Off the Rack vs. Tailored Suits the Ultimate Guide

It is said that every person should have a high-quality formal garment in their wardrobes, right now you could probably list five occasions in which you would need to dress formally. These days a universally recognized formal outfit is the traditional suit. But when you go to the trouble of actually commissioning or purchasing a suit, you will quickly realize the myriad options available to you.

Now “off the rack suits” are fairly self-explanatory, a premade suit that is then sometimes further fitted to your individual specifications. Tailored suits, however, are made from the ground up to your exact body shape and measurements and can be pretty much infinitely customized to your liking. So let’s look at some of the more important factors to consider when you are deciding between the two.


The first thing that we have to discuss is, of course, the price differences between a fully tailored suit and an off the rack suit.


Naturally, due to the eye for detail, expertise and time required to make a fitted suit you have probably already naturally guessed that this one will be more expensive. However, the payoff for this extra expense is to have a fully qualified professional tailor fully evaluate your body measurements from head-to-toe, provide you with expert advice on materials, stitching, styles and a whole host of other subjects. Usually resulting in a perfect fit and style of your liking.

Off The Rack

While off the rack suits are a lot less customizable than a fully tailored suit, they are significantly less expensive than a tailored suit. Most reputable tailors will ensure that their off the rack options are of an adequate quality meaning if you are looking for a slightly more budget-friendly option with room for extra adjustments, then an off the rack option may be better for you.


Hand or machine made


As we have said before, when you order and pay for a tailored suit, you are actually paying for the materials of your choice and the time for your tailor to actually sit with a needle or sewing machine and make the suit with his hands.

Off the rack

Practically all off the rack suits are made by large industrial machines with a template and set dimensions.

You must decide whether this is an important factor for you when you are purchasing such an important item of formal wear.



Off The Rack

While you can most definitely find a wide variety of off the rack suits, they are limited to what is the most saleable for the company, not what individual customers will want.


Whereas when you work with a tailor to craft a suit to your exact specifications, you can easily pick and choose between different exteriors, linings and button arrangements.

We here at Universal Tailor offer a wide variety of both off the rack and bespoke tailored suits, to find out more about our products please click here.