This last Saturday I visited Cad & The Dandy tailors on Savile Row to order my first tailor made garment – sport coat in this case. As I already have a nice fitting blue/navy suit and I am not obligated to wear a suit on a daily basis I thought the sport coat would be a better choice. I really like the freedom of business casual wear which gives you much more opportunities to mix and match things you wear.
The Cad and The Dandy then. They are quite new to the Savile Row area as they opened their premises there this year (The Lucky Number – 13 Savile Row, 13th of June 2013), although being on the market since 2008. It has to be clear that I have not went for a fully bespoke, I don’t like the half/semi bespoke terms, but for a machine stitched coat. C&TD offers three different options of making a suit/coat which should not be confused and must be clearly stated. The machine stitched suit is a half canvassed one, created using a unique paper pattern with a little of hand work done. Areas where hand work is done include stitching the lapel and inserting the arm head. The whole process of putting the suit/jacket together is done either in UK or overseas in a factory. Same applies to the fully bespoke suit as they have their coat makers both in UK and overseas. C&TD main cutter is John DeBoise, who also owns his own company Castle Tailors, and the other one is Michael Brown.
The other two options are half hand stitched and fully hand stitched which are available for additional 200 and 400 pounds. It is fair, and the C&TD are, to say that the ‘machine stitched’ garment is not entirely made by hand in their Savile Row workshop as someone would have thought. Even though we are visiting the true tailor one has to be informed about the real process behind it. Just for the sake of summary. My coat is a made to measure garment, that is done using unique paper pattern.
I had been struggling with finding a well fitted jacket for a long time. One of my favourite RTW suit makers is Suit Supply who created big enough variety of sizes so I can finally find the one fitting me really well. I can highly recommend them when you have a pretty common posture, nothing unnatural. Myself, having quite slopped and forward shoulders, had to be really careful with arms and collar fit. This is the reason why I finally decided to take the next step and go for MTM. The choice, after having read positive opinions about them, was easy – Cad and The Dandy.
There are now 5 jackets in my closet, both suit and sport coats, and all are blue/navy in colour. It was a high time for something different, especially considering the Fall season that is coming. I wanted something to match light grey flannel trousers or more casual khaki twill. I hesitated between herringbone and hopsack fabric as both are great for sport coats in my opinion because of the texture of the cloth. It makes it more casual and interesting at the same time. I found a picture of Prince of Wales wearing a suit in grey Glen check (Prince of Wales check) which really looks beautifully. That was it. This fabric is classic enough to make a first MTM jacket out of it and interesting enough to be a great sport coat to match odd trousers. I really like the Dugdale Bros Royal Classic range fabric and finally went for no 9745 Lighter Grey Hopsack Check with Blue Overcheck (I would not be myself if it wasn’t with something blue in it). I saw a jacket made by C&TD at their showroom and it is really amazing (see the photo above).
That was fast then. The next step was to take a measurements of myself. It was done by Ian Meiers one of the founders of the firm. We first discussed the style of the jacket. It will be a single breasted, 2 buttons, with a double vents jacket. I decided to have a cutaway flap pockets as they definitely will add more vertical lines to the jacket and this is what I need being only 5’9’’ tall. One button was even under consideration but I decided to stay at the classic level for now. We will see how it will turn out. The fabric has already a check on it, being not very visible it definitely adds some horizontal lines as well. I hope to not be very worried about this. We also added a handmade stitching at the lapels in order to achieve a nicer and more fitted look of the front of the jacket. Ian started with measuring my chest and hip size, then the back, the total length and the sleeve. I prefer to have the sleeves ½-1/4, actually closer to ½)of an inch shorter than the shirt cuff as this I think make your arms look longer and is beneficial for the whole posture, shorter man again. I tried a RTW jacket in similar size, too big to be honest, and Ian pinned it in order to create a similarly fitting jacket compared to my future one. I could feel the high cut arm holes which was as desired in order to provide an ease of movement for my arms. It won’t be very tight at the waist though, as I am, and no one is, only standing in the jacket. It should allow for some movement still being nicely tailored. The length of the jacket would match the center point of my hand, the place where the fingers start or the bending point of my thumb. Still these are only details and can be adjusted after the fitting. The pattern will be created based on these measurements (and many more that Ian has taken) and send to a factory in China. It should be ready for the fitting in 7-8 weeks. After that we will consult the fit and make any adjustments that are needed, at Savile Row premises. I really look forward to that and can’t wait for the end of November to come.
That was the first part, about choosing the fabric and taking measurements. The second – shortly after the fitting.
Cad and The Dandy,
13 Savile Row, First Floor,
London, W1S 3NE