Order Made Everything

Cheap bespoke in Japan
01 October 2007
Tradition and innovation merge to create bespoke options for most about everything in Japan
With famously high prices and a general disposition equating level of expenditure with quality, Tokyo seems an odd place to expect reasonably-priced venues for bespoke clothing. Japanese tailors, however, have been offering custom-suits for less than 50,000 JPY for decades now. They may not have the skill of Saville Row nor the low prices of Thailand or Vietnam, but they help customers create clothes to fit their tastes and bodies at competitive prices.

Bespoke clothing — “order-made” in the local parlance — may have always had a stable place in the Japanese marketplace, but the field has now combined with more contemporary trends towards greater individualization of tastes to create an “Order Made Everything” boom. Local neighborhoods are full of tailors displaying bolts of wool in their windows, while upscale department stores now offer services akin to the more esteemed sartorial engineers abroad. Wherever you look, new affordable mass customization business are popping up.

Some stores may only offer “pattern order” — minor tailoring based on pre-made forms — but “full order” bespoke is also attracting a new audience who never expected such a thing to be in their price range.
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