Tag Archives: bespoke

Just when is bespoke, well, bespoke?…..

 

Just what does bespoke mean?

It is a term that our industry is constantly challenged by. To many people it can mean many different things. It can range from the absurd arguments – something being made in the Far East versus in the United Kingdom, to a battle between theorists about the number of hand stitches that go into every garment. Very respected tailors have offered their thoughts before, suggesting the word bespoke comes from the word bespoken (to be-speak your cloth).

However, a qualified tailor in China can be just as good as a tailor on Savile Row. And what if the tailor on Savile Row is Chinese? And the tailor in China is British? As strange as it may seem, it happens. Where does the argument about garments being made overseas conclude in those circumstances?

Similarly, there are tailors who insist on a minimum of five, six or even seven fittings for every suit they make. But what if the customer doesn’t need it? Surely the process is there to serve the customer, not the tailor. Similarly, what if a tailoring house has only one house style….is that really a bespoke service for the customer? There are some fabulous tailors, but they may only offer one house style cut, albeit in any size and figuration you may wish. But is that truly bespoke?

Cutting the cloth and who cuts the cloth is often the crucible of many arguments.  And what if a machine cuts the cloth from measurements the cutter has decided?  A laser machine cuts much more finely than garments which are hand cut. Hand cutting leaves lots of loose threads and room for many complaints from a customer, but some prefer it. So why not let the customer – with guidance – cut some of his own cloth. Surely a customer cutting his own cloth would be truly bespoke?

Additionally, but just as importantly, I firmly believe that a bespoke garment is not just about providing a unique pattern and size to each and every customer. It is about providing a truly bespoke service. Is  bespoke when a customer is expected to meet a tailor between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday and at just one location: the tailor’s shop? Is it a truly bespoke service when a garment is being sent to a customer, that the customer cannot choose the exact hour and even minute they want it delivered? Should a customer not have the mobile telephone number of their tailor, so that when something does go wrong – a split hem or a loose thread – that the tailor can have it fixed in an instant for that all important meeting or cocktail party?

A truly bespoke suit or shirt can only so called, I believe, when it is complemented by a truly bespoke service.

Please do email me your thoughts at cc@henryherbert.com

Written by Charlie Baker-Collingwood, Proprietor of Henry Herbert Tailors


The Cowboy Cut Suit

Images & Video

Unusual Swagger

Tailor’s Notes
A very unusual suit for a young hotelier in London. The suit jacket is finely-cut and is matched with a pair of ‘boot-cut’ trousers. This is a special case, with a customer who knows exactly what he wants. The remarkable result is testament to the fact that with bespoke, there are no rules—just preferences.

The Construction
As much of the suit as possible was hand-tailored. A suit such as this takes 8-9 weeks to make, unless you opt for our Express Service. We have a halfway baste fitting and then a forward baste fitting before the suit is finished and delivered.

Details
This suit was made from a fine English wool from Holland & Sherry.

Find out how to order a suit

Autumn is approaching…make a getaway in a three-piece.

When you think of the three-piece suit, you think of the Thomas Crown Affair, or Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II, looking as fierce as any actor ever. You think of high-powered attorneys and CEOs roaming the courtrooms and boardrooms of the 1970s.

The question is: Do you ever think of yourself in one?You might want to start. The three-piece suit no longer suggests you have the corner office (or a tommy gun); it suggests you have style. Of course, it’s not as easy as one two three. You need to know how to wear it and where to wear it. The three piece offers a razor sharp suit. It even has other uses as recently reported by the New York Times. Whatever your use for a three-piece, every well dressed gentleman should have one.

Ten Questions to Ask You & Your Tailor

Having a bespoke suit or bespoke shirt made can be an intimidating experience. Hopefully these ten tips from Henry Herbert Tailors will guide you through the minefield:

1. Visit as many tailors as you like. It is a relationship that must be comfortable for you.

2. Familiarise yourself with the different styles and choices available to you.

3. Be advised by a tailor, not pressured.

4. Have an idea of the colour and the cloth you are looking for. It will narrow down the vast selection available to you.

5. It is your bespoke suit (or shirt). Remember there are no wrong answers, merely preferences.

6. A good tailor will comfort you, not condescend you.

7. Expect at least a couple of fittings and at least as many months to perfect your first order.

8. All good suits and shirts should be tailored in England using local cloths.

9. Find the budget that is right for you and make sure final prices are clearly given to you (it is normal for bespoke tailors not to include VAT in their final prices).

10. Enjoy wearing it – every handmade suit and shirt will have its own characteristics.

To book your Henry Herbert Tailor, click here.

Video: Bespoke Blue Suit by Henry Herbert Tailors

A short video by Henry Herbert Tailors to show the delights of a blue suit. Blue wool is an acquired taste, but it is a striking colour to choose, which can be worn professionally and socially, attracting equally strong compliments in both walks of life.  Henry Herbert makes each tailored suit using the finest English & Scottish wools…the wool in this video is from an English mill called Brook Taverner.

A special Henry Herbert shirt

Special Bespoke Shirt Collar Trim

A special shirt we have made for the Managing Director of a large media firm. The fabric is from Acorn, in Lancashire, and is made of an excellent English cotton. The shirt is made even more unusual by the special collar trim and button sewing surround. Every part of this shirt was handmade, in London. Come and visit us (or we can visit you) to find out more about the different processes involved in making your handmade, bespoke shirt.