Choosing the Right Savile Row Tailors
30 January 2017
A bespoke suit is a wardrobe essential and in London there’s no better place to commission one than Savile Row. The heart of men’s tailoring in the capital, the street has long been an enviable postcode, with many of the best Savile Row tailors sitting side by side, offering bespoke, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear suits and clothing. Faced with so many excellent options, it’s best to approach a shopping trip with a style in mind. Whether you prefer traditional, country, contemporary or classic designs, follow this guide to find the tailor that best suits you.
Located at number 1 Savile Row, Gieves & Hawkes is an obvious choice for traditional attire. The triple Royal Warrant holder is a favourite of the royal family, with accolades bestowed by HM The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. The tailoring house began life creating military uniforms and this history is reflected subtly in its designs to this day. At number 15, another excellent option is Henry Poole & Co, said to be the creator of the first tuxedo. Celebrating over 170 years on the street, it’s one of the few remaining family-run businesses left on Savile Row. Suits are traditional, but not old-fashioned, and available in a variety of hand-picked materials – note the ‘exclusive cloths’ line inspired by famous customers such as Winston Churchill.
If it’s country-style tweed you’re after, the appropriately named Huntsman should be your first stop. Located at number 11, it has been a leading London tailor since opening in 1849. The typical Huntsman silhouette is distinctive and unique, combining elements from a dinner suit with riding outfits. Standout elements include one button fastening, a firm shoulder and a defined waist. Distinguished customers range from royals such as Edward VIII and King Alfonso XIII of Spain, to celebrities including David Bowie and Alexander McQueen. Tweed suits can also be found at Cad & The Dandy, at number 13. Whether you’re after bold styles and colours or tweeds of a subtler variety, the shop has something to suit.
Those seeking a more contemporary style can visit the Alexander McQueen boutique number 9. Bold, flamboyant patterns and materials dominate seasonal collections – ideal for those who want to make a statement. The store offers a variety of jacket styles and button options, while trousers occasionally feature quirky extras such as contrast waistbands, embroidery and zips. The one constant is a contemporary, slim cut, with McQueen’s signature pagoda shoulder. Another fashion house with a presence on Savile Row is Lanvin. From its boutique at number 32, the brand presents a sleek menswear offering, a semi-bespoke service, and all the trimmings you need to complete your outfit, such as bow ties and stylish scarfs.
Last but not least, a classic suit is an essential addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe. The home of the ‘modern classic’ cut, Richard James is a great place to start. Since it opened in 1992, Richard James has been the tailor of choice for many British style mavens, including David Gandy, David Beckham and Mark Ronson. The boutique at number 29 specialises in timeless single breasted suits with a slimmer silhouette than traditional styles, side vents and a choice of one or two buttons. Another shop favouring classic designs is Hardy Amies, at number 8. With its roots in womenswear, they now specialise in menswear tailoring, focusing on two signature styles, Heddon and Brinsley.
While waiting for your bespoke suit to be made, stay at Brown’s Hotel, London’s oldest hotel, which is just a five-minute walk from Savile Row.
Image credits: Gentleman © Rocco Forte Hotels, Tailoring © Gieves & Hawkes