Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Bespoke Suit

Henry Herbert’s tailors have come up with the five “F’s” to consider when choosing a bespoke suit: function, fabric, fit, finance and fashion.


1)      Function

Consider what you will be using a bespoke suit for.  Is it for everyday business formal use?  Casual wear?  Evening formal or black tie?  Is it for a special event such as a wedding – and is it your own wedding or one you are attending as a guest?  The modern day gentleman has a wealth of social events that he is required to attend, or perhaps we should say, desires to attend.

For evening formal events, we are often requested to make a bespoke dinner suit with matching dinner shirt and dinner trousers (also known as the tuxedo).  For day formal events and weddings, we are often commissioned to make morning coats, with bespoke waistcoats and trousers to complement.  For day to day wear, and business formal use, our most popular styles include the classic single breasted two or three button bespoke suit where customers will choose a variety of pocket styles depending on their preference.  For casual wear, we are often asked to make a bespoke sports jacket – this can be in any variety of fabrics and can be matched with many trouser types including jeans and chinos.

2)      Fabric

Consider the seasons.  Did you want a bespoke suit that can be worn year round?  Or something specifically suited to the cooler months of autumn/winter or the warmer months of spring/summer.  Or perhaps, there are not four seasons to contend with where you live – perhaps there is only consistent cold or consistent heat.  If so, it will be essential to consider your choice of fabric for your bespoke suit carefully.  Good choices for cold climates include wools of all kinds (from the daily hardworking Super 80s-100s, to the finer wools with Super numbers in the high 100s – 200s), tweeds, flannels (hardworking and hardwearing), and cashmere.  Good choices for warmer climates include cottons, linens, seersucker, lighter weight wools and wool silk blends.  For multi-purpose year round use, our customers report that you can’t beat a navy mid-weight wool suit.

3)      Fit

An experienced tailor will be able to judge the most flattering fit and advise as to what the current trends may be.  With that said each tailoring firm usually has something known as a “house style”.  At Henry Herbert for example, as a contemporary tailor working to the highest standards and traditions of the of Savile Row, distinguishing features of its house style include an English cut with a slim silhouette, a strong and naturally rolled lapel (achieved through hand stitching), a natural roped shoulder proportionate to each customer, slim tailored trousers and robust but lightweight fully canvassed coats.

4)      Finance

Many customers consider the bespoke suit an investment.   However, initial cost is of course a consideration, as is return on your investment.  There are many tailors to choose from, and some of them will likely have a price range that is suited to you, and some may be less suited!  Many tailors work to the highest standards, cutting bespoke suits by hand, and offering “service as bespoke as the suit” (something that we believe in at Henry Herbert).  Speak to or visit as many tailors as you like – it must ultimately be a relationship that is comfortable for you.  Do note that VAT is charged and quoted separately with all bespoke tailors, and that the kind of cloth you choose will determine the final price.

Consider that a bespoke suit may last anywhere from half a decade to many decades, and will see anything from frequent to even daily wear.  (In fact: if you turn out the inside pocket on all Henry Herbert suits, there will be written the owner’s name, and the date of the suit’s making).   We were recently asked to conduct alterations on a suit whose “birth” date was in the 1960s, on behalf of a father who wished to pass his suit down to his son.

5)      Fashion

This is entirely up to you.  With a bespoke suit, the wearer or customer is ultimately a designer.  The beauty of bespoke is that you can follow a fashion if you wish, or choose a bespoke suit in a cut that surpasses any of the fleeting notions of what is fashionable at the moment, and moves more into the era of timeless style.  At Henry Herbert, we always say there are no rules in bespoke suit tailoring, only preferences.

 Book an appointment with a Henry Herbert tailor.


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Bespoke Suits for Halloween

How to adapt your bespoke suit for Halloween you say?  The Henry Herbert tailoring team have come up with a few innovative ideas for who you could be this Halloween, adapting your existing wardrobe and adding just a few accessories.

1)  Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone, The Godfather

Henry Herbert Tailors

The Godfather

We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse: a chance to be The Godfather this Halloween.  With a little help from your bespoke dinner suit (like this one) and a wing collar dinner shirt with black buttons, you very well could be.  Corleone’s dinner jacket features a prominent peak lapel, and satin trimmings for an elegant twist.  Accessorise with black bowtie, and a single rosebud worn on your left hand lapel.  Cat optional.  Just don’t forget to practice that unmistakable, gravelly voice.

2) Agent Smith, The Matrix


Who remembers this epic late 90s/early noughties sci fi flick?  After Neo and Trinity, Agent Smith was probably the most memorable character, with his terrifying deadpan, and perma-scowl.  Though everyone wants to be Neo, this Halloween, for a change, why not go for the Agent Smith look?  Smith wears a slim cut black suit throughout the film, and skinny black tie with tie pin (essential to stop said tie flinging around whilst doing backflip kicks, and multiplying yourself in an attempt to take down The One).  Simple – and you probably already own something like this in your wardrobe.  (In case you don’t, may we be of service, Sir?) Add sunglasses (which you must never remove), obligatory scowl, and say ominously to everyone “Hello, Mr Anderson.

3) Harry Pendel, The Tailor of Panama


Geoffrey Rush’s “Harry” Pendel has a penchant for tailoring suits – and the stories that he feeds to Pierce Brosnan’s Osnard.  It would seem that he prefers to don the three piece suit himself, usually in grey, with a trademark collared vest.  (Very likely (given the Panama heat), the suit would have been constructed of a lightweight wool or wool silk blend.)  This one might take a little explanation to the non-tailoring enthusiast, so if you happen to be seeing your Henry Herbert tailor before your Halloween soiree, you might want to ask to borrow a measuring tape to wear around your neck, some pins and some chalk.  To top it all of, and to make it really obvious who you’re getting at, make sure you wear a Panama hat.  They simply have to get it now…

4) James Bond (any and all)

Skyfall-tuxedo JamesBondWide

You’re spoilt for choice here and who doesn’t want to be 007?  Your best (and most recognizable) bet is to roll out that trusty dinner suit once again (wasn’t it an excellent investment!), which makes its appearance in multiple films, always to great effect.  Accessorise with lots of Her Majesty’s secret agent charm. Don’t forget a martini (shaken, not stirred, naturally) – may we recommend the Duke’s Hotel (see also: Henry Herbert’s Top 5 London Hotel Bars).  Never be separated from the martini glass.

5) The Hangover – final scene

Hangover, The

After a whole movie of debauched mishaps and “dishevelry” (that’s dishevelled and revelry combined), they finally, *ahem* suit up, in time for the wedding.  Don’t they scrub up well?  The evergreen black suit strikes again.  Depending on your current hair / beard situation, you could either go clean shaven and load up on the fake tan and go for the “Doug” “look”, go halfway ala Bradley Cooper with slicked back hair, or full on with 70s sunglasses like Zach Galifianakis.


And there you have it – your trusty bespoke suit can indeed see you through Halloween in style.  For more ideas, see our Top 5 Halloween bespoke suit ideas from 2013!

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Top 5 London Hotel Bars

Following on from our last feature on Top 5 (or 7) cocktail bars in London, we feature our Top 5 London hotel bars, as told to us by Henry Herbert friends, customers and cocktail connoisseurs.

Hotel bars, love them or hate them have certainly made an effort to up their game.  With a great amount of thought, and no doubt, expense put into interior design, and innovative concoctions to intrigue the taste buds, today’s top London hotel bars marry the best of modernity and luxury, with tasteful garnishing on top (with no cocktail parasols in sight).


1. The Connaught

Purveyors of one of the finest Old Fashioned cocktails in London, the Connaught is a favourite of Henry Herbert friends and customers.  Discreet and luxurious, the Connaught bar also boasts some of the most delectable olives and “small food” accompaniments to your cocktails that we have ever come across.


2. The Mandarin Oriental

Situated in the heart of London, with Hyde Park on one side and Harrods/Harvey Nichols on the other, this is an excellent place to rest weary feet and arms aching from carrying shopping bags.  Try to nab a table with the large comfortable leather armchairs, and you’ll never want to get up.

3. The Luggage Room – London Mariott Hotel Grosvenor Square

Could very well have made this list simply for their revival of the Prohibition-era gentlemen’s cocktail, the Pendennis Club.  All hail cocktails from the roaring 1920s and 30s.

Luggage Room 3

4. American Bar at The Savoy

Refurbished along with the rest of The Savoy hotel in 2010, this bar is a classic and its name of course invokes the romance of transatlantic travel, and a sense of “home away from home” for visitors from across the pond.

5. Dukes Hotel

Tucked behind the hustle and bustle of St James, this discreet venue is the place for the quintessential James Bond martini, shaken, not stirred (and many associated Bond Girl-named variations), look no further.  Good evening, Mr. Bond.

We’ve limited ourselves to 5 hotel bars, but we could go on and on.  Which are your favourite cocktail bars in London?  Got a recommendation – drop us a line or Tweet us @HenryHerbert


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A gentleman’s luxury: SÖKTAS Cotton Bespoke Shirts

We were very excited to receive a large, and rather heavy box of fabrics intended for bespoke shirts, delivered to the Henry Herbert HQ recently.

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We thought we would share with you the discovery of its contents – the finest bespoke shirting fabrics by SÖKTAS. Founded in 1971 and listed on the Turkish Stock Exchange in 1995, SÖKTAS is a specialist designer and producer of cotton and cotton blended fabrics whose worldwide reputation was built on shirting fabrics.

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Without further ado, we would like to introduce the Soktas collection: Bespoke Selection.  Specially designed and intended for use in creating bespoke shirts, these are high-end fabrics made from the finest Egyptian Giza cotton, with only the purest and longest fibres selected to be spun into extra-fine yarns.  Each beautifully bound book contains “pages” of shirting fabric samples, organised by theme and named after the kind of occasion, or message, that a gentleman may choose to convey in his dressing. This collection offers hundreds of colours and designs (stripes, checks) to suit any situation or fancy.

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The Soktas fabrics are renowned for their quality and luxurious finish. The use of the finest natural cotton in a bespoke shirt, makes for a tailored piece that is breathable and pleasant to wear on the skin (as opposed to itchy and irritating, which some might find the case with synthetic fabrics). If you are considering a set of bespoke shirts, don’t hesitate to ask your Henry Herbert Tailor about the SÖKTAS fabrics.

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Saturday night Live! Samurai Tailor

Samurai Tailor | Saturday Night Live – Yahoo Screen

Tales of the Samurai Tailor from New York, America. Customer service – Samurai Style.

Henry Herbert Tailors: New York Spring visit May 2014

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New York, British bespoke tailors are coming your way once again.  The Henry Herbert tailoring team is visiting you!  On Thursday 8th May, Friday 9th May & Saturday 10th May 2014, we will be based at our “workshop/fitting rooms” away from home, at the The Kitano, 66 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016.  For these dates, we are swapping our Vespas for the iconic New York cabs (or our trusty feet), and the Tube for the Metro, and the “bespoke” suit  for the “custom” suit!

For new suits and old friends, or old suits and new friends / fittings! If you would like to meet our tailors to hear more about how we work and what we do (naturally there is no charge for this!) or to have a coffee, to say hello. To brainstorm bespoke menswear ideas, to feel some fine fabrics, to have a discussion about British tailoring and Savile Row.  No query is too big or too small.  Book an appointment with us in New York.

How does it work?  We bring with us everything we need to draw up a blueprint for your bespoke suit.

We meet, we greet.  We bring with us a trunk full of suiting fabrics – British wools of the finest kind, and patterns of all sorts (checks, dogtooth, stripes, windowpane, tweed to name a few).  Our experienced tailoring team is here to advise you on making a suitable (pun not intended!) choice for your bespoke suits (or overcoats, waistcoats, sports jackets, dinner suits) and shirts.  We return to London with your bespoke order details and most importantly, your measurements.  We order your selected fabric and cut the cloth into your specific pattern.  We make the foundations of the suit, ready for a baste fitting.  Then normally 8 weeks later (depending on availability) we return to NYC for your first fitting, a key part of the process.  We come back to our London base, to make any major fit adjustments, rework the suit as needed, and a further  8 weeks later return to NYC for your final fitting. All made with British cloth, and handcrafted in England.

Book an appointment with us in New York.

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Top 5 (or 7) London cocktail bars with character

At Henry Herbert HQ, we were debating what criteria a bar had to meet to make it on to our list of London cocktail bars – especially when the options are so vast and numerous in the city.  We came to the conclusion that there must have been something unique, just a little bit different and memorable about each of these venues.  Some we spotted ourselves, but many have actually come as recommendations from friends and customers of Henry Herbert.  So the most important criteria for this list has simply been: a Henry Herbert friend, colleague or customer must have enjoyed a cocktail or two at each of these locations and told us about it!  We would love to hear your recommendations too, just drop us a line here.

1) Evans and Peel Detective Agency, Earl’s Court

It’s not a *whispers* table reservation, its an appointment.  Make an appointment to see the Detective at the Evans & Peel Detective Agency, and you may just get a look into the secret room behind the bookcase.  This is a proper Prohibition-era speakeasy with all the trappings.

2) Foggs, Mayfair

Enter another world, the residence of one Phileas Fogg, Esq, of Around the World in 80 Days fame.  You never know what characters you might meet at the London residence of the esteemed M.  Phileas J Fogg.  Don’t forget to look up and around to see souvenirs from his travels.  As a side note, we think this venue has one of the best dressed staff in London, and we are fans of his House rules (stated on the front of the menu).

3)  Montgomery Place, Notting Hill

Elegant intimate cocktail bar with fun (and generously sized) American-style small food (not quite a meal, but more than just a bar snack) to accompany great cocktails.  Dark wood furnishings offset the metal bar, and the walls are adorned with black and white photographic prints.  Go with one friend or many.

4) Beach Blanket Babylon, Westbourne Grove

We haven’t been here for a while, but we’re told its going as strong as ever – an institution in the Notting Hill/Westbourne Grove location.  Go for a fairy grotto-like experience, and for the eccentric and unique interiors as well as the cocktails.

5) The Savoy Beaufort Bar, The Strand

Champagne cocktails are the name of the game.  Enjoy them in 1920s Art Deco black and gold opulence, whilst listening to the live singer accompanied by a pianist.  In a word: luxurious.

And although we said “Top 5”, we couldn’t help but sneak in a couple more close to Savile Row, where our tailors can be found.

6) Cecconi’s, just off Savile Row

They have prosecco on tap, who can argue with that? We particularly like the chic Cecconi interiors – black and white flooring matched with dark green leather upholstery.  Cecconi’s has  a 3 sided bar where you can sit to enjoy and observe the creation of your cocktail, as well as a three course meal of fine and fresh Italian fare.

7) Sketch, Conduit Street

There is a strong art focus here – most of the interiors feature contemporary/modern art in any kind of media (light, sculptural, you name it).  The question is whether a guest will spot it all or not. Once we saw Heston Blumenthal enjoying a cocktail here.  There are at least 3 bars housed in this venue.  Interiors seem to be refreshed every couple of years so the main dining area never stays quite the same.  And they also do a mean Sunday Roast.  Go, not just for the tender beef cooked to pink perfection in the centre, but for the dessert cart after.

Coming soon: the HH style blog’s Top 5 Hotel Bars in London

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Exploring the world of gentleman’s accessories – the bespoke tie

Bespoke tie

Bespoke tie by R. Paudice

The necktie is an avenue for expression in a gentleman’s formal attire. The tie is widely accepted and often required in many social situations, and will likely (consciously or unconsciously) reflect the personality of it’s wearer. We think a bespoke tie perfectly complements a bespoke suit – both are as unique as their owner.

Henry Herbert interviewed Renato Paudice, who tells us how he came to create his eponymous bespoke tie making company.

Paudice, based in Napoli, is specifically focused on the creation of bespoke ties for customers around the world. Customers look all over the world for bespoke ties, says Paudice, and in Italy today bespoke is important because customers no longer want ready made collections.

The relationship between a bespoke tie and customer is key – in particular, a bespoke tie is cut differently depending on how the customer prefers to knot his tie. A Windsor or Double Windsor preference, makes a difference to the length of the tie.  With a bespoke tie, a gentleman will never struggle to ensure his tie sits just right.

The process of making a bespoke necktie is not so different from that of a bespoke suit: customers send through orders specifying length and size, and select fabrics. Ties are hand-stitched and handmade, and despatched off to their new owners.

The best fabrics for the making of bespoke ties, notes Paudice, are wool, silk, cashmere/silk mix and Holland & Sherry have an interesting jacquard mix. Paudice is also keen to promote fabrics made in Italy in keeping with his Italian traditions and heritage.

Paudice’s house style is flamboyant – he likens it to being closer to American style ties: more colour and bold prints. Paudice ties make a statement.

Click here to listen to the full interview

Renato Paudice Instagram


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Top 5 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him

These are some of the Henry Herbert team’s “Top 5 Valentine’s Day gifts for Him” – or indeed, Any Day gifts for the modern gentleman!

1) These innovative magnetic collar stiffeners by Stiffies

Stiffies collar stiffeners

The company says: “The idea started when its founders dress code changed at work. Ties were no longer needed, however they still had to look smart. After a couple of months they became increasingly frustrated – even with collar stiffeners their shirt drooped below their suit jacket and they felt they lost their mojo. So with this they came up with the idea of magnetic collar stiffeners, that not only kept your collar stiff, but most importantly kept it upright.”  We think they are brilliant!

2)  Colourful watches by Nixon – sleek, summery, and they won’t break the bank.  There are 27 colours to choose from – almost one for each day of the month of February!  Why stop at just one?



3)  Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels “Get a Room” voucher.  


Mr & Mrs Smith have done all the hard work for us by curating – hand-picking – a selection of the most remarkable – and characterful – boutique hotels in the world.  The Mr & Mrs Smith team have personally visited and anonymously reviewed each location and applied their exacting standards in their selection process.  There is something to suit every kind of holiday you can imagine.  And this means the both of you get to enjoy the treat….


4) Rimowa “Topas” cabin bag

Whilst we think a stylish leather holdall or carry-all can seriously up the style stakes and handsomely complement a bespoke suit, there are just some times when a gentleman doesn’t want to hoist all that heavy luggage around (when making the trek from one end of Heathrow to the other).  Enter the sleek aluminium Rimowa, with its signature “go faster” grooves.  Swivelling silently on four wheels, this remarkably sleek piece of travel engineering will follow quietly in your hand, distinguished and uncomplaining, around the world like the most loyal of canine friends.  We are huge fans.

5)  Henry Herbert bespoke suit voucher

Henry Herbert Bespoke Suit gift voucher


A Henry Herbert Gift Voucher for one suit lets the recipient create their own very own tailored English suit, from the finest English & Scottish wools. Our perfectly tailored hand-crafted suits are made in England and our tailors will guide them through all the choices, styles and fabrics available. You can personalise the message inside the card too.

Happy Friday / Valentine’s Day!

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The bespoke Nehru jacket strikes again

This week, the well-dressed man is sporting a champagne bespoke Nehru jacket.  This slim cut bespoke Nehru jacket is hand crafted from Holland & Sherry pure worsted Super 130s.    We were commissioned to make this bespoke Nehru jacket by a customer attending several weddings in India at the end of January/February.  We are told that this is a particularly popular time for weddings in India, which may explain the bespoke Nehru jacket requests we have been getting.

The jacket is lined with a pale pink, and features working cuffs and horn buttons.  We think the lining is an excellent, complementary choice to the jacket fabric both chosen by a very stylish customer.  Not to mention the shades are very forward-looking to the next season – bring on Spring 2014!

Bespoke Nehru jacket

Bespoke Nehru jacket Bespoke Nehru jacket Bespoke Nehru jacket Bespoke Nehru jacket

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Bespoke Suits: Behind the Seams Part III – A Tidy Tailor’s Work Table

What goes on “Behind the Seams” at a bespoke suit tailor’s workshop?  Welcome to Part 3 of the series: vignettes into the day-to-day life at Henry Herbert.  (Have you missed Part 1, and Part 2?)

This is one of the work tables at our London workshop.  During the week,  you will often find this table heavily loaded with swathes of cloth that have been ordered, ready to be cut.  The cutting table is often draped in cloth, held down by weights, whilst our tailors strike a pattern.  Bespoke suits and bespoke shirts are made to each gentleman’s individual measurements, or his personal “pattern”.  No two patterns are the same!

Bespoke suits: A Tailors work table

On the shelves above the work table, you see just some of the fabric books we have – for bespoke suits, shirts, trousers, linings, waistcoats, overcoats, dinner suits, morning suits and jackets.  Many of these will travel together with our tailors, when they are out at client appointments, to ensure that no client is ever short of shirt and suit fabric choices – cottons, wools, cashmere, flannel, tweeds in all imaginable colours and patterns.  At Henry Herbert Tailors, we use only the finest British fabrics, sourced and woven in the UK.  Our  experienced tailors will guide you through the thousands of suitable fabric types and colours available.Bespoke suits: Fabric books

Tidy boxes to stash our bits and bobs – buttons, pins, chalk, scissors, safety pins, measuring tapes, spare bits of fabric (we never know when those might come in handy), needles / thimbles / plasters (we find those tend to be needed in threes).  We are particularly fond of the appropriate wording on these boxes:  “expert tailoring”, a daily reminder of the highest Savile Row standards that we work to.

Bespoke suits: Tidying Bits and bobs

Finally, we like to keep our guests comfortable when they visit us.  Dogtooth and Prince of Wales check work well on furnishing and accessories too, we find!  You can either visit us at our Savile Row (Mon-Fri 9.00-5.00pm) or Gray’s Inn Road premises (Mon-Sat 8.00am – 8.00pm), or we can visit you wherever and whenever is good for you, with our Savile Row by Scooter service.

Bespoke suits and Cushions too!


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The Bespoke Men’s Winter Jacket – Nehru style

This week, the well-dressed man is sporting a bespoke men’s winter jacket cut slightly differently.  It is a  Nehru-styled jacket, crafted from a seasonally appropriate slightly heavier weight navy wool.  The jacket essentially blends the collar of the achkan, historically the royal court dress of Indian nobles, with the Western suit jacket. It was popularised by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.

The high collar does double duty – not just as a style feature, but a practical attribute to keep the chill out during the cooler months.  The wider cut sleeve cuffs make layering over a shirt and even a jumper, a smooth affair.

Have you got a different winter jacket idea that you would like to explore?  Our tailors would be delighted to discuss it with you.  Simply book an appointment!

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Bespoke Men's Winter Jacket - Nehru Style

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