52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

cos every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man...

With a little under nine weeks to go before the wedding, my mind has belatedly turned to what I'm going to be wearing on the big day. A nice suit, perhaps? Not a morning suit or anything poncey like that. Just an honest-to-goodness suit. The kind of suit that I might be able to wear again some day. You can't go wrong with a nice suit, can you? I don't know very much about fashion, but I kind of assumed that a good, designer suit would probably do just fine. I have a decent Ted Baker suit, but I thought that perhaps this was a good opportunity to buy something new and a little less worn. The only problem is that I am a slightly awkward shape for an off-the-peg suit - I'm tall and broad shouldered and skinny. Suits I buy off the peg never quite look quite right: they are either too loose in the trouser department, too short in the leg or too baggy in the jacket.

Ok. Well that's not necessarily a problem either as I could get a suit made to measure. I'd been thinking that perhaps I could get Paul Smith to knock one up for me - he has a big store in Nottingham, and I know he has a bespoke suit service. A quick enquiry at said shop on Friday revealed that not only have I potentially left this a bit late (they need at least 8 weeks), but also that I would have to go to London for three fittings and could expect to pay at least £1900.


Well, it doesn't have to be a Paul Smith suit, I suppose. The problem is that my knowledge of this industry is minimal, to say the least. Where the hell else should I look for a made to measure suit? Savile Row?

A quick piece of googling led me to the useful information that Gieves and Hawkes, of 1 Savile Row, have an outlet in the Mailbox in Birmingham. I know nothing about them, and I suspect that they are rather from the traditional end of tailoring, but a quick phone call later and I have an appointment to be measured up by them on Sunday this week.

In theory, there's no commitment, but it seemed like a good opportunity to go and have a look at how this kind of thing works and to see if there is anything there that sparks a few ideas.

I'm not stupid though. I know nothing about this kind of thing, so I am carefully taking my fiancée with me... who does. I'm not likely to come away having bought something hideous, but it's probably not a bad idea to have someone with some taste come along with me, eh?

On the off-chance that someone reading this does know something about buying a decent suit... any suggestions?

Frankly I'm all ears.

...and we're off to the jewellers on Saturday too. I'm dreading being asked what I want, as to be honest my only answer is "a ring". I really know nothing more than that. How many types of ring can there be? (don't answer that - I already know there are far more than I care to think about at the moment. The key criteria for me is that it is as indestructible as possible, so it will probably end up being platinum. Beyond that, God only knows).

Every day's a school day.



  • At 11:31 pm, Blogger Cody Bones said…

    ST, I know it seems strange for a guy in Chicago to help out a guy in Nottingham, by way of an Indian guy from Hong Kong, but here goes. Anthony from Empire Tailors in Honk Kong does fabulous work, and due to an incredible coincidence, he will be in the U.K, measuring people during the next few weeks. My co- workers and I have used him for years, and really are happy with his work, and is reasonably priced, in fact I just got 4 shirts delivered yesterday. He does a great job on suits as well. I will e-mail you the message I got from him, and feel free to contact him. Good luck.

  • At 12:10 am, Blogger adem said…

    An indestructable ring you say? Paah to platinum, you wanna go for adamantium a la Wolverine!

  • At 6:38 am, Blogger Stef said…

    I had a bespoke suit made for my wedding too; you're never going to get a better excuse are you? ;-)

    Gieves and Hawkes are fine although I found they lacked a little in the personal service department. Their bespoke suits aren't quite bespoke though, you pick a style and a material and they just make it in your size. Where I went -Pal Zileri- you got to say how many buttons you wanted, how many pockets, where you wanted the vents... None of that really matters though. Definitely take C with you though.

    As for rings, I would suggest platinum. We were going to go with titanium but were warned against it by a rather good jeweller. The reasons being a) it's more likely to go out of fashion b) it's so hard that if your finger gets caught in an accident, they have to cut your finger off rather than snip the ring... That sold me on a nice soft precious metal!

  • At 7:29 am, Blogger Tina said…

    There's somewhere called Meredith Tailors in Lady Bay but don't know anything about them - somewhere I do know of and have heard good reports about in Coleman & Son on London Road in Leicester.

    As for rings - Hatton Garden? I've bought a few bits of jewelllery from there and its hard to beat on price as they manufacture there.

  • At 9:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It wantss a ring ? It came to Smeagol. It's mine. It was my present. Precious.

    (or you could try Bombadil and Goldberry)

  • At 11:07 am, Blogger mike said…

    My partner K shops regularly at Gieves & Hawkes in Birmingham, both for business and for casual stuff, and he regards them very highly. When I've been there with him, the service has been strong on the personal touch, knowledgable and informed. It's an old-school name, but the designs look sharp and contemporary. Kinda classic-contemporary with a twist, a bit like Paul Smith but more affordable. I've been in the shop when some well-known footballer (sorry, I forget who, not my subject area!) was trying on his bespoke wedding suit, and he looked AMAZING in it. If that's any help...

  • At 5:49 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    I know nothing about suits...as for rings, my method would be to find the prettiest. I doubt that helps.

  • At 7:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am clueless when it comes to suits...and rings. Good luck, though!

  • At 8:16 am, Anonymous bespoke suits london said…

    If you really want something with a total bespoke feel and a lovely London Cut then you should get in contact with Anderson-Sheppard. You will have to travel down to London to see them but it is worth the miles as the suit will be amazing.

    My brother and his best man had their suits made by Anderson & Sheppard and they are still going strong 10 years after his marriage.


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