How to buy a Savile Row suit……..and not be sold a pup!

Boris Johnson.

 

OH DEAR!

The Savile Row suit made by Marks and Spencer issue………………

How can a Savile Row suit be made by Marks and Spencer and sold in their shops in Shanghai? A Savile Row suit is made by hand by tailors who have trained on Savile Row, London. How can anyone other than a trained Savile Row tailor, who practices their work in the traditional hand cut, hand made, hand tailored way, be able to produce a Savile Row suit?

As you can tell, I get rather annoyed at how corporate companies frivolously use the term ‘Savile Row’ to delude their customers and to degrade the prestige of a Savile Row bespoke suit. The M&S Savile Row suit is very, very far from what an actual Savile Row suit is. Real Savile Row suits are not made in factories in far flung lands, they are not made with fusing in replacement for a hand padded canvas. Every Savile Row suit is unique, and personally cut, made and tailored to the individual who is buying the bespoke suit.

How to know if you are buying a Savile Row suit.

1, Make sure you meet your cutter. This is the person who will measure you and draft your pattern, and then cut the cloth that you have selected for your bespoke suit. Your pattern will then be kept in archive, for future orders and for your cutter to update your size and posture.

2, Do a little research, and find out where your cutter has trained in Savile Row.

3, The coat makers and trouser makers that your cutter uses to make the suit, should be Savile Row trained and make the suits in England.

4, It takes at least 50 hours of work to produce a bespoke Savile Row suit. This will be obvious when you see, feel and wear a bespoke suit.

Personal advice on buying a bespoke Savile Row suit.

1, Go into different tailors, and see their work, their style. See how you interact with the cutter. It is important that you are able to speak freely and feel comfortable with your chosen cutter.

2, Listen to advice on what cloths are suitable for you and your purpose for the bespoke suit.

3, Discuss the style of your bespoke suit, and listen to what your cutter suggests what would look best on you.

4, Make sure you discuss timings for your fittings and finish date. Make sure you are realistic about how long it takes for a bespoke suit to be made, your cutter should work with your timings and you with theirs.

5, Clarify that you are buying a bespoke suit and not a made to measure suit. The difference is vast, but sometimes the price is not. Do not assume, that because it is expensive that it is hand made. There are several companies turning out made to measure factory made suits at high prices, and using the term, ‘Savile Row Suit’, and letting customers assume it is a bespoke suit.

Steven Hitchcock.

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