Until you have experienced the cut and feel of a made-to-measure (MTM) suit, it can be hard to understand what all the fuss is about. But once you have, it can be very difficult to return to ‘off the peg’.

Of course, many men have long been in on the secret of made-to-measure and routinely enjoy the experience of choosing the fabric and getting their suits fitted just-so. And, as any MTM convert will profess, the benefits—look, fit, quality and increased confidence, to name but a few—of a beautifully fitted suit far outweigh its cost. Menswear journalist, podcaster and consultant Aleks Cvetkovic is a strong advocate of the MTM experience:

“Having a suit made to measure is a special experience, befitting an occasion such as a wedding or christening, or as a reward to yourself ahead of starting a new job. I think it’s also important to say that made-to-measure tailoring shouldn’t just be considered appropriate for occasion-wear; it also exists to provide a solution to men who aren’t a good fit for a stock size.”

But for some men, the thought of indulging in an MTM suit is exactly that—an indulgence. With dress codes in the workplace becoming more relaxed, there is much less need for men to own a suit in everyday life. So much so, many would only consider treating themselves to a superior piece of clothing for a special occasion.

With this in mind, we surveyed British males to find out more about their suit-buying habits and what would motivate them to purchase a made-to-measure suit. Here’s what we discovered:

When would men treat themselves to a made-to-measure suit?

My own wedding 40%
A special occasion 27
Someone else’s wedding 13%
An important business meeting/event 7%
A charity event (e.g. gala or ball) 6%
A sporting event (e.g. horse racing) 4%
Other 3%

Wedding finery

Unsurprisingly, the main reason why men would treat themselves to a made-to-measure suit would be for their own wedding. Getting married is one of the most significant events of a person's life - not to mention one of the most photographed. If there's an occasion to go all-out on a truly special outfit, it's this.

The emotional benefits of selecting the perfect material and having the suit expertly fitted can also contribute to the excitement of the wedding planning, ensuring that the groom looks and feels his very best on the big day. In general, weddings proved a popular reason to opt for made-to-measure; a further 13% of men suggested they would treat themselves if they were attending someone else’s wedding.

Business attire

Interestingly, investing in a suit for business use only attracted 7% of votes. This coincides with workplace trends towards more ‘office casual’ attire as opposed to a formal suit-and-tie dress code. Respondents aged 35–44—typically an age where a career is well-established—were most likely to purchase a made-to-measure suit for an important business event or meeting.

Aleks offers his opinion on the shifting trends in men’s formal wear:

“There are two elements to this. Firstly, men aren’t prepared to be uncomfortable in their clothes, and the traditional ‘rules’ and formal stipulations of menswear are growing increasingly tired. These days, business suits are growing less common in the City, and are increasingly only seen in small pockets of the financial world and the legal profession.
“Soft tailoring, separates and casualwear are more relaxed than structured tailoring, so the suit is losing ground as a corporate uniform to a softer ‘business-casual’ dress code.”


A special occasion, be it an anniversary, birthday, Christmas or New Year celebration, would encourage over a quarter of men to treat themselves. This was the most popular response from men over 55, who are possibly already married themselves but still enjoy an occasion to spoil themselves.

Dressing to impress

Events—sporting or social—attracted the least amount of votes, with just 6% and 4% respectively. Recent trends of wearing more formal attire for socialising have taken off with younger buyers; indeed, men aged 25–34 expressed the most desire to invest in made-to-measure for these occasions.

Now there is less demand for suits in business settings, it is much easier for men to build a stylish workplace wardrobe on a reasonable budget. This enables them to splash out on more decadent attire for social occasions and enjoy the chance to get ‘suited and booted’ after a week in casual clothes, as Aleks elaborates:

“No one wants to spend money on a uniform, but some men do enjoy spending that bit extra on something they choose to wear for pleasure. For the first time in a century, some men are choosing to wear a suit rather than be tied into it as part of a regulated dress code.”

Why made-to-measure takes men’s tailoring to the next step

When considering purchasing a high-quality suit, it is important to look beyond the label. Although many ‘designer’ branded suits are better quality than high street versions, you may find that the price you pay is mostly for the name and not the craftsmanship. Buying ‘off the peg’ can also restrict you to pre-cut sizes with little room for manoeuvre.

Investing in a made-to-measure suit will guarantee the perfect fit—this doesn’t just mean when standing in front of a mirror. A properly fitted suit will ensure that cuffs and leg lengths are comfortable when sitting, standing and moving around, and that the cut across the shoulders allows for movement. The very fact that a made-to-measure suit is cut and adjusted to your specific proportions will ensure it remains sleek yet comfortable throughout the day and night.

In addition, MTM is also an emotional investment, as every element of the garment is hand-picked. The fabric itself is selected from a vast range of colours, weights and materials, plus the lining and detailing can all be chosen to taste. Superior finishing and meticulous fitting completes the MTM experience, ensuring that the wearer feels like they are walking away with a truly personalised garment. The premium quality of an MTM suit will also contribute to the longevity of the garment, enabling it to be worn with confidence for many years.

So, although a made-to-measure suit may initially be purchased with a particular event in mind, it will quickly become a wardrobe essential. And once experienced, it’s highly likely that the first MTM experience will not be the last, as Aleks concludes:

“Initially, the majority of men will opt for something versatile that can be worn in different contexts, but once they have tried made-to-measure once and enjoy the experience, they’ll come back again and on that second or third order might be persuaded to try something a little different.”

Find out more about our made-to-measure service