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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
None of my suits fit me anymore and I want to have a bespoke suit made. I see that a lot of SR tailors make visits to the U.S. Are these visits for new customers as well as existing? I'm wondering how the multiple fittings occur, since they only come once a year.

Thanks!
 

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Does it have to be Saville Row? Many who make the trip don't fly out to the west coast, time and finances making it difficult. You may want to consider tailors who do visit here, from Hong Kong, San Francisco being a scheduled stop with the community there and closer to Union City.
And California has no dearth of talented tailors either. Ask for feedback here and you have much greater options.
Saville Row has the deserved reputation as ne plus extra, but it isn't your only option.
You must also consider style; english,american,italian cut etc. They all have differences to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Does it have to be Saville Row? Many who make the trip don't fly out to the west coast, time and finances making it difficult. You may want to consider tailors who do visit here, from Hong Kong, San Francisco being a scheduled stop with the community there and closer to Union City.
And California has no dearth of talented tailors either. Ask for feedback here and you have much greater options.
Saville Row has the deserved reputation as ne plus extra, but it isn't your only option.
You must also consider style; english,american,italian cut etc. They all have differences to consider.
I'm certainly open to non-SR tailors - I asked about SR primarily because I was looking at the Poole website and liked the suits on this page:

Particularly, I liked the tailored waist and the shorter lapel. In general, I tend to prefer European over American - I don't have enough experience to know whether I prefer English or Italian, though. But I know that American suits are too boxy for me - I have a lean, athletic build.

Do you have any recommendations for local bespoke tailors? I guess for the visiting tailors from Asia, I would have the same question as those from SR - how do the multiple fittings work? The tailors from abroad seem to come at most twice a year - do you have your first fitting on their next visit...? Seems like it would take more than a year to get a finished product.

This is going to sound silly, but this was all inspired by a weekend of watching How I Met Your Mother :)
 

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Particularly, I liked the tailored waist and the shorter lapel. In general, I tend to prefer European over American - I don't have enough experience to know whether I prefer English or Italian, though. But I know that American suits are too boxy for me - I have a lean, athletic build.
Sadly, the American school of bespoke tailoring is for all practical purposes dead. I know of nobody who makes an American bespoke styled sack suit any more. It is basically a type of drape cut suit akin to what Anderson and Shepherd make, except usually without a front dart. It is not so much boxy than it is softer and easier in its fit, as Americans traditionally prefer greater ease and freedom to the keenly fitted traditional British coat.

Most bespoke tailors in the New World (Americas and Australia) are Italian. The coats they make are again different to the English styles of Poole.

However, I think that you should forget about this silhouette nonsense and concentrate on more practical issues such as price, turnover time, and local vs visiting tailor. Above all the fit and quality of workmanship are tantamount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sadly, the American school of bespoke tailoring is for all practical purposes dead. I know of nobody who makes an American bespoke styled sack suit any more. It is basically a type of drape cut suit akin to what Anderson and Shepherd make, except usually without a front dart. It is not so much boxy than it is softer and easier in its fit, as Americans traditionally prefer greater ease and freedom to the keenly fitted traditional British coat.

Most bespoke tailors in the New World (Americas and Australia) are Italian. The coats they make are again different to the English styles of Poole.

However, I think that you should forget about this silhouette nonsense and concentrate on more practical issues such as price, turnover time, and local vs visiting tailor. Above all the fit and quality of workmanship are tantamount.
Yea, judging from the photos on their respective websites, I think I would prefer Poole over A&S more because it looks more tailored. I guess I would prefer a more keenly fitted coat.

I don't actually know what American bespoke suits look like - I was basing the boxy statement off of the Hickey Freeman and Oxxford sport coats I tried on recently at NMLC. Poole, Timothy Everest, and Richard James were the three SR tailors whose suits that I liked the most (although I guess Richard James is not a tailor). I don't know if this is a weird grouping, since I read that Poole is the oldest and the other two are leading the "new Savile Row".

The silhouette is pretty important to me - right up there with fit and quality of workmanship. I realize that other people may not find it as important, but it really bothers me when I don't like the silhouette of my clothes. While price is definitely a factor, I would be willing to pay more for a suit with the right fit and silhouette and completely unwilling to pay for anything else. Turnaround time is not a huge factor for me - I don't wear suits to work, it would just be for the odd event that requires / allows business formal attire.
 

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If you look on their websites, they often have details of trips.

These dates are open to new clients as well; however, it is best to talk to them first. As it is not 'open-house' they book you in at a certain time so no one else is there.
They do make other trips, these dates are not advertised online because these are for fittings only and they do not take any orders at the time. Just working with current orders.


By talking to them first, they get an idea of what you want as well and they make sure they have the correct swatches with them when they make the trip.


As for style, whatever style you want, they can make it for you. If you want one button, they can make one button; if you want 3/2 roll they can do that and etc.


The one disadvantage of SR tailors is the process of getting bespoke suit. You can only have a fitting when they make a visit.
They say a bespoke suit takes about 8-10 weeks; however, it can be longer depending on the the number of fittings and when you have time to go in and get the fittings checked. It would take even longer for you, not only because you can only have a fitting when they visit but you would probably need more fittings as they need to make your templates.


My advice would me to get one made in the US and then a SR bespoke suit. As you mentioned, it would take a year; plus already having a suit you will be able to wear and and it would give you and idea of what you want your bespoke suit to be like.
 

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Actually there are US bespoke tailors who will make the traditional "Ivy League"
cut clothing. They are all, however, on the East Coast: New York, Boston,
Philadelphia(?). In New York Winston Tailors will do fairly affordable
bespoke in the Ivy League style. Our friend wants something like
Henry Poole which to me is similar to Huntsman and Hitchcock, also
in London, and very pricey.

Since you are in the Bay Area I have the following suggestion.
Go to Union square and check out Wilkes, and Borelli and whoever
sells Brioni. Both of these stores sell Italian clothing, along with Saks
Nieman's and Barneys. These are not London Saville Row garments,
but a number of them are quite close fitting. If you like any of them
look into shopthefinest.com in Santa Monica. This Website maintains
a warehouse crammed with high-end (mostly) Italian clothing especially
Attolini. It is open by appointment. The proprietor, Ian Daniels is
knowledgeable and accommodating. It may well be worth a trip.
The Bespoke process at a distance of 6000 miles will be very
time-consuming and may be frustrating. I've had enough trouble with
MTM with a store in a different city. Although I will admit that when
I win the Lottery, I'll give A&S and/or Rubinacci a serious look.
 

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Yeah, I'm wondering why no one made mention of Winston Tailors, especially Sator of all people!
 

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I don't actually know what American bespoke suits look like - I was basing the boxy statement off of the Hickey Freeman and Oxxford sport coats I tried on recently at NMLC.
If you look at classic Apparel Arts and Esquire illustrations they often show a cut that is somewhat sacky and draped in the classical American fashion. The original texts always call lounge coats by their authentic American term - the sack coat. You will almost never see a front dart depicted.

The boxiness you describe has more to do with an ill fitting coat rather than the all American mom-and-apple-pie sack coat being an inferior garment.
 

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Yeah, I'm wondering why no one made mention of Winston Tailors, especially Sator of all people!
Bingo! A true sack. But is it rather Chipp II, and Paul Winston who does the tailoring?

I also must question the suggestion that the AA/Esky illutrations from the '30's depict anything akin to the sack suit, though I guess "sacky" is in the eye of the beholder. They are only sacky compared to the current trend of exagerated, over-built SR jackets. A sack doesn't have blade shoulders, drape and a nipped in waist.
 

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Gentlemen, this erudite discussion of the traditional American Sack Suit
and its current Bespoke availabiltiy from Winston Tailors (which I, in fact,
mentioned in my previous post) is really besides the point. Our colleague
"Gopunk" is really interested in the Henry Poole "look". Other than a trip
to London, how might he satisfied? I suggested looking at close-fitting
Italian garments locally as a possible substitute. Also, surely there must
be forum members who can recommend (Asian) tailors who regularly visit
the Bay Area and can credibly execute the Henry Poole style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thank you everyone for your advice - it's very helpful!

Sator - Yea, that's what I assumed the classical American fashion to be (I have Clothes and the Man). I don't think the sack suit is an inferior garment by any means - I just feel like I personally would not look good in one, if that makes any sense? The sack suit jackets look primarily rectangular - whenever I put on a jacket that is also primarily rectangular that fits in the shoulders, the main wish I have is that the rest of the garment was more closely tailored to the shape of my body. But that seems like the antithesis of a sack suit - am I wrong?

comrade - Thanks for the recommendation - I may just have to do that. I think there's a tailor from Thailand that visits Oakland that I've read about here (Gino?). I don't know what his style is though.

ToryBoy - Thanks for the info - exactly what I was looking for.
 

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A sack doesn't have blade shoulders, drape and a nipped in waist.
If you study American tailoring texts from the 1880s-1950's it is clear that sack coats can have shoulder padding, waist suppression, and all manner of different things. It is only on the modern internet that the sack coat has been become fixed in the mind of some as having some sort of archetypal form. After all, "sack coat" is just American English for a lounge coat. However, the fact that Americans prefer an easier fit is something that seems to be universal. I particularly refer the reader to Poulin (1952), Regal's (1933) and Croonborg (1907). The following is an extract out of Croonborg (NY and Chicago, 1907):



Notice that he states the sack coat changed to be now more waist suppressed, then sackier, natural shouldered then padded. There is no fixed, immutable Eternal Form of the Sack Coat.

What can be said is, that to this very day, many Americans like their sack coats with a "roomier and comfortable" drape cut like those offered by A&S. Flusser is a good example and also Manton. The drape cut is stated as having an American or Continental origin by A.A. Whife (a leading West End cutter in the 1930-1950s). The drape cut was introduced to Savile Row by Friedrich Scholte, a Dutchman, at A&S. 1920-30's German texts all show patterns for their lounge coats without the waist dart, like American texts of the period. The German word for a sack coat, even in modern usage, is ein Sakko. I suspect the American sack coat may have been introduced there by European migrants in the 19th century. Many tailors were, of course, Jewish and spoke German or Yiddish.

I have personally never seen any examples of Winston Tailor's work so I cannot comment. I would be interested if anyone can provide photos. Anyone can advertise an Ivy League or preppy look, but even Brooks Brothers cut and make their coats in a modern generic and international style devoid of any regional character to it.
 

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If you study American tailoring texts from the 1880s-1950's it is clear that sack coats can have shoulder padding, waist suppression, and all manner of different things. It is only on the modern internet that the sack coat has been become fixed in the mind of some as having some sort of archetypal form. After all, "sack coat" is just American English for a lounge coat. However, the fact that Americans prefer an easier fit is something that seems to be universal. I particularly refer the reader to Poulin (1952), Regal's (1933) and Croonborg (1907). The following is an extract out of Croonborg (NY and Chicago, 1907):



Notice that he states the sack coat changed to be now more waist suppressed, then sackier, natural shouldered then padded. There is no fixed, immutable Eternal Form of the Sack Coat.

What can be said is, that to this very day, many Americans like their sack coats with a "roomier and comfortable" drape cut like those offered by A&S. Flusser is a good example and also Manton. The drape cut is stated as having an American or Continental origin by A.A. Whife (a leading West End cutter in the 1930-1950s). The drape cut was introduced to Savile Row by Friedrich Scholte, a Dutchman, at A&S. 1920-30's German texts all show patterns for their lounge coats without the waist dart, like American texts of the period. The German word for a sack coat, even in modern usage, is ein Sakko. I suspect the American sack coat may have been introduced there by European migrants in the 19th century. Many tailors were, of course, Jewish and spoke German or Yiddish.

I have personally never seen any examples of Winston Tailor's work so I cannot comment. I would be interested if anyone can provide photos. Anyone can advertise an Ivy League or preppy look, but even Brooks Brothers cut and make their coats in a modern generic and international style devoid of any regional character to it.
This is very interesting. I had no idea the sack went back that far in history.

Thank you, Sator, for an interesting and informative post.
 

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Poole certainly makes nice clothes. The tailoring I think is higher quality. The sacky drapes are easier to make. Walkers book of Savile Row says something like they (Savile Row tailors) could hardly believe the slop American customers wanted. When ever you put in curves and angles that fit close it becomes more complicated during the fittings because all seams effect each other more so than baggy looseness, therefore the fit has to be very well to work. A close well fitted coat is comfortable and you hardly notice it being on, so it doesn't feel tight.

Comparing Savile Row tailors to Asian is like comparing apples to, well, not even oranges. You get what you pay for.
 

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Walkers book of Savile Row says something like they (Savile Row tailors) could hardly believe the slop American customers wanted.
To this day, A&S with their American/Continental sackier cut enjoys disproportionate popularity with American clientèle. It is rather bemusing that many of these Americans consider their innate affinity for the easier drape cut to be due to their Anglophilia eg Flusser and Manton. This is due to a great extend to the fact that the Duke of Windsor had his coats made by A&S. In fact, the Duke was a fanatical Americanophile who abdicated his throne to marry an American. He thought that the British manner of dress was too stiff and starched, preferring a style that was more easy going in the American manner.

On the other hand, you still find Americans on the internet complaining that the fitted and structured British lounge suit feels like a "straight jacket" [sic]. I guess it's horses for courses, because I personally prefer the traditional clean fitted and structured lounge coat. I think there should be as much shoulder padding as necessary, with prefer heavier and multilayered interfacing and traditional weighted cloths. I am no fan of the pyjama suit.
 
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