Savile Row is arguably the Mecca of all aficionados of custom tailoring, however, it is important to realise that bespoke tailoring is in fact a cottage industry. A sale might be made on a salesroom floor in Henry Poole & Co or Anderson and Sheppard, but the work is more often than not sent out to specialist coat, waistcoat and trouser makers throughout the country.
Which brings us nicely along to my hometown of Leeds. 50 years ago in the days of Montague Burton, Leeds was the tailoring capital of the world and despite the fact this is no longer the case, many of the tailors of yesterday still remain. After a thorough search I believe I have three of the best on board – two silver haired legends and a rising star who as individuals, cut by hand and sew every single garment, for individuals.
This bespoke process provides my customers with
an all important first fitting where the internal construction
of the jacket is clearly visible. In discussion with the client,
the garment is pinned to achieve the desired silhouette and
indicates to my tailors the adjustments that need to be made back in the
cutting room. The suit is taken apart, re-cut, put back together
again, pressed throughout and two weeks later, the suit is
ready for its final fitting.
The process is in contrast to a growing
number of made-to-measure operators who stock a number of
“try on” jackets which are placed on a client
until best fit is achieved. Required adjustments are then
noted and faxed off to a factory overseas where the garment
is made to a straight finish and delivered back to