoring service and guarantee just that?

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