Better by Bespoke

What is bespoke?
and why does it cost so much?
You could ask the analogous questions:
what is Formula One?
and why does it cost so much?

Words by: DUNCAN QUINN
Photos by: HENRY LEUTWYLER

After all, its just car racing the same as the bangers in the back field of the pikey site. So why does it cost so much to build a Formula One car when you can build a banger to race for $500?

Just as with a Formula One car a bespoke suit is a finely tuned piece of precision engineering made to suit a particular purpose. That doesn’t mean it can’t multi-task but it is intended to be used for the purpose it was created for. So unless you asked for a gardening tuxedo it probably won’t last that long in among the shrubbery. For the odd quick foray into the bushes at a summer party with a particularly lovely companion you will probably be fine.But for weeding on a weekly basis probably not.

In essence there is more to a bespoke suit than just what it is made of and how it is made. These two elements are fundamental. But they are not all you need to think about. Every different situation requires a different solution and it is partly this that separates the process of getting a true bespoke suit from every other method of acquiring something to wear.

The word Bespoke originates from the time when you would visit a tailor who had cloth available in his workshop to cut you a suit from. You’d choose the cloth and pay for it, and at that point it had been spoken for as it was paid for. Hence, it “be spoke”. Or, more simply, “bespoke”. There is no magic to he word other than this despite all the marketing wool companies have been pulling over uneducated consumers eyes for the past few years or so.

In essence also, it is no different to the Italian version, “sur misura” which when translated into English just means “by measurement”.

Both involved a time honored process and craftsmanship to create a garment from scratch that was made from a pattern made to the measurements of the lient.

All the words and marketing mumbo jumbo have everyone so confused today that no one really understands what anything means simply by its marketing department label. What does “custom”, “made to measure”, “bespoke”, “tailored” etc even mean? If you put a banger on a Formula One grid and call it a Formula One car is it? Maybe to people who can’t tell the difference. Just as a Porsche Speedster body on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis for some is the real thing.

Ultimately a bespoke suit is about a few very simple things – having something that fits its purpose and is constructed with that purpose in mind from appropriate cloth, cut so as to flatter in the situation it is going to be in, and fitted to the body of the guy wearing it in a way that he feels comfortable and confident.

To get there takes skill, experience, attention to detail and more than anything communication.

Which is why we always start by getting to know duncan quinn guys well enough to understand who they are and what we are trying to portray.

After that everything becomes relatively easy.

And the upside is you get to be the guy who everyone
compliments as you walk into the room. Whether you
know it or not.

Words by DUNCAN QUINN Photos by HENRY LEUTWYLER