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Thrift store find #2 on the day

j

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I found this awesome suit. I haven't measured it out yet, but it's about a 42L. It does have a couple of spots, but they don't look fatal. Obviously, it needs steaming.
Unusual self-fabric belt:
So, what do I have here?
 

j

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Some other details: pick stitching on lapels, full canvas, padstitched, non functional buttonholes, double vented, flat front pants. I love this fabric. I wonder if I can get it altered to fit me...

Anyone?
 

misterbowles

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Aww, man. That is nice. Makes me want to hit the thrift stores again...
 

j

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Thanks. I wish it would fit me but I think it is too long. I will take it in to the cleaners today to see if they are optimistic about the spots on the pants. Even if not, the jacket is plain navy, so it could be a nice odd jacket for someone. BTW, Manton: check those sleeve buttons.
 

pejsek

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I hope I do no harm by adding a small excerpt from Alan Flusser's 1981 book, Making The Man:

Gieves & Hawkes was formerly one of the most prestigious custom tailors on Savile Row. It still makes military uniforms for the Royal family, but today its real area of specialty is the ready-made suit. If you want a ready-made English-cut suit, the Gieves & Hawkes' models from Chester Barrie are the finest in London. They have been called the Rolls Royce of ready-made suits.
Each Chester Barrie suit is made 70 percent by hand. Every suit is hand-cut individually and sewn together with 10,000 hand stitches. At Gieves and Hawkes the alterations are done by custom tailors.

Flusser goes on to note a $475 base price. I had one of these a few years ago in a very nice textured brown and grey pinstripe. The self belt on your suit is a really cool period touch. I have no real desire to wade into the button issue except to note that (in my experience) any real concern with sleeve buttons on rtw suits and jackets is fairly recent. I have some 10-15 year old Kiton suits with sleeve buttons that would be hard to distinguish from regular department store offerings.
 

AlanC

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I will take it in to the cleaners today to see if they are optimistic about the spots on the pants.
It's amazing what they can get out. I've picked up a couple of things at thrift shops with spots, pointed them out for spot treatment and the cleaners got them right out.

A Chester Barrie is on my thrift store dream list. I got my Oxxford (at consignment, actually, for $20) recently.
 

Manton

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j

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I'm guessing this means it is most likely RTW. Any idea on the vintage of it?

BTW, I'll offer it for trade for a similar plain navy suit that will fit me ("42 for shoulders", 40 chest measurement, ~33 waist), otherwise it's going on ebay along with a bunch of other stuff.
 

Manton

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Two clues: SR tailors rarely if ever put a house label on the inside of a bespoke coat like that.  They typically put their house label inside the right inside pocket of the coat.  Also, I have never seen them put in a label to identify the fabric.  Only American tailors do that. Which says to me that the suit was RTW, made for the American market.
 

j

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How do you mean, made for the American market? Where would this originally have been purchased?
 

Manton

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Barney's maybe. Gieves was (to the best of my knowledge) the first SR house to leverage the brand name into RTW. Caused a minor scandal at the time, but it saved the business. I don't know exactly who carried the stuff, but upper-end American department stores have been carrying Huntsman and Gieves RTW since at least the late 1980s.
 

pejsek

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In my experience Huntsman is the only Savile Row tailor to have flirted with a label on the outside of the inside pocket. I have seen a number of Huntsman suits and jackets from the 1960s and 1970s with their distinctive logo on this kind of label. This always struck me as a bit strange, since--as Manton points out--it is so against SR tradition. But then Huntsman may be Huntsman most of all. Since then, however, they seem to have reverted to the standard label-less approach.
 

pejsek

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My guess, J, is that this suit comes from the same owner as those wonderful shoes. I don't think there's any way to tell where it was purchased and it may very well have been bought in England; many American specialty stores preferred to put in a house label along the lines of, for example, "Made In England for Cable Car Clothiers by..." and this suit lacks such a label. My hunch is that this suit goes back to sometime in the 1970s and is from the line that Flusser mentions.
Let's just be sure to distinguish this suit from the later Gieves & Hawkes RTW which was made here in the US under license and was a much inferior product. And wasn't Huntsman RTW a sort of Barney's house label for years (with much of the clothing being made in Italy)?
 

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