Made to order_taking measurements for my Tom James suit

Made to order: Not just for burgers

One of my most popular blog posts was about wearing the same outfit for a week. My experience made we want to find a “work uniform” I can wear most weekdays, altering the blouse and accessories (and shoes!)

made to order_selecting fabrics for my Tom James suit

Selecting fabric for my suit

To that end, I was recently measured for a suit. Other than the clothes my mother made when I was a child, this was my first experience with made to order clothing. After an initial consultation near my workplace, Tom James Company representative Greg Pittman came to my house with fabric samples and photos of suit styles, a digital “look book.”

Technically, my suit is considered “made to measure” or “made to order” as opposed to custom. Confused? Here’s a quick explanation:


Ready to wear: RTW is also known as pret-a-porter or off the rack. Most clothing is RTW, mass produced and manufactured by machines.


Made to measure: Also known as made to order. MTM/MTO is mid-way between ready-to-wear and custom made. The wearer can select the style and fabric from a defined set of options, then the item is made by hand to the wearer’s measurements. My suit is made to measure.


Custom: Also known as “bespoke” or couture. The article of clothing is truly one-of-a-kind, an original garment designed, patterned and sewn solely for the wearer.

What I loved about the made to order process:

made to order_writing down measurements for my Tom James suit

I lost track of how many measurements Greg took: Dozens.

  • Ultimate convenience! This was truly “home shopping”! No ferreting through racks of clothing at the mall. All the fabrics and styles are in the “look book,” and there are many to choose from! No wandering from store to store, hoping the next will have what I’m looking for. No loud, distracting music. No loud, distracting young people. Wait, I still saw those, but only ones I gave birth to.
  • Defined options. I don’t need thousands of choices. Really, a few dozen are plenty. Much more than that and I’m off the rails.
  • Personal, expert service. Greg has been a Tom James rep for 30 years. He has 600 clients, and 80 of them are women. I was in excellent hands.

And what I didn’t:

  • No samples. I would have liked to physically try on different styles of lapels, lengths of jackets, etc.
  • Cost. Ugh. I paid $1500 for one suit jacket/suit pant, plus one additional pant. That’s more than I spent on my wedding dress. With proper care, these items should last for years, but still….what if I leave a piece in a hotel room?
  • The wait. It will take 6 – 8 weeks for my made to order clothing to arrive. Planning ahead is imperative.

It’s a big investment, but I feel great about having a USA-made suit and can’t wait to see how it came out!

Thanks to my hubby Phil Myers for the photos.

'Made to order: Not just for burgers' have 4 comments

  1. October 6, 2015 @ 2:58 pm Terri M

    Leslie, how exciting!! I doubt you will ever leave an item of that wardrobe in a hotel. 😉 Enjoy your perfectly fitted suit!! Can’t wait to see pics!


    • October 7, 2015 @ 9:58 pm Wingtip Women

      Thanks, Terri! I will be sure to post once it’s finished!


  2. October 5, 2015 @ 10:57 pm Karen W

    Leslie if you are with Tom James you are in good hands. Great company. Know a couple of their reps. When my son comes home for fall break we will be looking for an interview suit. He cannot wear off the rack; he is short and stocky; from all the swimming he has broad shoulders and big thighs. We will start at Beecroft and Bull. Look them up. Glad you are supporting Tom James. Geez I must have worked retail too long.


    • October 6, 2015 @ 8:00 am Wingtip Women

      Thanks for the vote of confidence on Tom James! I will look up Beecroft and Bull, too – hopefully they make suits for women as well!


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