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Posted by Tom Cheesewright on

Bespoke is Back

The tailors of Jermyn Street are up in arms over the distinction between bespoke and made to measure. The difference between the two is important, but it seems both are becoming more popular. My tailors (the fantastic Long, Berry and Wild, so traditional they don’t have a website so email me if you want details) are rushed off their feet at the moment. That’s limited evidence but amongst my male friends I’ve seen increasing interest in higher-quality, made-to-order clothing and shoes.

Even the big retailers are getting in on the act. There are local shirt-cutters that I would like to use, but their prices are a little out of my league for a workwear staple that I go through at an incredible rate. The last quote I was given was over £100 — fine for very special purchases but not something I can afford to wear every day. So when I discovered M&S; was offering made-to-measure shirts from just £30, I figured I’d give it a try.

I’m becoming a big fan of M&S.; I’m not sure if it is my age, but it seems to be gaining sufficient style to make its practicality socially acceptable. Both style and practicality carry through to the very simple web site. You just choose a few styles and features, select size and cloth, and place your order. A couple of weeks later your shirt arrives in the post. I’m really pleased with my first purchase. And at £30 it’s cheap enough that I can experiment a bit with future designs. Bravo M&S.;

It would be nice to see this trend begin to penetrate other sectors. Food and drink have already fallen to the organic movement, but how about a little more quality and personality being injected in to people’s choice of cars, gadgets, and and other consumer goods? The first in that list is particularly important. With a huge proportion of a car’s carbon footprint coming from its manufacture, we need them to last longer, as well as being more economical with fuel.

Tom Cheesewright