Friday, January 5, 2018

Country Life: The regional bespoke tailors who offer a proper alternative to Savile Row

Photo by Salt Water New England
Writes Jonathan Self:
I set myself quite a strict brief. I wanted a tailor who only offered bespoke, as tailors who sell other products (made-to-measure, ready-to-wear, shoes and/or accessories) can’t possibly be as obsessed with quality. 
I also wanted someone who managed every stage of the process in-house. Some so-called bespoke tailors are actually little more than measurement takers, outsourcing the cutting and sewing to commercial workrooms. 
My future tailor’s personal style was, naturally, of paramount importance. 
- Jonathan Self, "The regional bespoke tailors who offer a proper alternative to Savile Row" <>  


  1. Alena Kate PettittJanuary 6, 2018 at 6:18 AM

    If only womenswear were afforded such luxuries and choice.
    Great article Muffy, thanks for the share.

    Hope you are staying warm? Best wishes from soggy England.


    1. In my experience, tailors will take women as customers. I had a tailor who made several lovely suits for me, with both slacks and skirts to go with the jackets. My tailor is now retired; however, I am still wearing the the suits, although rarely as suits these days, but as separate pieces.

  2. I agree with Alena. I love menswear and wish I could find well made tailored clothes for myself.

    While I only go for alterations, a lovely shop for bespoke suits has opened recently in Westport, CT. Check out Stephen Kempson for handmade suits, jackets and shirts. Beautiful stuff and the owner is very easy on the eyes!

  3. Sadly, the Country Life author seems to have limited knowledge of bespoke tailoring and regional tailoring firms. There are cheaper and better regional options than Crichton, the Chester firm mentioned in the article. In fact, there very good bespoke tailors in London, especially in and around the City, at the £2,000 price point.

    Contrary to the author's statement, the tailor's personal style is not of paramount importance. You are not going to wear his clothes. It is how the tailor understands the client's (i.e. your) personal requirements that is important. Don't let the tailor" fob you off" with the "house style" (cheaper and quicker for him) and ensure that you get exactly what you want.

    It is vital to check the training and experience of the staff. You should know exactly who will cut, make and finish your garments (at least three different people). Examining examples of work-in-progress and and finished garments is imperative. A minimum of three, ideally more firms, should be considered. Only then can you make a truly informed choice.

  4. There are several debatable assertions in this piece but foremost among the is: "It isn’t that I’m a snob."

    1. Indeed. From the article:

      It isn’t that I’m a snob – nevertheless, donning a bespoke suit imparts in the wearer a sense of superiority. It must also be remembered that smart dressers are treated with greater respect in both work and social situations. As Ralph Emerson so wisely pointed out: ‘Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquillity that no religion can bestow.’

      Emerson never said that!