Tailored vs Off The Rack: Key Differences You Need To Know

25 May 2018
So the time has come for you to purchase a new shirtblouse, jacket or suit, but do you head to the shops for an off-the-peg outfit or have a unique item specifically designed and tailored 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?  In short, the answer is yes… read on to find out why:


Tailoring is the only way to achieve a perfect fit

Fit is the one ‘hidden’ quality that has a huge impact on how an outfit looks. There’s nothing worse than a beautiful but ill-fitting outfit.  They never look expensive and don’t flatter or enhance your form.
 
Opting for tailored clothing is the only way that you can guarantee that you will be wearing something that fits you perfectly.  It’s no secret that men and women come in all different shapes and sizes and whilst off-the-peg clothes are available in a variety of measurements, the chances that you’ll fit perfectly within the neat paradigms of a designer’s standard size chart are slim indeed.
 
Bespoke suit tailoring

As a result, very few people are lucky enough to achieve a great overall fit from off-the-peg garments. It’s common for individuals to find an item they love in a high street store, only to try it on and find that it doesn’t fit properly, feels uncomfortable and doesn’t look great.  Our customers regularly share their stories of high street woe with us, finding jackets that fit their shoulders perfectly but sit baggily around their waist or of finding beautiful shirts that end up gaping on the chest.
 
Regardless of your body shape, an expert tailor will be able to develop items that fit you perfectly, feel comfortable and look fantastic.
 

The quality of made to measure or bespoke clothing is incomparable

Very few high street clothes shops will use the finest-quality fabrics to make their garments, and if they do then you can expect to pay premium prices for these so-called ‘designer’ items. In many cases much more than a made to measure or bespoke suit.
 
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 leaves a little to be desired.
 
Tailored clothing will always benefit from the rigorous standards of the tailor themselves. Produced using the finest materials and threads, accurately cut to size and in the case of bespoke suits, finished with exquisite hand-stitching, the overall finish contributes to a far greater level of quality than you’ll ever get in the shops.
 
Bespoke jacket during creation process

Hemingway suits are also canvassed. This means that the lining and the outer fabric aren’t glued together – but held together by an inner layer of canvas. Our bespoke garments are fully canvassed whilst our made to measure suits are half canvassed.  A fully or half canvassed suit is a real indicator of quality and will last much longer than a totally fused, off-the-rack garment. Its fit will also improve over time as the canvas conforms to your body shape.

 
You can design something that you truly love

If you’re a fan of individuality then there really is no contest between tailor made and off the peg clothing. As well as being able to specify the type, colour and pattern of fabric you would like your item of clothing to be made from, there are many other styling choices that you can make when you have something tailor made. Whether it’s a notch collar on a jacket, bevelled double cuffs on a made to order shirt or monogramming on your bespoke suit lining the choices are endless and you really can create the outfit you always dreamed of.
 
Man unique bespoke suit green

 With off-the-peg items, 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,’ or ‘the lining of this blazer would look so much better in blue.’ 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 them. If there’s something you’d like then simply ask for it - cuts, styles, materials and finishes are all yours to decide!
 
Ultimately, 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. So if you’d like a garment that’s truly you this year, book an appointment with us online today or call 0800 5423406.
 
Written by your team of experts at Hemingway Tailors
Written by your team of experts at Hemingway Tailors
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