1. a pt. and pp. of bespeak.
2. British. a. (of clothes) made to individual order; custom made: a bespoke jacket. b. making or selling such clothes: a bespoke tailor.
Bespoke tailoring is the art and craft of creating clothing for the individual. A piece of bespoke clothing is constructed by artisans who create by hand and pay attention to the slightest detail, often working in one workshop on the premises. The clothing is made to fit the customer precisely - it is far removed from the factory process where an averaged article is made that almost fits many customers.
The final garment is based on detailed sets of measurements that are converted into a paper pattern, which forms the template for that customer alone. No two bodies are identical but as our body changes with the passing years, the pattern is continually updated by adding or shaving paper.
The customer attends a series of measurement and fitting sessions, after the first fitting the garment is ripped down and smoothed, hence the phrase ‘Ripped and Smoothed’; the stitches used at these creative stages (baste stitches) are large and easily removed so that the garment can be altered until the perfect fit is achieved. For a first piece of clothing between three and five fittings would be normal, once a paper pattern is perfected, two to three fittings are required for each garment.