Three Suiting Terms Explained: Bespoke, Made to Measure, and Off the Rack

The suiting world can be a bit confusing thanks in part to its lingo, which might not mean anything to someone relatively new to suits. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, or what the terminology is, how are you going to find the one that works best for you? Let’s take a look at the three main options you have when it comes to finding your dream suit: off the rack, made to measure, and bespoke.

Off the Rack

This one might be a bit self-explanatory, as “off the rack” implies just that. Taking a suit right from a shop’s rack to your closet is not always a bad thing. If you know your measurements and you are a standard fit size, you could potentially find a suit that fits you well enough and only requires minimal tailoring. Of course, it’s certainly possible to find quality off the rack items if you search for them, but this can be labor intensive and frustrating, and it doesn’t allow for much individuality.

Getting measured for a made to measure suit
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Made to Measure

If you’re seeking more options for customizations but you’re price-conscious, choose a made-to-measure suit. Here’s what to expect with made-to-measure suiting. At Indochino, buying a made-to-measure suit means it’s created from a pre-existing size close to your measurements and then tailored to fit your body. This tailoring is based on the 14 measurements that your Indochino Style Guide will collect during your first fitting, as well as an analysis on your posture. The final touch is the customizations, and there are plenty to choose from—whether pocket styles, jacket linings, monograms, or shirt collars. Your Style Guide can help you select from the range of options depending on the occasion for the suit and your style preferences.

Bespoke results in the best fitting, but also most expensive, suits
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Bespoke

Bespoke is essentially the male counterpart to haute couture, which means the suit is made for you and only you. The bespoke experience is a great one to have for a number of reasons. A tailor will carefully craft your suit, and every step is unique to the customer, from the pattern and thread colors to the lapels and buttons. Going bespoke can be extremely expensive with prices starting around $6,000 for basic suits. It’s also a lengthy process, requiring upwards of six to 10 fittings throughout the construction of the garment, and a wait time of six to eight months. This means it isn’t feasible for many, unless you have the funds and the time required to do so.

If off the rack isn’t your style and bespoke is out of the question, Indochino offers the made to measure experience without the hefty price tag and long wait times—suits average about $500, and are ready in approximately four weeks following the initial fitting. While the process may require one or two more fittings after the garment is complete, gone are the days of ill-fitting suits and expensive trips to the tailor.


Look and feel your best, book your Indochino fitting today.

Or shop our suits online.

Joni Mckervey