Getting a gentleman’s first made-to-measure suit is a rite of passage.

It’s a step up from the normal, off-the-rack stuff, yet won’t break the bank as a bespoke experience would. And, unlike a ready-to-wear suit, a tailored suit fits better, lasts longer, is made with finer quality, and is personalized to match your personal style.

Indeed, there is power hidden within the seams of a perfectly proportioned suit.

If this is your first time splurging on a made-to-measure experience, let the leading maker of quality made-to-measure suits in Columbus guide you through everything you need to know.

Differences between made-to-measure and bespoke

While the terms made-to-measure and bespoke are used interchangeably, they are not cut from the same cloth. When it comes to tailoring, there are glaring differences between the two.

A made-to-measure suit uses an existing pattern to create a finished garment off of your measurements. While this is similar to bespoke in that measurements are taken to ensure an exceptionally fitting suit, made-to-measure suits are primarily made by machine processes.

Bespoke, on the other hand, is the ultimate in tailoring experiences. There’s an initial consultation with an expert tailor who will understand your style preferences. Measurements are then made to determine the one-of-a-kind pattern that will be used on your finished suit.

After multiple measurements and fittings, you’ll be left with a suit that oozes serious style and will imbue you with a sense of confidence and prominence.

If you’re still uncertain about the differences between made-to-measure and bespoke, look at the price tag. As bespoke is the highest level of men’s tailoring, this experience is reflected in the cost.

Understanding cut

Now that we’ve highlighted the differences between made-to-measure and bespoke, the next important factor to consider in your sartorial process is the suit’s cut.

Since this is your first made-to-measure suit, go with versatility. And no cut provides better versatility than the single-breasted jacket. A single-breasted, two-button cut suit is an investment piece that can be worn year-round and to many different occasions.

There are three main templates to consider when choosing your first made-to-measure suit. These include the British, American, and Italian styles. Your body type will often indicate the right suit cut.

For example, Italian suits best serve men who are extra slim-fitted. British suits, on the other hand, are more sympathetic, which means they can make most body types look lean and muscular. Heavyset men, on the other hand, will find more comfort wearing American suits due to their loosely boxy fit.

As you graduate from your first made-to-measure experience, you can begin to consider other styles such as a double-breasted suit and the three-piece suit.

Stick to the classics

To get the most style miles out of your first made-to-measure suit, choose the color and fabric carefully.

Two colors that will stand the test of time are navy blue and charcoal grey. Both are standard go-to neutrals that can be styled any which way. This includes more informal attire like denim shirts or jeans and a T-shirt, or formal shirt and tie combinations.

Black and plaid are also two strong color and style choices but are harder to pull off.

In terms of suit fabric, stick with lightweight wool. As an all-natural fabric, wool is long-lasting, durable, and very versatile. It’s also highly adaptive to temperature change and works wonderfully with solid-colored suits.

Remember, when in doubt, keep it simple.

Get to know your tailor

Once you’ve nailed all the necessary suit lingo, the next step in your sartorial journey is finding the right tailor. A made-to-measure suit is only as good as its tailoring. This is why it’s so important to choose the right maker of custom suits when going down the made-to-measure route.

Seek out a clothier that’s experienced and reliable. But just as importantly, find one that helps you look and feel your absolute best.

The best way to do this is to reach out to friends and colleagues who have gone through the made-to-measure experience before. Or, consult Google. Both can serve to recommend a great tailor that will add your unique personality to the finished garment.

Suited for success

Ready-to-wear suits have their place in life, but not in situations wherein you’re dressing to impress. Making the right first impression, exuding confidence, and maintaining your gentlemanly duties is easily done when sporting a made-to-measure suit.

Your first made-to-measure suit experience is one you’ll never forget. Make it a memorable one with the right tailor and this foolproof first-timer’s guide.


AlphaSuit is the brainchild of Master Haberdasher, Sean McKee. Over a span of more than two decades, Sean has provided custom suits to some of the most successful leaders in America. With AlphaSuit, he now brings this same premium service to you, but at 60-70% less than the traditional price.