What does bespoke actually mean? - Jodie Gearing (2023)

Bespoke is a word often bandied around by companies, but what does it actually mean? The word has an interesting history as discussed in this article.

Initially, the word bespoke was “a past participle of the verb ‘to bespeak’ which meant ‘to exclaim or call out’, then it changed to describe ‘to discuss, decide upon’ and lastly became ‘discussed in advance’, hence its use to describe tailor-made garments,” says Cormac McKeown, of Collins dictionary.

This explains why it was used initially for tailor made suits on Saville Row and is exactly how we understand the word at Jodie Gearing Bespoke Jewellery Design. We will work with you to hand-design a unique, one off, hand made piece of jewellery exactly to your specifications, just like a custom made suit. You want a pendant with your initials pierced out of the metal? You got it. You want a specific font to be used? No problem. You want the letters to overlap in a particular way? Of course. The choice is yours because we design our jewellery from scratch.

So you see? By going bespoke, you can have a design totally tailored to your requirements. The bespoke journey is a collaboration between you and the designer. They will take your ideas, inspire you with numerous variations you had never even considered before and then come up with the perfect design using their knowledge of what will work best for you within your budget.

What does bespoke actually mean? - Jodie Gearing (1)

The source of confusion with word bespoke in the jewellery industry comes, once more, from the high street. If you’ve read my articles on white gold, you’ll understandthe myths and misconceptions surrounding rhodium plating. The same goes for bespoke design where a lot of jewellers will provide their customers with a list of pre-determined components to assemble into a piece of jewellery. You will sit with a designer at a computer screen and select a style, stone, setting and metal. This is customisation rather than a truly bespoke, one-off piece and multiple other people will choose the exact same combination. You do not have total control as you’ll have a limited choice of cast parts. To us, thisdoes not, as by the definition above,constitutea one-off design. This type of customisable jewellery production has its place but here, at jodiegearing.com, we start from scratch, giving you total control to create a really special piece of one-off jewellery. We can utilise cast settings, which can help keep costs down, but we will produce a piece made entirely out of ready-made components and call it bespoke.

Still need to be convinced?

Here some more of the advantages to going bespoke with your next jewellery purchase:


True, it takes time to produce a hand made piece of jewellery so it may seem thequicker option to select a ready-made piece off the shelf from a high street jeweller than to go the bespoke route. But consider this – trawling the high street for the right piece within your budget can take an inordinate amount of time. Try searching online and you’ll get a sea of results but can you really trust that when it arrives, it’ll be what you expect? With bespoke, you can make sure the quality isup to your expectations and meet the person making it for you. If you have a tight deadline, we can discuss the options with you to make it happen.

Completely Unique

If you’re thinking about a really special investment piece such as an engagement ring or special anniversary or birthday gift, the fact that you’ve designed something totally unique with the recipient in mind is truly a special gesture. If you’re choosing a piece for a really significant occasion or person, wouldn’t you rather have something that sums up their personality, is as unique as they are, and that no-one else will have?

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What does bespoke actually mean? - Jodie Gearing (3)

The Perfect Fit

So you have the perfect engagement ring, but finding the idea wedding ring on the high street is impossible. You may have discovered that a flat, unshaped band will not sit nicely next to your engagement ring! Most jewellers on the high street do not talk to you about the sort of engagement ring that will fit next to it so this can come as a nasty surprise. Going bespoke with your wedding bands means you will get the perfect fit. Your wedding rings are the key tangible (and hugely symbolic!) item you will have from your wedding day – they deserve to be well considered and made just for you.

Chloe’s engagement ring below is a classic case of this. There was no way she would find a wedding ring ready made on the high street that would work with the shape of her beautiful filagree engagement ring. We designed this enhancer style ring that her engagement ring just slots into that complements her existing ring perfectly. Click on the images to find out more about this design and to see a video of it in action.

Total Control

How many times have you gone clothes shopping and found the perfect top, only you wish it was a slightly different colour or made from a different fabric? Jewellery shopping is just like this. You can mix and match elements of designs you like and combine them into the ultimate design that ticks all the boxes.

Some High Street jewellers now offer a ‘Bespoke’ service, but what you will actually find is it a case of choosing a band style and setting shape from a selection, rather than starting completely from scratch, which only gives you a very small scope for individuality.

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Working to Your Budget

If you have found a piece you like but it is not within your budget, we can look at how we can capture the essence of the design but with some adjustments, make it work for you and what you have budgeted. We might be able to look at the stone type, shape and size, quantity and quality to make it work. Perhaps the metal type or scale of design can be tweaked. We might be able to start with a ready made setting or ring as a starting point that we customise to suit you. All of this is possible when you go bespoke.

What does bespoke actually mean? - Jodie Gearing (9)

Clarity and Decisiveness

You might have decided to go the bespoke route because you simply do not know what you want, and you need some expert input. Conversely, you might think bespoke is not for you as you are notoriously bad at making decisions! A talented designer will be able to ask the right questions and show you the right samples to whittle down the mind-boggling amount of options for you so that you do not become overwhelmed. My clients are very often pleasantly surprised when their design quickly falls into place when they came into my studio not having a clue what they wanted! Suddenly, you will find at that you do have a strong opinion on which precious metal will be best, and what setting style you like most when it seemed impossible to choose before. No more confusion – you have found the design you have been searching for!

Knowledge and Understanding

Collaborating with a designer to create a piece of jewellery means you are utilising their experience and knowledge to get the right outcome for you. You will learn more about your purchase, making you feel confident about the design choices you make. Designing a piece of jewellery is more than simply coming up with a pretty design – a good designer will discuss your life style with you and will inform you of the pros and cons associated with each setting style, band width and metal choice to ensure you receive an end product that will last a lifetime. A little knowledge about what you are buying makes it a more enjoyable process as well!

What does bespoke actually mean? - Jodie Gearing (11)


The experience of working with a designer on a tailor made, totally custom design is fun! A jewellery designer will unpick your creative ideas, which if you find it hard to articular what you would like and will bring your design to life through their sketches. Seeing your ideas be revealed on paper can be really rewarding, especially if you have done into the consultation believing you didn’t really know what you were looking for! If you’re designing a special piece of jewellery with your special someone, the team effort can be really enjoyable. And let’s face it, looking at and discussing beautiful metals and gemstones is not something the average person gets to do on a daily basis; its a real treat.

I hope this article has convinced you that going bespoke is a wonderful experience and definitely a route to explore when looking for the perfect piece of jewellery. Why not have a look thought our previous commissions for some inspiration? If you would like to discuss your ideas for a custom piece of jewellery, get in touch via the contact form and let’s start your bespoke journey today.

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What does it mean if a person is bespoke? ›

Bespoke means custom-made—made based on the specifications of the person ordering it, as in a bespoke suit. It can also be used to describe a person or company that makes such things, as in bespoke tailor.

What is bespoke example? ›

A bespoke provider makes something from scratch according to the specifications and preferences of the customer. It is the opposite of off the rack or off the peg. A bespoke item of clothing, for example, is more expensive than something you see in a shop and buy, i.e., an item that is off the rack.

What does bespoke mean in design? ›

And how does it fit into home design and renovations? Essentially, “bespoke” means tailored to one's needs, much in the same way one has a suit tailored to one's taste; but the term can also be applied to a wide array of products and services in building and renovating.

What does bespoke Jewellery mean? ›

But what does it actually mean? Anything “bespoke” is custom-made or made-to-order. It's anything that has been specifically designed with the customer in mind and in direct collaboration with that customer.

Why is it called bespoke? ›

The word bespoke is derived from the verb bespeak, meaning to "speak for something". The particular meaning of the verb form is first cited from 1583 and given in the Oxford English Dictionary: "to speak for, to arrange for, engage beforehand: to 'order' (goods)”. And as such the phrase crept into the tailor's lexicon.

Why is everyone using the word bespoke? ›

Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. Its become popular because of general marketing and branding concept implying exclusivity and appealing to the snobbery.

What does bespoke experience mean? ›

Luxury Private Tours | Bespoke Experiences

adjective be-spoke [bih-spohk] -- made to individual order; custom-designed: a bespoke jacket. verb be-speak [bih-speek] -- to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater.

How is bespoke used in a sentence? ›

We've designed a bespoke itinerary for the first-time visitor. The company offers a bespoke, "tailor made" vacation service to Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia. The men's clothing boutique is a combination of designer and bespoke merchandise.

What makes an item bespoke? ›

Definition of BESPOKE:

Bespoke items are made to order based on the specifications requested by an individual customer.

Why is bespoke the best? ›

Since no preestablished patterns are used, the tailor must base measurements directly off your body and its nuances. A custom suit goes beyond simply taking and applying measurements since the complex shape of your body is ultimately the determining factor.

What is the difference between bespoke and made to order? ›

Fit. Bespoke tailors draw a unique paper pattern by hand. Made to Measure tailors use an existing pattern and make some basic modifications to it.

What are bespoke diamonds? ›

Bespoke diamonds are world renounced for being the finest in the world. The company was started as a way to identify the most brilliant diamonds so high end jewelers could offer their customers the absolutely best. This is why we sell so many incredible Bespoke diamond engagement rings each year.

What is the difference between custom and bespoke? ›

While bespoke furniture is designed and manufactured as a completely unique, standalone piece, custom furniture takes a pre-existing design, and alters specific elements based on your style preferences.

What's the difference between couture and bespoke? ›

While definitely, two peas in the same pod, bespoke clothing and couture clothing differ in their tailorship. Couture clothing can be mass-produced – providing that 60% of the garments are hand-sewn, whereas bespoke clothing must be individually tailored in order to be considered “bespoke”.

What language is bespoke? ›

The word itself, which dates from 1583, is a past participle of bespeak, chiefly British, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, and is defined as “(of goods, especially clothing) made to order.”

When did bespoke replace custom? ›

According to Collins English Dictionary, the term was generally British English in 2008. American English more commonly uses the word custom instead, as in custom-made, custom car, or custom motorcycle. Nevertheless, bespoke has seen increased usage in American English during the 21st century.

How many items do you get in bespoke? ›

Each box is valued at over $200 and contains around 10 different items. Subscribers will receive exclusive offers and discounts from the brands featured along with how-to articles and video tutorials to learn more about how to use their products.

What is the best synonym for bespoke? ›

synonyms for bespoke
  • sewn.
  • custom-fit.
  • custom-made.
  • made-to-measure.

Who is the owner of bespoke? ›

Luigi Gentile - Owner Ceo - Bespoke by Luigi Gentile | LinkedIn.

What is bespoke strategy? ›

Bespoke is the art of tailoring that gives a unique personality to your products or services. In sales, a bespoke marketing strategy is good in helping your brand connect with your customers.

What is off the shelf and bespoke? ›

Off-the-shelf software is a product that you buy and use without customisation – take Microsoft's Office Suite or Adobe Photoshop for example. Bespoke software is designed and built on demand with a specific purpose in mind for the organisation that has commissioned the build.

Why is bespoke more expensive? ›

Bespoke clothing is more expensive because of how many hours it takes to make by hand, the time it takes to do the fittings and the high quality, luxurious fabrics used. There is a substantial difference in cost between the two different processes.

Are simulated diamonds just as good as real diamonds? ›

Diamond simulants can be a stunning alternative to diamonds but are not compositionally and optically the same as diamonds, meaning that they often do not hold their value as well over time.

Is there a difference between lab created diamonds and real diamonds? ›

Lab grown diamonds are identical to earth mined diamonds in every way, except that they are grown in a lab. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as mined diamonds and exhibit the same fire, scintillation, and sparkle.

Are lab created diamonds considered real diamonds? ›

The bottom line: Overall, lab grown stones share the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds that last forever but are an estimated 30% less expensive than mined diamonds. Overall, neither diamond is “better.” They are not in competition with one another.

What is the difference between bespoke and custom? ›

Bespoke tailoring (offered by Senszio)

This is the same as custom tailoring but the pattern is adjusted throughout the fittings (below). In custom tailoring, the pattern is adjusted after the final garment is made and delivered. You'll need multiple fittings to get a true bespoke fit.

What is a bespoke life? ›

A Bespoke Life offers a fully personalised bespoke jewellery service. All of our pieces are made with you in mind, whether you know exactly what you'd like, have fallen in love with one of our previous designs or would like some guidance on your future heirloom. See our bespoke process for more details.

Does bespoke mean luxury? ›

Over time, the term bespoke has evolved to gain a wider currency that today encapsulates any luxury product or experience that has been specifically tailored to the exact requirements of a customer.

Is bespoke a man? ›

Bespoke Post is a high-end monthly subscription box for men. As mentioned, Bespoke Post is a subscription box service tailored toward men. Membership costs $45 per month, but if you don't want to commit just yet, you can also purchase any of their boxes individually for a higher price.

Is bespoke the same as made to order? ›

Fit. Bespoke tailors draw a unique paper pattern by hand. Made to Measure tailors use an existing pattern and make some basic modifications to it.

What is a bespoke home? ›

A bespoke home is designed specifically to your unique needs, dreams, and specifications. Like a dress that's been perfectly tailored, a bespoke home is crafted just for you. These luxury custom homes are derived from your ideas, and then inspired, supported, and ultimately constructed by the expert team around you.

Does bespoke mean handmade? ›

Custom means made or done to order. Bespoke means made by hand. These phrases have become interchangeable over time.

What's a bespoke dress? ›

Bespoke clothing is custom-made clothing. It is not made to measure, as featured by many good clothing vendors. A made-to-measure item is a standard one customized at the factory in certain measurements and details. Bespoke is made from scratch to your specifications.

Is bespoke really worth it? ›

Is Bespoke Post Worth It? Bespoke Post is certainly worth it! Many of the boxes we've reviewed at MSA have been valued at double or more the value than the cost of the monthly subscription and each box includes items from lesser-known brands to support small businesses.


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