An Introduction to the Savile Row Style
Savile Row has been the home of bespoke tailoring for over 200 years and although over the decades we have seen it boom and struggle, it still remains the most important place for tailoring history. Its heritage can date back to as early as the 1600s when the tailors began to take up residence along the Row creating the birthplace of the sartorial heritage.
On one end of Savile Row you have the traditional and more historic tailors such as Gieves and Hawkes, Kilgour and Huntsman. Their history dates back over centuries with the example of Gieves and Hawkes who were founded as two separate companies with Gieves in 1784 and Hawkes in 1771 (they went on to merge together in 1974). These houses dressed some of the most prestigious people with Kigour creating suits for names such as Cary Grant and Fred Astaire, where Gieves and Hawkes holds three Royal Warrants and became famous for its military tailoring.
As you begin to move down the street you begin to see the more modern and contemporary tailoring with Ozwald Boateng and Richard James. There is a combination of slimmer cuts and bolder colours coming through in their designs and they offer up both bespoke and made to measure ranges.
The combination of both old and new creates a subtle balance of modernity and tradition that makes Savile Row so distinctive in today’s menswear world. Here you can see the most extensive and sophisticated army of cutters, tailors and seamstresses at work in their workshops below the shop floor.
The British bespoke suit itself is known to average around 220 components with everything being hand cut, hand made and hand finished
Every bespoke suit on Savile Row is made from scratch and comprises over 30 measurements combined with body configurations. The pattern is drafted and then chalked onto the cloth of choice and cut. From here the coat and trouser will begin its handmade 3 dimensional journey with the cloth being stitched together, shrunk and stretched to create a suitable piece for the customer to wear.
Slanted pockets and high armhole
Waisted jackets are synonymous to the Savile Row look along with the slanted pockets to flatter the shape. However the eye and hand make the suit unique from each house creating variations between cut and style.
The high armhole is another vital part of the tailoring design, which was influenced by the riding coat. This was created for two reasons, the main reason being ease of movement. With the whole being cut much higher it allows you to move your arms forward without the shoulders of the jacket raising up. The second reason being that it creates a longer line from the underarm to the bottom of the jacket, giving the illusions of being taller and slimmer.
With all these details being the basis of every suit creation, it is easy to see how the Savile Row suit is superior. From the attention to detail to the taste in cloth; each House along the row has its own style and its own history with a strong legacy being passed down from generation to generation.