The Golden Rules of Bespoke Tailoring
Having recently completed 50 years in the bespoke tailoring business, our City Head Cutter, Jon Deboise, is a character with plenty of stories to tell from his time cutting bespoke suits for the rich and shameless in Savile Row, the City of London and beyond.
Drawing from his lifetime of bespoke tailoring experience, we’ve edited out the unmentionables and gathered Jon’s golden rules of tailoring for your benefit;
1. Keep it classic, invariably this never goes out of style. Take any iconic photo of a man in a suit and you’ll find it’s usually as relevant today as it was when taken – think Sean Connery’s early James Bond.
2. Every man should start their wardrobe with a plain navy and a plain grey bespoke suit for work. A mid-weight cloth of around 11oz will give you a tailored suit you can wear all year round. For casual Fridays and weekends, it’s tough to beat a City Tweed. A grey flannel trouser is the perfect fall to every chino wearer in the City.
3. When I cut a jacket, my main intention is to give form and shape and to get rid of the straight lines that a ready-to-wear suit has. I always favour slanted pockets on a jacket as it highlights the waist, is more flattering and gives the appearance of more shape.
4. Always use an English cloth, preferably woven in Huddersfield. The soft Penine water is the envy of the cloth making world as it is this that gives the cloths their superior handle and finish. The grass is not greener, Italian cloth is not necessarily better.
5. If your budget allows, always go for a fully handmade suit which will give you intermediary fittings. This means you are more involved in the bespoke tailoring process and able to guide your tailor as to your personal preferences, allowing them to give you the perfect fit.
6. Only dry clean your suit once a year. In between, opt for a sponge steam and press. The dry cleaning process strips the wool of its natural oils meaning the cloth will shine. The process also reduces the natural life of the cloth.
7. Never rush your tailor. Making suits is not like making sausages.
8. Always brush your suit after each wear and store on a wide ended wooden hanger. Don’t over cram your wardrobe as a crushed suit is never a good look
9. If your suit is for business I would always recommend a 2 button notched lapel jacket. However, if you’re younger and going for a more contemporary look the one button peaked lapel is the default option for younger clients.
10. My favourite cloth is a navy hopsack by Dugdale Bros & Co. It’s open weave nature means that it will travel well, drop its creases, be comfortable to wear and continue to look as sharp as on the day it was made.