Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson: bespoke must mean bespoke Richard Anderson, one of Savile Row’s best regarded tailors, explains the difference between a real bespoke suit and a made to measure one.
“The ASA has got the ruling wrong. They are saying the term ‘bespoke’ can be applied to what we would term a made to measure garment cut from a block pattern – a ready-made suit.
“It is a shame really, because it is nothing to do with how we would make a bespoke suit.
“The hand-work on a made to measure suit is negligible whereas the hand-work in our coats is paramount.
“They would do very small alterations, not in my mind to be confused with what we would call bespoke, which is creating a suit from scratch.
“A client being fitted for a bespoke suit would have three or four fittings.
“We would take 20 to 25 direct measurements and we would look at their figuration – how they stand.
” We would then cut a pattern based on those measurements.
“That is entirely different from altering a suit made from a block pattern.
“We make a pattern that is exclusive to the customer, that would fit very well indeed, fit their personality, is beautifully made and would last for years.
“Because of the handwork and care that goes into the garment they keep their shape and last much longer.
“This ruling is not great news but I don’t think it’s a big worry.
“I think there is a danger that the man in the street might ask why a ‘bespoke’ suit costs Â£495 on one side of Savile Row and Â£4,000 on the other side.
“But I don’t think people are stupid. The customers who already shop here are clothes enthusiasts and they know the difference.”
By Richard Anderson