Gieves & Hawkes bespoke linen suit: Review

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Wednesday, July 17th 2019
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This dark, muted green linen was a risk. I had never had anything like it before, let alone seen it on anyone else. 

But I think it’s worked out very well. I’m pleased as well as relieved. 

The colour is unusual yet subtle. Indoors, it looks more like a dusty black - little of the green cast comes across. But outdoors, it’s definitely green, and looks good with other dark accessories. 

It’s smart, but definitely not corporate. Even, perhaps, a little rock ‘n’ roll - a little like Davide [Taub, the cutter].

There is something of the evening about the colour, and I think some might consider it better suited to events after 6pm rather during the day.

It would certainly work well in that environment, and with black shoes and neckwear as it is pictured with. 

But I like this sombre, serious look during the day - and if I wanted to brighten it up, I’ve found colours like yellow and pink also work nicely. They just have to pale, as equally muted as the green. (This tie from Drake’s works, for example.)

One thing that certainly wasn’t a risk was working with Davide. 

As I mentioned on the previous article on this suit - covering its fitting - Davide and I have worked on a few things over the years, but this was our first suit. 

I completely trusted him, making occasional suggestions around buttoning point or the trouser width, but that was it. I wanted his style as well as fitting. 

That meant only a very light padded shoulder, with a touch more at the ends and in the sleevehead to give the shoulder line some lift. 

It meant a relatively high buttoning point for me; fairly wide, slightly bellied lapels; and a sharp notch. 

Quite narrow trousers too, which I was unsure of when we had the fittings, but I think work well (19 inches circumference at the knee, 15 at the hem).

Indeed, I might consider this width of trouser for suits more in the future. 

It would be a little against the trend, given how many wide-leg trousers there are at the moment. But I do think over time it’s more likely to make a suit look younger and contemporary than the other way around.

The shoes are the black-cordovan Greenwich from Edward Green. 

I like occasionally wearing black casual shoes like these with casual trousers and shirts (eg a white button down and dark-brown trousers).

As here, the colours need to be fairly cold, but it feels different without being showy. 

There’s little to say here from a fit point of view. It’s just very good, and exactly what you should expect from a Savile Row suit. 

There’s nothing I’d pick up or change in terms of fit, which is all the more impressive in a very light linen with lightweight padding and canvas. 

Even that little kick below the waist button is nothing. The mere flap of the breeze. 

One interesting thing is that, in my experience, there is a correlation between the price of bespoke and the quality of the fit and cut. 

There are many exceptions. Cheap ones like Whitcomb & Shaftesbury can be excellent. Expensive ones like Rubinacci can have issues. 

It’s not a very strong correlation, but it’s definitely there. I wouldn’t say it means you’ll always get better fit with bigger, more expensive houses. But I would say that men buying cheap bespoke should be aware that it’s a risk. 

It might be because the cutter is inexperienced, or because they’re not incentivised to spend as much time as they should getting the fit right. But either way it’s something to keep in mind. 

The make of the suit is extremely good: beautiful fine buttonholes, neat finishing on the inside, and jacket cloth running all round the in-breast pockets, making them stronger. 

I also rather like the Gieves & Hawkes bespoke label. Generally I’d prefer the Savile Row approach of having no label visible, but the dark grey of this is nice. Sophisticated. 

Looking at the suit in the pictures now, the only thing I think I would change if I ever made another suit with Davide is the buttoning point. 

It could be a tad lower, and indeed Davide himself mentioned this when looking at the completed garment. As with the first suit with any tailor, it’s the beginning of a journey. 

Not many start in as good a place as this one though. 

The shirt shown here is a favourite: cotton/linen from Luca Avitabile. The stripe helps give a little pattern to the overall outfit, which otherwise would be rather plain. 

The black grenadine tie is from Drake’s, as is the white linen handkerchief. 

The panama hat is from Anderson & Sheppard. I remarked last summer how I had bought a sisal one from them in a pale brown, and liked the more casual nature of it. 

That’s still the case, and that brown definitely gets more wear. But this smarter cream looks better with a sharp suit. 

You can see the first fitting in this series here, while you can see all my previous projects with Davide on the dedicated Gieves & Hawkes page here

Gieves bespoke suits start at £4420 plus VAT. The cloth is 250g Scabal linen, number 802258.

Photography above: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man. Photography below, Milad Abedi @milad_abedi

 

 

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Anonymous

Amazing suit! It’s turned out really nice.

Anonymous

Simon

I’ve been toying with the idea of commissioning an 8oz navy seersucker suit. Do you think the weight is too light? Also, any idea is seersucker holds its shape well?

Kirill Dashkovskiy

This is a particularly fine example! Very sharp and quite different from standard Savile Row, yet reassuringly understated.

Chris

Wow, love this Simon. The proportions of the jacket to the slimness of the trousers feels great. What sort of length is the jacket?

Jack Hart

Do you measure from the bottom of the collar? Also, is your hat rollable? I recall you being slightly annoyed about the difficulties of travelling with fedora. What’s your opinion on the rollable ones offered out there? HAve you considered them? thx.

Robin

I can remember when one walked into Gieves & Hawkes and aged 10 years looking at the RTW clothes .
They’ve certainly changed their cut and appeal to more contemporary tastes these days .

P.S. the suit is fabulous and the green is exquisite.

David G

I like the suit a lot, but, and forgive me, the photos in your posts are becoming more staged every time and are beginning to look like the adverts in a fashion mag. They seem to focus more on you and less on the garments.

I’m also a bit surprised by your suggestion of black shoes with brown trousers. All a matter of taste but doesn’t sound like a good look at all.

Anonymous

Agreed with David G. Simon remains the best blogger, but I must admit the ego has rather soared and you have got a bit closer to the old Pitti Peacock than you used to be!

Peter Martin

Black shoes are a exquisite combination with any brown garments.

Anonymous

Do agree, absolutely. And not only. Black shoes are perfect on any suit (i.e. jacket & trosers of same fabric) with very few exceptions. Browns are only suitable for umapired combinations, with very few exceptions

David P

Simon, thank you for the review and congratulations on the suit!
How do you think this fabric would hold up in a travel suit? I am thinking of commissioning a suit which I am planning to use mainly for business travel – Do you have a view on what the best fabric would be for such a garment? Something that is sturdy enough to withhold the friction of plane and train seats without wearing out too quickly, but that is light at the same time and keeps its shape? Probably I am asking too much 🙂 but your feedback would be much appreciated! Thank you

Sam

Looks a treat! Nicely unique in the dark green.

HAK

A quick question: is it now standard for Savile Row Houses to place such garish looking advertising labels inside of their suits? I have not commissioned a suit from my tailor (it is not G &H) for a couple of years now but I see G & H are doing this, as do Dege and Skinner and Edward Sexton, so this would appear to be a new phenomenon which I fear is becoming a standard. I presume I will just have to ask my tailor to refrain from doing this when I commission my next suit. Anyhow, I do believe the green is a wonderful colour for the summer months. and the fit here is very good indeed,

Martin Plant

One of the nicest suits I’ve seen on you for a while. And useful too, I would imagine.

Chancellor

What colour are the buttons? A dark brown horn?

Phil

Hi Simon,

Just out of curiosity, will David ever make suits for ordinary people other than influencers like yourself? Can someone actually ask him to cut or get involved etc in the bespoke process?

Thanks

Phil

Winot

To reassure you Phil, Davide has personally made and fitted all 3 bespoke items I have commissioned from G&H (2 overcoats and a suit) and I am a mere punter.

Anonymous

Is the suit lined?If not,would you normally go for an unlined jacket given that this is a summer suit?

Chris

Hi Simon,
Looking to make a suit up in a similar weight linen currently and curious about how you now feel about the lining. I’m tempted to go unlined myself but curious if a year on you’d do unlined or lined next time?
This , to my eyes, is the finest suit you have on PS.

Chris

Thankyou Simon, a final question on this too if you don’t mind- I am curious , do you get (or could you get) any wear from this jacket as a separate? It is extremely beautiful, but I was curious if it’s Englishness (for want of a better word) would prevent its abstraction from the trousers.

Anonymous

Shoes look like EG Greenwich not the Belgravias from the image

Walter Sickinger

I definitely like the look of the black tie,black shoes and especially the colour matching socks. Very “old school”,very understated,..very sophisticated.

Scott

Simon, this suit looks fantastic! I must say I’m pleasantly surprised that a row tailor could make something as interesting and sophisticated as this suit so, kudos to Mr. Taub. How would you compare the cut to your Ciardi, my favorite Italian tailor, suits, particularly the shoulder?

Scott

Thanks! Did you request that padding at the end of the shoulder or was that Mr. Taub’s suggestion? May I assume that the padding could be left out upon request? I almost like this jacket on you better than the Anderson&Sheppard coat in style series. How do you compare the two?

Gonzague

Probably the nicest sleeve head within the style breakdown series.
Except the buttoning point, it resembles your Camps suit doesn’t it?

Andy Poupart

That’s a beautiful suit, Simon! I saw the three of you shooting these images outside the main hall at Pitti last month. I should have looked closer at the suit you were wearing! It’s a home run. I think it illustrates the differences in our outlook on these things that I don’t think it is (or would be) risky at all. The color looks versatile and would easily transition into evening. Congratulations!

In addition, I received my copy of your latest book about a week ago. Excellent reference work, I’m enjoying dipping into it. Thumbs up!

Kev Fidler

Compared to the beautifully cut suit and very elegant overall outfit this is a small point – as your hat band appears black, black shoes, black tie how are you with the gold watch with the tan strap? Given it’s quite a brightly toned one it is completely contrasting with the rest of the outfit though I’m not being judgemental on this as no doubt my understanding of these style points is limited.

Andreas

Definitely one of the nicest suits I have seen on this site, but that label is HUGE. It looks even bigger than the ones you’d find on a Barbour jacket.

Nice and interesting garment!

Jason

Simon,
This is a very nice suit and I absolutely love the colour.
For what it’s worth I think you are wrong on the buttoning point – I actually think it is perfect and great for your profile. The one slight criticism I would have is the trousers are a smidgen too narrow but it is very marginal.
Regarding the overall outfit, I think the shirt and tie are great but I don’t like the black shoes. Personally I’d have gone for dark brown either in leather or suede.
One thing I’d like to see you do systematicly with suits in casual fabrics is to create a look without a tie. It’s a challenge because it’s more creative than just sourcing the correct shirt and tie but it is much more relevant.
Bravo to Mr.Taub for creating this beautiful suit.
Oh, by the way, what weight is the linen ?
Regards,
Jason

Anonymous

Now, that’s a lovely suit, congratulations! I am just a bit curious as you have advocated heavier 11 oz Irish linens most of the time when linen garments were discussed. This is however just about 9 oz if I am not mistaken. Would you still recommend that cloth for an odd trouser/ smart shorts?

Gab

Really beautiful, Simon. Particularly fond of the colour. However, aren’t you afraid that the narrower trousers might make it crease more, and perhaps create some bagging around the knee? Especially since it’s a rather lightweight linen.

DE

Hi Simon, I have to say that I love this suit – cut, fabric and colour! Mr Taub is producing some really great work at the moment – his Instagram page is worth a visit as it reveals more of his style. Do you think that the dark green colour will extend the use of this suit into balmy May and warm September days, when a cream, beige or even tobacco linen might look out of place?

Simon

Different yet understated and elegant, a real triumph!

Anonymous

It’s an interesting commission and the green works well on you. I raise a small point: you have worked with Davide Taub and commissioned from Gieves on a number of occasions (always with excellent results) I ask why, instead of playing safe, you didn’t commission from other, as yet untried, houses. It’s accepted, to a degree, that PS is one person’s journey but, commercially for the readership, part of this journey is to explore the range of bespoke offerings available. If PS were to be criticised on any substantive basis it would be on the lack of exploration and discovery within the UK. In fairness you have experimented with around 10 of the 18 SR Bespoke members (GH, Chittleborough, Dege, A&S, Poole, Huntsman, Richard Anderson, Richard James, K Sargent, E Sexton) and a number of ‘orbiting’ houses (Kent, W&S, Hitchcock, Herbert, Brown, Hemingway…). However, PS is now a decade old yet its ‘experience’ remains fairly set within the UK: now that PS is full time, and a more informative force than any other online bespoke source, is it time to widen this approach to other SR houses and those outside?

Ben

Very bold fiber choice to go with the rather formal cut and stylings. Quite a somber color as well. Certainly a commission that sets you apart.

When are we going to see you in a getup like that on your photographer friend?

Ajay

Simon, You said, “It’s a very strong correlation, but it’s definitely there.”

You mean it’s NOT a strong correlation?

Woodman

And who made the hat–it’s striking.

Ben

Very nice look Simon!

What’s your thought of having an odd jacket or odd trousers using this cloth?

Brett

Simon, beautifully cut and very well proportioned! The shade of green looks great. Other than a muted olive, I would never have thought to get much use from a green suit. Do you plan on wearing it as separates? I would have expected that for this style of suit you would have used one of your Italian tailors, but Davide’s cutting is absolutely spot on…modern, elegant and timeless.

Michael Wang

Great suit, amazing to see how a skilled and experienced cutter such as David can achieve such comfort, without losing the structural essence of British Tailoring. Simon, to you think this suit proves a point to the discussion about comparing semi bespoke brand such as Prologue and Anthology to real bespoke tailors? I mean it shows that real tailors deliver a better service and quality than the “semi bespoke”?

Thanks in advance

Rafael

Absolutely beautiful suit and very nicely styled Simon.
Out of curiosity, how would you say the construction and fit of this suit compare to Cifonelli? I love both styles and have been a customer of Cifonelli for a couple of years now, but this suit makes me want to commission something from Taub. Thank you.

Anil

This is great – Simon, I have been reading your website and you have certainly inspired me into saving up for a bespoke. Good fit and excellent article.

Matt S

While I would prefer a lower buttoning point, I think that this one still looks good on you. I’ve discovered that on myself a buttoning point where I naturally feel it should be looks too low because my legs are slightly short in comparison to my torso. But as you’re taller than I am you have a lot of freedom to place the buttoning point where you want it because you don’t have to worry about it shortening either your torso or legs too much. This cut looks perfect on you despite a slightly high buttoning point. Some of the other suits you have with a high buttoning point don’t look as good as this one, even if they have just as good a fit.

Johan

Wow. One of the best ever, I think.

ANM

Who cares about the suit?

It’s the hat. It all about the hat!

In fact I am of the opinion that one great accessory, can set the tone of your “look” regardless of what else you have on…

I have a hat I bought in Guadalajara last year for $3 that receives complements every-time I wear it. (even over a $300 Panama I have argh!)..I have a magnificent pair of crystal frame Japanese made eyeglasses from a Los Angeles designer, that also receives complements from random people….

Simon, keep it up, the hats you have featured the last few months look great.

Daniel Schubert

This is as always an excellent review of an extraordinary suit. It looks great regarding to its making and fit.
As a linen suit is will be worn mainly during summer or in hot and perhaps humid climate. As it looks, the suit is lined like any suit, Not halflined like e. g. some Italian suits. Doesn’t a full lining contradict the breathability of the linen or did Gieves and Hawkes use a special lining fabric ?

Alex

What a suit, Simon! Lovely cloth in an interesting colour.

I notice that the quarters are fairly square, and closed. Is this a house style, or rather a Savile Row / British style? I’ve seen many Italian houses cut their jackets with very rounded and open quarters these days.

Would you say that the style of the quarters is only a style choice, or are there practical or formality considerations in the way you make them?

G

I don’t see many occasions where this suit could be worn given its non-traditional color palette. Also too dark for warmer, sunny weather which I guess you had it made for.

Interesting experiment, yes. Something to wear often, no.

Triskel

Hi Simon, on the question of non-London bespoke, whist they may (or may not) be substantially different from London houses, for those of us who live in the north reviews from you would be useful. May I suggest, to start, Steed, Des Merrion, Redmayne, John E Monk?

Anonymous

Just my opinion – but the trousers are too slim.

Philip

Hi Simon, slightly random question, but what is your opinion of Suit Supply? The gray-haired bloke on Parisian Gentleman just gave them a very positive write-up. Apparently their MTM is fully canvassed and well-priced. Any insight would be gratefully received.

CD

A+ (excellent) to the ensemble without the panama hat.

A++ (outstanding) to the ensemble with the panama hat.

AJ

Hi Simon, what impact – not just in this case but as a general rule – does raising the button point have on the overall silhouette?

J Mac

Simon,

Care you comment on the weight of the linen? 250g seems pretty darn light. How do you feel about the weight of the fabric? How has it reacted to wear so far?

J Mac

Thank you for the response. I saw those comments, however, I was wondering if anything had changed after some wear. I am considering ordering this suit from my tailor (Despos), who cuts a sharp suit. This would be a great cloth to get a wear report on.

If I order, I’ll similarly get the suit lined, which would help a lot I imagine.

Christopher

So I looked at the title shot at the top of the page and thought “what a lovely blue suit”.

It wasn’t until I read the text that I realised it was green. I literally had to do a double take.

Isn’t it funny how the mind plays tricks?

Anonymous

Nice suit indeed.
I have a question about the lapel roll. It looks like it’s a bit more “pressed” if I may say so than on a wool bespoke jacket. I guess this is due to the material being linen, and the light canvas, is that correct?

Marco

Hi Simon,

I have few bad experience in Linen, generally it fades and shrink badly after first wash, Especially in dark colors. Do you have the same problem? and how do you manage it?

Luis

Congratulations for this suit Simon — which I personally find one of the most interesting and elegant among your suits — and thank you for taking bespoke risks like this: such risks, I believe, are those that expand tailoring culture, and that is no small feat.

Noel

Fantastic suit, quite interesting and something I wouldn’t have thought of. Thank you for continuing with your experiments (if that’s the appropriate word). It certainly provides us with inspiration when thinking about what we would like to have ourselves.

I’m surprised about how light the linen is given how little creased it seems. I actually thought it was quite heavy until I reached that point in the article. It made me think if a heavy dark linen suit would ever be appropriate in autumm or even winter. Or is linen just too associated with warmer weather regardless of colour and how heavy it is?

Peter

It’s a great job in a very challenging cloth Simon but yes as you say the top button is high

Sam

Hi Simon. I absolutely love the cloth you picked for this suit, and would be keen to create something similar for myself. I am however a total novice when it comes to bespoke, and unfortunately I’m also not going to be able to afford it at the pricepoint yours came in at with Gieves. Could you (or any readers) tell me what the least expensive way of producing a suit using this cloth would be? Whether that’s through using a different tailor, going for M2M instead of bespoke (may not even be possible here), or some other method? Thanks.

Sam

Thanks, yes very helpful. I have a slender build (36-38 chest) and would be wanting a ‘modern’ fit. Would anyone spring to mind to rival Suitsupply MTM, at their level of the market?

Lastly, I know you’ve said the suit held up relatively well in terms of creasing… Is that still the case a few months on? I’d be looking to wear it at a wedding so am conscious of it losing shape throughout the day. Thanks again.

Juan

Good afternoon Mr Crompton. I am about asking my tailor to make me a linen suit. It will be made from the scratch but will be machine-sewn. Will it still be a bespoke suit even it will not be hand sewn? And one final question, is it appropriate to wear linen shirts with linen suits even if colours make contrast? Thank you very much.

Stefan

I think the products from Gieves & Hawkes that I have seen on your website perhaps are the most flattering to your body, at least according to me. I like the more slimmer silhouette compared to other suits like A&S, Bn tailor, Liverano Liverano. I also like the more structured shoulders as well compared to the Italian trend nowadays when everyone have no structuring at all. I think you body fits very well with more structured shoulders.
I have myself bought a lot of jacket and suits with soft shoulders and tried so hard to be a sprezzatura guy for the last 5-6 years….ending up finally be true to myself and now buy stuff thats really are me and are stuff that I really like, and that is slimmer pants, normal waist (not crazy high) and structured shoulders.

I have only bought mtm so far from different stores around Stockholm, Sweden, but I will in the future saving up for a Savile row suit. Taking in mind what I have written above, do you think gieves & hawkes will be a good choice for me or do you have any other tip?
thanks
Stefan

Andrew

Lovely suit and article Simon, thank you for sharing it.
I am considering an 8oz Navy Scabal Made to Measure single breasted 2 piece suit by Mason and Sons for weddings in Spain and Italy next summer. One invitation is as a best man (dress code is navy trousers with or without a jacket and a white shirt), the other invitation as a guest. Would you recommend linen firstly over something like an 8oz super 110s or 6oz super 150s in worsted wool, and Scabal secondly over the same weight or heavier Irish or Italian linen for these occasions?
Many thanks in advance and best wishes

Anonymous

Amazing colour. Could such a color work in an odd jacket with a different fabric, maybe wool/silk/linen mix?

How would you describe that colour to a tailor when searching a similar colour in a different fabric?

Anonymous

What trouser colours other than the always combinable cream would you combine with such a jacket?

Rupesh

Hi Simon,

What colour are the socks you are wearing? are they from Breciani?

Thanks

Rupesh

Anonymous

How would you describe the roped shoulders? Still moderate roping or is it already strong roping?

Does the amount of roping matter for the suitability of a suit for business or is it just personal preference how much roping one likes?

Anonymous

It looks like the width of the roping is wider than „normal“. Is it similar to Cifonelli‘s roping?

Anonymous

Does it have some drape in the chest?

Anonymous

How does the suit compare to your Henry Poole and Dege & Skinner?

Would you say it is a classic savile row suit with a modern touch?

Nick

Do you by any chance know where Jamie got his hat?

Nick

Thanks!

Anonymous

Hello Simon. Love the cotton/linen striped shirt. What fabric supplier do you usually use for linen or cotton/linen shirting? Thanks!

Justin

Hello Simon, I am a huge fan of this suit and have been considering something similar (with double breasted waist coat) for my autumn wedding in the southern US.
I recognize this is a very personal decision but curious your general thoughts…would this fabric and color be formal enough or is it too casual?
For context: our wedding ceremony is outdoors, cocktail dress, and starts around 4p (thus the reception/celebration will go into the evening). My goals are something elegant, unique (while still somewhat traditional), and versatile enough I can where to future events.
Thanks for any thoughts and of course for the wealth of knowledge you provide. Your site is invaluable!
Justin

Justin

Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful reply, Simon.