132 | squaremeal.co.uk
As a menswear journalist, I'm
often asked for style advice.
Aside from obvious directives
(simple, good quality, plenty
of navy blue and the odd
little embellishment), my top
tip is to get things tailored. It means your
clothes actually t, which, after all, is the
secret to looking good. Of course, the most
accomplished level of tailoring is the bespoke
service - a process that opens up a whole
new realm of comfort, individuality, style
and caché. To limit the concept to clothes
however, would be wholly unadventurous.
Mayfair's Savile Row has long been the
beating heart of British menswear (the rst
houses set up shop in the late 18th century).
A testament to the enduring appeal of its
core product, it hasn't really changed in the
intervening centuries, and plenty of the
houses have been there for many years.
Dege � Skinner, for example, is celebrating
its 150th anniversary this year. 'Savile Row
remains at the pinnacle of men's tailoring,'
says managing director William Skinner. 'We'd
encourage every man to have at least one
piece of bespoke clothing made for them.'
Savile Row has maintained scores of loyal
YOUGetting a suit made entirely to your speci
cations is a great
investment, but if money is no object you can commission
a bespoke version of pretty much anything these days
WORDS CHARLIE TEASDALE
customers for reasons other than its great
suits. Firstly, this is down to the service. A
fully bespoke commission can take months
to complete and the client will be kept
informed and consulted at every juncture.
It's your commission, but the tailor will use
centuries of combined experience to guide
you towards the perfect result.
Secondly, that guidance alludes to the
sheer level of expertise that goes into creating
a bespoke commission. Sadly, because
of mass-produced clothing, the tailoring
industry isn't as strong as it once was. But it's
a craft that must be preserved, and thankfully
there are scores of budding apprentices, all
willing to do nothing but press trousers for six
months in the hope of getting to sew a hem.
Two former apprentices doing their bit to
keep the trade alive are Thom Widdett and
Luke Sweeney of Thom Sweeney. The former
Gieves Hawkes men have been operating
for just a few years, but they've already
opened their second store on Bruton Place.
'We served apprenticeships under some
of the greatest cutters and tailors on Savile
Row,' they say. 'We developed a fundamental
understanding for the art of bespoke; but
we had a desire to push its boundaries.'
Though they look to oer a 'totally new,
contemporary aesthetic', their customer
base isn't just made up of hip young guys.
'Our bespoke customers come in all ages,