But there are some great things about the Row. For example:
- You don't have to be an internet clothing expert to come out of there looking good. The row is populated by professionals who will do their job whether you are Simon Crompton or nobody. In fact, I'd go so far that too much expertise, if it results in tinkering, perhaps prevents row tailors from doing what they do best: applying their house style to individual clients. But there is no secret and anyone can walk in and feel like they will come out on the other side looking good.
- You are protected on the downside. The suit is done when you are happy and customer service is taken so seriously that there is a separate function dedicated to it. And those guys at the front of the house are generally a pleasure to deal with and to have a drink with.
- There are a range of wonderful house styles and the differ greatly from address to address. From A&S to Chittleborough, from military to leisure, there are tons of possibilities. Maybe more variation on the row than ever right now and Taub in particular seems completely unconstrained by tradition.
On the other hand, the row is frightfully expensive. For those of us in the USA, the dollar-pound exchange rate makes it about 1.5 suits denominated in euro for every suit of the same price denominated in pounds, and a little more than a 1.5 suits denominated in dollars. The handwork at some big names can be lacking compared to the continent. People switch from house to house frequently, which means you are going to require a new pattern from time to time, which is annoying. And you have to decide whether to stay with the house or follow your cutter. Sometimes places can seem more like big brands banking on a RTW line than small bespoke houses.
But I'm not sure. Is it Savile Row less popular or respected than it was in the past? Is it still great? What can one expect from a row suit? I'm hoping that we can hear about experiences with Poole, Taub (Gieves & Hawkes), Richard Anderson, Maurice Sedwell, Davies & Son, Kilgour and any others from the Row that you might have used. I'm dying to see some of Patrick Norton's work.
I will start the discussion with my thoughts and my analysis based on my recent experience, which is limited to Huntsman.
I think Huntsman in the same way I think of burgundy: I really love it, and I'm glad to have some, but unless the value proposition changes I'm reluctant to buy more. Lets keep this thread on target and lets treat this like an adult conversation. If you don't like going back and forth in a reasonable manner (with a little snark threaded in) then I can direct you to another thread.