What does Bespoke mean? How is it different than Made-To-Measure?

be•spoke adj: said especially of clothes. Making or selling custom-made clothing. A bespoke tailor.

The word bespoke has its roots in Savile Row, where it refers to clothing made to a client’s exact specifications. Bespoke tailoring involves the creation of a unique pattern for each client, differentiating it from made-to-measure, which makes adjustments to a block pattern. The Savile Row tradition of bespoke tailoring, which Michael Andrews adheres to in all its full bespoke clothing, requires that garments be sewn principally by hand, with only long seams finished on a sewing machine.

How does the process work?

We believe ordering custom clothing should be as much fun as wearing it. When you first come in, we’ll start by asking a few questions about your tastes and preferences to get to know you better. Once we understand what you like, we’ll help you choose from our wide range of fabrics and styling details.

If you need a little extra fashion advice, you’ve come to the right place. Clients value the expert and honest guidance they receive throughout the process. We’ll happily give you our suggestions on everything from the cut that works best for your build to designs and colors that are most flattering on you.

Once you’ve designed your new clothes, we’ll take extensive measurements to ensure a precise fit. For our female clients and hard to fit male clients, we also employ a state-of-the-art body scanner that supplements our hand measurements with over 100 additional data points.

We’ll contact you upon completion of your garments to schedule a fitting. If any alterations are needed, we generally perform them on-site in about a week or two.

What is a "muslin" fitting?

The “muslin” or “basted” fitting process (also referred to as a test fitting) is a crucial step in the full bespoke pattern making process that ensures you receive the most optimal fit possible. After taking your initial measurements, we draft your unique pattern and make a test garment that is “basted” together, meaning the pieces have been loosely sewn so it can be easily taken apart and re-adjusted to your body. Once we have fit you in this test garment, we revise your pattern as needed before cutting the actual fabric for your finished garments. The basted process enables us to make fit corrections that may not otherwise be possible on a finished suit.

Should I make an appointment?

Yes, please. We do not keep fixed store hours so an appointment is absolutely needed (otherwise, you might show up to find the lights off and door locked).

We work by appointment so that each client receives the attention he or she deserves. We’re happy to accommodate same-day fittings whenever space is available, so don’t hesitate to call or email us, even at the last minute.

With advance notice, we can generally accommodate appointments any day of the week and at virtually any time of day — just ask!

How long will my appointment last?

On average, a first-time visit takes about 90 minutes for the design and measuring process. Of course, this varies depending on the client and the nature of his or her order.

What fabrics do you offer?

We carry more than 30,000 luxurious fabrics from many of the world’s finest mills including Dormeuil, Zegna, Scabal, Holland & Sherry, Ariston, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis, Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson, Albini, Canclini and more. Our suiting fabrics include wool and wool/cashmere blends ranging from Super 100s to Super 200s, as well as seasonal weight and performance blend fabrics. We also carry exceptional 100% cashmere, camel hair, alpaca and vicuna fabrics for blazers and overcoats. Our shirting fabrics are generally 100% Egyptian cotton and come in thousands of patterns, styles and colors.

Can my suit be altered if I gain or lose weight?

Generally, yes. We leave extra seam allowance in our bespoke garments, allowing them to be easily altered. We offer free alterations on all bespoke garments for six months from the time you take them home.

For made-to-measure orders, we offer one round of complimentary alterations within two weeks of the garments being delivered. Complimentary alterations offered on made-to-measure garments are coat waist circumference, sleeve length, pant length, and pant waist, seat and crotch sizing. Other alterations will be charged a la carte.

For more information, please contact us.

How should I care for my new clothes?

Suits
After each wear, hang your suit outside the closet overnight so that moisture and odor can escape the fabric. Hang your trousers long-ways from the bottom hem with a pant hanger – this allows the weight of the garment to pull wrinkles out naturally, thus reducing the need for pressing.

Your suits should be dry cleaned only if they become physically dirty, and generally should not be cleaned more than a few times a year. If your garment isn’t visibly dirty but needs a refreshing, use a hand-held steamer or have it hand-pressed by a reputable cleaner.

Although dry cleaning itself (if done properly) won’t damage a garment, far too many cleaners fail to adequately maintain their equipment and often use dirty chemicals in the “cleaning” process. Moreover, poor quality pressing can make your suits look old, tired and damaged after only one press. Invest in the best quality dry cleaner in your area to take care of your suits. While a good cleaner is expensive, they will keep your suits looking great for much longer than their mediocre competition will.

We highly recommend Jeeves (https://jeevesny.com). Their store is on the Upper East Side, and they offer pick-up service all over the city and in Westchester. The owner is a third-generation cleaner, and unlike many companies, Jeeves owns and operates its own plant here in New York. We have personally inspected their facility and met their staff – many of whom have been with Jeeves for decades.

Shirts
Unlike suits, shirts can be laundered with water, although dry cleaning is also an option. Shirts should be laundered using warm, not hot, water, and hand-pressed with a warm iron. Find a cleaner who actually does their shirts in-house, as most send them to large commercial laundries that use very hot water and strong chemicals for soil removal. This harsh process will take away from the life-span of your shirts.

Refrain from using any starch on your shirts. It causes the cotton fibers to become brittle, which in turn can cause the fabric to wear out more quickly. Be sure to remove your collar stays before sending them to the cleaner. The stays will leave scorch marks if the shirt is pressed with the stays still in the collar. Of course, a good cleaner will remove your collar stays prior to the wash and replace them after pressing, but why take any chances.

If you have issues with underarm stains, ring around the collar, food spots, etc. apply Shout, Oxy Clean or a similar stain remover as soon as you take off the shirt and have the shirt laundered as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits on the fabric, the hard it is to have removed.

Keep in mind that some shrinkage will occur in new shirts. After one or two washes a new shirt will shrink approximately ¼ to ½ inch the collar and sleeve length. This amount is already built into your measurements, so if your shirt feels a touch big when you first get it, don’t worry.

I'm interested in building a wardrobe. What is the most economical way to do this?

We are experts at helping men build out great wardrobes. Our most satisfied clients are often those who work with us to design shirts to match their suits and pick accessories to complete the look, all in a unified process.

To help encourage this, we offer a number of flexible wardrobe packages. Check with your stylist for more details.

Can you tell me about your referral program?

We appreciate that most new clients come to us through word of mouth recommendations from other clients.

If you’re an existing client and send a friend to us, your referral will receive 10% off his first order by mentioning your name. Better yet, you’ll get a credit equal to 10% of his or her order value.

Referral credits apply exclusively to new orders and are non-transferable.

What are the terms and conditions for your promotional offers?

We strive to deliver uncompromising quality and service at a competitive, fair price. Therefore, discounts, gift card extra value, referral credits, and other promotional offers may not be combined with other discounts or offers and may only be redeemed against full-price merchandise. We respectfully reserve the right to amend these terms at any time with or without prior notice. For limited term offers, expiration dates and maximum values stated in the offer will be strictly applied.

If you have additional questions, please contact your stylist. We are always here to help.

What can I do with my old suits?

We have long supported Year Up, which provides urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

For each eligible suit you bring in, we will give you a $100 credit toward a new suit. For each shirt or pair of pants, we will give you a $25 credit toward a new shirt or pants.

You can donate as many garments as you wish and we will keep the credits on file for up to a year. Please note that only one credit may be applied to each new garment purchased.

All donated garments should be clean, on hangers and free of holes or visible stains.

How does payment work?

We accept all major credit cards as well as cash, check and wire transfers.

Clients have the option of paying in full when an order is placed or making a half payment. If the order is not paid in full when placed, a credit card number will be kept on file to secure the remaining balance, which is due when the garments are ready for fitting. All open balances will be subject to automatic collection 15 days after notification is sent that the order is ready for fitting. Balances will be processed using the credit card on file.

If we are unable to process payment for an outstanding balance and the balance remains unpaid for more than six months, the order is subject to cancellation. Amounts paid for garments that remain unmade will be applied to the client’s account as a credit (less a 20% restocking fee). Garments that have been made and remain unclaimed may be donated to charity or discarded. No refunds or credits can be given for unclaimed garments that have been donated or discarded.

What if I decide to change or cancel my order?

We make every effort to accommodate our clients to the extent reasonably possible.

Once a bespoke order is placed and a deposit is paid, we immediately order your fabric. For this reason, if you decide to cancel a garment or change the fabric after it is ordered, there is a restocking fee of 20% of the garment cost. Once a garment has been cut, no modifications can be made to the order.

Once a made-to-measure order has been submitted, no changes or cancellations can be made.

Do you guarantee your results?

If you are not thrilled with the fit of your bespoke garment (and you tell us within six months of the garment being made), we will either alter it to fit your needs or remake it once free of charge.

For online made-to-measure orders, if you are not fully satisfied with the fit of your preliminary test garment, a full refund may be requested immediately after you have fit the trial garment.

For in-store made-to-measure orders, once the order has been submitted no changes or cancellations can be made.

For all made-to-measure orders, we offer one round of complimentary alterations within two weeks of the garments being delivered. Complimentary alterations offered on made-to-measure garments are coat waist circumference, sleeve length, pant length, and pant waist, seat and crotch sizing. Other requested alterations will be charged a la carte.

Because our garments are specially made for each client, we cannot accept returns or give cash refunds (unless of course we made an irreparable mistake, which is exceedingly rare but mistakes do happen).

For more information, please contact us.