Where to find the best bespoke and made-to-measure suits
by Zoe Dickens
Thanks to their association with celebrities and the numerous yachts once owned by Hollywood stars, a superyacht has always been a great place to hold a party. However, with owners increasingly using their yachts for work, rest and play, having a beautiful suit on board is a yachting wardrobe essential and, frankly, off-the-rack simply is going to cut it. Here are the names to know when ordering your next bespoke suit.
Gieves & Hawkes
Occupying a prime position at No. 1 Savile Row, British tailor Gieves & Hawkes has outfitted every British monarch since George III so you know you're in safe hands. In April 2019 the brand relaunched its Made-To-Measure service to offer traditional suiting, as well as outerwear and formalwear, cut on redeveloped fitting block which promise a more modern look with customers able to choose between 16 different fabric collections. Throughout the 6-8 week process, clients work with Gieves' tailoring consultants to achieve the perfect fit as well as choose from a range of design details including a double- or single-breasted jacket, notched or peaked lapels and flat-front or pleated trousers to create your ideal custom suit.
For something even more luxurious and personalised, Gieves & Hawkes also offers a bespoke service in which clients are guided through the design process from scratch by an experienced personal cutter, including a minimum of three fittings with a master tailor, to create a suit meeting their exact requirements.
Harrods Made-To-Measure lounge
Want to find your perfect suit without traipsing the whole of Savile Row? Harrods' Made-to-Measure lounge has brought some of the world's finest suitmakers together under one roof to make finding your perfect formal look a breeze. The lounge is mainly dedicated to the made-to-measure services of Eton, Turnbull & Asser (who both offer a made-to-measure shirting service as well), Canali, Armani and Corneliani but, thanks to its private, intimate atmosphere, it's a great place to avail yourself of the tailoring services offered by any of the department store's huge variety of brands. Both drop-in and advance appointments are available; prices start from £199 for a shirt and £1,200 for a suit with a minimum lead time of 3-4 weeks.
With every pattern in the extensive Stefano Ricci bespoke archive created by the eponymous designer himself, it's hard to go wrong with a suit from what is undoubtedly one of Italy's finest luxury houses. Following the brand's Made in Italy ethos, each Stefano Ricci suit is custom made in the brand's Florence atelier and offers a huge range of the country's most beautiful raw materials and fabrics to choose from. Have a special request? No detail is too small and Stefano Ricci's master tailors will be only too happy to oblige.
Having, quite literally, invented the tuxedo Henry Poole has long been the Savile Row go-to for well-dressed gents in the know. From tailored suits to formal court dress, Henry Poole's bespoke service offers almost every suit you can imagine with the experience changing from customer to customer and cutter to cutter depending on their requirements and the garment desired. The basic process, however, requires no fewer than three fittings to get the exact cut desired with each garment completely handmade by Henry Poole's team of seasoned craftsmen. Fabrics are chosen from the house's 6,000-strong library with an expert cutter assigned to guide clients through each phase until they end up with a unique suit in the distinctive Henry Poole silhouette.
Anderson & Sheppard
Having recently celebrated its 110th birthday, Anderson & Sheppard ranks among the most established of the Savile Row tailors. Following the traditional codes of the British tailoring establishment, it does not licence any made-to-measure or ready-to-wear designs so you can be safe in the knowledge your suit, overcoat or sports jacket is a complete one off. The house style is traditional but dapper. Think Fred Astaire or Gary Cooper – both of whom graced the tailor’s measuring tape in their heyday. The brand currently only has one store in London but makes regular overseas trips, including twice-yearly visits to the USA, to cater to foreign clients.
Boasting a recently renovated Regent Street store with a dedicated bespoke space (pictured above), as well as stores and trunk shows across the USA, Brooks Brothers’ comprehensive made-to-measure service includes suits, dress shirts, sport coats and trousers. Promising turnaround times as short at three weeks, choose from 1,000 fabrics and alter details from pocket style to cuffs, linings, buttons and lapels with prices starting at $1,145 for a two-piece suit.
Not sure whether to go for made-to-measure or bespoke (or even what the difference is)? Pay a visit to British tailor Thom Sweeney which offers bespoke at its Weighhouse Street atelier and made-to-measure at its Bruton Place store - as well as during regular trips to New York, Zurich and Stockholm - and will be happy to help.
In short, a bespoke suit is made completely by hand in-house to the customer’s choice of fabric, buttons, cut etc, includes two fittings and start at £2,350. A made-to-measure suit, on the other hand, is created using machines at the brand’s Italian workshop. Customers are offered the same choice of fabrics but the process is quicker as there is no second fitting and the price is lower at around £1,375. Either way, the result is exquisite.