How (Not) To Find A Tailor


British editor Simon Crompton joins WATM as a contributing writer with a semi-monthly take on sartorial issues.

There are, apparently, men with the funds and patience to try every single tailor on Savile Row. One Middle Eastern customer, now famous among the Row’s cutters, had exactly the same single-breasted suit made from each one, in the same navy worsted. What a waste of time.

There aren’t many differences between most of Savile Row tailors. The only marked difference is between Anderson & Sheppard, which practises what is known as the drape cut, and the rest. Indeed, cutters still move around between houses with relative frequency, and individual styles are more likely to be down to the cutter than to any putative ‘house style’.

Other reasons why trying everyone is a waste of time: you will end up focusing on tiny differences, which may be more down to the tailor sewing the buttonholes than anything else; you are unlikely to realise some of the differences for months, even years; and let’s face it, you are not a judge of tailoring – your ‘feel’ of a suit is as likely to be down to the relationship you had with the cutter, or compliments you receive while wearing it.

In the midst of this is the key word: relationship. Much better than trying an endless series of cutters is finding one you get on with. One with whom you can establish an open but trusting dialogue. Most important of all: one with whom you can refine your pattern and your style over a good length of time. Because the second suit is always better than the first.

Photo credit via Matjaž Tan?i? Photography