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Full bespoke or semi bespoke: what’s the difference?

Whether you choose a full bespoke or a semi bespoke suit made for you by Zink & Sons, you’re going to get a great-fitting suit. But it doesn’t hurt to understand the difference between the two, so you can make an informed choice.

We get this question often: what is the difference between the two?

So let’s unpack it.

What is full bespoke tailoring?

Here’s how it all comes together: your tailor will take a full set of measurements, between 30 and 40, depending on your posture and gait. Then your pattern is cut, and based on that, the first iteration of the suit comes to live—the fabric is loosely hand stitched together with white thread.

This is when you come in for a baste fitting.

Full bespoke jacket at the basted fitting - Zink & Sons tailors
What a jacket looks like at the baste fitting

After that first baste fitting, the fabric panels are pulled apart and re-cut based on the fitting. Your pattern is also re-cut and further adjusted. Then everything comes together again, this time with even more precision. Your next fitting takes care of finishing touches and adjustments.

This is the full bespoke tailoring process, but there are other elements that set it apart.

There’s the full canvas construction for one. This is the part sewn between the lining and the jacket cloth. It is made of horsehair, it gives the jacket structure, and it allows the cloth to drape better on your body.

A full bespoke garment is also stitched entirely by hand. Even the button holes all finished by hand—the kind of luxury craftmanship that made history on Savile Row.

Full bespoke suit buttonholes finished by Zink & Sons bespoke Sydney tailors
Hand-finished buttonholes on a bespoke suit

The fit of a full bespoke garment is second to none—the extra fitting, the full canvas, and the hand finishing, all ensure the ultimate fit. It’s a true luxury experience. And the hand finish means that the more you wear it, the better it fits—ultimate fit indeed.

What is semi bespoke tailoring?

For the semi bespoke suit, there’s an extra set of measurements in the mix. They ensure the fit is still as close to perfect as possible, even without the baste fitting. So your tailor will try to get as much detail as possible from the get go.

The semi-bespoke suit has a half canvas construction, which means that the canvas piece extends from the shoulder to about half way down the body of the jacket. This ensures the jacket still drapes like a dream, but it’s also a lighter weight than the full canvas of the bespoke. 

The semi bespoke suit is finished off by machine, rather than fully by hand.

What about the fit? You needn’t worry about the fit. All those measurements, and the pattern cut especially for you ensure a semi bespoke suit will also fit like a dream.

Made-to-measure tailoring

It’s also worth understanding how made-to-measure tailoring differs from bespoke tailoring. Garments that are made to measure use an existing standard pattern, rather than cut a new one especially for your body shape. It’s usually a more mass produced form of tailoring, in a bigger facility, and the stitching and finishing are all done my machine.

Which one is right for you: full bespoke or semi bespoke?

Now that you know a little bit more about each, the question still remains: how do you decide which one is best for you?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Budget: there is a cost difference that comes with the extra craftsmanship and extra fitting of the bespoke, so that might be part of your decision making.
  • Time: for the full bespoke suit, you’ll need to come in for at least one extra fitting, and your suit will take a few extra weeks to make. It’s worth keeping that in mind if you need your suit rather quickly. You’ll still get an excellent quality fitting suit with a semi bespoke, but skipping the baste-fitting stage will save you a few weeks.
  • Craftsmanship and luxury: if you’re keen to support centuries-old craftmanship, than the full bespoke is a luxury experience worth investing in.
  • Body shape: certain postures or body shapes benefit from the basted fitting to get that ultimate fit. Your tailor will advise if that’s the case for you at your appointment.
Full canvas bespoke jacket Zink and Sons Sydney Tailors
The full canvas horsehair piece is completely hand stitched

One thing to remember is that whichever one you go for, full bespoke or semi bespoke, the fit is going to be perfect with a Zink & Sons suit.

Go with the full bespoke luxury upgrade, or with the perfectly tailored semi-bespoke if you need to save time and money. Book your appointment now.

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