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Bespoke - What is it? What does it mean?

Dictionary.com defines "bespoke" as:

British. (pronounced bee-SPOHK)
  1. (of clothes) made to individual order; custom-made: a bespoke jacket.
  2. making or selling such clothes: a bespoke tailor.
Bespoke is a form derived from bespeak, which was used as early as 1583 to refer to the ordering of goods.

Bespoke is usually a British English term for tailored clothing (including coats, suits, and dress shirts) made at a customer's request and exactly to the customer's specification. In American English, it is a synonym for the term "custom made". Bespoke clothing is created without the use of pre-existing patterns, differentiating it from "made to measure", which alters, or customizes, a standard-sized pattern to fit the customer.

Defined More Specifically

Some argue, such as the traditional Savile Row tailors represented by the Savile Row Bespoke Association, that the term bespoke additionally implies that the garment is at least substantially handmade, while a ruling by the British Advertising Standards Authority has ruled it's a fair practice to use the term bespoke for products which don't fully utilize such traditional construction methods.

Origin Of Bespoke

The word bespoke itself derives from the verb bespeak, to "speak for something", in the specialized meaning "to give order for it to be made". Today, it's also frequently used in fields that vary widely from technical components specifically developed for a certain application (e.g. bespoke software); to the car industry, when customers get a chance to have an automobile made to their specification.

Savile Row Bespoke

The term "bespoke" is understood to have originated in Savile Row, and the trademark 'Savile Row Bespoke' is defended by the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which represents a group of Savile Row tailors. It has set a standard giving minimum requirements for a garment to be allowed to use the official title 'Savile Row Bespoke'.

These standards particularly stress:

  • hand work used almost entirely on all garments, such as a two piece suit, including the "individually cut a paper pattern";
  • personal service, such as qualified advice on fabric large selection of fabrics, and retention of all records for future orders;
  • and involvement by participating houses in an approved training scheme to ensure a future generation of skilled labour.

The association has also specified twenty-one points, which address specific parts of a suit, each dictating some detail such as the length of inlays, or which seams must be hand stitched, etc.

For more information, see the Wikipedia entry for 'bespoke.'

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Ken Daswani - Proprietor of Daswani Tailors and Custom Hong Kong Tailor

Ken Daswani
Master Hong Kong Tailor

"With over 35 years in the business, you can be confident that you'll get the fit and price you deserve."

What Our Clients Say

Travis Neliton - Satisfied customer of Custom Hong Kong Tailor

Travis Neliton
Mortgage Consultant

"Ken offers his excellent service right to the door of your business office or home. He did an outstanding job fitting and measuring me, without cutting corners, for wonderful custom made suits I wear daily that were very reasonably priced.

"Most impressive though, is his outstanding follow-up and attention to detail. I would highly recommend Ken when you've decided to take your wardrobe and professional appearance to the next level."

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Brent Richter - Satisfied customer of Custom Hong Kong Tailor

Brent Richter
Healthcare Service
Operations Manager

"I had been working for months to find dress attire that would fit me properly, including another tailor I found online that had rave reviews. On the advice of a friend, I went to Ken.

"Ken came to my house, measured me up once, and the clothes fit perfectly the first time - not even a single adjustment needed. He has a wide selection of colors and fabrics at various price points and his attention to detail is impeccable. I'm very happy with my purchases so far and would highly recommend Ken to anyone looking to upgrade their wardrobe."

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Chris Winn - Satisfied customer of Custom Hong Kong Tailor

Chris Winn
Business Owner
Certified Financial Planner

"I've been working with Ken for the last five years and believe his company offers the best value on the market today for quality, service and price. I've referred serveral of my friends and associates to Ken and everyone has been equally impressed with the quality of his suits and exceptional service.

"Ken takes the hassle out of buying. No more driving to the mall to try and find a suit. Ken does everything for me. Personally, I hate shopping so when Ken comes to my office it's a big relief. I need to look my best, but don't have the time or know how to do it right. I need to focus my energy on running my business and not waste my time driving all over the planet. Plus, his custom suits, custom shirts and ties are outstanding AND less expensive than what you'd typically pay for an 'off the rack' suit at Nordstrom or Saks.

"I would recommend Ken to anyone who values their time and wants to make a great first impression."

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Rob Charlton - Satisfied customer of Custom Hong Kong Tailor

Rob Charlton
Charlton Marketing

"Nothing fits me off the rack. Now, for the fist time in my life, I have a suit that fits me in every way. I had no idea how much more comfortable it would be to wear custom tailored clothing. So far, I own a Daswani suit and a pair of slacks. I plan on owning much more!"

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