Will New Store Opening Spell the End for Savile Row?

November 08, 2012 | Posted in Blog, Savile Row | Leave a Comment   (0) | Jasper

 

 

Savile Row tailors

The protest in Savile Row

 

Suit lovers everywhere are up in (well-tailored) arms about a new proposal which could irreversibly change the face of the world’s most famous tailoring street. On St George’s day a group of immaculately dressed demonstrators gathered outside the proposed site of a new chain store to protest the opening.

Savile Row has been synonymous with good taste, sharp cutting and bespoke tailoring for more than two centuries, but recent plans to allow an Abercrombie and Fitch children’s store to open on the street has caused outrage amongst those who want the Row to stay just as it is.

The legacy of Savile Row

For many years Savile Row has managed to hold on to its unique position in London and has so far remained uninvaded by more modern stores. It is here that Admiral Nelson’s uniform was made. It was here that Edward the VII invented the dinner jacket – and it was here that Hollywood actors from the golden age came when they needed a waistcoat cut properly.

For more than two hundred years Savile Row has maintained its reputation as the capital of bespoke suit making and thrived on its uniqueness and its well deserved place as part of the history of fashion.

Bespoke tailoring on the rise

What seems most strange about the almost inevitable move to allow modern chain stores on Savile Row is that the demand for bespoke tailoring is actually on the rise. Many celebrated suit makers have chosen to move their businesses here in the last ten years and proved that bespoke tailoring can be adapted to suit modern tastes, whilst other tailors on the row have seen a marked increase in custom over the last few years. One tailor even revealed that CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch Mike Jeffries gets his own suits made in the very place he plans to decimate.

Savile Row – But not as we know it

What makes Savile Row stand out as the street for bespoke suit making is its refusal to follow the fad for cheap and poorly made clothes. It’s easy to buy Abercrombie and Fitch style cargo pants, printed T shirts and thongs complete with suggestive slogans on any British High Street; so is there really a need to allow this ‘throwaway’ store to open its doors on a street that as yet remains unspoiled by modern intervention?

With another application from trendy fashion chain The Kooples in the pipeline, it seems that it won’t be long before the charm of Savile Row has been ground out and it becomes just like any other High Street in the world.

 

 

 

Groom suits and how to design them

November 06, 2012 | Posted in Groom suits | Leave a Comment   (0) | Jasper

 

 

Linings for bespoke groom suits

Some of the many colourful linings available for selection

 

For most of us, choosing a wedding suit is a new and hopefully once in a lifetime experience, which is why it’s essential to get it right.

If you’ve got lots of questions about the best wedding suit to choose then let us guide you in the right direction with the answers to these frequently asked questions:

 

1. Will this suit be used for work after the wedding or not?

If you’re planning to wear your suit for work or other reasons after your wedding then the style, cut and fabric you choose is of considerable importance.

Whenever I consult with clients this is the first question I ask and around 80% of people intend to use their suit for business afterwards, whilst the remaining 20% will use their suit for special occasions only.

In terms of economy, having a wedding suit made that you can then wear for work is cost effective and there are plenty of fabrics to choose from that strike the right balance between business and special occasions.

If you don’t intend to wear your suit again then you’ve really got complete freedom as to the colour, style and design you choose.

 

2. Timing

When is your wedding? Any decent tailor will have a turn-round time of at least six weeks so if you’re nearly six weeks away from your wedding date, call a tailor (preferably us) NOW! Remember that your wedding date cannot be moved to accommodate a late suit!

 

3. Fabric choice

To avoid looking too business like don’t opt for pin stripes, chalk stripes or very sombre colours like plain black.

Mid blues, greys and browns all work well for weddings, but there’s really an endless choice of fabric types and colours.

When it comes to fabric, opt for high quality such as mohair or fine wool which will look great and be built to last. You can choose fabrics that have been finished to a high lustre to add an extra touch of luxury that will still work in the office.

 

4. Style choice

To avoid the work wear look don’t opt for three-button single-breasted suits or double-breasted suits as they can end up looking too official and aren’t relaxed enough for a wedding.

I would personally recommend either a one or two-button single-breasted suit. A one-button in particular can work very well as a wedding suit and is versatile enough to be worn for other occasions or for work. My own wedding suit was a one-button.

 

5. Themes

Do you want to match your suit to the colour theme of your wedding? If you’re going for a pink or purple scheme you don’t have to choose a bright and bold fabric, but you could opt for a matching lining and pocket square that will tie in with the overall colour theme (see image above).

 

6. Colour of the bride’s dress

Although you probably won’t want to see the bride’s dress before your big day, it’s still important to ensure that your suit isn’t going to clash with the outfit of your wife to be.

To avoid seeing the dress try to get hold of a fabric sample so that you can bring it with you to your first appointment with a tailor and make sure that your suit will work well with the wedding dress.

 

7. Tails or no tails

If you want to wear a traditional top hat and tails then bear in mind that your suit must be worn as a 3-piece and your ushers will also have to wear the full outfit.

Unless you can afford to buy a top hat and tails for all your ushers they will probably end up hiring suits which are unlikely to measure up to the standards you expect.

You may also want to bear in mind that if you’re getting married in the summer a three-piece tailcoat with top hat can be on the warm side!

 

8. Three-piece or two-piece

The majority of groom suits we tailor are two-piece and single breasted but a three-piece suit is also a great wedding option. One advantage of the three-piece is that you are instantly differentiated from the ushers and the rest of the wedding party who are almost guaranteed to be wearing two-piece suits.

However, bear in mind that after your wedding you may not use the waistcoat again so the extra money you spent on it will be just for your wedding day.

 

9. The wedding party

Another factor you may want to consider is the sartorial intentions of the male side of your wedding party. Many grooms choose to give a semi-bespoke suit as a gift to their best man and/or ushers and others decide to split the cost with them. One advantage of this approach is that all of these suits can be tailored in the exact same fabric, which looks superb on the day and in the wedding photography.

Your ushers will also be delighted to add a beautifully tailored suit to their wardrobe for future use.

 

If the thought of choosing your wedding suit still fills you with dread then make sure you get in touch and we’ll explain all your options on your first visit so you can pick the perfect suit for your wedding and beyond.

 

 

 

 

Yorkshire’s fabric mills – a brief history

October 26, 2012 | Posted in Cloth | Leave a Comment   (0) | Jasper

 

 

 

Yorkshire fabric mill, English milled fabric

Black Dyke Mill, Yorkshire

 

 

From Cobbles to Catwalk – The Incredible Fashion Journey of Yorkshire Fabrics

Yorkshire has long been synonymous with fabric mills, even before industrialisation made it the nation’s – and for a while the world’s – biggest fabric producer, there was a well-established cottage industry.

Despite most of the UK’s past industrial glory dwindling to a shadow of its former self, the Yorkshire fabric industry is still going strong. According to statistics from Arap, a technical consultancy firm based in Leeds, 10% of all jobs in fashion manufacturing and design in the UK are within West Yorkshire and, according to the firm, 40,000 of West Yorkshire’s residents are employed within the textiles industry.

When industrial textile mills began to spring up all over Yorkshire in the late eighteenth and early 19th century, they provided something that the average man could not have got his hands on before – affordable fabric. This meant that people were able to have more clothes made, for the first time giving them an albeit limited choice as to what they wore.

At the higher end of the scale Yorkshire fabrics became a sign of quality throughout the world and have been a popular choice amongst tailors and fashion designers for hundreds of years. In 2011, an exhibition held at Leeds Armley Mills Museum showcased the incredible legacy of the Yorkshire cotton mills. A clothing collection from the Sunnybank Mill Woven Textile Archive gave a flavour of how the use of Yorkshire fabrics has developed since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

The exhibits included the handiwork of Henry Poole, Savile Row tailor, as well as examples from world class fashion designers Mulberry and Bower Roebuck, demonstrating that Yorkshire fabrics are still considered amongst the best in the world and are just a as popular in 2012 as they were in 1912.

 

 

English milled fabrics

Salts Mill, Yorkshire