THE GQ SAVILE ROW GUIDE
Everything you need to know about buying a bespoke suit from a tailor on Savile Row, the world’s most famous suiting street
Ever since Beau Brummell revolutionised the way men dress in the 19th century, Savile Row has been synonymous with the very pinnacle in men's tailoring - so much so, in fact, that the Japanese for suit is "sabiro" (say it out loud).
Of course, what the street is best known for is being the undeniable home of hand-crafted British bespoke - so called because when customers used to choose their cloth it was said to "be spoken for". However, a recent influx of international designer labels and less historic tailors has opened up the street's offering to also include ready-to-wear and made-to-measure suiting.
While purists sometimes eye these newcomers with caution, this means that if you can't stretch to buying bespoke there are now far more options open to every budget. The trick is knowing who is best tailored to you (pun intended).
Originally founded as two separate companies (Hawkes in 1771 and Gieves in 1784) the two merged to form Gieves
& Hawkes in 1974. Historically, the label made a name for itself by crafting uniforms for the military - an association that means today the tailoring house possesses all three main Royal Warrants, for HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. In 2013, Jason Basmajian left his role at Brioni to become creative director of the brand - a move that has led not only to an extensive refurbishment of the label's big, white HQ on the south-eastern corner of the street, but also to a complete revamp of Gieves' ready-to-wear offering.
While bespoke styles are tailored to the client's tastes, the house favours a high arm hole and a roped shoulder synonymous with our military roots.
How long does it take to make a suit?
Twelve weeks minimum for the first order on bespoke, but can be shorter for repeat clients.
How much does an entry-level wool two-piece suit cost?
Bespoke prices start at £4,500.
Where are bespoke suits made?
In the workrooms beneath the shop at No.1 Savile Row.
Historic clients include the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Ian Fleming and Michael Jackson to name a few, and we have served every Sovereign of the United Kingdom since George III. Current bespoke clients include Heads of State and world business leaders, performing artists and noteworthy gentlemen from all over the world.