Bespoke tailor in London - Help needed

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by artful dodger, May 17, 2012.

  1. artful dodger

    artful dodger New Member

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    I've recently arrived in London and am looking to embark on the bespoke tailoring journey.

    I've been through much of the discussions on styleforum to date which have proved quite helpful, but most seem a little dated now.

    Could anyone please provide some guidance here, i'm looking to spend c.£3000 on a two piece suit, am keen for a reasonably structured look to the suit and a tailor that i can hopefully start a long term relationship with.

    Maybe suggest top 3 tailors to visit and why? Any tips on what to watch out for?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Since you're in London, I suggest that you visit the tailors that interest you in person to choose your favorite rather than asking for a "top three" list here.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  3. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    He's right, a trip down the row will take maybe 2 hours if you stop at all ~20 tailors, and given that the suit will last many years and the relationship many decades, it seems like a good investment in time.
     
  4. artful dodger

    artful dodger New Member

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    Thanks will certainly do that. Was hoping for a bit of steer in terms of who's who; price v quality, are there any tailors which offer good products which may not be on the Row which are worth going to visit, are there any which have gone down hill/just trading on the brand and should be avoided etc. as going in blind without any recommendations is a bit risky when I don't have the detailed tailoring knowledge that many in this forum have.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  5. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    About £3000 per suit is a good budget IMO, and you have a broad variety of different options at that range.

    I prefer not to comment on tailors I don't use; hopefully others will chime in with their current experiences... as you say, it's been a while since we've had a good thread on all the different London tailors though there's plenty of stuff in the archives here. I do agree that with both Blackhood and F. Corbera that on a practical level for you, it's much better to actually go in yourself and get a feel for which shops on the Row and its environs mesh best with your attitude, but it's still fun to have a thread comparing experiences, preferably with photos, if only to have a nice recent thread about it on the board.

    I use Ede & Ravenscroft for bespoke suits and jackets. They make a fairly typical English suit, so moderately structured and pretty clean. Customer service is good. Price is somewhere in the mid/high 2000s for suits but I can't remember exactly off the top of my head (it's within your budget, anyway). I should point out that I don't order through their London branches, but the product will be essentially the same, so I think it's reasonable for me to throw their name into the mix for you to choose from in London.

    A recent 3B suit and slightly older 2B jacket from my WAYWRN photo archives (click pics to enlarge), to give you a rough idea of the cut.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. WhippingBoy

    WhippingBoy Active Member

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    For £3K I could get 2 genuine Bespoke suits
    Couple of pairs of goodyear welted benchgrade shoes and 3/4 bespoke shirts

    Places to go too are, wait for it!

    Graham Browne
    Sims and MacDonald
    Cad and the Dandy (Make sure you deal with Jon DeBoise and get it made in the UK)

    Cost - About £1k per suit, make sure you deal with your cutter ONLY (thats a cutter, not a salesman/professional clothier/ex banker/high end sales oik/former recruitment consultant/spotty boy/anyone with crap/fashionable shoes)

    Shirts -
    G J McCarthy - He comes recommended through John Ruston (see below)
    Stephan Shirts (MTM) -
    You can try Graham Browne or Cad but all they will do is outsource

    Shoes
    Rule 1 ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL THE SALES in January
    Then go to GJ Cleverley and buy their re-badged C&Js or Ed Greens for about £250/£300
    Only other shoe shop worth trying is John Rushton, lovley bloke, knows his stuff.

    If you want to try other tailors try

    Couch and Hoskin
    Connock and Locke
    Paul Kitsaros
    Chris Kerr and Mr Eddy
    Redwood and Feller
    Ninos

    Try permanet style as well.
     
  7. Tropicalist

    Tropicalist Senior member

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    I recently used Huntsman. The results were rather drapey- not at all what I expected from their reputation. This remains the airiest of all the bespoke suits I have all of which are from a single tailor in Bangkok who, I have used for 10years.

    However the finished product was very nice indeed in its own way. The process was very smooth. However it was a bit more than 2000. Overall I think my Bangkok guy does a better job at a much more modest budget
     
  8. andreyb2

    andreyb2 Senior member

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    This.

    £3000 allow you a lot of options. No necessity to sift through budget tailors.

    Andrey
     
  9. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Stephen Hitchcock comes to mind but visit several and form your own opinion - second hand thoughts are simply not appropriate as a couple of posts above amply justify.
     
  10. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    There isn't a top three. There are only opinions.

    Were I you, I'd take a day or more off and make some appointments on the Row and its near environs and do your research slowly.

    Ignore the budget tailors, because you have the money. If you change your mind and decide you'd rather pay £800-2000, come back and ask again about Graham Browne, the Soho tailors, and other sub-2K bespoke.

    "Reasonably structured" could mean different things to different people.

    To me it means not drapey A&S things (so discount Steed/Mahon, younger Hitchcock - see the old A&S expatriates thread).

    It probably means you would think that the very hard "cavalry" (my term) or "sporting"/"hacking" cuts at Huntsman, Richard Anderson and - I think - Kent, Haste and Lachter are too structured for your taste - but you have to decide. Same for whatever Dougie Hayward on Mount Street has re-invented itself as with an infusion of Kilgour cutters since Mr Hayward passed on, or Edward Sexton.

    Which leaves you with the rest, really. Kilgour has history but has recently (as above) gone through some major staff changes and may well be a "harder" cut than you like (I haven't experienced any of their stuff in person for years so have no specialised knowledge). Poole is the classic - and produce a more structured look at times than you may think. But go and talk to both of them. Definitely see Andrew Ramroop at Maurice Sedwell, though I'm not sure of their pricing, which I think can be on the high side for you (and me). And definitely see Dege. Go visit Meyer and Mortimer. And the jolly chaps at Davies and Son. As Holdfast suggests, check out E and R. And, although they've focussed on RTW for 30+ years, and have just been bought by Chinese investors, even go see Gieves and Hawkes. Pop into Benson and Clegg on the arcade offf Jermyn St for a chat. And pop by all the others that I've forgotten.

    If you want the traditional London bespoke experience, walk past and do not enter Oswald Boateng, Spencer Hart, Richard James and those two odd places on the West side of the Row that have novelty shirts with contrast piping and shiny silver RTW numbers in the windows.

    Also go over to the London Lounge on the interwebz and do some lurking/searching. Like any internet forum, I can't vouch for the accuracy of individual posts, but you may find it useful.

    However, my fundamental advice is go see everyone who might fit your bill, take your time, think about it, and then pick someone. And then let us know how it went.
     
  11. davesmith

    davesmith Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    This is the most important part.
     

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