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Searching for a "Bespoke Tailor" in the UK


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#1 rfe3

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 02:08 AM

Hi everyone,
     I stumbled across this Forum while Googling for Bespoke Tailors in the UK and I must say, I'm very impressed...Lots of good info here covering the full spectrum of Tailoring.

     I hope someone here can give me a couple of recomendations on finding a Tailor to create a Suit for me. The number of "Bespoke Tailors" in the UK is quite daunting when Google does it's search, and after viewing about 100+ Websites I'm still no closer to finding someone...I see there are lists of Tailors here in the Forum, of which several are Members. The Posts are a couple of years old and some of the links no longer work.

     I'm not a "Label" kind of Guy...So the SR Tailors don't really hold any Mystique for me (and I definitely don't like having their exclusive addresses tacked on to the price of my Suit). I'm no stranger to Fully Bespoke Suits, the last 2 I had made in Hong Kong about 20 years ago were perfect in every way...except they weren't English... They lacked that "special thing" that it seems only you English Tailors can do...(In my minds Eye at least). I wore those Suits for almost 15 years and they were still great looking. A lifestyle change about 10 years ago meant I no longer had to have nice suits and the addition of a few pounds (more than a few) means they no longer fit. Come 2014 and another lifestyle change and I find myself needing a couple of great Suits again and this time I'm aiming for my "Holy Grail" of an English Bespoke Suit.

     I am an American, living in Austria but will travel anywhere in the UK (except maybe Scotland...they make beautiful Jackets but I don't think Trousers are their strong point.. ;)) to find a Tailor that can create the perfect Suit for me. My vision of this Suit is a Full
floating Canvas, Dark Navy Blue, 3 piece, 2 button (or a 2 show 3) in Dormeuil Tonik 2000 (I have already purchaced 6.5 meters of the Cloth), Button Fly Trousers with a Fish Tail for Bracers and also fully lined. Basically, my dream Suit would be a Suit like Michael Caine wore in "Get Carter" (but made for the frame of Jack Nicholson)... I don't know weither it's even possible with my body shape to look good in this Suit style...hence the need for a good Tailor who might gently sway me from this if it wouldn't work (or a one with a Degree from Hogwarts School of Tailoring...)

I am unsure as to what a Fully Bespoke Suit costs these days...I've seen everything from 350 Pounds up to "from 3500 Pounds"... I would like to spend about 1500-1700 Pounds for a 3 piece Suit and 3 Bespoke Shirts. Considering I have already purchaced the Cloth, is this a realistic Price (outside of SR) or am I dreaming?

Sorry this Post is so long winded but I feel finding a reliable and trustworthy "Clothing Partner" is much more than "Where do you get your Suits made?" can answer. I'm hoping somone on this Forum IS or knows the Tailor I'm looking for.

many Thanks,
Rick


Edited by rfe3, 28 May 2014 - 05:56 AM.


#2 OJD

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:13 AM

You won't find a truly bespoke suit and 3 shirts for 1700. I recommend reading the section 'how honest is your tailor' on des merrions site, because at £1700 you will most likely get what he describes.



#3 rfe3

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:41 AM

Thanks for the tip OJD, is 2500+ Pounds typical for a "true Bespoke Suit"? It's not that I can't or won't pay that much for a Suit...I just don't want to pay too much for it. This being a Tailors Forum I'm hoping to find a realistic price range without all the Hoopla that normally surrounds the SR Houses and Tailors from "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". I got such a good deal on the Cloth (6.5 meters) I can naturally spend more on the Tailoring if need be.

 

many Thanks,

Rick



#4 SINNED

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:40 AM

I must be careful here Rick as I am UK tailor, so might be unprofessional to recommend myself but am happy to give some guidance. First on price, even though you have your cloth I think £1500 for three piece suit and three bespoke shirts is a bit optimistic for a traditional bespoke make. In the UK tailors broadly fall into these categories:
1) Travelling tailors using factory makers. They have small overheads and tend to be enthusiastic salesmen but those with good technical ability are hard to find and even though the product may be good it still has to be applied with knowledge and skill, so be wary. You should however find these within your price range.
2) Established tailors shops which may use the same systems but have larger capital investment in their premises but may not have any workshop capability on site. Skill level here is also variable. Price should be ok.
3) The category that I fall into, established shops with facility to make full bespoke on the premises but also using factory systems to offer more cost effective making. Due to the technical knowledge these shops can usually apply the factory make with more skill. Again price ok on the factory but not perhaps bespoke.
4) Tailors only making bespoke in house in the traditional way. Labour costs mean your budget is going to be tight here but perhaps possible.

There are a great number of tailors in the first category with less in each succeeding category. Very few real tailors in category 4 left in UK, most in London. Do not rule out the factory system as the one we use can apply full floating canvas with hand buttonholes and so much flexibility on the computer cutting that for a trained cutter it is almost like making your own pattern. The most important thing is for your tailor to understand you and what look and feel is required. Ask lots of questions and use photos of your dream Michael Caine suit to show what you require. I believe the Caine suit was made by a Mayfair London tailor from the same Tonik mohair and I would guess not much change from £5000 today for that same thing (including cloth). Perhaps someone on the forum can give you their recommendation but this is such a personal business that you must be sure they like what you like. Insist on full floating canvas and you will quickly take out most of the cheaper options, but getting it actually made in UK is going to be expensive. Good hunting.

#5 the tailor

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:41 AM

Hi Rick.

My name is Des Merrion ( very kind of OJD to recommend my website ) I am a traditional bespoke tailor with over 30 years experience of bespoke tailoring at the highest levels. If you are after a UK tailor I am based just outside Leeds in Yorkshire and I would be happy to assist you. I have an open door policy and my business is transparent.

I am a purist tailor and unlike most tailors I choose to cut and make all my clients suits personally, I don't have any staff and I don't outsource any work......period, ever. That one man should create a suit from start to finish was rare 50 years ago and is practically unheard of nowadays.

If you do a search on me you will find that I have lots of very satisfied clients, from various professions located all over the world. I haven't an unhappy client anywhere.

OJD is quite right in pointing you to my website www.desmerrion.com and the article "How Honest Is Your Tailor"? Even if you decide to not run with me, you will glean lots of information that will steer you away from the dreaded 'fake tailor come salesman come middleman' there are a LOT out there, be careful.

Please feel free to contact me to ask any questions that you may be unsure of or give me a ring ( number on my website ) for an informal chat. I must however point out that at present I have a waiting list that's running near 10 weeks so please bear that in mind if you are on a time frame.

Best, Des.

PS, I am well known on all the original fashion forums, I was one of the first tailors to document a very in depth blog of the workings of a tailor, and I was a frequent contributor on the various forums but unfortunately time restricts nowadays. It was by chance I found this post this evening whilst looking for a pair of new tailors shears !

#6 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:26 AM

I like Desmond, his prices are good.

In USA you get it cheaper, but also in miserable quality, because in the States, tailors have a hard time to get good canvas and not even sleeve haeds. I would call it American stone age tailoring. 2700 pounds for 3 piece is ok plus fabric.
www.berlinbespokesuits.com

#7 rfe3

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 06:09 PM

Gentelmen,

     Thank you for your replies and your PM's. They are exactly what I'd hoped to find here, unbiased and to the point. It's obvious that my original price expectations were too low for the type of Suit I'm searching for. I am not one that can say "Price is no object", I have limits also, but a price in the 2500 Pound range is acceptable. I definitely don't mind paying for quality workmanship...It's a small price to pay to look like a Million bucks... I will contact each of you and discuss the matter in more detail.

 

many thanks,

Rick



#8 whataboutit

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 04:57 AM

What about Graham Browne? GBP 1240 for a three piece in standard cloth. Good quality in my experience.


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