Known as the world’s most sartorial street in Mayfair, central London, Savile Row is a name identical with masculine elegance, time-honoured tradition, and discreet luxury. It’s the place to go for stylish suits made by the most highly skilled craftsmen. Here are quick steps to buying a suit on London’s Savile Row says ADEDOYIN JOHNSON.
Buying a suit on London’s famous Savile Row does not come cheap. The new infiltration on the Row, Ready-to-wear suits, start around £700. If you prefer made-to-measure, you may double your budget.
However, if you need the full bespoke experience, plan for a budget of £4,000, but £10,000 is not uncommon, depending on the material you prefer for your suit and the level handwork required by the tailors.
The styles on Savile Row that will give you the structured English look can be divided into three:
The Traditional Cut is the oldest style on the Row. It is known by a strong shoulder, a chest that fits close to the body, a nipped waist and a relatively long jacket that flares slightly at the bottom. It is very flattering and close to military tailoring. The traditional cut can be very flattering on slight men. It sometimes comes with a longer jacket which is rather unfashionable now but adds height to a man where the shoulders add width.
The Drape Cut has a softer shoulder. It creates the imprint of strength by cutting the shoulder a little wider and using a little excess fabric in the chest and back. It has a larger sleeve, making it the most comfortable of the cuts, yet not the sharpest.
Often, the very lightweight canvas is used for the coats; it is cut on the bias to allow softness and natural movement. Minimum padding is incorporated to the shoulders, creating a very natural silhouette.
The Exaggerated Cut is far more modern, and it dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. This look was pioneered by Tommy Nutter who changed the way men looked at Savile Row when he dressed The Beatles. While still retaining the craft of Savile Row, the cut of jackets is larger and comes with upturned shoulders, lots of structure and exaggerated lapels. Usually, the shoulder is the emphasis—then sharp architectural lines, and a long lapel that is long, low and leafy.
In the case of bespoke garments, over 20 measurements must be taken before a cutter can create an individual card pattern. All of the company’s tailoring is carried out in-house at 11 Savile Row. It takes 100 hours or more to create a perfectly fitting suit of superb quality and craftsmanship.
One of the foremost and most expensive bespoke tailors on Savile Row is Huntsman. The classic Huntsman outline includes a very structured shoulder work, high armhole and a signature defined waist. The classic silhouette was developed when the house’s cutters spliced the coat of traditional riding attire and a dinner suit. Another house detail synonymous with Huntsman is a flawless preference for single-buttoning, to highlight the highly guaranteed fit.
The unique experience of choosing fabric and getting measured is worth every pound and every minute you invest in selecting a suit. When it comes to bespoke, you are not just a client; you are a creator.