Suits have been around for decades now. From the time , the world saw the industrial revolution, this sector has seen a rapid increase on a yearly basis. For a long period of time, suits were the exclusive domain of the rich and the famous. However, as the wealth started getting distributed, more and more people could afford this type of clothing. However, in the earlier 1800 and 1900’s , these clothes were considered only to be worn on special occasions and on Sundays to church.
Even during this period of transition, there was one common factor. Each of these suits would be referred to as bespoke suits. The definition of this term means – clothing made as per the measurements of an individual. In other words, each suit was made from scratch and was made specifically for each man and his body type and height. However, as time passed, this practice faded to the background.
The onset of shopping complexes and retailers meant that even suits were made and sold in bulk. There were two reasons why this new practice gained prominence. To start with, the waiting time was abolished. Men could just walk into a store and pick up a suit in five minutes. Secondly, it was much cheaper than making a suit from scratch.
The biggest hurdle in making suits from scratch was that the material had to be purchased beforehand. This was over and above the cost of making the suit. Another reason why the readymade market exploded was the fact that most offices demanded that men wear suits on a daily basis. Hence it made much more sense to purchase them from the shelf in bulk rather than make them in bulk.
However, sooner rather than later, custom suits started making a comeback. The reason was a major drawback in the readymade suit industry. When making these clothes, it was as per sizes i.e Large, Regular, Extra Large etc. So men had to choose clothes from this range . This mean that it was an exact fitting or dangling on the shoulders and even body hugging some times.
That is when clothing companies started the process of modifying or customizing. They would employ tailors in their stores. The store would take the measurements and then send it to the tailor to have it modified. While this is not bespoke in the actual sense, it can be referred to as a version of the same.
At the same time, men started realizing the benefit provided by making these suits from scratch. As income levels improved, every man had one or two special suits that were made from scratch. Just like in the earlier centuries, the men of the 21st century started keeping such clothing for special occasions.
If you see, this practice never died out at all. It just faded into the background for a small period. Today it is back and sharing the spotlight with the bulk industry on an equal footing. Made from scratch or brought in bulk, the humble suit will always remain an integral part of a man’s wardrobe.