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First non-RTW - London

Astaroth

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I have recently become more interested in styling and in particular the slightly more formal end of the spectrum.

Without making excuses for it I am relatively short (5'6), round chested (ie narrow shoulders) and overweight which means that my shoulders/ arms are a 42S and my gut is a 46S and generally 38/31 trousers. It doesnt look its best but for years I've worn a RTW 44S jacket to try and balance the two but obviously this has never fit either half of me.

So, MTM or Bespoke seems the way to go for something that actually fits well. I dont have £3,500 to spend on a big name savil row tailors unfortunately and so I am looking for suggestions? I was originally thinking MTM at SuiteSupply or Austin Reed, then read Permanent Style and considered pushing the boat out with Graham Browne but then read a fair amount of reviews on here that they aren't so good with people who dont know exactly what they want.

Second question, due to thigh rub my trousers can wear out stupidly quickly (my last M&S ones lasted less than 3 months) but some last better than others. What should I look for in a material to ensure it is more durable?

Thanks for helping a newbie
 

Blackhood

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This is very tough.

You have a difficult shape to handle: you could build up the shoulder to create more balance, or you can try to down-play the gut. Length isn't an issue.

The trouble is you need someone competent, but you don't have an enormous budget. I would avoid Austin Reed; their services render a reasonable quality suit but the measurements can be hit or miss. Their staff aren't normally trained tailors, they are suit salesmen who took a one day course. That isn't to say that you don't find some talented ones, but it is certainly not a given.

I can't really speak to the works of any individual tailors off the row, but I can give you the standard advice: speak to each one on your short list. Consider their house style. Ask what measures they would take to handle your girth and shoulders. If they answer confidently and can outline a rough plan to tackle the issues then feel confident. If you just get "oh yes, we can take care of that!" Then push for more detail.


Thigh issues: this isn't something you can solve with just cloth. Constant friction on any surface will cause wear. Even a metal working lathe has to use oil to prevent friction building up. You can make some headway by picking courser cloths (100s and 110s) which will be a little more robust, but it will only make a little difference. Tailors can reinforce the crotch and thighs which will also help.

In this area it is worth paying for quality: a well made robust cloth will last years longer than a mediocre one. Don't forget that there are multiple MTM programs on Savile Row that come in at the same price as Graham Brown. If you're just looking for a business suit then you don't actually need the customization options of bespoke. You just need to revise measurements. By going this rout you have the talents of SR staff measuring and advising you, but with the costs of about £1k per suit.

I appreciate this isn't the answer you were looking for, but because your situation is unusual you may find it hard to get those answers on a platter.
 

Macallan

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When getting trousers made the tailor would/should take that into account your big thighs and make trousers that reduce thigh rub. I have big thighs and in the past have had many trousers wear out because of thigh rub. With suits, get spare trousers as well; with any suit that I get now, I always order spare trousers.

Despite the reviews, you should still speak with Graham Browne. Another option is Cad & The Dandy (similar price range), who I have used and recently got three mtm trousers from them. CATD did take into account my thighs, the only issue I had was with a pair of 16oz flannel trousers because of cloth thickness, they needed to be taken out a bit.

There are other tailors in the same price bracket; however, I have used only CATD. If you do a search for £1k London bespoke, there are many Style Forum threads that discuss tailors in the price range you are looking at.
 
Last edited:

Astaroth

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This is very tough.

You have a difficult shape to handle: you could build up the shoulder to create more balance, or you can try to down-play the gut. Length isn't an issue.

The trouble is you need someone competent, but you don't have an enormous budget. I would avoid Austin Reed; their services render a reasonable quality suit but the measurements can be hit or miss. Their staff aren't normally trained tailors, they are suit salesmen who took a one day course. That isn't to say that you don't find some talented ones, but it is certainly not a given.

I can't really speak to the works of any individual tailors off the row, but I can give you the standard advice: speak to each one on your short list. Consider their house style. Ask what measures they would take to handle your girth and shoulders. If they answer confidently and can outline a rough plan to tackle the issues then feel confident. If you just get "oh yes, we can take care of that!" Then push for more detail.


Thigh issues: this isn't something you can solve with just cloth. Constant friction on any surface will cause wear. Even a metal working lathe has to use oil to prevent friction building up. You can make some headway by picking courser cloths (100s and 110s) which will be a little more robust, but it will only make a little difference. Tailors can reinforce the crotch and thighs which will also help.

In this area it is worth paying for quality: a well made robust cloth will last years longer than a mediocre one. Don't forget that there are multiple MTM programs on Savile Row that come in at the same price as Graham Brown. If you're just looking for a business suit then you don't actually need the customization options of bespoke. You just need to revise measurements. By going this rout you have the talents of SR staff measuring and advising you, but with the costs of about £1k per suit.

I appreciate this isn't the answer you were looking for, but because your situation is unusual you may find it hard to get those answers on a platter.
It was a very useful answer thank you.

I dont really have a short list of tailors, to be honest, this is all very new for me and all of my circle are very much in the RTW space. Having had lots of positive comments in the last year on my upgraded footware I think its time to do the same to the suits. If all things go well in years to come I may well end up paying full price for the savil row suits but just as I didn't buy a top of the range first car I don't feel comfortable to jumping to the upper end of the suiting market just yet either.

My resources for identifying any brands have purely been sites like these and unfortunately whilst each person undoubtably presents a tailor with a unique set of challenges I am yet to stumble across anyone with a similar shape to me thats heaping praise on any one (or even warning against any).

Which SR tailors do MTM for around the £1k mark? The only time I had a good look there that was closer to the RTW prices I was seeing.

Many thanks again
 

Blackhood

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When I was at Chester Barrie we offered MTM at £595 for a two piece and £999 for a three piece. There were limitations on the cloth but they were always good quality English cloth like Dugdale. Elsewhere you have Ede & Ravenscroft who also hovered around the £795 point. If you're in London you may as well drop into each House and talk to the sales staff; they are knowledgeable and always willing to advise you especially fi they have a product line that might work for you.
 

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