Craig of That Dapper Chap goes to Savile Row to be measured for a bespoke suit at the new Jeff Banks store
|On my way to Jeff Banks Savile Row to be measured and to choose my suit|
If you’ve seen the teaser video on Instagram and my other social media you’ll know that I made a recent pilgrimage to Savile Row to meet the guys from Jeff Banks to be measured for a bespoke suit.
This is the first part of a series of posts in which I’ll take you through the measuring process, the options available to you, the fitting, and the final suit. I’ll let you know all about my experience and also dispel some myths along the way.
|Steve and I discuss the various options for my suit|
A Savile Row suit
If you’re like me, a guy with an average job and an average wage, you may not have visited Savile Row to get yourself a suit. Like me, you may just pop into a high street store, order online and make do with the fit that you get when you buy a suit off the rack.
On the flip side you may have more disposable income and want a really nice suit. Maybe you’re getting married and want something special but are a little intimidated by the thought of venturing into one of the most iconic streets in London to get one. Well, don’t be because I can assure you, you’re in good hands.
|Inside the Jeff Banks Savile Row store|
If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Are You Being Served and all of the awkward moments that patrons endured while visiting the menswear department. If you’re younger you’ll recall the episode of Friends where Chandler was measured by Joey tailor and “There was definite…… cupping”.
|Being measured by my tailor Alan. Efficient and knowledgeable|
Newsflash: Real life isn’t like the TV shows! Alan measured me in a matter of minutes, two seconds of which was my inside leg. He knew what he was doing and exactly what he needed to gather. I was fully clothed and totally comfortable with the process.
If you’re expecting an old fashioned approach and a set of stuffy tailors looking down their noses at you while assessing your bank balance you’d be wrong. While consummately professional, Alan was warm and friendly and also had a great sense of humour. He made me feel very comfortable and I had total confidence in his skills and knowledge. Just what you want from your experience.
The Jeff Banks store on Savile Row is a modern, fresh and fashionable establishment. No pretentiousness, no egos and no awkwardness.
Measurements are taken of your chest, sleeve length, waist, inside leg, shoulders and thighs. They are then meticulously recorded on your personal file. Job done, now it’s the fun bit!
|Various measurements are taken to ensure your suit is a perfect fit|
|Alan records all of my measurements|
Choosing your options
Jeff Banks Savile Row offers a wide range of fabrics which change with the season and what fashions are current. Yes, there will always be the classics, but you’ll also be able to choose something different and the variations are unending, allowing you to create a suit to your exact design which can be as classic or as elaborate as you like.
|Just some of the amazing fabrics available for your suit|
|Once you’ve picked a fabric you need to choose a lining. Go as sedate or as wild as you like|
Your tailor asks you what you want from your suit, when you’ll wear it and what you like. He’s there to assist you, make suggestions and keep you on track. It’s your suit and it’s important to Jeff Banks that you get what you want.
Alan had a variety of books available too that you are able to look through for inspiration, and we referred to a couple of these so that I could help translate the images of my suit from my head into something tangible and show Alan just where I was going.
|Various books assist you in choosing the right options for you|
I wanted double breasted, that was non negotiable, and as we’re coming up to Autumn I also wanted a warmer wool fabric. I want my suit to have an impact, and Alan confirmed that it’s not uncommon for a double breasted suit to be made from a stronger patterned fabric, so I chose a navy fabric with a solid windowpane check.
|My choice of fabric and lining for my double breasted suit|
To compliment the pale blue and silver grey lines I opted for a pale blue and silver grey paisley lining.
Once that was done we discussed pockets, their number, placement and positioning. Did I want a ticket pocket? did I want the pockets straight or slanted? Now, these little things may not have even been on your radar, but they do matter, and Alan was there to help me, showing me images of what the variations may look like.
That done, we discussed buttons: number, colour and placement, and thread colours. I chose to have the last button hole on each cuff and the button hole on the lapel in a contrasting thread to match the lining.
|Steve and I discuss button options. The choice is yours|
|Alan and I discuss the wide variety of options available to me for my suit|
While I want the jacket to be very well fitted I want the trousers to be slightly wider at the ankle than we’re seeing in most stores. With blood flow constricting skinny and super skinny trousers everywhere you look, I want to go a bit more classic, maybe even a bit vintage with the trousers so I also opted for a cuffed hem and buttons for braces.
With a double breasted waistcoat too, I have many variations of wear too. When it’s warmer I may just wear the waistcoat and trousers. If it’s cooler I can wear the full three piece suit.
What happens next?
While you’re measured in Savile Row, choose your fabrics in Savile Row and even choose a fabric from a supplier in Savile Row, your suit is not made there. All of the final fitting and necessary nips and tucks are carried out there, the actual suit is made in Egypt where they have their own factory.
This helps make your suit more affordable that other options on Savile Row and it’s something that a lot of other major brands that offer bespoke tailoring do too. This does not detract from the quality of your suit as it’s quality checked back in Blighty, and all of the final tweaks are made here too, in house.
Now, it’s a waiting game. The suit will take up to 12 weeks to make it back to Savile Row, so be sure to plan ahead, particularly for that wedding suit! I’ll then go for a first fitting when Alan and Steve will assess the fit and then undertake any necessary improvements. 2 weeks after that the suit will be mine and I cannot wait.
Find Jeff Banks
No. 36 Savile Row
London, W1S 3QB
Nearest underground stations:
Bond Street, Oxford Circus & Piccadilly Circus
Limited street parking available or Q-Park, 3-9 Old Burlington Street, W1S 3AF
Telephone 0207 734 3973