Nowadays the term tailored suits is often used to describe any kind of formal suit (either for men or for women) that is either sold off the peg or that is made to measure. In the past, however, a tailored suit was a suit that was specifically made for the person that was wearing it. Tailors that make their own suits will still use this term.
Suits that you can buy off the peg in a shop or a general tailors aren’t therefore really tailored suits. These are off the peg items that you choose by general size, try on and buy. The shop that sells the suit to you may have an alteration service that will adjust the leg length, for example, to make sure you get the best look and fit but they may not make extensive alterations in house.
Buying tailored suits from a specialist tailor, however, can be very different. Here, the suit is created from scratch and is made to measure based on your body and sizing. So, for many, a tailored suit will simply give you a better fit once it has been made as it was designed to fit you. Off the peg suits tend to have to take a one size fits all approach.
It is still quite common for people to go to a specialist tailor and to have tailored suits made up for them. Many like the fact that the fit will be so good and they can also choose the materials and the styling and design of the jacket and trousers that they will be buying. This can give you suits that are a little different to the norm if you want.
People visiting Asia will also often have suits made to measure while they are over there as this can be done extremely quickly and effectively at a fraction of the cost of buying in the UK. In recent years many Asian tailors have moved over the UK to meet demand for tailored suits and offer a quick and cost effective service that could see you with one or more suits in just a day or two.
Some tailors will work out of stores or office premises. In larger cities it is quite common for tailors to offer a business fitting tailored suits service. Here, the tailor will visit a business premises and will take measurements and orders from a few people at once before delivering the finished articles a few days or weeks later.