- Feb 22, 2009
- Reaction score
aha, probably should google, it was purchased over 10 years ago...
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I've been to Wilkes Bashford in San Fran. Nice stuff but seriously pricey. Salesman was dropping names left and right."...and Kamala was just in last weekend, so was Willie Brown! Nancy (Pelosi) is a regular!" Kind of fun actually.aha, probably should google, it was purchased over 10 years ago...
Wilkes Bashford has great stuff - I really like their SF store.Wilkes Bashford opened a branch in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, 20 years ago.
It was just when local businesses started to embrace "casual everyday" . Not that the
tech industry was ever known for elegant dress. I predicted that it would be gone in a
few years. Instead, they have persevered and possibly even prospered by selling
overpriced Italian clothes to a clientele that is largely clueless about style.
Chester Barrie was dead before it closed up shop. It was just a name that belonged to an investment firm that got put onto half-canvassed suits made in Italy and fused suits made elsewhere. The actual British manufacture that had produced the handmade suits that made the reputation of Chester Barrie was sold off 15 years ago and now belongs to Lutwyche, and also trades as Cheshire Bespoke, so you can still find that stuff around.Hey everybody,
It was discussed a while back that Chester Barrie has closed shop (hopefully the company will make a comeback).
In the mean time, there are some interesting pieces floating around:
I picked up this NWT CG Gold Label suit for about $150 (Gold Label was their most recent high-end RTW line that's half-canvassed and made in Italy). It looks like the seller has access to left over stock:
<p>Chester Barrie Peak Lapel Navy Blue Prince of Wales Check Suit - 40 Regular. Dispatched with Royal Mail 1st Class Recorded Delivery. </p><br><p>Jacket</p><p>Neck to Hem - 76cm</p><p>Across Chest - 51cm</p><p>Sleeve Length - 66cm</p><br><p>Trousers</p><p>Waist - 34 inches</p><p>Inside Leg - 32...www.ebay.co.uk
And this seller has bolts of fabric, and lining, from their Savile Row shop (including this 100% cashmere bolt):
It was bought from Chester Barrie Sales so the quality is excellent. Colour is dark brown. It really is a marvellous piece of cloth. We bought a lot of material with the good intention of having it made up but never got round to using it all.www.ebay.co.uk
Wilkes Bashford has great stuff - I really like their SF store.
I've never been to the Palo Alto store, but first shopped at the SF store in the mid 90's. I bought my first Kiton item there and back then the SAs were talking it up as the pinnacle of hand-sewn craftsmanship, exclusivity, blah blah...The opening of the Palo Alto store 20 years ago was the decision of Wilkes Bashford himself.
Mitchells acquired them in 2009. I never really liked the store… too trendy for me, although I
own a WB suit and blazer from them from a now discontinued brand. In my opinion the store
has lost much of its individuality since the takeover.
Do you have any fit picks..? Would like to see this IRL.Half, although the interlining runs longer than some other half canvas suits (but not long enough to make it a full canvas jacket).
I haven't torn the jacket apart but the canvas feels synthetic to me.
The jacket is half lined but the front of it is stitched up pretty well to prevent me from getting to the canvas without ripping a seam
The whole thing is pretty clearly machine made. I'm not in the clothing business, but a friend of mine who is suspects that it might be partially made in China and then stitched together in Italy to get a "made in Italy" designation. I'm not trying to slander the collection, I think that is probably pretty typical for a suit at this price point and to be honest I like the style of it. It would look good if I hadn't gained a bunch of weight.
here are some more pics. The most hilarious thing to me is the "handwritten note" from craft. I had forgotten about this until I open the box, it is just a cheap b&w printout. I'm kind of surprised they didn't at least spring for actual stationary
They were also kind enough to send an issue of the Rake along with it. Maybe that's where the stationary money went
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I feel for the salespeople, and outside of London those stores were often a real improvement on existing high street offerings. I can't say I ever used them for more than the odd purchase, but where else are you going to get a self-tie white bow tie at short notice in regional Britain?TM Lewin to close all their stores. They will continue as a mail order/online only operation.
TM Lewin to close all their stores. They will continue as a mail order/online only operation.