21 August 2013

My first experience with suits and bespoke tailoring (part 2)

As mentioned at the end of the first instalment of this post, I ventured into the world of bespoke clothing a few years back. It was in 2010 I finally took the step and booked a measuring appointment with a tailor. This was a long time coming and I had spent a significant amount of time searching the internet for a tailor which I could afford and at the same time seemed to produce good quality suits. I had no experience with this at the time and I didn't know anyone who had ever bought a bespoke suit, so I was starting from scratch. During my search I had to sift through quite a few sites claiming to sell bespoke or made to measure suits at very low prices, but when looking closer at what they offered it wasn't too impressive. It was basically companies getting/taking your measurements, and sending it off to some cheap labour country having a suit made from cheap fabrics. I think one should be aware when "bespoke" garments are offered at suspiciously low prices. Anyway, after a while I stumbled upon the web site for the relatively newly established Cad & the Dandy. In short, their philosophy is to make it simple and affordable to to buy bespoke clothes without compromising on the quality of the craftsmanship. This was exactly what I was looking for and I sent them an e-mail booking a measuring appointment.

Cad & the Dandy have shops in three locations in London, in the City, on Savile Row and Canary Wharf, and one shop in New York. I booked an appointment for Savile Row. Now, Cad & the Dandy are located in number 13, right above Richard Anderson. In 2010, they only took appointments on Savile Row two days a week and they were in number 12 on the premises for Chittleborough & Morgan. I was booked in for 2 o'clock on a Saturday and as this was the first time, I was was quite apprehensive and didn't want to be late. As a result I got to Savile Row an hour early to make sure I could find the right place. It wasn't difficult finding number 12, but I didn't know which floor they were on and I was looking for a sign with Cad & the Dandy written on it. Such a sign didn't exist (at least I never found it) and I remember walking up and down Savile Row numerous times to see if I somehow had gone wrong. After a long walk and a some serious pondering, I decided I was were I should be and thought it had to be on the lower ground floor. I descended the stairs and peeked into the tailors shop were I was met by a young gentleman from Cad & the Dandy, immaculately dressed and polite as could be. I was very pleased I had found it and got there on time, and quite excited about being in a Savile Row tailors shop. After some small talk, I had all necessary measurements taken before we started looking at different fabrics. I had already given some thought to what colour and pattern I wanted and it didn't take too long before I decided on a navy fabric with lighter blue pinstripes. What I hadn't considered was the lining, but with a bit of guidance I went for a lovely yellow/gold colour.

I still wear this suit on a regular basis and I am very pleased with it. I love the bright lining, lighting up whenever I open the jacket or lift the pocket flaps. The two top photos show my first bespoke suit. 

My first bespoke suit. A single breasted, two button, navy pinstripe.

How can you not love this lining?

Getting a suit made for me, which fitted me perfectly, was a big step up from the of-the-rack suits I was used to and the feeling of wearing such a suit is unbeatable. It is also quite addictive and when you have gone down the bespoke route, it is very difficult to go back. Instead, you want different suits, different fabrics and designs. So far, I've bought three more suits from Cad & the Dandy, see the photos below.

A three button, single breasted, three piece suit. Slate coloured Prince of Wales
fabric with striped lining. I particularly like the double breasted waistcoat
with the shawl lapel.
Detail of the Prince of Wales pattern and the lining at the back of the waistcoat.
A black suit with red pinstripes and red lining.
A plain blue, single breasted, two button suit with a bright purple lining.

Detail from the inside of the jacket.
I'm sure it won't be too long before I get myself another suit and I might even try out a different tailor. I already have a few options in mind.  

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