When people talk about an English military cut – the kind of thing that will make you feel like a soldier, stand up straight and give you an air of authority – this is what they mean.

Although other Savile Row houses, such as Dege & Skinner, are similarly padded and sharp, Huntsman is the best known for this style.

Huntsman also has a reputation for being the most expensive, although they are actually cheaper now than Richard Anderson and the likes of Chittleborough & Morgan, though still more than Poole or A&S. (See posts at those links.)


House
: Huntsman

Address: 11 Savile Row, London

Sitewww.huntsmansavilerow.com

Cutter: David Ward

Price (at time of writing): £5230 (incl VAT)

Suit starting price: £5950 (incl VAT)

 

The structured, military style is most obvious in the shoulder line. Although this tweed jacket (made for me in 2010) has a moderate pad at the end closest to the neck, it rapidly increases in thickness as it approaches the shoulder.

This is done by adding extra wadding at the shoulder end (rather than, for example, using a thicker shoulder pad and stripping it down closer to the neck).

The effect is to give me squarer shoulders than the rather sloping ones I have naturally. It creates an impression of strength, although as mentioned previously I generally prefer a wider shoulder to a thicker one as a means to achieve this look.


Arguably, the cut is more suited to a business suit or tuxedo: something where the core aim is to make a strong impression.

A tweed jacket would be more versatile in a soft cut from Italy, or in England in a drape cut from Anderson & Sheppard or Steven Hitchcock. It would then be a more suitable partner for jeans or cotton trousers.

However, I still love wearing this jacket – it’s use is just a little narrower (similarly to my cotton Caraceni).

I made many errors when I first started commissioning bespoke clothes. As one reader frequently comments, a benefit of this website is helping him avoid the same mistakes.

Indeed I originally made this tweed into not only a jacket, but a waistcoat and plus-fours: a full shooting suit. The romance of it, particularly in a place like Huntsman, was overwhelming.

The waistcoat still sees use, particularly on its own with jeans and an oxford button-down, but the plus fours rarely do. (Other than the occasional Tweed Run.)


So what else characterises this strong cut?

Well the structure in the chest is pretty standard for Savile Row: three layers of canvas, horsehair and domette. But the jacket is long: 33 inches, compared to 31¼ from Anderson & Sheppard and 32¼ from Richard Anderson.

This creates the impression of a long skirt – the bottom half of the jacket – given the relatively high buttoning point (18¼ inches from the neck, compared to 20 inches in both the other two).

So a strong shoulder, short chest, and then a long skirt – the latter also accentuated by the classic-Huntsman single-button fastening.

While most modern tailoring styles originate in British riding clothing, it is particularly easy to see those origins here. That single, high button would have made it much easier for the jacket to remain fastened when its wearer was on horseback.


The jacket has a relatively wide shoulder for me, at 6½ inches, finishing in only subtle roping.

The lapel is interesting. It is quite narrow (3⅜ inches), with a lot of belly at the bottom before straightening towards the top.

That top comes relatively far down, with the gorge low at 4 inches from the shoulder seam. Overall, this means the lapel is a little short and stocky – the opposite of the straight lapels (which appear convex) favoured by Florentine tailors

It’s probably the style aspect of the jacket that I like least.


I think the style as a sports jacket, by the way, works here because the trousers (grey flannel) are quite formal and cut high.

They are actually taken from my Panico suit (review coming soon) and have an extra element of formality derived from their double, forward-facing pleats.

The shirt is made in our Everyday Denim cloth (which rather suits the texture of both tweed jacket and flannel trouser) but has a high, cutaway collar that makes it a touch sharper.

The shoes are my tasselled Belgravia loafers from Edward Green. The cream-cashmere handkerchief is from Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery.


Elsewhere in our style breakdown, the Huntsman jacket has a fairly standard sleeve – finishing in an 11-inch cuff – and a deep vent at 10½ inches.

It is very waisted, coming in sharply just below my rib cage, and has a lot of shape through the lower back as well.

The foreparts (below the waist button) are quite closed, and the outbreast pocket is lower than average at 10¾ inches from the shoulder. There is a little drape in the chest, but not much.

(For an explanation of some of these technical points, as well as an introduction to the series, see our initial post here.)


Being a hunting jacket, it also has a few style details that can’t be compared to other jackets.

These include large, square patch pockets, a half belt at the back, and an ‘action’ or bi-swing back. This uses a pleat on either side of the upper back to enable greater movement of the arms (in theory, to lift and swing one’s gun).

As mentioned when I first had this jacket made, I had a few issues with the cutter David Ward (now no longer at Huntsman), particularly around the checks matching.

But having discussed these with David recently, I think they were largely down to miscommunication. The cut elsewhere was very good.


Style breakdown

  • Shoulder width: 6½  inches
  • Shoulder padding: Large
  • Sleevehead: Moderate roping
  • Sleeve: Tailored, standard cuff
  • Lapel: 3⅜ inches, belly
  • Gorge height: 4 inches
  • Drape: Small
  • Outbreast pocket height: 10¾ inches
  • Buttoning point: High, 18¼  inches from neck point
  • Waist suppression: Slim
  • Quarters: Closed
  • Length: 33  inches
  • Back seam: Suppressed
  • Vent height: 10½ inches
  • Trouser width at knee: 20  inches (Trousers from Panico, not Huntsman)
  • Trouser width at cuff: 15½ inches

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Aloysius16

Are trouser knee and cuff measurements perhaps the wrong way round?

The jacket is interesting. It has perhaps every aspect in cut that I generally dislike, but I nonetheless like it as an exception. Variety wins perhaps.

Anonymous

Simon

Are the sleeves a touch short? Love the cut but the pattern is very loud.

Vasilii Velikii

While I enjoy every aspect of that cut, I find it extremely hard to wear in daily life. This comes from my own experience with a jacket of similar cut. It is made from a lovely grey windowpane flannel which is rather stiff, making for a very dressed up, ‘soldier’ like look as you have just said.

Even though I love that jacket, it has been sitting in my wardrobe for over a year, and I wonder whether there would really be a place for a jacket of such cut in one’s life.

Anonymous

Just wondering at time of commission why you commissioned 3 piece w/ plus fours. Do you shoot? Not sure why else you would get this (perhaps this is venturing into costume that you have previously talked about)
George

Ralph

I admire your chutzpah for not only commissioning this suit in the first place but also for drawing it to our attention once again.
I found this is the most enjoyable yet in this series, giving ‘style breakdown’ new meaning.

Peter K

Touche.

I’m sure we can all tell at least one story of our own “style breakdowns”!

Rogey

I like what you have done. It is easy to get subtle and practical pieces over and over, but it is good to step out and get something different sometimes. A heavy, bold tweed is a joy to wear. The trick is to wear the bolder pieces, and not always reach for the safe choices. Too much sameness in a wardrobe becomes boring. Although the jacket might be bolder than a lot of your clothes, it doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to wear. The key is attitude and keeping everything else plain.

Dan Ippolito

I agree 100% with Rogey; bold tweeds are a joy to wear, provided that one wears them unapologetically and with panache!

Jan

Would they cut a suit jacket exactly like his (e.g., relatively high buttoning point , long skirt, slim lapel) or would some of these elements be more specific to a shooting jacket?

Richard T

Interesting analysis of a very interesting commission, Simon. The check is loud, but really works, I think. The length of the jacket and the flare of the skirt may be just a touch too much for me, but the overall impression is absolutely superb.
You’ve written a lot about the drape cut, particularly A&S (and possibly W&S?), but I find that this cut appeals a little more to me. I’ve recently had a bespoke suit with this cut which is superb and very comfortable, but I sometimes feel makes m upper body appear fuller than it really is and, consequently, out of balance. I’m 5′ 11″, with a 41″ chest and 35″ waist, so pretty much in proportion. I suspect that a Huntsman-type cut may give a more balanced appearance. Do you think that may be true or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Dan Ippolito

I actually think the legth is perfect – it’s just that in recent years our eyes have become accustomed to jackets that are objectively too short…

Nick A

Simon,
Have you had a chance to blast a few cartridges with the coat on? Just wondering is it actually practical.
Thanks,
Nick

Richard T

Thanks, Simon. Anyone else you would suggest for a cut similar to Huntsman?

Richard T

Many thanks, Simon. I’m sure I speak for many readers when I say how much we value both the fascinating content of your blog and your generosity in giving advice. Much appreciated.

David G

Surely you wouldn’t wear a coat with bellows pockets and an action back to the pub? It’s a shooting jacket.

Looking forward to the write up of the trousers; they look very good.

Anonymous

Simon
Must admit that I think that this strays into costume
I hate to quote yourself back at you (admittedly from a decade ago)

“They may add a hunting jacket with leather padding on the shoulder to protect from the impact of a gun’s recoil, or a waxed Barbour jacket with bellow pockets to accommodate shells
…….
Even Prince Charles, on a hunt around Balmoral, doesn’t follow the traditions of hunt clothing this fastidiously. And he has an excuse for wearing something similar – he is actually hunting, he is actually English and all his forbears wore similar pieces throughout their history.”

I know you wouldn’t wear full country gear with this, but rather modernise, even so however I think that it is a bit OTT if not being used for its purpose. What are your thoughts on this?

Anonymous

Depends. A shooting jacket in a Liverpool pub wouldn’t be inappropriate…

Robert

You would at the Crow.

Sam Tucker

Why not? Bellows pockets can hold a lot more than just shells, and an action-back is useful for more than just swinging your gun around. They’re sporty features that go well with really any casual suit or sportcoat. Here in Canada and in our Southern neighbour, we’d associate a jacket like this more with academia and professors than with the English countryside and hunting.
http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/4/6/4/6/5/8/webimg/613454203_o.jpg

The one part of Mr. Crompton’s suit I do think is over-the-top costumey is the trouser. They look way too anachronistic, and I say this as someone that loves more classic, traditional menswear, especially the more old-fashioned stuff that borders on anachronistic. Tweed generally has a very nice, old-fashioned look about it, especially in a three-piece suit, but with plus-four you go from ‘old-fashioned’ to ‘came out of a time portal.’ If I had this suit but with normal trousers instead of plus-fours it’s definitely something I’d wear, especially in the winter. The plus-fours are also unnecessary because you could just get the trousers made with cuffs and then roll them up if you’re afraid of getting them muddy. I do this with my khakis all the time.

David

Mon Dieu Simon,
This one is particularly riotous. I love the trousers, shirt and shoes.
My good friend and style advisor, Jason King, thinks the jacket would be better with the waistcoat and plus fours. He wants such an outfit to sport whilst riding his Penny Farthing.
Perhaps this is the way forward for such a jacket ?
Regards,
David

Anonymous

David

Who is this David King you keep going on about?

David

Sir,
I think you are referring to ‘Jason King.’
My companion and style sensei since 1971.
His tastes are a little more outre than mine but normally after taking inspiration from both Simon and Jason, I succeed in doing the right thing.
Regards,
David

Johan

That cut is absolutely beautiful. Reminds one why nothing really beats Savile row, after all.

Pattern is bold, yes, but I wish more of used dared to push things a bit further.

Dan Ippolito

“Pattern is bold, yes, but I wish more of used dared to push things a bit further.” I agree 100%!

Ian

I’ve heard how you find this jacket the easiest to wear separately and wondered how you’d do it as it is very bold with the trousers! But this looks really nice how you’ve paired this with the grey flannel.

I’ll have to have a hunt around the site to try and understand how this differs from the Neapolitan cut.

John

Hi Simon,
I love Huntsman’s sharp cut. Unmistakably, it exudes even when applied to tweed!
That said, I think this kind of jacket is rather suitable to cultural events such as The Tweed Run, where it could easily blend into the background.
By the way, The Tweed Run as such deserves a post. Assuming that PS readers are all tweed lovers too – the contrary would be very very surprising ! – what could we learn from this event when it comes to craftsmanship seen from the perspectives of tailoring, designs and patterns that tweed as a fabric allows?
I hope it makes to you and all PS readers.
John

SJ

Nice jacket – never commissioned anything from Huntsman as stylistically they are a ways away from the softer garments I prefer to wear but I do admire the look

The one aspect of their jackets I would encourage them to consider is the front dart – especially with the beautiful large house checks – could they and would they use a smaller diagonal dart under the lapel and/or a dart a bit further back such that it’s not visible as it’s under the arm to get the necessary fullness in the chest without breaking up the plaid?

In your jacket it doesn’t show as much because the horizontal stripes are quite faint but in some other Huntsman plaid jackets the dart makes the jackets look awful

Chancellor

Really enjoying this series.

Something I’d be interested to see discussed in a future entry to this series–or possibly its own article–would be how lapel width, gorge height, gorge angle, round, and belly work together and the effect they have on how one appears. I know you have done a “How Wide Should My Jacket Lapels Be?” article before, but that didn’t delve into these issues.

Thanks.

Chancellor

Thanks Simon,

I’ve read both those articles, but they don’t really touch on lapels much. “Flattering the Tall and the Short” only discusses the buttoning point and length of the lapel, with the briefest passing mention of gorge height and peak lapels.

“Which House Style Suits your Body Shape” discusses shoulders in invaluable depth, but little else. It’s actually an article like this, but instead focusing on all the style points around lapels instead of shoulders, that I’m thinking would be of great value.

In the interim, I’ll maybe think of a focused question or two in one of those two articles. But I think there’s a valuable lengthier discussion that could be had here.

Thanks.

Ben

The problem with loud patterns is that they dominate one’s perception of the piece. I’m taken by the pattern and the whole three-piece commission, but lost to my eye, one that pays particularly close attention to tailoring, is the finesse of Huntsman’ craft. (Quite fine indeed, as this post illustrates.) I suspect, then, a more economic house can achieve the same perceptual effect.

I understand the romance of it all though.

Jordan Healey

A bi-swing or action back is something I would get in most jackets if it was an option, freedom of movement in the arms is very comfortable in my experience.

Tom

I actually like the trousers more than the jacket. Perhaps because I’m on the hunt to have some gray flannels commissioned for this fall/winter. All my trousers are cut similar…pleats, cuffs, side adjusters, etc. Who made this pair?

Schiff

A nice coat but the pattern is certainly aggressive!

Any thoughts on Meyer & Mortimer? I don’t believe you’ve ever noted them before but I’m told their cut is very similar to that of Dege (and, by extension, Hunstman) at a (slightly) more moderate price.

Is the lack of commentary on PS driven by past experience, or do you consider them competent and well regarded?

Thanks,
Schiff

Harry of Monmouth

Simon, can you remember the name of the Merchant who supplied the cloth, looks J G Hardy / Porter & Harding maybe W.Bill ? Personally, a tweed / hacking Jacket cut as a Button 1 (your idear or tailors) The sewn in “half belt” (back) to much, the check design, is doing the talking (so to speak) Should have been cut, button 2, slanting side pockets, and only 3 button cuff (the cloth and cut, show the garment)

Morad Voutonou

Mr Crompton

It’s a beautiful jacket, a bit grand for me but you wear it well. Clearly there seemed to be a sticking point along the way regarding your communication when ordering it which you’ve cleared up elsewhere. Irrespective of the style that some have reservations with, I commend your bold order as I think it’s a really beautiful piece, something that you just cannot get here in the US (unless you have a tailor in London).

In spite of Mr Ward having, (as we like to say in the US) some balls, to challenge your comments in another post, his communication with you to define aspects of the garment from a tailors perspective was fascinating and educational from a readers perspective. I wish there was more of this in your website. However, your choice of words as a footnote to the above article lowers its finesse. Your remark that you “had a few issues with the cutter David Ward (now no longer at Huntsman)” is personal and unnecessary when you’ve reviewed a garment so favourably.

As a former Huntsman client, l became exasperated, as others have by what’s happened at this once great company. Mr Ward’s leaving Huntsman, I’m told, was in the same vain as the other 30 or so staff who have also left the company due to its new owners, Messrs Lagrange and Roubi. I am also aware from colleagues that this exodus of staff is still happening. A revolving door of a companies workforce does not happen because they cherish the new boss.

You’ve clearly enjoyed the ownership of the suit and have referenced your appreciation, so why not credit the craftsman with the relevant tone rather than using captious remarks? Ive used London solely for bespoke clothing for many years and the “trade”, that it is so lovingly referred to by its workers is clearly struggling, so why not endorse the few who do it well with credibility and flair. I’ve run the gauntlet of finding that goldie locks moment to acquire the best cutter for my needs and after many excursions, by far, Mr Ward came out on top. To witness you at times exalt some clearly average tailoring is an eye watering read when you unnecessarily nitpick one of Savile Rows true paragons.

A confusing, yet well penned article.

Peter

I noticed a jacket in Huntsman’s window last year in this cloth and noted how much presence it had. It certainly is a statement piece. I think it is all too easy to criticize work of this type but one thing is for sure when you wear it you will be noticed.

dan

How much do C&M and Richard Anderson charge for an entry level suit?

Dan

Hi Simon,

That particular tweed must be difficult to work with, matching the checks, but I’m kind of baffled as to why the cutter chose not to match the bold, brown (black?) vertical stripes along the chest and the sleeves. It’s more convincingly handled from the rear, and doubtless he had to work with the proportions, placement and spacings of the patterns in the torso, but I wonder why he chose that compromise in such a conspicuous area.

Of course, I’m just a customer of bespoke garments and a casual reader, so hopefully I didn’t offend anyone terribly. I also own a bespoke Huntsman tweed coat and my cutter did say it always gives him a headache trying to match the patterns in the sleeves.

Dan

Andrey

Hi Simon, a bit off topic, but do you have any view on Huntsman’s Bespoke 100 offering?

Joe W

Hi Simon,

I’m very much a novice when it comes to bespoke suiting, but based on my location and preferences my options are between Huntsman, Poole, and Richard Anderson for true bespoke. In terms of ‘fashion brands,’ I’m generally drawn to the looks of Tom Ford and Zegna suits though I don’t have the sartorial vocabulary, as it were, to articulate why I like it beyond the strong shoulders. Am I correct in thinking Huntsman would be the best ‘proper tailor’ for me based on the type of suiting I like? I had a MTM suit done at Tom Ford and, while quite nice, the process was very impersonal. Thank you in advance for any insight/assistance. Your site is an incredible resource.

Joe

Joe W

Thank you so much, Simon.

All three houses have U.S. trunk show visits coming up, so I will continue my research in that direction.

JM

How does it compare to Terry Haste’s work?
Saw one beige suit of you done by Haste, which works better than this one.
Wonder if you will review that one so as to give us more insight on Huntsman.

Anonymous

Simon, how high do these trousers sit in relation to your belly button (in cm or inches)? How high should the waist be? I was told I could raise my trousers by 1.25” but I don’t think that would look good. Having a reference helps.

In relation to a previous question, does this trouser photo illustrate how you prefer to have all your trouser waists made? With this strap length, style, and belt loops all around to hold the strap?

Joe

Hi Simon,

I hear Huntsman has recently launched its ‘Bespoke 100’ service, and they say this about it: ‘Bespoke 100 offers a full bespoke baste, Huntsman cut with a specially curated line of luxurious cloths and is measured, cut, fit, finished and pressed at 11 Savile Row.’

Apparently, the actual sewing is done in ateliers either in China or Italy, with tailors trained by Huntsman.

How do you think this would compare to the ‘full’ Huntsman experience, and would it be a good introduction to bespoke on the Row?

Best wishes and good health,

Joe

Joe

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your response. I’d agree – I think I’d much rather avail myself of other, cheaper, off-Row offerings and save the Huntsman experience until I’m ready for the real thing.

Yes, it was a pleasant surprise when I learned you’d been here – I’d been reading PS long before I matriculated but only found out last year. I don’t suppose you’ll be returning for the postponed Commemoration Ball next year?

Joe

PS – By the way, this might just be me, but whenever I tick ‘notify me of follow-up comments by email’, I don’t actually get an email when somebody replies (I’ve checked spam too). I have to manually check myself. Just thought you’d want to know in case it is an issue on your end!

Joe

Certainly – if you reply to this I’ll email you letting you know whether or not I get an email. I’ve used my personal address this time in case it’s on my end.

Lindsay Mckee

Hi Simon,
I contacted Huntsman recently regarding their new Bespoke Service previously called “Bespoke 100”, now simply called Bespoke which is quite a bit cheaper than their classic 1845 Bespoke. Apparently they use carefully vetted Huntsman trained ateliers but the baste fit, cutting and pressing etc is done on their premises at 11 Savile Row.
Do you know anything more about this cheaper alternative to their classic 1845 bespoke service?
Many thanks
Lindsay McKee

Adrian John Masterson

Terrific commentary, thank you. You have the great advantage of being slim; would you consider writing some guidelines for those of us who are not quite so slim? I am not “fat” but I do carry somewhat more than I would like to have.
Best wishes, Adrian

Adrian John Masterson

Simon, thank you for your speedy response. I will follow up the two articles you suggest.

I look forward to continuing to read your excellent articles,

Best wishes,

Adrian