However, I requested two small alterations. The first was to have the shoulders taken in a little – Toby’s style is towards the larger shoulder and wider trouser – so we brought them in by just a quarter inch. And I had the trousers narrowed slightly from the knee downwards, to finish with an opening of eight inches. The final suit came back last week.
I’m very pleased with the suit as finished, and it received some appreciative comments on the details during a recent meeting at Kent, Haste & Lachter. In particular, those gentlemen noted that the side buckle was positioned on the seam of the waistband, rather than the waistband itself. This is a detail I like and will incorporate on future suits – it allows the trousers to be about an inch higher while not really altering the fit, as the buckle remains in the same place on the hips. The fact the waistband is split at the back, with an internal securing strip, also helps with the style.
Toby’s suits are made at Cheshire Bespoke, which has an excellent reputation and makes for one or two Savile Row names as well. All the buttonholes are sewn by hand – those on the front are even sewn twice by hand, on the front and back (an old practice that was supposed to make the insides more presentable if the fronts flapped open). The collar is attached by hand and the sleeves put in by hand also, as is clear from the stitching in both places. The lining is loosely attached, though by machine, in that double-thread style that a lot of the upper end ready-made brands like Ralph Lauren and Ozwald Boateng use. The waistband of the trousers is attached by hand, while all other parts are done by machine. The pick stitching up the internal lining is by hand.
So overall a good option for off-Savile Row at £1800, particularly given Toby’s eye for fit. I can’t vouch for the cutting, but Toby says all customers are made individual patterns.
Hemingway Tailors will be in North America in a couple of weeks, touring along with Harvie & Hudson for shirts – dates below. In the US people are free just to turn up; for Montreal you need to make an appointment with Lindsay: +44 (0)113 200 8775
Sunday 3rd – Wednesday 6th October
Omni Mount Royal, 1050 Sherbrooke Street
Thursday 7th – Saturday 9th October
The Intercontinental Barclay, 111 E48th St.
Sunday 10th – Wednesday 13th October
The Washington Club on 1135 16th St (NW)
Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th October
The Fairmont Chicago, 200 North Columbus Drive
I also hear good things about Toby’s concierge service, The Hemingway Club, which was launched recently.