Bespoke. What a lovely word. It sounds so elegant and classic.

You may have never heard this word before, but it is popping up more and more and its definition and use is being expanded far beyond its original meaning.

Bespoke Tailoring

Fitting of a bespoke jacket

The term “bespoke” originated in London, England in the custom men’s tailoring shops of Savile Row, dating back to the 1800’s. Bespoke defined the complete custom made nature of fine men’s tailoring – all elements (fabric, style, measurements) were selected by the customer and created from scratch for them with no limitations. Savile Row has dressed kings, aristocrats, celebrities and other “fine” gentleman (aka wealthy men), and continues to do so today.

While tailors on Savile Row protest, the term bespoke is now increasingly being used to describe custom industries and products far beyond fine men’s tailoring. There is bespoke furnishingsbicycles, investment advisersbacon. and too many more to list.

We’re obviously fans and participants in the bespoke movement, but we think it’s important to understand and honor the distinction between “made-to-order” and truly “bespoke.”

Let’s use the category of jewelry to demonstrate the difference. All of Sorella’s jewelry is custom “made-to-order.” It doesn’t exist until a customer orders it. We have no inventory at all. If someone orders one of our Roman Numeral rings personalized with their special date, we get to work creating that ring from scratch. But the design for that ring already existed for our customer to choose. It is not bespoke. It is made-to-order and customized.

bespoke diamond engagement ring

Bespoke engagement ring by Sorella

But Sorella does also create true bespoke pieces – completely new designs that are one-of-a-kind creations made to our customer’s specifications. Each piece comes out of a one-on-one collaboration between Sorella and our customer; their vision, our craftsmanship. Bespoke.