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London and RTW

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mike Hayden, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Mike Hayden

    Mike Hayden Member

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    I have mostly lingered for a year now.  Learned more about clothes than I ever wanted (or could afford) to know.  I was in London last November and the TM Lewin and Trywitt shirts and ties I wear here in Iowa get me great compliments.  Well, I'm heading back in January and what I would like to know from those that "know", IYHO, who has the best RTW suits in London now?  Also, where are the best places for C&J shoes?
    And while they may not be the best, I'll be getting more TM Lewin and Trywitt shirts and ties.
     
  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    Have a look at Gieves and Hawkes, No 1 Savile Row, for RTW suits - their 'house' range is good quality, and you may get a bargain as you should be there in time for the sales.

    Dunhill's, and Crombie on Jermyn Street are worth a look, as is Roderick Charles. Harvie and Hudson have a range of suits, too. Whilst in Jermyn Street, have a look at the other shirt shops - most will have some good sale offers.

    Cording's of Piccadilly are worth a look.

    Beale and Inman on Bond Street have Brioni and other good brands.

    There are any number of shops around town with Italian-sounding names which have permanent closing down sales - avoid these.

    For Crockett and Jones shoes, try Gordon Scott of Bond Street.

    You should be able to get round all of these in a day, stopping for afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason or the Ritz before heading up to John Rushton at Wimpole Street, who also has good prices on shoes.
     
  3. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    I imagine you can find most things at Harrod's albeit likely at full retail, with the VAT refund and the strong pound, there may still be decent values.
     
  4. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    I used to work just around the corner from Harrods, and spent many a lunchtime wandering around. They do indeed have a very wide range, both their own brand and 'shop-in-shop'. You will usually pay full retail - sometimes even more. IMHO their own brand stuff isn't particularly good quality. Much of their suit stock seems angled towards the continental style. However, it's worth visiting for the food halls alone. Harrods' sale is legendary, and if you are early enough there are real bargains.

    Selfridges on Oxford Street have a comprehensive range, with the accent on modern designers.
     
  5. ernest

    ernest Well-Known Member

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    When does the h&k sales begin?

    Before official dates I guess?
     
  6. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    (ViroBono @ 04 Dec. 2004, 12:01) I used to work just around the corner from Harrods, and spent many a lunchtime wandering around. They do indeed have a very wide range, both their own brand and 'shop-in-shop'. You will usually pay full retail - sometimes even more. IMHO their own brand stuff isn't particularly good quality. Much of their suit stock seems angled towards the continental style. However, it's worth visiting for the food halls alone. Harrods' sale is legendary, and if you are early enough there are real bargains. Selfridges on Oxford Street have a comprehensive range, with the accent on modern designers.
    When does the h&k sales begin? Before official dates I guess?
    Usually January. I will be there later today and will let you know when I get back tomorrow.
     
  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    It depends what you define as "best". In terms of selection and quantity it must the three Crockett & Jones shops (Jermyn Street, Royal Exchange and Burlington Arcade). In terms of price it will be:

    A & G Martin-Stone
    449 Edgware Road
    London W2
    020 7723 9727

    This is in "Little Venice" and outside the Westend. (Tourists are not likely to find the shop by chance.) Their prices on C & J are maybe 25% below the Westend prices.
     
  8. MPS

    MPS Well-Known Member

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    The best English RTW suits are:

    Chester Barrie
    Cordings
    Stanley Ley
     
  9. shoefan

    shoefan Well-Known Member

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    The good news is that all the shops will have sales on during January. The bad news is that the dollar is getting creamed by the pound, as well as the euro, yen, etc.

    The best British-made RTW is Chester Barrie, which apparently also makes the Hield line. These two companies have shops basically next door on Savile Row, or at least did prior to Barrie's recent filing for reorganization. Barrie clothes are also available at Harrods, and used to be available elsewhere. I don't know if either Barrie or Hield has a sale in their shops, but I would think they likely do.

    However, many of the better Italian RTW brands are also available in London, including Brioni (Brioni store just off Bond St. and at Beale & Inman on Bond St), Kiton (Harrods, perhaps one of the Herbie Frogg locations), Belvest and D'Avenza (both at some menswear store on Bond St, but I don't recall the name), Isaia (at least it used to be available at a Herbie Frogg store on Bond St, but which is now perhaps the Canali store -- Frogg may now have it elsewhere). Plus, I thing Corneliani has a store on Bond St, as does Zegna and the aforementioned Canali. All should have items on sale in January.

    The Gordon Scott store will almost certainly have a bunch of C&J's on sale, including Handgrades, plus some Grenson Masterpiece models. Also, be aware that the C&J stores are quite likely to have some of the same models on sale, and perhaps others. Further, C&J makes many of the shoes now sold at Foster & Sons on Jermyn St, some of which may be on sale as well. Of course, you must stop by the Edward Green shop; you might be able to get a pair for prices comparable to the C&J Handgrade sale prices. If nothing else, try some on to establish your proper size and preferred last for future reference. If you hang around here long enough, you end up wanting some Greens at some point. Also, see if Lobb has a sale at their Jermyn St location.

    As mentioned by Ernest, try out the Hilditch & Key shirts, which are superior to the brands you've bought and which are quite a good deal during their semi-annual sales. Perhaps also check out Budd (Piccadilly Arcade) and Turnbull & Asser.
     
  10. Mike Hayden

    Mike Hayden Member

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    Thanks for all the great tips. We will be there Jan. 11-17, will we miss most of sales?

    Since getting back I have bought a Hilditch shirt (on e-bay, not the best example I'm sure) and I was not overly impressed. At least not for the price difference. Thanks to this forum Trwyitt shirts can usually be had for 50% off and I find their 140's cotton very comfortable and almost silky.
     
  11. Nonk

    Nonk Well-Known Member

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    If anyone else has any tips for a shopping trip to London in January (first week hopefully) then keep this thread going, as I am planning such a trip.

    Sales information is especially welcome.
     
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Well-Known Member

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    My biggest problem with Tyrwhitt stuff is it is generally pretty loose fitting, although apparently there are some slimmer fitting cuts, I heard they still run a bit large.
     
  13. puzzledexpression

    puzzledexpression Member

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    The sales will still be on, but the best bargains will probably have been snapped up by then.

    You might want to consider visiting the Chester Barrie facxtory shop in Crewe. Having heard good things about CB on this forum and on Ask Andy I visited the shop a couple of weeks ago. I got two excellent CB suits (navy-blue pinstripe DB and plain dark grey SB). The tailor in the shop (Steve) even threw in a free silk shirt. One suit was £375, the other £425 - less than half the price I would have paid on Savile Row. Prices might be even better ifthe factory shop reduce prices after Christmas...

    The downside will be that you will have to take the best part of a day out of your vacation to go to Crewe and back - and you miss out on some of the 'Savile Row experience'. In any case it would be sensible to phone ahead to see what they've got in your size before making the journey. I'm a 40R and there was plenty of choice. Here are the details:

    Cheshire Clothing 9 Marshfield Bank, Crewe, CW2 8UY
    Tel: 01270 583161

    If you make the same kind of savings I did, you will be able to have dinner at the Savoy Grill the evening you get back and still be comfortably in credit.

    Good luck.
     
  14. ernest

    ernest Well-Known Member

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    h&k makes 40% off if you buy 6 shirts
     
  15. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    Ernest

    I was in Jermyn Street yesterday. Hilditch and Key are not saying anything about their January sale (other than that it will start in early January), but at the moment they are offering their shirts at £45, slightly less if you buy a few.

    For those who like Tyrwhitt shirts, they have an outlet shop at Bicester Park, which is a reasonable drive from London. There are also outlets for Gieves and Thieves & Ralph Lauren at the same place.
     
  16. Mike Hayden

    Mike Hayden Member

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    Thanks again for the continued input, I'll probably ask for any specific sale information the week before I go. While doing all the shopping, one needs nourishment, what are opinions on inexpensive food in London. Must be easy to get to. Cheap dinner place? Favorite coffee shop? Favorite fish and chips place? Favorite inexpensive restaurant around the west end for dinner before a show?

    Thanks again for your wonderful answers. The world really is a small place and I am grateful to have all these friends from everywhere at this site.
     
  17. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    In the matter of food, the unwary tourist must tread carefully. There are any number of very mediocre places which will take your money and leave you with a poor impression of London. You can spot them by the crowds of large, baseball-hatted Americans and camera-toting Japanese. Expect to pay a lot more for food in London than you do in the US. Don't expect US btrands to be the same as they are in the US. London is easy to get around using the Underground system - buy a daily TravelCard and a pocket A-Z Guide (indispensable map book). My recommendations (food and ambience are very personal things, so I expect others to disagree with some choices): There are any number of McDonald's and similar places, but if crap food and slack-jawed staff aren't your bag, try Ed's Diner (several branches) for made to order burgers. Pret a Manger is a chain of sandwich shops all over London. Everything is freshly made daily. You can eat in, too. There are lots of individual sandwich bars which are usually excellent. Belgo Centraal - Covent Garden. Belgian themed, with mussels a big feature, though their steaks and chicken are good too. They do a lunch deal at £5.95 and in the evening, if you go early (as many Americans are wont to do), they have a Beat the Clock deal - the price you pay is the same as the time you order, so if you order at 6.39pm your main course will cost £6.39. Great for families, great for beer (over 100 types). No good for quiet romantic dinners. Harrods, Knightsbridge - there are several cafes and food places. Their pizzas (food hall) are superb, as are their fresh sandwiches and wraps. For a treat try the Oyster Bar. The Punch Cafe (near the antique print dept) does a very good afternoon tea at reasonable price. Warning: confiscate wife's credit card before entry. Fish and Chips are generally a disaster in London - you have to go to the North of England, where they use dripping to fry in. Avoid the Harry Ramsdens chain (recently panned by critics). Around the Edgware Road/Marble Arch/Queensway area there are lots of small, relatively cheap restaurants offering all sorts of cuisines. Pre-theatre, why not do it in style and go to the Savoy? They do pre-theatre dinners and often have special offers. Likewise Simpson's, which is almost next door. I also recommend Claridges for a special dinner - in the Reading Room 2 courses are around £25. I was there again on Saturday and it was just superb. Any impeccably dressed gentleman will feel completely at home. I think the Criterion in Piccadilly also does a pre-theatre deal, but can be expensive. If you are ex-military, try the Victory Services Club near Marble Arch. Their Grill Room is good, and the bar is subsidised.... Cheap accommodation too, for those entitled. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz is a must-do, but a trifle expensive. Claridge's and the Connaught also do very good afternoon tea. Fortnum and Mason's Fountain Cafe is good, and has a convenient exit onto Jermyn Street. Most pubs have food, and this is usually a good option for 'routine' lunches. Note that the better places will have a dress code - usually jacket and tie, but dining in London is usually informal. I have eaten in all the places I have recommended above, but there are many other excellent places to eat.
     
  18. MPS

    MPS Well-Known Member

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    If you're after food in a hurry, I'd recommend "Eat" over "Pret a manger". For a nice meal, I would also recommend Gordon Ramsay at Claridges.
     
  19. Styleman

    Styleman Well-Known Member

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  20. ernest

    ernest Well-Known Member

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    £45 is the sales price.

    So they already have started this price?

    Have you seen prices of cashemer scarves?
     

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