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Has anybody bought a Savile Row custom suit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JohnHunt12, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I don't think I ever said the variance between cutters is greater than the variance between houses. I said the house name sometimes obscures important details, such as who is the cutter behind your suit/ jacket.

    An A&S suit is not just an A&S suit. If you're looking at an A&S suit from 30 years ago, that will be slightly different from what you'll get now. If you like an A&S suit on a client -- say a friend of yours, or someone you see online -- the cutter who made that garment may not be the one that will be assigned to you. Boiling things down by houses is a good first step (which is stated in my post); knowing your cutter and being familiar with his (sometimes her) work can be even better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  2. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Read it again. You said cutter was more important than house.

     
  3. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Jesus Christ, you're insufferable.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Dieworkwear, you seem upset. Is there something you want to talk about? Is everything ok? I'm worried about you.
     
  5. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Plus 1
     
  6. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    You can't compare a £1000 suit to one at £5000 on the row, but I am sure you would need to do a lot of hand holding with someone who makes you a £1000 suit, monkeys and peanuts springs to mind. Walk into Huntsman, Dege, Kilgour, A&S, Gieves, Poole, Richard Anderson, Richard James etc and you'll get a fine enough suit. This is really like saying you need to be a top mechanic to own a Rolls or be a top food critic to enjoy fine dining.
     
  7. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Hi Andy, did you do research like this by stopping into chat at these places? It's about 10 years since I was at RJ but I'd find it really odd if people came into chat like that, it just wasn't really done. I'm not being critical (I would tell you if I was) but I wonder if the culture has changed since then. The trouble I think with this approach is that you are talking to people that are there to serve you not to sell to you. I have to admit I feel perplexed if someone comes in to ask me about my process in great detail and to "sell" them a suit, I'm good at managing tailors, fitting clients and getting suits done in time not really "selling". I've met some great salesmen that could sell anything and I certainly couldn't do that.
    Going back to Gieves way back when I was 19 (1998?) I was told on my first day that I was in service not sales as a man that walks into a Savile row establishment has already made up his mind to buy a suit. This wasn't "official" company policy and I wonder if it's out of step with how they operate now but it came from a regional manager who later became head of bespoke at no1.
     
  8. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Bummer. I was hoping we'd hang out some time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  9. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    Goodness me, no.

    And I didn't advocate doing so, but if you're close enough to do so, well, why not? When I was looking into buying my first "Savile Row" suit, I knew, more or less, that I wanted a drape cut style suit, in the A&S mold. And so, living in the San Francisco area, it was a question of which tailors travel to SF on a regular basis. That narrowed down the field somewhat and to cut a long story short, I decided to commission a suit from Edwin DeBoise at Steed. I liked the idea, touched on earlier in the thread, of being able to form a relationship with my tailor and I think I've been able to do that with Edwin and Matthew of Steed.

    My example of Chittleborough & Morgan comes from two times visiting their shop at 12 Savile Row. Through a combination of circumstances I choose not to go into, I had to be in London the very day that I was supposed to have my first meeting with Steed in San Francisco. Joe Morgan was kind enough to take my initial set of measurements for Steed. It worked out well and Joe and I had a very pleasant hour or so conversation. The second time I met Joe was one time when I dropped off some cloth for Steed while I was in London. Joe gave me a sort of tour of their back rooms where many tailors were busily creating those fabulous C&M suits. It was utterly fascinating.

    I have been very happy with Steed. But if I were to want something different, and I might very well, I'd get a suit cut by Joe Morgan.
     
  10. asturiano

    asturiano Senior member

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    WHITCOMB & SHAFTESBURY is offering a cut suit in London but stitched in India. They also offer the same product 100% made in UK.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  11. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    So I have read. But I think they are completely open about that and offer two different price points. I think the OP was concerned about undisclosed offshore tailoring. Or something.
     
  12. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    If you are not from the UK (or close), then another important factor to consider is if any of the tailors travel to a city near you. Much of the bespoke experience is the service and adjustments after the suit has been delivered.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. S K M

    S K M Senior member

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    Speaking of London tailors, does anyone know what happened to Karl Matthews? I really liked what I saw of his garments and I even contacted him to ask about his prices etc. but he never replied. And now it seems his internet domaine is gone :confused:
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    No doubt that you will get a fine enough suit. Also, you don't need to be a good food critic to enjoy fine dining. But below a certain threshold of understanding, the additional money is just not worth it if you cannot distinguish between two products. I, for example, would not buy $500 bottle of wine, simply because it would be wasted on me. And cars simply take me from point A to point B, so I am not going to spend top dollar on that either. I'll get something with good safety rating and doesn't use too much gas.
     
  15. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I think you should buy the wine!
     
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  16. JohnHunt12

    JohnHunt12 Member

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    Many thanks for all the comments. Although I have bought plenty of suits in the past, this is my first handmade bespoke suit.

    I am based in the UK, which is why I was considering Steven Hitchcock - I believe the whole suit making process is handled in the UK. I also like the soft tailored style.

    At the moment, I am looking at Steven and A&S, but will take a look at the others mentioned here too.
     
  17. tennisguru

    tennisguru Senior member

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    ^^^ Just to reiterate what some others have said - as you are in the UK, spend a boring wandering up and down the Row and surrounding streets and pop into a few and have a chat. I was looking to a suit cut for my wedding a few years back and did exactly that - some I spoke to were incredibly friendly and couldn't be more happy to discuss their particular house style, what they might recommend given what I was after and a offer up a suggestion of fabrics to look at (one or 2 were more stand-offish, but I can't take issue with that necessarily - I did more or less gatecrash them!).

    In the end I decided I would go with Edward Sexton (not not the Row), but never got around to commissioning the suit as we completely changed the plan for the wedding and it was no longer appropriate - one day i'll find another convenient excuse to commission one!

    All the best for yours.
     
  18. alebrady

    alebrady Senior member

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    When deciding on who to work with for my first SR suit, i did spend most of a day speaking with some of the various houses.'

    I had some non-Savile Row bespoke experience (so, was familiar with the process and what areas I liked and did not like from my prior experiences/suits) and had also familiarized myself with general house styles so that i could narrow down those that i thought would offer the me highest chance of being happy with the end product.

    I must say, im a little surpised by the reactions on here relating to speaking with houses for the purposes of making a decision - its not about expecting the house to 'sell'...its about understanding enough of their sensibilities (and they yours) for the purposes of starting a relationship. Every stop i made (about a half dozen, if i recall) was more than happy to discuss their house cut, whether my descriptions sounded similar to their 'defaults', other comsiderations i had not brought up. It was in fact, one of the most enjoyable days of the entire experience.

    So, my suggestion strongly echoes some others on here - do some due diligence to get a sense of where on the cut spectrum you think you might like to be, do some looking in on the forums of some of the houses that lean toward that make, and spend a little time talking to each. I highly suspect one will prove itself the 'right' choice for you, after spending the time.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Astaroth

    Astaroth Senior member

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    I know Permanent Style isnt a well received blog on this forum but on Simon's post on his Indian made Whitcomb & Shaftsbury suit (cut on Row but constructed in India) he does mention that Kilgour used to have a made in China option, though has stopped, but others do have workshops there - unfortunately doesnt name names. Gieves & Hawkes also has option of Mauritius and I thought that some of items sold off Row were as standard made in non-european countries
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Steven Cash

    Steven Cash Senior member

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    Though not in the same street as some of the above mentioned tailors (though of course they are [​IMG]) Cad & The Dandy are very upfront about the fact that their clothes are cut and basted in England but stitched in Nepal.

    I am seriously considering a bespoke sports jacket when I visit London later this month and I feel that C&D would be a good starting place for me start.

    Had I commissioned the jacket believing it to be completely made on Savile Row only to find out at a later date it wasn't I would no doubt have been most displeased.

    However, with that knowledge the customer can decide what he is losing by saving (or what he is gaining by spending). To me the stitching being done on Savile Row does not mean enough to me to justify 2/3x the price of the other tailors so I have made my decision and assuming I like what I see when I get there I shall look forward to being measured and starting the bespoke process.
     

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