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Savile Row's Best Bespoke Suit Tailors

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Savile Row's Best Bespoke Suit Tailors
by Britta Beduhn-Haverkamp

Savile Row (c) Elegant-LifestyleA handmade bespoke suit from Savile Row in London for the gentleman can be regarded as the equivalent to an haute couture outfit for the lady from Paris: it is simply the ultimate indulgence and style. The bespoke Savile Row suit has a classic slim silhouette and nipped waist. The real bespoke Savile Row suit is handmade on the premises from a pattern after a trained craftsman has taken your measurements and can take up to 100 man hours of craftsmanship. Over 20 measurements must be taken before a cutter can create an individual card pattern. The cloth is then cut and trimmed in preparation for the first fitting. 

A bespoke suit from London's Savile Row used to be a very elite affair in Edwardian England as you had to be introduced to the tailor by a friend - luckily this is not the case anymore. King Edward VII (1841-1910) and his entourage made Savile Row fashionable around the turn of the last century. His favourite tailor was Henry Poole, who was the first tailor who opened a shop in Savile Row in 1806. King Edward VII's grandson Edward VIII, and later Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), gave Savile Row its international cachet. The Duke of Windsor, who abdicated in 1936 in order to marry the American Mrs. Wallis Simpson, introduced film stars such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Cary Grant to Savile Row. Through this a loyal American clientele was established. Since then, Savile Row has always been popular amongst those in the know. 

Over the past couple of years Savile Row is seeing an amazing revival. Celebrities such as Sean Connery, Brian Ferry, Michael Caine, Charlie Watts and Tom Cruise all have joined the client lists of some of the most exclusive tailors on Savile Row. Elegant-Lifestyle has, therefore, visited Savile Row and has compiled a comprehensive and informative list of the most established names for the famous bespoke Savile Row suit. 

There are thousands of different patterns to choose from and the cloth weight can range between 8 and 18 ounces with 11 ounces being a perfect choice for an all-year-round business suit. Most customers prefer being able to undo the sleeve buttons and the real test for the Savile Row suit is the thread below the buttonhole on the back of the suit's lapel, which is there to hold the boutonniere (fresh flower) upright, which you might put into your lapel for a special occasion. Some dandies, of course, might even wear a boutonniere every day to make a personal statement of unrivalled style and elegance.

The personal tailoring of your bespoke suit will require about 3 fittings and take four to twelve weeks. Prices for a bespoke suit start at £3,000 to £4,000 incl. VAT for the more famous names and can go up £10,000 for very exclusive materials. The addition of a waistcoat, which elevates the two-piece suit to an elegant three-piece suit will add another £300 to £900. Although all of the addresses listed below do the classic bespoke Savile Row suit, which is handmade, some of the tailors also offer a more affordable alternative: the made-to-measure or made-to-order suit, which is also called personal tailoring. This type of suit starts off with a normal standard size, which is then altered according to your specifications and then manufactured in a factory. 

Last but not least, most tailors listed here do regular visits to the US as well as the European Continent. This means: if you cannot come to Savile Row, Savile Row will come to you. 

Please note that, at the time of update in 2012, 1 British pound is about 1.25 euros or 1.6 US dollars and VAT (value added tax) is 20%, which does not apply to overseas customers. Also, two good books on suits are  'Gentleman - A Timeless Fashion' or 'A Well-Dressed Gentleman's Pocket Guide'.
 

Anderson and Sheppard (c) Elegant-LifestyleAnderson & Sheppard (established in 1873)
Anderson and Sheppard are clearly one of the top names in Savile Row, now around the corner in Old Burlington Street, with prominent customers such as Prince Philip, Valentino and Brian Ferry. Their vast number of patterns to choose from also includes those uniquely made for Anderson and Sheppard; Price range: average price for a handmade two-piece bespoke suit from £3,744 incl. VAT (a three-piece bespoke suit from £4,248 incl. VAT); Time taken: eight to twelve weeks; Appointment advised between noon and 2pm, otherwise not necessary; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm; Tel: +44-20-7734 1420; Fax: +44-20-7734 1721; 32 Old Burlington Street; London W1S 3AT; e-mail: office@anderson-sheppard.co.uk; website: www.anderson-sheppard.co.uk

Dege and Skinner (c) Elegant-LifestyleDege & Skinner (established in 1865)
Dege and Skinner cater not only for the Queen but also for the Sultan of Oman. Dege and Skinner have a few hundred pattern lengths on show and thousands of patterns in cloth books. Dege and Skinner make visits to the US, Arabia and Europe about 3-4 times a year; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from £3,200 incl. VAT and a three-piece suit starts from £3,800 incl. VAT; Time taken: nine to twelve weeks; Appointment is advisable; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.15am-5.15pm, Sat 9.30-12.30am; Tel: +44-20-7287 2941; Fax: +44-20-7734 8794; 10 Savile Row; London W1X 1AF; e-mail: info@dege-skinner.co.uk; website: www.dege-skinner.co.uk

Ede and Ravenscroft (c) Elegant-LifestyleEde & Ravenscroft (established in 1689)
Ede and Ravenscroft is the oldest tailor in London with Royal Warrants from each member of the Royal Family. Ede and Ravenscroft is located at the South end of Savile Row. There are more than a thousand different patterns on offer ranging from 9 to 15 ounces; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from £2,750 incl. VAT and £500 extra for a waistcoat, a made-to-order two piece suit will cost about £985 incl. VAT with £295 extra for a waistcoat; Time taken: six to eight weeks; Appointment is only needed for made-to-order; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm; Tel: +44-20-7734 5450; Fax: +44-20- 7344 2041; 8 Burlington Gardens; London W1X 1LG; e-mail: michael.stevens@edeandravenscroft.co.uk; website: www.edeandravenscroft.co.uk

Gieves and Hawkes (c) Elegant-LifestyleGieves & Hawkes (established in 1786)
Gieves and Hawkes has many Royal Warrants and has had clients in the past such as Admiral Nelson (1758-1805), who won Trafalgar in 1805, and the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who won Waterloo in 1815, the choice of cloth comprises 40,000 different patterns. Should this not be sufficient, they will get you anything you like; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from £4,130 incl. VAT and a three-piece suit from £4,990 incl. VAT, made-to-measure starts from £1,000 incl. VAT for a two-piece suit and from £1,270 incl. VAT for a three-piece suit; Time taken: around eight weeks; Appointment is advisable. Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6.30pm, Sun: noon-5pm; Tel: +44-20-7434 2001; Fax: +44-20-7437 1092; 1 Savile Row; London W1X 2JR; e-mail: gieves@gievesandhawkes.com; website: www.gievesandhawkes.com

Hardy Amies (c) Elegant-LifestyleHardy Amies (established in 1946)
Hardy Amies, how passed away in 2003 aged 93, was the personal tailor to the Queen and had a high standard that is only comparable with haute-couture houses in Paris. He was also at ease with people who want to give their Savile Row suit a more trendy slant - if you are able to afford it. Stuart Lamprell joined Hardy Amies as head cutter in 2010; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit will start from £3,400 plus VAT and a three-piece suit from £4,400 plus VAT; Time taken: six to twelve weeks; Appointment is advisable; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm; Tel: +44-20-7734 2436; Fax: +44-20-7439 7116; 14 Savile Row; London W1X 2JN; e-mail: office@hardyamies.co.uk; website: www.hardyamies.co.uk

Hardy Amies (c) Elegant-LifestyleHenry Herbert Tailors (re-established 2008) 
Henry Herbert Tailors are Savile Row tailors making bespoke suits, shirts and overcoats. They are unusual in that as well as meeting customers at their premises on Savile Row, they offer customers a Savile Row by Scooter service, too: meeting customers around the clock whenever and wherever is good for the customer. Henry Herbert also makes regular visits to Europe and the USA. A handmade two-piece bespoke suits starts from £2,150 plus VAT, alternativley  made-to-measure suits ar avilable from £1,000 plus VAT and a waistcoat will add another £250 plus VAT for a three-piece suit; Time taken: six to eight weeks; Appointments available seven days a week. Address: Henry Herbert Tailors, 5th Floor, 9-10 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PF; Tel: +44-20-7837 1452; e-mail: cc@henryherbert.com; website: www.henryherbert.com

Henry Poole (c) Henry PooleHenry Poole & Co. (established in 1806)
Henry Poole was the first tailor in Savile Row in 1806 and has been crowned by a long history of royal patronage such as King Edward VII (1841-1910), Henry Poole makes regular visits to the European Continent and the US and also has outlets in Japan; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from around £3,550 incl. VAT and a waistcoat will add another £350 incl. VAT for a three-piece suit, silk lining is an option for another £200 incl. VAT; Time taken: nine to twelve weeks; Appointment during lunch-hour preferred, but appointment also possible outside normal business hours; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.15pm; Tel: +44-20-7734 5985; Fax: +44-20-7287 2161; 15 Savile Row; London W1X 1AE; e-mail: office@henrypoole.com; website: www.henrypoole.com

Huntsman and Sons (c) Elegant-LifestyleHuntsman & Sons (established in 1849)
Huntsman and Sons boasts a number of Royal Warrants from past English Kings and Queens. Huntsman has a couple of thousand patterns to choose from, also many woollen patterns that are especially made for Huntsman. They are also strong in hunting coats.  Huntsman visits clients in the US and in Paris up to three times a year; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit comes to around £4,600 incl. VAT, which is the top of the range for an old name in Savile Row, and a waistcoat will add another £600 for a three-piece suit; Time taken: ten to twelve weeks; Appointment is advisable; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am to 5.30pm, Sat 10am-3pm; Tel: +44-20- 7734 7441; Fax: +44-20-7287 2937; 11 Savile Row; London W1X 2PS; e-mail: enquiries@h-huntsman.co.uk; website: www.h-huntsman.com

Kilgour French Stanbury (c) Elegant-LifestyleKilgour (established in 1882)
Known as Kilgour, French and Stanbury until 2003, Kilgour is a name to reckon with in Savile Row and their offering of fabrics goes into the hundreds. Their elegant premises with their gallery like art window display shows a tailor with more than 130 years of experience with clients such as Cary Grant. Kilgour visits New York and the US 3-4 times a year; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit will start from £3,800 incl. VAT and a three-piece suit £4,700 incl. VAT; Time taken: six to eight weeks; Appointment is not needed; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm, Sat 9.30am-6pm; Tel: +44-20-3283 8941; Fax: +44-20-7287 8147; 8 Savile Row; London W1X 1AF; e-mail: customerservices@kilgour.com; website: www.kilgour.com

Maurice Sedwell (c) Elegant-LifestyleMaurice Sedwell (established in 1938)
Maurice Sedwell is proud of its well established reputation which is an integral part of their philosophy “It carries no banner nor labels adorn, but speaks for itself once it is worn.” Customers can choose from an unlimited collection of the world’s finest fabrics. Head tailor, Andrew Ramroop, visits clients in more than 20 countries – a Savile Row record; Price range: handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from £3,900 inl. VAT (for waistcoats add £900 inc. VAT); Time taken: six to twelve weeks; Appointment is desirable; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm; Tel: +44-20-7734 0824; Fax: +44-20-7437 0529; 19 Savile Row; London W1X 1AE; e-mail: info@savilerowtailor.com; website: 
www.savilerowtailor.com

Norton Sons (c) NortonSonsNorton & Sons (established in 1821)
Norton and Sons offer about a thousand types of cloth and is especially strong in tweed for hunting and shooting, which is sometimes even handmade. Norton and Sons do regular visits to the US (ex-president George Bush is a client), the European Continent and Asia; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit starts from £3,560 incl. VAT; Time taken: four to eight weeks; Appointment is advisable; Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm; Tel: +44-20-7437 0829; Fax: +44-20-7287 4764; 
16 Savile Row; London W1X 1AE; e-mail: enquiries@nortonandsons.co.uk; website: www.nortonandsons.co.uk

Ozwald Boateng (c) Elegant-LifestyleOzwald Boateng (established in 1992)
Ozwald Boateng caters for fashion and media clients. Bespoke is the highest quality line on offer by Ozwald Boateng, with handmade craftsmanship cut from scratch, created by a team of highly skilled tailors. This private service is provided within the luxurious confinement of Ozwald Boateng's Bespoke Room, based in the Saville Row flagship store. Ozwald Boateng combines the unique Savile Row style with very trendy coloured cloths, some of them silk and wool combinations; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit will start from £4,100 incl. VAT, made-to-measure starts from £1,600 incl. VAT; Time taken: four to six weeks; Appointment is advisable; Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Tel: +44-20-7437 2030; Fax: +44-20-7734 3737; 30 Savile Row, London W1S 3PT; e-mail: bespoke@ozwaldboateng.co.uk; website: www.ozwaldboateng.co.uk

Norton Sons (c) NortonSonsRichard James (established in 1992)
Richard James started in Savile Row in 1992 with the mission to create a classic but modern interpretation of the traditional British suit and is known for the clean, slim silhouettes of the suits, worn for example by Hugh Grant or Sir Elton John. The large choice of fabrics also include exclusive fabrics to Richard James; Price range: a handmade two-piece bespoke suit will start from £3,125 plus VAT and a three-piece suit from £3,500 plus VAT, made-to-measure starting from £1,085 plus VAT for a two piece suit, £1,250 plus VAT for a three piece suit; Time taken: six to twelve weeks; Appointment is advisable. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 11am-6pm; Tel: +44-20-7287 9645; Fax: +44-20-7287 2265;  19 Clifford Street, London W1S 3RH; e-mail: customercare@richardjames.co.uk; website: www.richardjames.co.uk

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