Savile Row, Suit You Sir

By Lindsey Last edited 102 months ago
Savile Row, Suit You Sir

By psyxjaw via the Londonist Flickrpool
Anxious to protect the "international home of the mysterious art of bespoke tailoring" Savile Row is rolling up its immaculate sleeves to fight for its artisan livelihood. Despite riding out the credit crunch, it's under siege from firms offering 'made to measure' suits at slashed prices from the classified pages of the Sunday papers and others eager to appropriate the bespoke tag.

A Savile Row bespoke tailored suit will set you back around £3000 and involve your most intimate measurements, several fittings and around 50 hours of intricate work. A 'made to measure' suit can be cobbled together in Asia based on your measurements then sent back and adjusted to you for around £500. There are even websites offering 'bespoke' suits online. Get out your tape measure, fill in your key measurements, click submit and voila, in 14 days it's mailed to you. Hardly a comparable tailoring experience.

The Savile Row Bespoke Association has trademarked 'Savile Row Bespoke' in an attempt to protect the meticulous, specialist and traditional trade that has helped make this part of London the "International Capital of Men's Elegance". But what to do if Savile Row is truly out of reach and you don't want to trust your inner leg measurements to a faceless website? Top tips from a Savile Row blogger here.

Last Updated 04 November 2009


"cobbled together in Asia" ????

I'm sure Chinese tailors are just as skilled as your English Savile Row chap. If anyone thinks that the guy who measures you up in Savile Row goes into a back room and works on a Singer is fooling themselves. The only difference between London & China is the cost of employing skilled tailors.


No stereotype intended. The implication is that the suit is made blind, with just measurements, so can't possibly be as perfectly fitted as a Savile Row garment where 3 or more fittings will be required.

Lazy word choice accusation accepted, apologies.


I think that Savile Row Tailors need to spend more time focussing on their own product rather than worrying about other people's. The client who spends £3k on a bespoke suit is very different to the person who wants to spend £500. I struggle to see how one can 'steal' from the other where the consumer is completely different. If anything, the growth of 'made-to-measure tailors at affordable prices' is increasing awareness of fitted garments in a way that is growing the category as a whole rather than stealing share. As these new clients progress up the financial ladder the chances are some will want to spend more money for 'better quality' and buy from Savile Row.

I say this from experience. I own a made-to-measure business that works in London and most certainly do not see my consumer as being the same as Savile Row. What I do see every day is a lot of young business men walking into work looking better, feeling more confident and ultimately being more successful because they have access to a tailoring experience that 15 years ago would have been out of reach for all but a few people.....surely this can't this be a bad thing?!