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Custom clothing vs. Bespoke, everything you need to know

Published on
November 1, 2023
Differences between made-to-measure suits and custom clothing in terms of a tailor and traditional tailoring.

Fashion Designer and Content Creator. Daniela leads the social media operations at GAT Fashion Lab

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Custom clothing vs. Bespoke

Bespoke and custom clothing are similar terms used in the fashion industry, garment manufacturing, and tailoring. Although both concepts may sound alike, there are notable differences between them that we will explore below.

What is custom clothing?

Custom clothing is a garment manufacturing process that doesn't start entirely from scratch. It begins with the client's pre-designed idea and is then materialized. In this method, multiple units are produced.  

Unlike other garment manufacturing methods you might be familiar with, custom clothing requires the client to have some prior experience in the field to execute the production of their designs.

If you want to learn more about custom clothing, don't miss our blog by clicking here.

What is bespoke?

"Bespoke" is a term closely related to tailoring. Bespoke involves creating garments specifically for one individual. Every aspect of the garment, including patterns, fabric, fit, and design, is created and modified to cater to the tastes and needs of a single client.  

This method of garment production is used exclusively for unique or exclusive designs, without the requirement for mass or wholesale production. It is typically reserved for special occasions, events, and more.

Bespoke covers various categories, from eveningwear/elegance to haute couture, gentlemen's suits, and even footwear. Here, the manufacturer works directly with the client to meet all their requirements and make the necessary adjustments.  

In most cases, and depending on the product, these pieces are handmade or involve a significant amount of handwork. The patterns and design are created entirely from scratch to ensure exclusivity for the client.

Bespoke is characterized by the various adjustments made to the finished garment to ensure it fits the client perfectly. Another characteristic is that it is a much more time-consuming and expensive process due to the level of detail, luxury, and exclusivity.

RECOMMENDED: Learn more in detail about bespoke here.



  • Pattern making and cutting: Custom clothing garments are cut and sewn with machines and are based on existing patterns or modifications of predetermined patterns.

In contrast, bespoke starts with specialized patterns for the client, unique patterns that do not preexist and are not modified from a base pattern. Bespoke is cut and sewn by hand, including hand-stitched details like eyelets.

  • Fabric selection: When produced as custom clothing, the variety of fabrics is unlimited, depending on the design to be manufactured. Fabrics come from various distributors and are "basic" textiles without luxury details.  

In bespoke, the selection of textiles is much more focused on high-quality fabrics with luxury details, such as gemstones. These fabrics are more expensive and are usually sourced from specialized suppliers in other countries.

  • Design and customization: In custom clothing, customization and design are more limited because the more complex the garment or the more additional details it has, the higher the costs, and it may not be suitable for production in multiple units.  

However, there are limitations since they originate from preexisting patterns. Nevertheless, modifications can be made to cuffs, collars, pockets, fabrics, and more.  

In bespoke, being tailored for a single person, the limitations are fewer, and the garment can be more elaborate. The only factor affected is the cost, as these customizations often involve more fabric consumption or luxury details.

  • Sample adaptation: Custom clothing is a simpler process when it comes to samples. After the pattern is approved, 1 or 2 samples are made to ensure the materialized design meets the client's expectations, and any necessary adjustments are made to approve the design and begin production.  

Bespoke is a more complicated process because, prior to sample production, several appointments must be scheduled to take the necessary measurements for the design. For a suit, approximately 30 different measurements are taken.

After taking measurements, the final garment is made, and with the garment nearly completed, multiple appointments are scheduled at different intervals to make the necessary adjustments and complete the design.

  • Production and delivery timing: Custom clothing has a specific production and delivery date agreed upon in advance between the client and the manufacturer. It cannot be modified or extended in the case of major inconveniences.

On the other hand, bespoke does not have a fixed delivery date, and the time for the design to be completed is much longer and more extensive than custom clothing. It can take months or even years due to the way the design is executed.

  • Costs: Custom clothing garments are less expensive than bespoke garments due to their manufacturing method, materials, and design. In contrast, bespoke garments have higher prices due to the hours of work required for the design, luxurious textiles, handcrafted details, multiple fittings, and more.

 To learn more about the differences between custom clothing and bespoke, click here.

Which one to choose?

Choosing between custom clothing and bespoke will depend on the needs of your business or your client. Bespoke is a much more expensive and time-consuming option without the option for wholesale manufacturing. On the other hand, custom clothing and other garment manufacturing services are more cost-effective, profitable, and viable options for a business looking to scale.  

At GAT Fashion Lab, we have over 15 years of experience manufacturing garments in various formats, with our complete package being our most solid service, where we work with some of the largest retailers in Latin America.  

If you want to learn more about how you could work with us, please contact us and get all your questions answered.

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