Thursday, November 29th, 2012
I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s an interesting shift in style ideas going on, certainly with a lot of our bespoke at the moment. Although many of the high street suits and including James Bond’s are going for an almost 60′s style slimmness of cut and thin lapels.
(Mr Sinatra with proper lapels)
However, many of my clients are asking for wider lapels, especially in double breasted. Also, there’s a strong return to shawl collars, such as the one I’m cutting here. This is particularly unusual as it’s a shawl collar on a double breasted dinner jacket. There’s no doubt it’s a beautiful classic style but I have haven’t cut something like this in years. (Mr Bond, very slim and a bit short in back balance) When I talk about the DB lapels being wider I mean really wide, almost coming out the full width of the shoulder.
(slim cut Mr Bond and a bit short in back balance)
It seems strange to cut these these days but I must admit when a client of mine dropped in to see me in NYC last week he did look fantastic. It’s literally time travel, back to the 30′s and 40′s. It’s not a look everyone can pull off and the rest of your dress has to match but there’s no doubting that that’s from an incredibly stylish era. All we need to do is get a run on the hat wearing then we will have gone full circle.
(Basil Rathbone, a very elegant Sherlock Holmes)
So you’ll have to decide if you want to be James Bond or Sherlock Holmes.. I’m begining to prefer the latter :)
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Well I’m sure you’ve all heard we’re having quite a party over here. Team GB has got everyone gripped in Olympic fever. For such a small island nation we’re punching well above weight our as usual.
I’m sorry that I’m gloating a bit but come on, we’re not called Great Britain for nothing
( classic 3 roll to 2 English Cut)
It’s been difficult to take our senses off the Olympics but we’re still hard at it here both tailoring and kitting out our new home. This is a piture of one of our new made to measure range just before we boxed it up to ship to Hong Kong. You’ve all no doubt heard the availability of tailoring out there so we’re delighted that people are interested in getting their hands onto another winning British product.
As you can see it’s got all the hallmarks of our house style and this one has been made for the warmer climes so it’s also buggy lined. What makes me feel good about one of these suits is that I know they’ll feel as good to wear as they look.
(160 years and still going)
Essentially, you could say this blog is about craftsmanship. So people have noted our Granfather clock in the picture. Should you visit you’ll see it standing in our front office and incidentally it was made by local craftsmen, Cairns Bros in our pretty marked town in the 1850′s. It’s still keeping perfect time today, well when we remember to wind it.
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
I’ve been travelling for most of May and it’s good to be home. We’re all looking forward to the jubilee and long weekend to celebrate a marvelous sixty year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. It’s a very special time to be here and I’m extremely proud that our Queen has reigned all of my life and God willing we’ll enjoy this for many years to come.
Celebrations, of course but we wont be having much of a break here at English Cut. We’re extremely busy and we’re taking advantage of the weekend to move into our new premises. I’ll show you the new place when we’re in and settled.
I’ve been asked a lot recently about cooler fabrics to wear in the hot summer months. Something we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying recently here in the UK. I answered this question a number of years ago. Here’s the article, tweaked and brought up to date but very relevant.
(A sample bunch of fine linens from Dormeuil, the cloth merchants on Sackville Street, around the corner from Savile Row.)
Michael Alden of The London Lounge recently asked me the following question:
Many of our [London Lounge] readers are preparing their wardrobes for Spring and Summer. I have always felt that the Anderson & Sheppard style of tailoring always worked exceedingly well in warmer weather as long as the choice of fabrics was correct. Rigid, lightweight fabrics like frescos and Irish linens when hand sewn and without lining always seem to be the best solution to warmer weather. What advice would you give our readers about garments, their sewing and choice of cloth, destined for these seasons?
The truth is, there is no magic, secret formula for making coats for warm climates. It’s just common sense, with three main tenets:
1. Only use fabrics which are extremely light.
2. Only use fabrics that are extremely breathable.
3. Always build the suits with a very light internal structure.
Allow me to elaborate:
We’re all aware how wonderfully cool cottons and linens are. The downside, of course, is that they do look as if you’ve been sleeping in them after a few hours of wear. Still, it’s the honesty in these fabrics that gives them their charm. We all know they crease badly, but that’s their style.
But if we want to stay cool, whilst still wearing the proper, formal business attire, what’s on offer?
Your standard worsteds (Super 90′s} are usually out of the picture; the lightest this quality is found is usually about 9 ounces (light enough in one of our suits).
In very lightweight wool fabrics you’re usually looking at finer quality Super 120′s/150′s. These do indeed crease, however the compromise in comfort is a fair exchange. Besides, I’ve taught you how to press, haven’t I?. These materials are going to cost more, but that’s par for the course when you get into these lightweights.
Another option, which is a very viable one, are the modern ‘High Technology Materials’. These probably sound as scary to you as to me. Especially with names like, “Supertronic” ( now called “Business Class“) from Scabal. Believe it or not they don’t have a strand of man-made fibre in them just a very tight weave in the cloth that literally makes them bounce back into shape. It’s all good, honest and most importantly, cool, pure wool.
Even without their unsettling names, if you take a look and feel the texture of these materials, I’m sure like me you’ll find them a little, dry to the touch and you could be convinced there must be something awful in there, like polyester. But there is none- this as I said is simply the way the cloths are spun to produce this robust, stretchy texture, even in 7 ounce materials.
This is the main problem with these materials. Customers and tailors alike feel that these cloths are somehow hiding something, unlike something traditional as a cotton or linen. Our minds trust them, but our hearts do not.
That’s about it. Compromises do have to be made in warm climates, but c’est la vie. Still, if you follow the obvious three rules above, you can still look good and keep cool at the same time.
Saturday, April 7th, 2012
It’s Easter and time for a day off I think. I can’t thank you all enough for all of the helpful emails and comments regarding the supply of our new made to measure range. We’re talking to some excellent people thanks to your help.
As you can see I’ve been catching up on my pattern cutting. The patterns are starting to take over the place but I like the look of them so who cares. I suppose this is another reason why most tailors use block patterns.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Well there you are. It’s your advice I’m looking for and I hope it all came across clearly on our posh new camera. You asked us to improve the visuals so with a new camera and tripod your wish is our command. As you know English Cut was the first to help clarify the almost arcane craft of bespoke tailoring with the written word and simple snaps taken from a mobile phone. Over the years pictures improved, video was introduced and now we’re in full HD. This is good for learning about the craft but the downside I’m afraid is you’ll have to look at me in HD ; )
It’s interesting when you think that we moved from Savile Row to this area seventeen years ago when the world of social media was non existent. However, I was happy to do this as I felt we made something that was very special offering a totally different look and feel from usual Savile Row tailoring. This uniqueness gave me the confidence to leave London, for as they say the happiest place in England to start my own business. With our new hand made to measure service I feel again that we’ve created something new and completely without compare. As you can imagine it’s very exiting for us that we can now offer so many more people the special feeling of wearing truly hand made clothes.
(soft hand tailoring)
It’s fantastic to have a full bespoke order book but also frustrating that so many people have been unable to experience this wonderfully comfortable true hand tailoring. Of course it’s not just availability but the cost has often been too prohibitive for many people.
Fortunately two years ago when I found exactly what we were looking for. Our new range has been acclaimed by the media and our peers alike. Myself and our team created our new range from the blank pattern paper to the final pressing. Also to further make sure I was comfortable with anything that carried our name I’ve personally consulted and fitted every suit that we’ve made since our new service was launched launch last Autumn.The most comfortable ready to wear jacket I’ve ever tried? By a mile, and it’s the best fitting too. I wore one to an appointment I had with another first-class tailor I know and he looked at the jacket with interest. When I explained that it was RTW he seemed shocked, and said, “Tom will put us all out of business!” Tom’s new RTW clothes are closer to the look and feel of bespoke than I imagined possible. Mansel Fletcher, style editor, Esquire, London. This inevitably increased my workload but I’m delighted to say that it’s been an incredible success and I’m thoroughly convinced there’s nothing like it. People are talking and are wanting to try our service so as I said this is where I need help. We’re looking for advice from our friends and clients of quality tailors or retail outfitters that could supply our new range.
Of course you may be involved in our trade and read English Cut so I’d be delighted to hear from you wherever you’re based in the USA, Europe, Scandinavia or right here in the UK. Instead of using the usual resources to find like minded partners I prefer to ask our readers because I know they’ll be honest with me. I’m sure there’s a business in your home town who would be perfect to work with. We’d like to talk to professionals who make the extra effort in service and truly appreciate their clients value.
Thanks for reading and please get in touch.
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
As promised, here you are. It’s not perfect but I hope it’ll help you to press your suit beautifully. It’s been clipped a couple of times as it was a little too long for YouTube.
However, I know you’re all smart enough to get the idea and you’ll soon all be telling your local dry cleaners how it’s done. Also you’ll be delighted to hear we’ve invested in a new posh true HD camera. We’ll even push the boat out and get a tripod and a better account with YouTube. Then we will be state of the art.
By the way please keep an eye on English Cut over the next couple of weeks as I’m going to ask our readers for some help and advice.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
As promised here are the first of two videos on how to press your suit. Of course when we press a suit that has just been made there’s a little more work involved. Obviously, what most of the readers of English Cut want is to simply smarten up their suits for that fresh clean look.
Like everything in life it takes a little practice but you’ll see that using the tools of the trade make life a lot easier. I’ll post the jacket and waistcoat pressing in a couple of weeks but in the meantime you can breathe new life into your trousers.
(no place like it)
I’m also delighted to let you know that my flights have been booked for this springs visit to the USA. Sadly, I cant spend as much time in the US as I’d like to so please contact me as early as possible and we’ll do our best to get you in the diary. As you’re probably aware the only cities I now visit are San Francisco and New York. Many people have been asking about our MTM service but I’m afraid this will not be available on my visit as the diary simply wont allow. However, we hope to arrange a supplier this year so our US based friends can take advantage of our new service.
As usual we’ll be very busy getting ready for my trip but I also cant wait to visit my friends in the US. My full itinerary is here and I look forward to seeing you.