Following a few requests for links to all the posts in the Cleverley bespoke series, here they are listed below.
I also thought readers would like to hear George Glasgow’s recommendations on wearing bespoke shoes for the first time. He suggested to:
– Only wear them for a few hours the first five to six times you wear them, perhaps getting them out in the evening when you are at home and wearing them then. This will allow the calf to open up and adjust nicely to the feet.
– Leave a few days between each of the first few wears. Certainly more than one. You want to make sure the leather is 100% dry before wearing them the next time.
– Always use the shoe trees!
1 – Measuring
In which George Glasgow measures the feet and comments on my instep. The walrus and the carpenter are also quoted.
2 – Design
In which the leathers, model and design are picked, and George explains the importance of balance in an elegant commission.
3 – Last making
In which Teemu Leppanen explains the personal relationship of a lastmaker to the fitter, whilst labouring over a lathe.
4 – Refining the last
In which Teemu’s lasting moves from technical measurement to artistic expertise
5 – Clicking
In which John Carnera cuts the pieces of the leather, upper and lining, demonstrating in the process why so much of the calf is wasted
6 – Checking
In which Dominic Casey begins the lasting of the upper, stretching it on, checking the dimensions and leaving it to shape to its last
7 – Lasting
In which Andy lasts the shoe, under a picture of him doing so for Prince Charles, under the tutorship of George Cleverley himself
8 – First fitting
In which George Glasgow slips the soleless shoe on to get an idea of fit, and it is decided that the vamp is a little too roomy
9 – Second fitting
In which Dominic decides the problem has been corrected and the importance of considering how the arches will fit is emphasised
10 – Soles and heels
In which Andy stitches on the sole and builds the heels, plus there’s a nice shot of some black crocodile boots
11 – Finishing
In which the shoes are completed, Adam Law staining, inking and polishing them to perfection
Number 12, this post, includes advice on wearing bespoke shoes for the first time. There will no doubt be a number 13 that examines how they have worn (once I’m allowed to do so all day, that is).
Were the shoes free or discounted to you in return for a write-up?
Nice write up. Very informative. Thank you!
Very well written and informative synopsis of the process. I hope it is not out of order but I have posted a reference to this on Styleforum. Congratulations on a beautiful pair of elegant shoes. Jamaican
Are those shoes expensive?
I would also be interested in the total cost!
Hi both – as actually commented on this week’s post on Cleverley, the shoes start at £2300. Expensive, but actually good value for bespoke.
Do you know who does the closing of the uppers? And whether they are hand sewn or machine?
There is a variety of different closers, as with the makers, and it’s done with a machine
That’s interesting, because an employee at George Cleverley told me in an email when I asked that literally everything is done by hand and that they would never use any machines for anything.
An employee at John Lobb, Limited told me that they literally do everything by hand and would never use any machines for anything. They even said that they continue and always will continue to turn their backs on machines.
They both do the closing by machine Tim, everyone does. It’s better and more accurate that by hand, as well as a hell of a lot faster.
I think there’s probably miscommunication there. The makers are so used to having to explain to everyone all the hand sewing that goes into a bespoke shoe, that you don’t get on almost any other shoes, that it’s simplest to say it’s all by hand.
I am fortunate to have had shoes made by Cleverley – I’m waiting for my second pair [like an expectant father!] to be finished. In my view they are excellent value, and fit beautifully and with a lightness that is immediately apparent. I have shoes form John Lobb [St James’s] and the Cleverley style is far more elegant. The price Simon quotes is precisely what I paid. My ankle boots will be a little more. But that includes trees. Lobb charges more than a RTW pair of shoes from Cleverley for their trees.