Savile Row: a new book pays tribute to the home of menswear

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It’s nearly impossible for a man to look bad in a good suit. 

And when we say ‘good’, what we mean is a whistle tailored exactly to your specifications and measurements. In other words, a suit that’s ‘bespoke’.

The obvious place to order one is London’s Savile Row, a street that plays host to the most august names in men’s tailoring. 

Located just off Regent Street, the Row – originally called Savile St – was laid out between 1731-35, and was favoured by military officers and politicians: the fictional Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days lived at No 7. 

Their presence attracted tailors to the area, and by the early 19th century it was synonymous with the craft. 

Today, the converted townhouses of Savile Row still play host to both retail tailors at street level and workshops in the basements, selling and creating the suits that are its hallmark. For those of us who care about style – hello, Umbrella readers! – it’s a magical place. 

Which is why we’re so excited by a new book, Savile Row, which celebrates all that’s wonderful about the street. 

Written by editor of The Rake, James Sherwood (and with a foreword by Tom Ford), the book is divided into eight chapters, each of which concentrates on a different chronological theme. 

As you’d expect, it’s beautifully illustrated, with pictures of the Row in black ’n’ white times, behind-the-scenes shots od tailors at work and portraits of chaps in splendid whistles. Some of these gents are wearing bowler hats, an excellent addition to any outfit. 

And while buying bespoke is not an option for many people (a suit costs around £5,000, and takes around eight weeks to compete), this stunning book brings all that’s wonderful about the tailoring process to those of us who are just glad it exists. 

It reminds us that great clothing costs money (and time), but that the impression it leaves is priceless. 

Savile Row by James Sherwood is out now, published by Thames & Hudson

Photos: James Sherwood Collection; Henry Pool & Co. archive; Huntsman








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