An adjective describing an item which has been custom-made, most often referring to clothing that has specifically designed for the person who will be wearing it. This term is unfortunately archaic, as bespoke clothing is not nearly as economically viable in the days of mass-production and sweatshop labor as it was during its height in 19th century Europe. However, most fashion designers can be contracted to design and create bespoke items, for a suitably astronomic fee.

Smilin Zack has also pointed out that the term still exists in modern usage, describing software. It serves as an antonym to "shrink-wrap".

In Neal Stephenson's novel, The Diamond Age, Bespoke is the name of the Engineering department of Machine-Phase Systems, one of many corporate entities making up Apthorp, headed by Lord Alexander Chung-Sik Finkle-McGraw. It is the employer of a main character, an artifex named John Percival Hackworth, who designed a very special nanotechnological book: A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.

Be*spoke" (?),

imp. & p. p. of Bespeak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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