Where does “bespoke” originate?

Bespoke’s Beginnings

For most of the last century, the term bespoke has been associated with bespoke men’s tailoring on Savile Row. The phrase bespoke is derived from the verb “bespeak”. The verb bespeak literally means “to speak for something.”

This isn’t the way we think of the word. The word has become widely employed as an adjective throughout time. This wasn’t something that happened overnight; it happened over the course of several adjustments.

As a verb, bespoke became associated with the phrase “to discuss.”

This became an adjective that was used to denote something that had been planned ahead of time. The term bespoke came to be connected with tailor-made clothing and accessories as a result of this progression in the word’s definition. The purchaser would negotiate the garment’s specifications in advance, and the tailor would create it to those specifications. The term bespoke came to be associated with men’s suits that were custom-made or manufactured to order.

Where does bespoke come from?

The term “bespoke” first appeared in print in the mid-1700s. Before 900, the verb bespeak was recorded. The word is derived from the Old English word besprecan. It’s made up of the verb speak and the word be-, which is a verb prefix.

The term bespoke refers to something that has been custom-made to be one-of-a-kind. Custom-made apparel has long been connected with the term. Bespoke tailors take a person’s measurements and create one-of-a-kind clothing for them. (In truth, tailor-made is a synonym for bespoke that can be used to describe anything manufactured to order.) Custom jewelry, bespoke shoes, and bespoke websites are all examples of things that are made to order.

Bespoke, on the other hand, is frequently used to make items sound more distinct. It’s become a marketing buzzword in the same way that vintage, artisanal, curated, and craft have (as in craft beer and craft cocktails). So be wary of anything marketed as a custom!

What does bespoke mean?

Bespoke refers to something that is made to the specifications of the person who orders it, such as a bespoke suit. It can also refer to a person or business that creates such items, as in bespoke tailor.

Bespoke is an adjective, but it’s also the past tense of the verb bespeak, which meaning to request something ahead of time (as in I need to bespeak your assistance) or to reserve something ahead of time (as in you need to bespeak a table, sir).

However, bespeak is rarely used as a verb nowadays since it sounds antiquated. Bespoke also sounds a bit old-fashioned, but that’s probably why it became so trendy—it’s often used to imply a handcrafted, unique approach to making something. In its strictest sense, bespoke means made-to-order, but it’s often applied to things that aren’t actually made specifically for someone but that are simply made individually, as opposed to being mass-produced.

The Meaning in Today’s World

Since the turn of the century (2000), the term bespoke has become widely used to describe database and computer programs, as well as in reference to suits, shoes, and other clothing. As the phrase became more widely used, many people recognized it, and the Oxford Dictionaries website now defines it as “made for a specific customer or user” and “making and selling bespoke goods, notably clothing.” The term “bespoke” is now frequently used in ads, often out of context. Interior designers may use the term “bespoke” to promote a new kitchen or a restaurant that is adding a new menu item.  The abuse of the term bespoke has left many people perplexed as to what it really implies. Our goal is to dispel any misunderstandings about the term “bespoke” and provide a clearer image of its genuine meaning.


When you hear the phrase “bespoke,” the words “high-priced” and “luxury” immediately come to mind, but the universally accepted definition is “custom made”.  Bespoke refers to something that is manufactured specifically for you and only you, according to your specifications. The phrase bespoke is most typically linked with men’s professional clothes such as suits, tuxedos, sports jackets, and more, while it is not limited to apparel.


The term bespoke is most typically linked with tailoring and men’s clothes.  Bespoke tailoring is equal to custom-made tailoring and blends the essential concepts of bespoke with the fine technique of tailoring to create something truly unique. To be considered a truly custom garment, the materials, construction, and skilled craftsmanship must all be of the greatest quality.  Every time a garment is made by a skilled cutter, bespoke tailoring uses a pattern that is designed uniquely.   At BBespoke, we tailor to you, your desires, and your needs.  Truly custom-made apparel for the distinguished individual requiring precision.