Perhaps one of the greatest aspirations for a fashion hobbyist is owning a bespoke suit from Savile Row in London. Nowhere else is quite as famous for making suits. This is perhaps because in other countries, the sartorial heritage is more spread out throughout multiple cities instead of located all on one street. The brand names that come to mind when I think of a Savile Row suit include Huntsman, Henry Poole, and Anderson & Sheppard.
All of these brands make amazing bespoke suits. Now we get to the sort of “work around” that I always love to talk about: Of these three famous brands, one makes ready to wear suits, Huntsman. (Aside: if you like the Kingsman movie series, they wear Huntsman suits and their set is based off the Huntsman store. Though if you want a Kingsman suit they actually have their own brand called Kingsman which can be bought from Mr Porter.) Now there is nothing like a bespoke suit but it’ll cost you thousands of dollars and four separate trips to London to be fitted. That’s a bit out of my budget range right now so I’ll settle for the next best thing, a Savile Row suit in name made ready to wear off the rack.
Huntsman makes 7 suits ready to wear, but really it’s 4 suits with the most common design having a few options. They basically make a “standard” suit, an evening suit with peak lapels, a tuxedo like suit with a shawl lapel, and a hopsack suit. Their standard suit comes in winter and summer weight, navy and grey, filling out the rest of the selection to 7 choices total. The two evening suits are pictured above and the more standard suit is below.
If this is going to be my nicest suit, I’d like some versatility from it. I don’t think peak lapels are for me and a shawl lapel is really only for those late evening events. That standard look pictured above is what I’m going for, something I can wear to work and a wedding.
Their sizing goes down to 34 on the suit with the shawl lapel and 36 on everything else. I’m a size 35. Oh well, that’s the compromise with ready to wear anyways, they typically only have even sizes.
I prefer a black suit. Some people say it makes you look like a butler and it’s overly formal but it’s my favorite color. If I had a bespoke tailor I’d try to find a black fabric that looked more casual. For now with the Huntsmen suits, my choices are grey and navy. Neither would be a fitting color for black tie but honestly how many truly black tie events do I attend?
The worst thing about being in a suit for me is the heat. I have a nice selection of overcoats for the cold but in any heat I’m uncomfortable. So I prefer lightweight suits weeding out all but three choices, the navy fresco suit, grey fresco, or navy hopsack. The two navy suits are pictured above. The navy fresco and navy hopsack are sold out in size 36 so my decision was really made for me, the grey fresco.
They also make these suits made to measure for the same price but really it’s just a few tailoring options. The most dramatic change one can request is a different cloth but the rest of it is unimpressive. I couldn’t dictate a different size or a different fit. Just waist and sleeve adjustments. Next time I’m in NYC I’ll stop by their New York location to take a look at these cloth options (they have a location in Manhattan as well as on Savile Row).