Clothes Makes the Man




era exclusive downtown
merely scissors customize
shears epitomize craftsmanship
fabric pass on lining
tailor approval apprentice
row (4) appoint three-piece suit
launch scream envisage
bespoke garment renaissance
wool pouch undergo


Video: Clothes Makes the Man



It doesn’t get much more exclusive than the Mayfair District of downtown London.

And Savile Row is one of its most exclusive addresses for men’s wear.

They’ve been custom fitting men’s suits here since Victorian times. Savile Row has come to epitomize the traditional British style.

Customers at the time-honored Anderson and Sheppard Tailors expect far more than a suit that merely fits.

For 3,300 euros — and up — you can experience service from another era, when service was just as important as craftsmanship.

And to this day, more than 50 hours of work go into every suit.

Danny Hall, Head Cutter, Anderson and Sheppard: “We use the same scissors, these were passed on to me from my uncle, who worked there in the 1940s. These are my paper shears now, cause they’re a lot smaller.

But we still cut the way, exactly the same as when we were established in 1906.”

Fabrics and buttons, lining and cutting. Nothing is done without the customer’s approval.

The shop makes about 1,600 suits a year.

Max Castano-Blacker, Apprentice, Anderson and Sheppard: “Coming into this trade is completely different world from what I’m used to seeing. So being able to wear a three-piece suit every day is just a real nice experience.”

Head tailor Danny Hall takes a total of 27 measurements; each has to meet the customer’s requirements.

Bertie Miller, Customer: “If you see three or four guys walking around the West End, you would know, if it were tailored, it would scream out at you that it was made by Chalsevers.”

That tradition has made Savile Row and a few neighboring streets known throughout the world.

The first tailors opened their doors here two hundred years ago. Now a younger generation is redefining the image of the tailor.

Five years ago, Katheryn Sargent became the first woman to be appointed to head cutter, after she launched her own showroom.

Sargent already has about one hundred clients.

Among her regulars is Richard Stoppard.

Richard Stoppard: “What I really, really like about this is the hand-made element, you know Katheryn and I work and design each garment together. So I come perhaps two, three, four times to work through with her exactly what I want and what I envisage, and then she tells me what I really want.”

Katheryn Sargent, Tailor: “Every garment we’re making is the bespoke tailoring trade is unique for the individual. And I think the garments have personality, they have the personality of their wearers.”

And that means Katheryn Sargent does not have her own in-house line, unlike the more traditionally-minded shops, although they can boast a long list of high-profile customers, such as Prince Charles, seen here in a double-breasted suit, fashioned from topical wool.

Anderson and Sheppard are the only tailors licensed to sew for him.

Katheryn Sargent: “What is important for Anderson and Sheppard and all of us here is not to be seen as a museum.

Often people will come in and say, ‘oh, you’re the keeper of historical documents, or this great tradition. What we know from being here is that there is demand. And so it’s very much a living business.”

The shop gets three or four new customers a week.

But the trade itself is undergoing a bit of a renaissance: custom made cell-phone pouches.

“You can put an iPad in there if you wanted.”

Savile Row: Always a cut above the rest.


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1. The tailoring shops on Savlie Row in downtown London are a very old tradition. Is this correct or wrong?

2. Do the suits sell for about $150? About how long does it take to make a suit?

3. The tailors make suits the old, traditional way. Yes or no? Do they use new, modern tools?

4. Do the tailor make what is fashionable, or do they make what the customers want? Do they work closely together?

5. How do they start making a suit? How many different measurements do they make?

6. Do the tailors wear a work uniform?

7. The tailors are exclusively men. Is this correct or wrong?

8. Are the suits an expression of a person’s character?

9. Approximately how many suits do they produce each year? Is business in bespoke (custom) tailoring increasing, decreasing or staying the same? What is a modern feature?
A. Are there tailoring shops in your city? Are they well known? Is tailoring big business? Is it an industry?

B. Do you know people who are very well-dressed? Who are they? Why do they dress well?

C. What is the dress code in your company or organization?

D. Do you buy and wear custom-made clothes?

E. I and my friends would like to become a tailor or dressmaker. Yes or no?

F. Do you know anyone who (likes to) sew and make clothes?

G. What will happen in the future, regarding tailoring?

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