Saturday, 5 January 2008

The real measure of a man is in the hands of your tailor

One of my New Years resolutions is to buy more less (I used to be the ultimate consumer personified) but what I buy will be quality. Less is more. This should ring true in every man's wardrobe. The need for hundreds and hundred of garments is superfluous to style- style blossoms in a concise, well thought out wardrobe. my disorganised wardrobe is a graveyard of impulse buys, faded and worn out favourites with the occasional long lasting piece and it is precisely the latter which I want to grow. Of course I'm not ruling out all impulse buying (life would be so dull!) but I have set myself a target and my reward will be the ultimate clothing investment...a bespoke suit. This is the ultimate sartorial choice with obvious advantage, the fit of course is perfect, flattering your good points and disguising any less liked elements of your figure. However one of the most attractive advantages for me is the level of control that it gives you, the consumer.

On bespoke tailoring Hardy Amies remarked 'It is often forgotten that we execute orders: we do not sell clothes. If you went into the Boutique you would buy a suit, but if you walk upstairs you order a suit. At the fittings you will be able to express your desires as to the position
and finish of many details. The whole process should be a harmonious co-operation between designer, tailor and customer, with the salesperson as a sort of referee'. Following this quote I have visions of a surreal wrestling match (of course no use of the tailoring scissors is allowed) between the tailor and customer with the salesperson complete with whistle in mouth. My strange mind aside, I am excited by the prospect of having a degree of influence an input, on the creation of a garment that should last a long time. The whole piece should be a reflection of your style, from the initial pattern down to the button detailing.


I enjoy reading the perspective of the tailor on the English Cut which is complimented with insightful articles for example for those of you who want to know more about what bespoke is or for those of you who feel bespoke is out of your reach. This certainly isn't the cheapest sartorial option (expect to pay around £2000 for a two piece suit) but I am a strong believer that it is the best clothing investment that one can make, it should be a staple in every stylising man's wardrobe or at least on their wish list (how long is your wish list?)

There will be subsequent posts about my blossoming love for bespoke but right now I want to declare my overwhelming desire to scrimp, save (and maybe even steal) for a two button, light grey bespoke suit. Within two years or so I want to walk away from Savile Row after my final fitting knowing that my suit is almost ready for me...
Don't believe a word of it folks- he's rubbish at saving money. I predict he'll continue losing it in Reiss, COS etc every few weeks, then just raid the inheritance in a year's time.

10 comments:

Candid Cool said...

do it!!

Daniel James said...

"expect to pay around £2000 for a two piece suit" on Savile Row. I'd rather get two bebspoke suits from a non-Savile Row tailor.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

Candid Cool: I will certainly do my best! EJ is right though, I'm not the best at saving but I am improving desptie what she says. I've not bought anything in Reiss or Cos for over three months. My only clothiing spend within that time has been over the January Sales and in Carnaby Street which was also sale time back in December.

Daniel James: It is true, the bespoke suit can certainly be bought cheaper. One can always go to the skilled tailors of Hong Kong for an extremely reasonable option. However, personally I've been seduced by savile Row ever since I was a youngster. The history and skill of that area of London is enough to make me spend so much.

Dustcakeboy said...

Gah! You'll beat me to it! It's my top priority at the moment but - sadly - student budgets aren't exactly conducive to bespoke.

DCB.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

DCB: Don't worry its not a race! My working budget isn't really suitable for bespoke either but I will show over the next couple of months how bespoke doesn't necessarily equal 'sell everything you own' expensive.

j said...

My concern with a bespoke suit is that when styles change, I won't wear it anymore. Shakespeare said "style wears out more clothes than the wearer"...one of my favorite quotes.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

J: That is a nice quote from the great bard but when it comes to bespoke changing styles shouldn't come into it. A bespoke suit should go beyond fashion and passing styles. Of course it depends on the buyer but the buying of a bespoke suit should be approached with a substantial degree of tradition combined with little personal sartorial touches. I don't think a simple two button, single breasted suit will go out of style in my lifetime. I am more worried about weight and/or figure changing with time...a suit that might fit like a glove at 25 might be on the tight side at 35! Still it will be the true litmus test to my body and health.

Sainsbury said...

Wow, amazing post. I've been thinking, it's vulgar for a man to have too many clothes... and tailoring is certainly the cornerstone of any man's wardrobe. Looking forward to seeing some photos of your inevitable suit!

Daniel James said...

If it's on the tight side in however many years time you can just have the suit let out. The benefit of having a bespoke suit made is that it's either a feature as matter of course or you can ask for extra material to be left inside for future alteration.

Thomas said...

You can get a bespoke suit from anywhere, as pointed out, but if you're going to do it for the first time, like all first times it sould be with the right girl...er...tailor. I second the Saville Row desire and urge you to bankrupt yourself to achieve this goal, mostly so I don't have to.

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