Why every man should invest in a Savile Row suit

9 minutes read

A bespoke suit from Savile Row is the epitome of tailoring, but how much is the cost of a Savile Row suit and is it worth the investment?

A bespoke Savile Row suit is an investment and is the highest level of tailoring there is. We discuss the cost of a bespoke suit and whether a tailor made suit from Savile Row is worth the investment. The simple answer is yes. But to really grasp why that’s the case, it’s essential to understand a few things about both bespoke tailoring and Savile Row.

What does bespoke mean?

“Bespoke: a suit made on or around Savile Row, bespoken to the customer’s specifications. A bespoke suit is cut by an individual and made by highly skilled individual craftsmen. The pattern is made specifically for the customer and the finished suit will take a minimum of 50 hours of hand work and require a series of fittings.” – Savile Row Bespoke Association.

Firstly, what is bespoke tailoring and is it different to made to measure tailoring?

Made to measure and bespoke tailoring are often used in the same vein, unfortunately, some fashion houses and even some media use the term interchangeably. There are, however, some vital differences between the two.

Here is the Alexandra Wood low down:

  • Bespoke suits in Savile Row are entirely hand-made from start to finish, while made-to-measure suits are machine-made. Machines impose certain restraints on the process, whereas the hand-made process allows bespoke suits to be personalised further.
  • When creating a bespoke suit, a paper pattern is created for each client from scratch. The fabric is then hand-cut. It’s like your own blueprint and can’t be replicated for anyone else. Made-to-measure, on the other hand, uses existing patterns that are modified to fit the wearer.
  • Bespoke suits generally feature a full floating canvas made from natural horse hair to give the suit a softer, more comfortable feel instead of the fused, man made canvas of a made-to-measure or ready-to-wear suit.
  • As you’d expect with something hand-made, bespoke suits take longer to make than made-to-measure – anywhere from 12 to 18 weeks. You’ll also need to have a few more fittings to make sure it’s just right.
  • Bespoke tailoring services often provide you with a far more extensive range of fabrics and trims to choose from.
  • Hand cutting and hand sewing make bespoke suits look softer, whereas the machine-based process used for made-to-measure suits gives the suit sharper, crisper edges.

The most crucial difference is how a bespoke suit feels and that is where our clients say that bespoke Savile Row suits are worth the price more than anything. Clients have told us that their bespoke suits mould to their body and feel light as air. They take in the nuances of your body shape in a way that no other suit can.

The process of bespoke tailoring is complex and takes time, yet ultimately it’s the finish result that has to count. How a bespoke suit looks and feels after it’s been fine tuned to perfection should feel unlike any other piece of clothing you own.

Discover 11 top tips for a great savile row suit

What is Savile Row?

Arguably the world’s most famous menswear destination, this unassuming street in London’s Mayfair houses Britain’s finest tailors. For over two centuries, it has been known as the home of bespoke tailoring. In fact, the word ‘bespoke’ was coined here as the cloth a client chose was said to ‘be spoken for’.

Today you’ll find some of Britain’s oldest tailoring houses sharing the street with talented newcomers (like myself), and the odd international design house.

While semi bespoke / made-to-measure and ready-to-wear are now available on Savile Row, if you’re looking for the highest quality bespoke or semi-bespoke suit, there really is nowhere else to go.

Why choose a Savile Row tailor for a bespoke suit?

Three words: quality, experience and style.

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On Savile Row, you’ll find the most beautiful suit fabrics in the world. When combined with a lifetime of dedication to the craft – tailors on Savile Row train for years as apprentices, honing their talents on one part of the process or suit before moving on to the next – you’re sure to get an incredible suit that will last you a lifetime.

British tailors (particularly those on Savile Row) also have a distinct style – it’s more formal than others with clean lines, a distinct structure and a close fit, with a nod to their equestrian and military origins. These features separate British suits from the extremely slim-fitting and flamboyant Italian style and the baggier American style.

How much is a Savile Row suit?

The price for an authentic, hand made bespoke Savile Row suit will start anywhere upwards of £3,500. When you factor in fabric choices, the cost can be more than £10,000.  A bespoke suit from Alexandra Wood, starts from £6,000 and includes complete style and design guidance from start to finish and is where Alexandra Wood differs from other tailors. You want to be safe in the knowledge that you’re not only investing in an incredible tailored suit, but that it will also make you look greater than you ever knew you could.

You’re not just paying for a bespoke suit that fits you like no other. You’re paying for years of tailoring experience from the best Savile Row tailors, with styling know-how, fabric, materials and hours and hours of hand-sewing and finishing. Consider this: how much would you charge your clients or employer for 12 – 16 weeks of your time at work?

*A word of caution: some unscrupulous people market themselves as bespoke tailors when they’re really offering made-to-measure . Before buying from them, ask about their process and if their bespoke suits and patterns are entirely hand-made and hand-cut.

Why invest in a bespoke suit?

A bespoke suit is considered essential for the limited few who insist on the ‘best of the best’.

For many others, bespoke suits are purchased for a significant moment in their life when they want to look and feel confident such as a graduation, wedding, awards ceremony, or meaningful public speaking engagement.  Alternatively, they’re a ‘bucket-list item when a gent wants to indulge and enjoy his success and hard work.

”My Alexandra Wood suits to me are what I imagine Iron man’s suits are to him. Armour that lets me do my job.” Tony Parsons, GQ

We believe that investing in a bespoke suit is a rare and important opportunity to have something made that is truly you. Something that flatters you and reflects your style in a way that no other item of clothing ever will. A bespoke suit has a superior fit that can never be replicated with made-to-measure.

It’s essentially an investment in confidence, style and comfort that will last you for years and years to come.

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How many fittings do you need with a bespoke suit?

There’s no doubt that bespoke takes time but it can be swifter than you may have experienced before or have previously thought. Your measurements and design requirements are taken upon your first appointment.

After this your fabric, lining, buttons and details are ordered and once coordinated; work begins. First, a personalised, paper pattern is created specifically for your measurements. Every time you have a fitting – this original pattern will be adapted and that is why it’s called your blueprint. Equally, your suit is taken apart (the basted stitching you’ll see on your first fitting will be removed, your suit recut where required and placed back for another basted fitting if necessary. Here is what our basted fittings look like:

This is one of our clients first bespoke suit fittings and can successfully move to completion as of the accuracy. We understand our clients want an experience but they also like efficiency, so accuracy is crucial.

So, is bespoke tailoring worth the investment?

Of course! Now that you understand what bespoke tailoring is and what it involves, it’s easy to see that buying a bespoke suit is an investment in every sense.

The quality craftsmanship will last you a lifetime, and given that the suit is designed to flatter you in every way, when cut with a bespoke tailor with a natural eye and passion for helping you to look your best, it’s likely to be an item of clothing you’ll reach for time and time again.

How long does a Savile row bespoke suit last?

A bespoke suit can become your lifelong friend if treated well. It doesn’t go hand in hand that if you pay the most that your suit will last the longest. Luxury suits requires care, so if you look after your bespoke suit, it will look after you.

The general rule is that you would wear a suit one day and leave it to rest for a further two and rotate accordingly. However as a bespoke suit is more of a masterpiece that you’re likely to wear just for special occasions. Hanging it up properly, on a correct hanger, with enough space around it in your wardrobe, it should last you a lifetime.

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How do you look after a bespoke suit?

A bespoke suit is and should be made from natural fibres. Therefore moths sadly have a field day if they come across one. We recommend moth alarms from Amazon. Having tried every type of concoction, this is by far the best invention.

Bespoke suits also shouldn’t be over dry cleaned. Most dry cleaning processes mean that the natural moisture of a fabric is stripped from a suit so be sparing with your dry cleaning trips. Luxury items require more care, yet when you do look after them, they’ll look after you.

Does the fabric choice change the price of a bespoke suit?

Fabric plays a large part of the cost of a bespoke suit. With the starting prices you’ll find that the ranges shown are pure, mid weight wool’s which are classic, made to last and timeless.

The more expensive the fabric, the more detailed and varied the ranges tend to become. If you’re wanting cashmere, vicuña or silk blends you’re heading towards doubling the price of your bespoke suit. As not only does the fabric cost more, the skill it takes to cut and navigate around more complex fabrics – takes much longer.

Alexandra Wood says that in her experience mid-weight cloths look the best when it comes to bespoke suits, as they hold their shape and work better long term.

How do I decide what design to choose for my bespoke suit?

This is the part that Alexandra’s customers comment the most. That they’re delighted to be fully guided as to what suits them the most. With an eye for identifying exactly what does and doesn’t work on each person, Alexandra lends her great taste to customers where this may be their first time venturing into the world of bespoke tailoring. When investing in a large purchase, it’s not the time to get it wrong. Alexandra isn’t a tailor that will nod and agree if you say you’d like something that she knows won’t make your look your best and only wants your bespoke suit to fit you to perfection, be a piece you love and for it to make you look better than you could have imagined.

How do I choose the best Savile Row tailor for my bespoke suit?

Not all tailors are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Like attracts like so aim to find someone whose ‘house style’ matches your own, whether that’s traditional British or fresh and modern tailoring.

The beauty of Savile Row is that there is so much choice; take your time researching the bespoke tailors there before making an appointment.

Does bespoke tailoring stop at suits?

The possibilities are endless here at Alexandra Wood and we’re not limited to tailored suits. We also create bespoke tweed jackets, sports jackets all the way through to a bespoke leather jacket made from the finest natural and vegan leathers.

We are known for our flattering cut, attention to detail and whilst always be respectful of the traditions of Savile row, we also add our own modern, female flair to each one of our bespoke designs.

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Why choose Alexandra Wood for your bespoke suit?

Alexandra Wood is known as Savile Row’s first female tailor. Renowned for dressing successful men to look more stylish for the lifestyle they lead, in a way that’s fun and enjoyable.  As seen in GQ, Forbes, Esquire, Tatler and Square Mile Alexandra knows intrinsically what will and won’t suit you and is passionate about helping you to become the master of your own style, in tailoring that fits and flatters.

From a bespoke suit to an entire bespoke wardrobe, Alexandra works with you to create an enviable collection of bespoke tailoring that is unique to you, your personality and lifestyle.

Having a bespoke suit made in Savile Row is a special experience, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy and uncomfortable. Alexandra Wood aims to make the process of having a bespoke suit made fun and relaxed. She takes the time to get to know you and your personal style and consider your skin tone, body shape and personality to create a bespoke suit that is uniquely yours.

While Alexandra’s roots are firmly planted in the British tailoring tradition of Savile Row, she prides herself on a modern approach to tailoring with a bit of bit of flair – whether that’s unusual colour combinations or custom silk linings.

So if you’re considering investing in some new Savile Row suits, then yes, bespoke tailoring is worth it when you consider the art, craft and hours dedicated towards offering you the finest in bespoke tailoring.

BOOK YOUR BESPOKE APPOINTMENT HERE

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