Monday, December 6, 2010

Style Q&A: Bespoke

I've been hearing the term "bespoke" tossed around on style blogs and brands lately. At the risk of sounding out of touch, what exactly is "bespoke"?

This is a totally fair question that I think a lot of people secretly wonder and google search.

Once upon a time, people wore clothes that fit.  Some people went to the tailor, got measured, and had all of their clothes made to the measurements of their own bodies because buying off the rack wasn't an option. This is bespoke at its purest: completely custom, perfectly cut, and properly constructed. It was clothing that wasn't created until the request was made (bespoken... get it). In short, it was clothing that was built to last for the individual.

In the past handful of decades, we've seen a lot of trends come and go, and the availability of more disposable clothing options making it expensive and not so necessary to put a lot of thought, time, or consideration into developing a wardrobe, as you can just replace it next season.

I probably don't have to tell you this, but there are tons of brands these days that talk in great detail now about the history and process of their products, discussing handmade goods, and local artisan production that makes you feel like that product was made by a person who you can relate to.

In recent years, a lot of consumers have been interested in the idea of build-your-own or co-creation in product and experience, alike.  Everything from customized chocolate bars to stuffed teddy bears to sneakers- it's all falls under this now more umbrella term for made to order product and service that we now refer to as "bespoke".

I'm a believer in this whole idea of having products made to order. The time and anticipation are worth it when you are able to wear something that is made the way you want it, and by another person's hands. It's kind of magical like that.

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