Modified: 2010-06-07T12:17:58ZCopyright: Copyright (c) 2010, tom
2010-06-07T12:17:58Z(fantastic summer seersucker) Now if we've got suits like this on the board you know that summers arrived. Of course the wise among you will know that if this suits only made it as far as the cutting board...
(fantastic summer seersucker)
Now if we've got suits like this on the board you know that summers arrived. Of course the wise among you will know that if this suits only made it as far as the cutting board then the proud owner will be lucky if he's wearing it this autumn.
Well, we are fortunate to have many clients around the world who get to enjoy a little more sunshine than us in this green and pleasant land. Which is lovely for some. We're always asked about how we can keep a Savile Row suit as lightweight and cool as possible. I basically summed it up in an article I wrote five years ago, which is here if you want a recap.
But to be honest the reality is that you'll always be cooler if you have a suit that is naturally constructed, without heavy canvas and haircloth. Also, if it fits you properly you'll feel comfortable with the ability to move. That way you wont be fighting against the garment and you'll feel more relaxed and cool.
You'd be amazed at the amount of clients who wear 12-13oz fabrics in the summer. Experience has taught them that the 8-9 oz worsted's don't really make you feel that much cooler. What they're guaranteed to to do in hot humid conditions is to crease and crumple more and certainly make you look hot and flustered.
(just popping out with the family)
My advice with clothing is a little like food. You eat with your eyes and have almost made up your mind before you've had a single bite. If you're going to wear wool in the summer, 10oz is light enough. Keep the colours lighter and you'll automatically feel that your wearing a cooler suit. Then if circumstances permit, wear the real summer weights and fabrics like this lucky fellow. Linens and cottons in light blues, tan and stone colour and your brain will tell you that you're straight from the cool calm era of the British Raj. They'll crease like the devil but that's what they're supposed to. Anyway, as in the old colonial days just pretend you have a personal valet who'll tell you every time that " your suit is pressed and ready Saab".
2010-06-03T13:40:22Z(the lovely harbour in Whitehaven) Obviously this note has nothing to do with tailoring but simply a thank you to all of the kind condolences sent to us regarding yesterdays awful events. The area is barely an hour from...
(the lovely harbour in Whitehaven)
Obviously this note has nothing to do with tailoring but simply a thank you to all of the kind condolences sent to us regarding yesterdays awful events. The area is barely an hour from us here and I know the town of Whitehaven very well. In fact I'm filmed in Whitehaven on my little boat at the end of the documentary made about us.
Apart from the fact that this is my home port, which you can imagine is very dear to any sailors heart. This comes as a huge shock as this beautiful county is famed for having very little crime and is basically a very peaceful and safe place to live. There's very little I can say and it's pointless to rant about an individual who has taken advantage of kind people simply getting on with their lives.
This area is of mining and fishing stock and they're used to heartache. But the people of this area are strong and kind. They will gather round as a community and raise the broken hearts of all involved.
As they say "our thoughts and prayers go out to all effected by this". However, I would pause to say a prayer for yourself. Because if this can happen here it can happen anywhere.
2010-05-26T15:11:27Z(as elegant as it gets) We made it home with only a slight delay. To be fair our airline was pretty efficient. It'll take us both a week to recover as we packed in a total of eight flights...
(as elegant as it gets)
We made it home with only a slight delay. To be fair our airline was pretty efficient. It'll take us both a week to recover as we packed in a total of eight flights whilst we took Savile Row to the United States. Ethan had a fabulous time and is very exited about meeting and measuring his first bespoke clients.
As usual we were made very welcome by everyone we met. We thankfully came back with a very healthy order book for which we are very grateful. I always enjoy the fact that when we're in the US our clients always seem to order every type of bespoke garment. Of course there's classic Savile Row suits but also overcoats and dinner suits and even smoking jackets. However, one fellow really did make the trip for me. He told me that when he travels he likes to dress well and he wasn't kidding. He ordered a lovely bespoke three piece dinner suit and best of all a white tie dress suit. This is the height of elegant dressing for a man. It's been a while since I cut one of these. I own one myself which I wear occasionally but mine was made on Savile Row by Anderson's in 1954. We often get morning coat suits for weddings and Ascot but a bespoke white tie are getting rarer these days.
(Fred at his board)
It's of course a special garment which needs a lot of skill to make. Thankfully I have just the fellow for this. Fred Eltham is a good friend and excellent tailor. He celebrated his 75th birthday when we returned home. Coincidentally the day was St Georges Day.
We raised a glass of fine English ale and he told me that his first log for working for himself as a Savile Row tailor was dated the 1st of August 1956. After 54 years of experience, If Fred can't make it then nobody can. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
Again thank you for all the continued support. The apprenticeship programme was a great success and as I said I would I'd like to extend the same offer to four more clients based here in the UK. £1450.00 + VAT:( is a very tempting price for a Savile Row suit. We've already had a lot of requests but as we did with our US friends we'll put the names in a hat and keep our fingers crossed for you.
2010-05-26T15:11:44Z(on the balcony of the benjamin) Well we're on our last leg here in beautiful San Francisco. However, if the unruly Icelandic volcano keeps throwing a tantrum then these two Savile Row tailors may be here for a while....
(on the balcony of the benjamin)
Well we're on our last leg here in beautiful San Francisco. However, if the unruly Icelandic volcano keeps throwing a tantrum then these two Savile Row tailors may be here for a while. We're pleased to say that all's gone well so far. Our bespoke suits fit and people are happy.
(savile row stateside)
After two weeks of not drinking, Ethan looks even younger so he probably wont even get served a beer when he gets home either. I must say a quick thank you to all of our very kind friends here in the US. Especially to one of our NYC clients. He unfortunately tumbled and broke his leg whilst playing with one of his young family members. As you can imagine he wasn't in the best shape for a fitting. However, he does own a rage of fabulous New York deli's. Even though Mr Busardo couldn't make it he made sure that food parcels from his deli's did which were very gratefully received.
We've tried on some fabulous clothes including a super 20oz three piece tweed suit for one of our Chicago customers. He doesn't really need to wear suits but to use his words "he likes the adventure" of bespoke.
(back detail on the adventure suit)
There are a lot of reasons why you'd buy a Savile Row suit but that's surely got to be on of the best. See you all soon back in Britain.
2010-05-26T15:12:07Z(classic nehru) We're here safe and sound. Ethan cannot believe the place. Everythings a lot bigger and faster than at home. Apart from the experience he'll gain working with our US friends he'll also get to get a climpse...
We're here safe and sound. Ethan cannot believe the place. Everythings a lot bigger and faster than at home.
Apart from the experience he'll gain working with our US friends he'll also get to get a climpse of how fabulous this place is. All our fittings turned up courtesey of FeDex and even the customs men were nice to us:) We've got a full diary and the weak pound seems to be encouraging another full order book.
As you know we got a super responce to partake in the apprentice offer with Ethan. Basically a suit made by us but as a thank you for helping us train the net generation we were offering this at a very reduced cost. This just emphazised the fact that we are just out of a lot of peoples price range.
(blimey that's lively)
The pictures here are of some work that a very respected tailor and good friend of mine made for a chap. This "Nehru" style of coat is harder to cut and make than you'd think. It's a simple style but getting that collar just right is the hard bit. I was very impressed by this work and also the fact that Ravi of Anthony J Hewitt are offering some really fantastic deals on bespoke. This may be just the right time for people to take that step up the ladder. I've recommended people to Ravi before and they've always thanked me for doing so.
(hmm..taking the US drinking laws badly)
2010-05-26T15:12:43Z(myself and ethan. looking weary preparing for the USA) It's all go here getting ready for our trip to the USA in April. Ethan's having one of the most concentrated courses in bespoke cutting as you could ever imagine....
(myself and ethan. looking weary preparing for the USA)
It's all go here getting ready for our trip to the USA in April. Ethan's having one of the most concentrated courses in bespoke cutting as you could ever imagine.
I guess it gives an insight on how we see Savile Row and the craft in general. I hope you enjoy it as there's a few nice pics (not me personally) of some of us here. I'll carry on cutting but I hope you enjoy.
2010-03-11T11:42:29Z(apprentices, jamie ling, ethan bamkin) Well I asked for your support and we certainly got it. We've been inundated with wonderfully kind request to take part in our apprenticeship scheme. As I'd hoped we've had more offers than we...
(apprentices, jamie ling, ethan bamkin)
Well I asked for your support and we certainly got it. We've been inundated with wonderfully kind request to take part in our apprenticeship scheme. As I'd hoped we've had more offers than we can accept. In fact without doing a mass email it'll take us a long time to reply to everyone who kindly wrote to us.
I hope you can accept our sincere gratitude by thanking you on English Cut. So many people seem to be ideal for Ethan that we've basically decided to put all the names in a hat and draw out the lucky four people. I'm sorry if this seems a little peculiar but it seems the fairest and most straight forward way.
We'll be in touch within the next few days to let our four patrons arrange a convenient time to be measured. I'm pleased to let you know that our dates are confirmed for our next trip to the United States and we have our tickets for our spring visit in April. Our full itinerary can be found here.
As I said we're soon to have a little makeover which we hope you'll like. However I though it only fair to introduce you to Jamie and Ethan who are of course part of the future of English Cut. You may remember my dear old MG that I used to drive. Well I need something with a little more room. So here's some of the gang with my new old friend a Great British Land Rover.You'll not see it down Savile Row too often as it's not a city type. Of course it's green and although 30 years old it's strong and reliable. Also the other benefit is that after this snap was taken seven of us all went for lunch at the local instead of two.
(some of english cut, Paul & his good wife amanda, jenni, jamie and ethan)
After the response for our discounted suits it's obvious that there are a lot of people who want to take a step up the sartorial ladder but can't quiet financially stretch that far just yet, especially with Savile Row pricing. With that in mind our US and European customers can find some very tempting offers with the weak British Pound.
Thank you all once again for your support for the crafts future. With so little time and so much to do we'll say adieu and talk soon.
2010-05-26T15:15:00Z(ready for buttonholes and final finishing) I hope the answer to this post is "yes". Who wouldn't like to have a hand made garment crafted entirely for you from start to finish? The truth is most of us would... (ready for buttonholes and final finishing) I hope the answer to this post is "yes". Who wouldn't like to have a hand made garment crafted entirely for you from start to finish? The truth is most of us would love that luxury, especially me. But as I've said before I'm too busy looking after everyone else's sartorial dreams to fulfill my own. Sadly, God never made enough time for tailoring beautiful clothes. The answer of course is to make time by finding extra skilled hands. This as you can imagine is the problem. We're a rare bunch us tailors and we're a long time in the making. However, I have three good bits of news for you. Firstly our trouser apprentice has completed her first year working with Peter who makes 99% of my trousers. This he makes a beautiful job of if I say so myself. Secondly, I am on my third apprentice vying to take over my shears and dare I say it, this may be third time lucky. (Hugh getting the point) My good friend Hugh MaCleod of Gapingvoid has heard me lament over the years about my search for someone to take up the shears. When we last met for a good drink and catch up he listened to me, then rummaged in his bag and presented me with this fantastic cartoon. As Hughe's famous for he got it straight away and this said it all. This is a lovely business but the hours locked in the workroom have dashed the hopes of many people who only want the glamorous side of the business and want it quick. Learning something that's initially lowly paid and very hard work does not sit well on today's young shoulders. I'm feeling pretty confident about my new "striker" that I'll be taking him to America with me this spring. Besides, who wants to travel with a beautiful female assistant all the time. I ended up marrying the last one:) All joke's aside we can only make the craft survive if we invest in it. Now this I'm quite obviously doing because apprentices simply cost money and you hope you'll have your return in some distant future. Now I'm going to ask you, to be exact only four of you to invest in the crafts future also. You may be wondering how the unknown fab four will be able to do this? Well I did say that I had three bits of good news, Well here's the plan. Within the next couple of weeks I'll be posting my US itinerary for this April. I will be visiting my usual four cities but not taking on any new clients in Atlanta or Chicago:( However I'll continue with San Francisco and New York and will be happy to meet all my existing clients and new customers if the diary allows. Atlanta and Chicago are two of my favourite cities but to keep up with my regular clients in the US I can give better service by just concentrating on San Francisco and New York. In future I hope I can tempt my Atlanta and Chicago clients to meet me in New York or San Francisco. Many people panicked because they thought that I said that I would not be traveling to the US any more. However I said I will be continuing to travel regularly to the US but on shorter trips concentrating on my existing clients. Now this is how you can help. I know that our clothes are worth every penny and by all accounts our prices are very reasonable. However to commission a bespoke suit is a serious investment. To put it simply most people can not yet afford the cost of such luxury no matter how good an investment it may be. (a plate from one of my old college books) What I'd like to offer is four suits to be commissioned, two in San Francisco and two in New York. These four suits will be offered at the very heavily discounted price of £1450.00 ($2,238.00 approx). These will be cut and made here in our workshops using the same quality of workm[...]
2010-05-26T15:15:45Z(chairman of the board with jeans) The picture above may give you an idea about how comfortable bespoke is. This gentleman is a client of mine who popped in to see me to re-order. I was a little surprised...
(chairman of the board with jeans)
The picture above may give you an idea about how comfortable bespoke is. This gentleman is a client of mine who popped in to see me to re-order.
I was a little surprised to see he was wearing his last suit minus the trousers. As you can see he was in jeans and casual shoes. Wearing a classic grey worsted coat and waistcoat with jeans is something I'd never of considered. But I had to admit I thought he looked extremely comfortable and relaxed, yet very stylish.
Worked well I thought. What do you think?
2010-05-26T15:17:41Z(Lucky me and my brilliant instructor) I thought I should write a quick note to explain something which has been confusing some of my clients recently. You see every time we send out a new suit or jacket we...
(Lucky me and my brilliant instructor)
I thought I should write a quick note to explain something which has been confusing some of my clients recently. You see every time we send out a new suit or jacket we pack it with a compliments slip. This of course is pretty normal. However, on the corner of the compliment slip we pin a little pewter Spitfire.
(one of our compliment slips)
As our clients will know this is our company logo. The main reason is as I said earlier. I have had the very good fortune to take the controls of this beautiful war bird a while ago and got to fly her one sunny afternoon. This is thanks to the help of a very good friend who realised my love of this beautiful aircraft.
As a little thank you to the bravery of the pilots and all of the Royal Air Force we like to support their memorial fund. This we do by purchasing these lovely Spitfire lapel badges. We don't expect you to wear them but if they make you pause for a moment of appreciation then that will be enough.
2010-05-26T15:18:05Z(Ron and Pat on one of our English Cut parties) I would like to wish all of our readers our very best wishes for the new year. Sadly the start of 2010 has been marked with the loss of...
(Ron and Pat on one of our English Cut parties)
I would like to wish all of our readers our very best wishes for the new year. Sadly the start of 2010 has been marked with the loss of a very dear friend and colleague, Mr Ron Hardy.
Ron has been working for Edwin and I for the last thirteen years. He has been in the tailoring trade all of his life and sadly passed away at the untimely age of only 67. Until last summer Ron was working full time as hard as ever. Apart from the huge loss to his partner, Pat and their family. His amazing skill and patients will be a great loss to our trade.
(An example of Ron's work)
Ron has made for many clients who have recognised his wonderful skill in making their clothes over the years. Recently you may remember the beautiful overcoats that Ron made for some of my clients. I hope our friends who were fortunate enough to own some of these pieces will treasure these truly rare and outstanding garments. These of course were only a tiny example of Ron's huge contribution to this very special trade.
One look at at some of our friends work confirms the outstanding beautiful skill that so much reflects the man. Ron's calmness and unflappable patience has helped not only myself but everyone who was fortunate enough to know Ron.
We have all lost a wonderfully kind and witty man who will be extremely missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.
2010-05-26T15:18:53ZAs you can probably gather my pile of work has kept me pretty quiet. It's been a very busy but enjoyable year for us all here at English Cut. As this was my first Christmas as a married man....
As you can probably gather my pile of work has kept me pretty quiet. It's been a very busy but enjoyable year for us all here at English Cut.
As this was my first Christmas as a married man. I had to prove myself with the festive roast for our family and friends whom we'd invited to our snow covered home. I must admit that cooking a 20lb turkey in our Aga for 13hrs was pretty nerve wracking. However, as I was told, all was well and I relaxed in the knowledge that I'd performed my Christmas duties.
(the local scenery)
I'm very much looking forward to next year and I hope to make some interesting additions to English Cut which I hope you'll enjoy. I know some of our readers have already arrived into 2010 but before we nip down to our local for the evening. I'd like to wish a you all a very happy and prosperous 2010.
Thank you all again for your wonderful support and all your very kind wishes to both Claire and I. Until next year, best wishes to you all.
2010-05-26T15:19:38Z(this will keep me quiet) The winter sun has finally returned to poor old rain battered Cumbria. My lovely county has had a pretty awful couple of weeks with rain and floods. When I returned from the United States...
(this will keep me quiet)
The winter sun has finally returned to poor old rain battered Cumbria. My lovely county has had a pretty awful couple of weeks with rain and floods. When I returned from the United States I had to meet clients in London and hardly seemed to have caught my breath since I left home. We had a super trip, all went well and we've been blessed with plenty of work to keep me quiet on these dark winter nights. It's going to take me the next few weeks simply re-cutting the work that I tried on whilst on my trip. It takes longer than you'd think to check my notes re-cut the clothes and check every pattern. Cloth is like fluid but if you're diligent with it you can eventually get it to work your way.
I know some of my clients may gasp with worry when they see this apparently random pile but worry not. These clothes are far stronger than you think and believe it or not I do have an order to this collection of sartorial commissions.
Left alone I'll slowly but surely get through this and enjoy every minute of it. I really don't think I'd care to be working full time in London any more. To try to concentrate with all sorts of distraction just wouldn't work for me. Of course the fellows on the Row manage fine and like everything in life, what must be done, will be done. I'm glad to be in our little tailoring haven here in the quiet north.
(spots before your eyes)
I thought you may like this picture. Paul is making a fitting for a local client here at the Hall. As you know we match the checks and stripes on our jettings. This we also do even on plainer fabrics as we are here with this birdseye. It's totally unnecessary and matching those dots isn't easy, that's all Paul will see when he's trying to sleep tonight.
(even with the darts it looks lovely)
I know this extra effort will be scoffed at by the words finest tailors but to Paul and all of us here it matters. I suppose that's why we are English Cut.
2010-05-26T15:19:52Z(wouldn't like to get the fit of his suit wrong) Our first stop in Chicago went very well and now we’re on route to San Francisco as part of our Autumn USA visit. Business was brisk and the diary’s...
(wouldn't like to get the fit of his suit wrong)
Business was brisk and the diary’s looking good, so God willing we should have a good trip. This was my first experience of Halloween in the USA and I’ll doubt I’ll forget it. Certainly, if Chicago’s anything to go by, Halloween is quite a party. I thought I’d time travelled to the 31st of December.
(all new to me)
It’s always nice to experience something new. And even more comforting to discover our friends this side of the pond don’t need an excuse for a party. What a very civilized nation.
Lucy and I will get down to business over here and as usual time will fly and we’ll soon be back home.
If anyone would care to meet up with myself or Lucy please let Jenni know at and she’ll do her best to help.
2010-05-26T15:20:12Z(alright for some) This lucky fellow is Lee Oxley one of my tailors who started with us after leaving Anderson and Sheppard last year. He's settled in so nicely he's even treating himself to a new blazer, which is... (alright for some) This lucky fellow is Lee Oxley one of my tailors who started with us after leaving Anderson and Sheppard last year. He's settled in so nicely he's even treating himself to a new blazer, which is perfect for that sartorial edge down the local pub or the golf club. As I said earlier if you can only afford one peice of bespoke in your wardrobe this is essential. You'll really get your moneys worth over the years. This is his first fitting which dosent look bad for the first job that I've cut for him. Lee's keeping it simple with one button and a peaked lapel. A dark pair of trousers and tie and it's formal enough for most occasions, polo top and chinos and it's great for after the beach. That's what you call versatile. Unlike poor me, who has to fit his own suit which is a lot harder than you think, I'll make sure that his fits.. This is obvious as you'll see from the pic below of my lovely new wife Claire and I, we both look as if were straight off the top of a wedding cake. Claire looks great in her "Oscar de la Renta" but my suit's a bit on the big side. However, you dont know how lucky I felt to get the girl and a new suit! Too big or too small I didnt really care. (happy tailor) I'd like to thank Val of Warwick Hall for our super day. If you'd like your special day here I can highly recommend it. I must also thank Roger my great pal who did a super job with the photographs and Terry Brown of Scabal London who very kindly gave me the lovely fabric for my suit. Just before my wedding I was visiting a shirt makers in Northern Ireland whod I'd heard great things about. They very kindly offered to make me a shirt for the big day so I must thank Richard and all the gang from Smyth and Gibson who did an amazing 48hr turnaround for me. Even with a huge pile of work Paul, Peter and Katherine made a lovely job of my suit. I promise to do my part and fit it properly soon. I'm also delighted to tell you that my original "English Cut" girl, Lucy Adams and I will be travelling together again this Autumn. She's a lot wiser than when I plucked her from the University I was teaching at five years ago. We've booked our tickets and our dates are here. This is my last but one trip around all four city's and we both can't wait to catch up with everyone. I've also moved my cutting room over the drive to the stables which has lots of room and lots of light. Working in a 300yr old building is pretty inspiring and the view's not bad either. I promise not to post any more wedding pics but you did ask. I know it's great to see Claire but I'm all too aware of who's now joined at her hip, poor girl. (view at the end of the garden) Anyway, I'll leave you with this final picture below. I don't know what I was saying at this point in my speech. Perhaps to Claire's parents I was pledging my undying loyalty to their daughter? Or maybe I was auditioning to be the next Conservative candidate. Would make a great caption competition if you've any ideas? ("we'll fight on the beaches") [...]