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A rare critique of Savile Row

As you may already be aware, at Eveleigh & Read we offer an alterations and repair service which occasionally brings us into contact with other tailors’ work. It is very rare, however, to get our hands on a fully-bespoke suit from one of the Big Boys on Savile Row. So naturally, it’s nice to be able to see first-hand what men get for their £4000+, which is the starting price these days on that revered road in Mayfair for a two-piece suit.


This isn’t a story of fit, jacket construction, cloth etc but rather about those details and finishing that we think are important that, in our opinion, have been overlooked.

Jacket pockets

The first is the finishing of the inside pockets of the jacket. The SR suit had pocket openings, known as ‘jetts’, made from the same material as the lining of the body (below left). At Eveleigh & Read we offer cloth jets (below right) or a ‘frame’ finish with lining jets (below centre). Aesthetically we think they look more appealing and give the jacket a finished look. And for those men who struggle with pockets wearing out through the weight of mobile phones, wallets etc.then the frame feature provides extra support.  Those of you who are especially keen-eyed will see that the openings to our pockets which are trimmed with cloth are D-tacked which provides extra strength to that point, a feature missing from the SR jacket.

Trouser waist-band

Looking at the trousers you will see a great deal of difference between the Savile Row pair (below left) and ours (below right), especially on the inside of the waistband. Theirs looks very fancy, lined with sleeve lining fabric. But sleeve lining fabric is designed to aid putting your jacket on and taking it off in a smooth gliding action. But that smooth gliding action also applies to the wearer’s shirt removing itself from the waistband of the trousers so you end up keep having to keep tucking it in. The waistband takes a good battering so needs something a little more substantial which is why we use Silesia, a very hard-wearing cotton on both the waistband and on the pockets.

You can also see the strip of shirt grip on our waistband which keeps the shirt tucked in all day long. It may not look as pretty but if the tailor who made these trousers had used Silesia they wouldn’t be in for repair now. The other detail we look at is the colour of ‘internals’, if it’s a dark suit then we use black, if it’s a light suit we use tan. There is no ‘one colour suits all’. And you know those little coin pockets we use for change, keys etc that you find so useful? On our cousin from The Row they are nowhere to be seen.

trouser stitching

And finally we come to the basting stitches. These are the white intermittent threads running down the inside of the trouser leg. They have served their purpose at the fitting stage and so should have been removed. They don’t hurt being there, and the client wasn’t aware of their existence, but it’s all down to that little bit of care and attention. Because, as we know, the devil is in the detail.

Overall we’ve been left pretty underwhelmed with what we’ve seen.  Of course this isn’t indicative of all suits from The Row.  However, we’re left reassured that Savile Row isn’t some magic land of the best quality suits; we can do just as good, if not better, job.