10 May 2009

Are your bespoke shirts really made to measure shirts?

Tailoring is a term that dates back to the 13th century, but the more modern meaning of the word came about in the latter 18th century. Today, the terminology refers to men’s shirts that were typically constructed from cotton, linen, silk, or wool. This eventually gave birth to the hand-crafted technique commonly known as bespoke, i.e. the complete customization of a garment from creating the item’s paper pattern (or template) to the completion of the end product.

Though the term today applies to a variety of products such as luxury cars or software, for example, it is most historically associated with the customized manufacture of men’s garments, most specifically shirts, slacks, sports coats, and suits. The word “bespoke” actually stems from “bespeak”, a verb meaning “to speak for something” but has evolved to mean giving an “order for it to be made.”

Ready-to-Wear Shirts

The phrase “Ready-to-Wear” in the simplest of terms applies to any and all shirts that has been mass-produced in standardized sizes for the purpose of being readily purchased “off the rack” at haberdasheries and retailers. Ready-to-wear clothing evolved from tailoring to make clothing more affordable.

Ready-to-wear garments are the least favorable option because they are based solely on the production of clothing that is more cost-effective, efficient, and profitable. This usually involves diminished quality control standards. It is important to remember that this type of clothing is not personalised nor do you as the consumer have any control over the product’s features and fit, how it is produced, or the type of fabric that is used in the construction of the garment.

Made-to-Measure Shirts

The terminology “Made-to-measure” typically defines shirts that are manufactured from a base pattern that has been standardized for the entire clothing industry. Made-to-measure apparel is perceived to be superior to ready-to-wear garments due to the fact the latter is constructed according to the manufacturer’s opinion of what the average consumer likes and wants. Conversely, a made-to-measure garment is typically constructed to fit the individual consumer – for the most part.

However, made-to-measure shirts are considerably inferior to bespoke shirts due to the fact that it involves some method of standardization of the shirt based on its patterning and the process employed by which it is manufactured. A bespoke shirt is completely personalized and unique, therefore making it exclusive to the client it was produced for. Characteristically, made-to-measure clothing will be more expensive than ready-to-wear but considerably more affordable than a bespoke shirt.

Bespoke Shirts

The key distinction between shirts classified as being made-to-measure versus those categorized as bespoke shirts is that the latter is not created by virtue of a pre-existing pattern or template, making it completely unique every time. Additionally, the consumer has the complete control over such aspects as:

Creation of the pattern
Monogramming, contrast fabrics, mother of pear buttons
Swiss Alumo fabrics, Italian fabrics like Monti or Albini
Creation of the garment

For more information on the benefit of bespoke tailoring, visit the Green and Jack’s website at www.greenandjacks.com for a unique product range of bespoke shirts and tailoring.

Bespoke Men's Shirt Maker London

Our choice to take bespoke men's shirts to the 21st century

After realising that an off the shelf solution was not available for a store that will handle sales and ongoing management of bespoke men's shirts. We decided to start our own development of a website www.greenandjacks.com

I am not a technophobe but I was not aware of the various technologies available to us let me share a few things with regards to platforms that I learnt.

.Net Infrastructure - Uses the Microsoft platform and we soon realised that it has the following disadvantages. All developments have to done from scratch ie no code sharing, hard to find people, requires licensing and requires hosting specific to .net

LAMP - this stands for Linux, Apache, My Sql and PHP. This is open source scalable and so far we have found this to be very flexible as well. The other advantages includes a large community of supporters, no licensing restrictions and widely available hosting.

So we started our journey to build our website. We received bids from several companies and we decided to work with the LAMP architecture. It took us more than 12 months to transalate all the work from our workshop to the internet this would prove to be a herculian task since we estimated this at just 3 months! it was the typical over budget and time scenario like most IT projects. From now on I will post on areas that I know more about ie fashion.

Bespoke Men's Shirt Maker London

7 April 2009


Bespoke Men's Shirt Maker London

Paperblog : Les meilleurs actualit├ęs issues des blogs

28 February 2009

Bespoke technology for bespoke shirts

We looked into the various internet technology options available for creating and selling a bespoke shirt. All the available options did not cater for the various steps required to create a fully bespoke piece of clothing. Made to measure is easy to sell with existing ecommerce technology since the choices are very limited. With a bespoke product such as ours the choices are endless and we needed the ecommerce technology that would be flexible to add options in the future. The choice was obvious after all we make bespokeproducts so bespoke ecommerce technology is fully warranted!

We found 10 different technology providers with a spectrum of expertise where some were so cheap and tempting to one that quoted us a £200,000 to build a bespoke solution with body scanners and every thing you could imagine!

Next who did we choose

19 February 2009

The Journey - Creating Bespoke Shirts Online

As promised I am sharing my knowledge gained during building http://www.greenandjacks.com/

Building a bespoke tailoring website

Domain Name - This was an easy choice for us since http://www.greenandjacks.com/ was available

Hosting - If you will believe it we have moved around a bit after we first migrated from the software companies web hosting. We started with a hosting that was recommended by the software company which we subsequently found that it did not have some of the components which were required to make our site work. We then moved to a UK hosting company which was the right thing to do for SEO and capturing UK related traffic. After experiencing intermittent service quality we decided to move to hostgator in the USA who seem to be brilliant at what they do. This also shows that we were prepared to forgo and work harder at the SEO to get a quality service. To date I have no regrets on this since we were not prepared to take a low quality service to me its the same as the raw materials we purchase we were not prepared to compromise on quality for an easier way! The other piece of advice is to always have two hosting accounts with the same provider a live and a test site so that you do not play with technology that your customer may be using at the time.

Technology - We went for the LAMP architecture. LAMP stands for Linux, Appache, My SQL, PHP, For the fellow technophobes out there I may sound clever but I did not know about this till I started working on http://www.greenandjacks.com/. As far as I know there are two popular routes for building database driven websites. .Net and LAMP. LAMP is the open source version and .NET is the Microsoft equivalent. We decided to go for LAMP since there were lots of companies and freelancers available to program with this technology.

Requirements - We had so many changes in requirements since what we started with was an offline process and by the time we finished we realised that we had over engineered some requirements and not thought about quite a few items. So my lesson was to choose a provider who will be flexible and will not charge a lot more to change a few a the requirements.

What next?
Choosing the technology provider

Bye for now

Jack @ Green and Jacks - Bespoke Shirtmaker

Green and Jack's Bespoke Shirt Maker

I will use this first post to explain who we are and the purpose of this blog. I am new to this and would welcome feedback on how to use all the features on blogger! Atleast the intention as it stands is to keep posting every week and be actively involved.

Bespoke Tailoring

We are a tailoring business creating bespoke shirts and selling men's accessories. In 2007 we took Green and Jack's online and captured the first few steps of the tailoring process traditionally carried out at the bespoke tailoring outlet on to http://www.greenandjacks.com/. This has sometimes been a bumpy ride working with technologists to first build the site then trying to use SEO people to get visitors to the site but we have learned a lot in the process.

We had many reservations on going online especially since there was many other sites selling products described as bespoke for throw away prices but neverthless we decided to do this mainly due to the compulsion of some of our existing customers. ( I can discuss about my journey to getting where we are now on another post!)

Some general rules we apply to our products:

Fully bespoke clothing - clothes are cut to individual patterns and we store these patterns for future use

Fabrics - 2 Ply fabrics unless mentioned otherwise - We understood early on that when you sell clothes online you need to exceed the clients expecations with regard to the feel of the fabric and this can only be achieved by choosing only 2 ply cotton fabrics with good counts.

Risk - Internet shopping brings a variety of risks eg security, misrepresentation of goods etc. All risks except for ones relating to the goods expecially for tailored products tend to have been resolved with most vedors by use of ssl and various technologies. Hence we decided that we provide what we call a perfect fit guarantee which means that if the bespoke clothing does not fit we alter it or remake it.

Men's Accessories - This is not designed by us but desigined by some of the best in the industry and for some of the items we even contribute to the design process.

One of my main concerns of writing a blog for our company was that this was going to become some sort of sales machine that would constantly induce people to buy products. I will attempt to use this blog purely to share my knowledge in fashion and tailoring so that this adds value to its readers.

Over the coming weeks, months, years ....... I will be sharing my knowledge on starting a business online, to work with, tailoring, fashion and style

Bye for now, I will write about our journey to creating http://www.greenandjacks.com/ soon!

Jack @ Green and Jack's bespoke shirt maker