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Sartorial London: The Official Thread (UPDATED 9/6/2012) - Page 5

post #61 of 111
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

You won't be missing much, TBH. The umbrellas are nice, but the shop itself was charmless. Smith, on the other hand, is an experience, a living museum that's far more vital than Brigg's new-but-sterile approach.

Well put. It's an experience I recommend to anyone going to London. A real rare type of place.

Also, the shop needs a little time to cut the stick to the size you want and to package it up. The British Museum is right around the corner, so it's a good way to kill an hour or two before returning to pick up your purchase.
post #62 of 111

I don't visit London frequently (the traffic & general commotion of the place bug me), so many of interesting places I know have already been mentioned.


But one shop I like that always seems to get overlooked in these threads is Liberty, on Regent Street. I don't think you'll like many of the designer clothes Foo, so ignore them and go browse the fabrics and the rugs/carpets (they're on one of the higher floors IIRC). Liberty has some lovely fabrics - Tana Lawn is their speciality summer weight cotton - and they do come in solids and not just their more typical vivid prints. The various Persian rugs are really beautiful, even if the prices can be eye-popping. Plus, the Liberty building itself (and the internal layout, to some extent, although less so in recent years) is charmingly odd.


OK, back to the actual Londoners now!


(PS just to add to the chorus, buy your brolly from Smith. I got my solid stick from them; as we're both quite short, I can say with confidence that you'll appreciate their cutting a brolly to the right size for you. It only takes 10 minutes and you can have a good rummage around the shop while you wait).

post #63 of 111
Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post

if you get thirsty, have a pint of Fuellers at the Red Lion on York St, right off of Jermyn, adjacent to Trumpers.
a lunchtime pint of Fullers ESB for a proper London experience smile.gif
post #64 of 111
Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post

if you get thirsty, have a pint of Fuellers at the Red Lion on York St, right off of Jermyn, adjacent to Trumpers.

Berris Fueller's Day Off ?
post #65 of 111
Originally Posted by Wrenkin View Post

I liked Albam in Spitalfields Market better for that sorta thing. All made in England, very simple. I think their work was featured on Permanent Style. I bought a very simple card case there once in... lookaround.gif green bridle.

I buy a lot of my casual clothing from them (though for geographical reasons usually from the little shop on Upper St, just off Angel). Not as high-end as Foo's typical makers and somewhat prone to fashion, but still recommended, especially for knits, t-shirts, outerwear and casual trousers.
post #66 of 111
Originally Posted by flatfront View Post

Trunk Clothiers in Marylebone.

Great shop, but not at all typical of London. Lots of Italian, Japanese and American stuff one can find in NYC.
post #67 of 111
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

Sorry but coffee and London just doesn't go together.
Completely disagree with this - I've just come back from a week in Milan and despite the ubiquitous resonanably priced coffee there, I realised that the top offerings in London are just first rate.
post #68 of 111

For what it's worth, I'll add my two cents/pence...


Benson and Clegg are worth a visit/window-gaze, near the top of Piccadilly Arcade (which leads down to Jermyn St anyway). I'm a bit obsessed with their coin cufflinks (can be viewed on their online store), but they're really known for their buttons and blazer badges.


Also, if you're coming over from the US, Boggi may be worth a look at on Jermyn St (and they have a branch in Sloane Sq). They're not so sartorial and the quality (it's pretty mass-produced) isn't something to write home about, but I quite like some of their stuff and it occasionally offers an alternative to most of the other stuff offered on Jermyn St. I see it as a bit of an Italian Ralph Lauren.


New and Lingwood has already been mentioned for its "British" feel, but if you fancy picking up an accessory from there, their socks are brilliant. They also have an underrated and seldom mentioned footwear part upstairs. Both the shoe department and downstairs clothing staff are generally very friendly and happy to have a chat. They also have a shop on the other side of the arcade which does (more) shirts and ties, with a surprisingly decent selection of the latter, made in England.


Crockett and Jones (their larger store on Jermyn St) are also very friendly and seem to have time to talk (compared with the much smaller and slightly more touristy one in Burlington arcade).


One place which hasn't been mentioned (sorry to jump 15 minutes walk up the road back by Bond St station), Thom Sweeney are amongst my favourite dressed windows in the capital. They always have three suits on show and they're always beautiful.


Perhaps a sartorial map would be useful. I'd often walk past all of the places mentioned here within a 20 minute stroll, but any foreign city is the sort of place which leaves one visiting only a handful of deliberately sought out shops in a two hour period.

post #69 of 111
Has anyone mentioned James Smith? You should definitely go there.
post #70 of 111
Thread Starter 
Just got back a couple days ago.

First of all, let me just say: I loved London. It was really a fantastic trip and I wish we had more time there. Now, onto stuff you might actually care about.

On Savile Row, I dropped by three shops: Huntsman, Richard Anderson, and Maurice Sedwell. Huntsman was our first stop. I wish I could give you a meaningful report, but we were coldly ignored by the staff there. Nobody greeted us upon entrance, though there were two or three staff standing around and no other customers or clients present. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. When I asked for a cream silk pocket square (long story), I was simply directed to look through the squares on the table sitting in front of me ("Whatever we have is in the pile in front of you."). We were stared at the entire time and didn't stay long. I will never, under any circumstance, revisit this shop.

Richard Anderson was an entirely different story. As soon as we walked in, Richard himself came up front from the work area to greet us. He immediately struck up a conversation, asking what we were looking for, etc. I was very upfront that I was not looking to order anything, but he remained interested in chatting. We talking tailoring and style. He explained a lot about his own approach. They use independent tailors to work on garments and freely admit the advantages and disadvantages. Richard says that every stitch is done by hand, except the long seams. I saw some jackets in the works and observed that both lapels and collars are hand-padded. They will do a somewhat softer jacket if a client pushes for it, but stress that it's not what they are good at and have directed clients interested in such to Anderson & Sheppard. I felt very comfortable in the shop and felt confident that I'd be decently taken care of as a client.

I spent very little time in Maurice Sedwell. The staff was welcoming, but Andy Ramroop wasn't there, so there wasn't much point in us sticking around.

Tailoring prospects aside, I found myself generally unimpressed by the accessories and general aesthetics on display throughout the Row. A lot of boring, so-so quality stuff. Granted, I did not go to Drakes. But I did drop by the above shops, Budd, Harvie and Hudson, etc. Honestly, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the goods at one shop and another. Italy is much more fun if you're looking for pocket squares, ties, belts, etc. Hell, so is New York.

We also visited W. Bill. It is no longer on Savile Row and is located in the basement of a contemporary office building nearby. Very odd. I wasn't expecting much service, but I hoped there would be some interesting old cloth to look at. It turns out, there is virtually nothing there that isn't new production. You're better off visiting J. Press on Madison Avenue and looking through the swatch books. A huge disappointment--but my expectations were unrealistically high, I'm sure.

The only thing I picked up in London was an umbrella from James Smith (bark ash with silver collar and black canopy). They cut to size while you wait--but keep in mind, this is not ideal. Ideally, they would proportion the whole umbrella to fit (not just cut off from the tip), but that takes several weeks of waiting and they seemed very, very reluctant to take custom orders. They push very hard to sell what they've got ready-made. Consequently, my umbrella tip is a bit stumpy. Oh well. The sticks are clearly from Talarico, though they will not admit it. I asked for a ten-rib frame and was told no. The parts are no longer available, apparently. I asked for a different color canopy, and was also told no. Soon after I started using my umbrella, the bark started chipping off from the end of the handle. I brought it back for them to look at before leaving London and was told it was normal. They stained the un-barked wood to make the flaw less obvious, but I worry the bark will continue coming off. One of the younger, friendlier staff slipped me his card as we were leaving and quietly assured he'd take care of the problem if it got worse back in the U.S.

We'll certainly be back to London, as there is just so much to see and it's such an amazing place to spend time. But I can't say I'll be returning for the shopping.
post #71 of 111
Very glad that you enjoyed London - but a shame that you did not find the shopping to your taste. That said, if you are not looking for shoes, suits or shirts London may not be the best shopping destination in the World - the Italians do accessories and casual wear a lot better

I can also confirm that your impression of Huntsman is not a unique one. The few times I have been there I have routinely been ignored, even when returning to pick up a coat. They really are in a class of their own when it comes to arrogance...

That said, if you do come back to London and are interested mainly in accessories, I would venture further afield than Budd, H&H, etc. Drakes would have been worth a visit, as would A&S (good selection of ties, and of course the haberdashery about to open), Emma Willis (great ties), Trunk Clothiers, and the London outposts of Marinella and Rubinacci

Anything non-sartorial that you enjoyed - or was surprised by? Where did you eat and drink when you were here?

post #72 of 111
I am very disappointed, and surprised, by your treatment at Huntsman. I have always found Peter Smith and Patrick Murphy extremely cordial and helpful.
post #73 of 111
Honestly, with the exception of Drake's, the accessories in London are a cut or two below the quality one finds in Italy. When I first went shopping in London I was blown away and bought many things but it's been a while.

W. Bill sounds sad. The last time I was there (2008) it was a vintage treasure house.
post #74 of 111
Thread Starter 
We dropped by A&S but the shop had closed by the time we got there. Next time. I had lunch with Mariano (along with a couple other SF members) and finally got fitted for my tweed overcoat. The shop is currently undergoing a lot of work for its re-opening after their August break, so we didn't really get to peruse much. Essentially, I saw the fitting area. Mariano has purchased the basement level and is building something there. None of us could quite figure out what and Mariano is keeping it a surprise.

We ate very well. Our lunch with Mariano was at Harry's, near his shop. The Italian food was really, really fantastic. Excellent fish, fried zucchini to die for, and little multi-colored sugar balls that I can't even begin to describe.

We had afternoon tea at Brown's and the Dorchester. The former was terrible. We are pretty sure they were being racist. Nobody re-filled our tea or our food trays the entire time. We sat there for almost two hours without any service. I had to walk over to a waiter to get the check and tell them to pack up a slice of cake for my wife (which they should have brought to us). The Dorchester, on the other hand, was fantastic. The tea and food were both superior, and the service was sterling.

Dinners were at Old Queen Street gastropub, Scott's, Claridge's (for a wedding), and Amaya. Everything was great, though none of it except for the gastropub was honest-to-goodness English food. Amaya was phenomenal--the best Indian food I've ever had. Highlights included the foie gras and lobster dishes.

We had breakfast three times at the Wolesley and once at Dean Street Townhouse. All of it was really great. Except I could go my whole life without eating black pudding again. Also, what's the deal with the mushroom and tomato served with the classic English breakfast? They seem like odd throw-away bits. American breakfast FTW.
post #75 of 111
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

I am very disappointed, and surprised, by your treatment at Huntsman. I have always found Peter Smith and Patrick Murphy extremely cordial and helpful.

I don't recall seeing Peter Smith, but Patrick Murphy was there. He appeared to be working on something in the back, so that's probably why he didn't come around. My complaint is that all the people in the front of the shop should be handling the front of the shop.
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

Honestly, with the exception of Drake's, the accessories in London are a cut or two below the quality one finds in Italy. When I first went shopping in London I was blown away and bought many things but it's been a while.
W. Bill sounds sad. The last time I was there (2008) it was a vintage treasure house.

Nothing was more disappointing than W. Bill. They are clearly trying to modernize and spoke derisively of the "old-fashioned" types of cloth I asked for.
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