Three new political leaders displaying three approaches to wearing a suit. David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, enjoys flared trousers. Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, likes his slanted pockets on his jackets. Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, presents polished white shirt cuffs which are (correctly) longer than his suit sleeves. Notably, all three wear single breasted, two button suits – the choice of style for being a political leader.
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.
Henry Herbert was extremely privileged to make the above suit: privileged on two counts in fact. The first, because the suit was created for the wedding of Ray Goold (above), a wonderful and talented musician. Ray plays with the Solent City Jazzmen in Southampton. The second, because Ray asked for an extremely rare, but special, fabric for his suit – Seersucker. We chose a seersucker fabric from Holland & Sherry. Unfortunately, the photograph may not do it justice, looking at it on a computer, as seersucker fabric is woven in such a way that it gives a glorious texture and is great, either as as suit or stand alone trousers or jacket. Richard Green for The Big Black Book (Illustration)
Fabric source: Peebles, Scotland
Cut: Slim, Single breasted
Notes: A terrific looking blue wool suit made by Henry Herbert Tailors, accompanied by smartly polished shoes. A great example of how striking this colour fabric can look in a well cut suit. You can also see a video of a blue Henry Herbert suit here.
Photography credit: Petra Exton
The three piece suit is a fabulous, but intricate creation. You may imagine a variety of people wearing them in a a vrierty of different environments – but can you imagine yourself in one? Perhaps you should start! A well cut three piece suit is as comfortable in the city today as it is in the country and every well dressed gentleman should have one. This short video by Henry Herbert Tailors shows you one of our carefully crafted three piece suits, using a Tweed fabric from an English mill.
Fabric: Harris Tweed
Cut: Slim, Two button
Notes: A Henry Herbert suit, made with the mystical Harris Tweed. A finely cut suit that looks striking on the young man wearing it – Marcus Jaye, creative director of The Chic Geek. The remarkable Harris Tweed is the only fabric in the world that is governed by its very own Act of Parliament 1993: “Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.” The Act ensures that all cloth certified with the Harris Tweed Orb complies with the definition in the Act, and is genuine.
Photography credit: Petra Exton
Fabric: Pinstripe flannel
Fabric source: Huddersfield, England
Cut: Traditional, Single breasted
Notes: An excellent example of a bespoke pinstripe suit, which remains as popular (and striking) as ever. This creation by Henry Herbert Tailors was made as a single breasted, two button suit with a pure English wool from Duffin & Peace in Huddersfield – believe it or not, there are still some English mills left.
The sports jacket is an essential garment for every wardrobe. It can be made from a variety of different fabrics, including linen, silk, cotton, mohair and wool. They all offer their own individual merits, but a well cut, bespoke linen sports jacket can look super sharp. A common concern is that linen can crease easily – as long as you look after the linen jacket, it will look after you. This is a short video of a bespoke sports jacket made by Henry Herbert Tailors.
An example of an excellent and very fine cloth from Taylor & Lodge of Huddersfield, England, in a recent Henry Herbert three-piece suit. The customer chose a simple and elegant style to the suit – a two button single breasted jacket, with a straight pocket either side. The suit is enhanced hugely by:
1. Excellent choice of cloth,
2. Savile Row tapering to the sides of the jacket, and
3. A very simple coat style complemented by a waistcoat.
We make a variety of suits for a variety of different budgets and try to be as accommodating as possible. But this is one very special cloth – a Super 160’s from Dormeuil. We have made it for a customer who has worked hard and is in a position to indulge himself and it is the softest and most delicate fabric we have ever worked with. We can only hope the camera shot does the fabric some justice. In case you didn’t know, Dormeuil supply the cloth for the suits in the James Bond films!
Navy birdseye is perhaps the ultimate cloth for a timeless and all season suit. Don’t just take our word for it, ask James Bond. A navy birdseye suit was the clothing of choice for Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye back in 1995, and just like James Bond the cloth and the suit proved timeless, indestructible, and stylish to the end.
Birds eye is an unusual and special pattern. From a distance it appears solid but up close it creates a subtle surface full of depth without being distracting. It has more depth and a far richer effect than a solid worsted especially when you choose a dark grey or a navy fabric.
It’s a mature, traditional fabric with a traditional but timeless pattern of small circles. Bird’s Eye has a tiny dot in the centre that’s hard to see from a distance. The pattern, like the name suggests, resembles a bird’s eye and is characterised by the small pupil-like centre dot. Many people confuse the birds eye pattern with nailhead, but there is a subtle difference that definitely adds texture to plain colours – birdseye cloth has distinctive round larger dots on a diagonal layout. A navy birdseye suit like the one that Pierce Brosnan wore – is unbelievably stylish, though you hardly every see it worn anywhere these days because it seems to have fallen out of fashion with the younger crowd. Recently though it seems to be making something of a welcome comeback as men search for something traditional but slightly and subtly different.
For me navy birdseye is the ultimate traditional cloth for a timeless, all-season suit that is definitely contemporary enough to be worn today and is also durable for regular office wear. When you see someone wearing a well-cut navy birdseye suit you know that he is seasoned. Personally I love the birdseye weave. To me it gives you a mature look that is both perfect for every day wear and durable enough for a hard day in the office. The navy birdseye is one of my favourite patterns for a suit because it creates a subtle surface interest that has a great depth to it without being too distracting. It’s also a very welcome variation from the usual plainer suit cloths helping you subtly stand out from the crowd without people quite knowing why.
Will a navy birdseye suit you and your style? Of course it will.
An excellent example of a herringbone fabric….but very difficult to photograph too! The fabric is from Hield Mills, in Huddersfield and is a glorious blue. This suit is in its baste stage for one of our customers who works for a large international financial group and who, interestingly, told us that the Chinese save 50% of all of their income. It puts the British to shame. Unfortunately, the photograph may not do the pattern justice, but it will turn out to be a very striking and very sharp suit.