Gieves & Hawkes has rarely had a distinct house style in recent decades.
Although historically a military and naval outfitter, and making its suits with a similar amount of structure and strength, the cut has varied with cutters.
Kathryn Sargent made me a hopsack jacket when she was head cutter, but is now set up successfully on her own. And more recently, Davide Taub has made me a few pieces – including a pea coat and leather jacket, and most recently the linen suit discussed today.
So perhaps it’s best to think of this as Davide’s style, which is currently the style of Gieves & Hawkes.
It has many of the elements you’d expect from an old Row tailor like Gieves, such as traditional structure and sharp lines, but also some elements that are distinctly Davide.
House: Gieves & Hawkes
Address: 1 Savile Row, London
Cutter: Davide Taub
Price (at time of writing): £5,300 (incl VAT)
Davide is an all-round creative. He trained as an architect, is still an able artist (he did watercolours of the concepts of our previous commissions) and is constantly thinking about reinventing elements of tailoring.
Few other Savile Row tailors would be able to cut and make a leather jacket, fitting it through multiple toiles, or use the sunburst quilting we had in my pea coat.
In a classic suit, this is far more restrained.
However, he has been using lighter canvases in summer suits such as this one, while retaining a feeling of structure – and the difference compared to standard Row suits is significant.
In analysing the cut, let’s start with the elements that are typical Savile Row.
The lapel, first, has a slight belly on it, rounding outwards as it heads up towards the shoulder.
The foreparts, where the jacket opens below the waist button, are relatively closed and follow a straight line downwards, before turning a tight corner at the bottom.
The jacket is relatively long (32½ inches), with a nice deep vent. And the shoulders follow a clean line, finishing in a slightly raised sleevehead.
Other Savile Row points like the matte horn buttons are also present and correct.
The shoulder is one place the cut starts to diverge though. For while the line is straight, the padding is actually very thin along most of its length.
Compare this shoulder line to my Dege & Skinner tobacco-linen suit, and it’s immediately clear how much less padded the Gieves one is.
However, Davide then keeps some of the sharpness by adding extra padding at the end. This raises the end of it up, just above the sleeve, making the whole line a little less sloped.
The difference is small because the pad is so thin to start with. But overall it creates quite a sharp shoulder, yet the jacket feels very comfortable and light.
Another point that’s less typical Savile Row is the slimness around different points of the suit.
This tendency won’t surprise anyone that’s met Davide, as his suits are often slim. But it is less dramatic on clients, and it’s not until you point out the shape through the back of the jacket, or the tapering of the sleeve, that it becomes obvious.
It’s most evident in the trousers, which are as slim as it’s possible to be on me yet still be comfortable and functional. They have a cuff circumference of 14¾ inches, and 18 inches at the knee.
Other things worth highlighting are the width of the lapel (3¾ inches) which is a little more than many Row tailors cut by default.
And the buttoning point, which is fairly high on the jacket – only 17¾ inches from the shoulder seam. The lowest in this series is 20 inches, and the average around 18½.
As we often point out, that height is even greater as a proportion of the length of the jacket, so it particularly emphasises the bottom half – the skirt.
This is a tendency of quite a few English tailors, who tend to place more importance on the sharpness and flare of the skirt than the Italians do.
I appreciate how it flatters the body, and runs the eye up into the waist – the slimmest part of the body. Nevertheless, having that buttoning point an inch lower is probably the first thing I would change in a second suit with Davide.
In the images here, the suit is worn with a black knitted-silk tie from Anderson & Sheppard and a lilac ikat-print cotton handkerchief from A&S too, which nicely works against the green of the linen.
The bespoke shirt is from Budd and the shoes are the Piccadilly loafer from Edward Green, in black calf.
More pictures of the suit, and different styling, on the original article on this suit here.
- Shoulder width: 6 inches
- Shoulder padding: Thin, thicker towards shoulder end
- Sleevehead: Slightly raised and wide
- Sleeve: Moderate through
- Cuff: 11 inches
- Lapel: 3¾ inches, slight belly
- Gorge height: 3½ inches
- Drape: Moderate
- Outbreast pocket height: 10 inches
- Buttoning point: High, 17¾ inches
- Waist suppression: Slightly suppressed, below buttoning point
- Quarters: Slightly open, from second button
- Length: 32½ inches
- Back seam: Suppressed
- Vent height: 10 inches
- Trouser width at knee: 18 inches
- Trouser width at cuff: 14¾ inches
Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man
A beautiful suit, perhaps my favourite that you have so far covered in the style breakdown series. I particularly like the strong roping and the overall slimness – gives all the impression of structure, seemingly without much weight. In my opinion, a perfect balance of tradition and innovation.
Interesting how different it looks to the original article on the suit .
Probably a more accurate reflection of what the suit really looks like.
What stands out (alot) is the roped shoulder and the high button position.
The high button takes away form the lapels and give it an almost 3 on 2 button roll style
The trousers seem to benefit greatly from being slim.
That’s quite the boy band pose you’re pulling off in that last shot.
In another life
It looks like you’ve commissioned a few Budd shirts (this is a spread collar and you previously posted about a point collar). Why try English shirts given your preference for Neapolitan makers and construction (and value)?
I have a couple, yes. It was partly in order to try Budd, given I hadn’t ordered from them before, and as a result cover them for this site. Partly to try the point collar option. And partly that I still like aspects of the English cut and collar for smarter outfits (basically, with a tie and usually a suit)
Light Canvas, thin pad on shoulders, slim cut and high buttoning point. Simon: would you say he is moving Savile Row standards toward the modern Italian cut?
Not really, to be honest. The high buttoning point you’ll see across Savile Row tailors, and the light pad and canvas isn’t that uncommon either today.
More importantly, most major aspects of the cut are all solid English: belly lapel, strong shoulder line, closed quarters etc
Thanks Simon. As someone else noted too there is some southern Italian flavour in the suit to my eyes But then it could be the way we all try to adjust the world to what we already know.
How is the fabric holding up? I seem to remember from the article that it’s quite a lightweight linen? Do you notice any difference in performance/durability compared to a heavier linen?
Only in wrinkling. It wrinkles a lot more, and perhaps less elegantly. I knew that was going to happen, and accepted it. There was no similar colour in a heavier weight.
On robustness, actually, I haven’t really worn it enough to tell. Though my old Langa was worn quite a lot and showed no signs of wear, in a similar weight.
The cleanest back I have ever seen, especially on a lightweight suit, but the trousers seem a little short.
Just for clarity, Gieves were greatly exposed to military tailoring, but Hawkes were not.
Very nice! It is interesting to see how much the slim trousers influence the overall look at first glance / zooming out. Yes the jacket is fairly traditional savile row given the shoulders, length, quarters and lapels (in descending order of importance from my perspective) but the trousers make the overall look feel much more modern (or should I say southern Italian?). Beautiful suit as a whole but I do wonder if that contrast between the trousers and jacket (strong and long vs slim and short) completely work for me. Thanks for trying, posting and educating us all
Does the higher button point and relatively longer length of jacket emphasise the flare of the skirt and/or the waist suppression (if there is any)? Lovely looking suit overall; I’d like to see the colour live as it were as the green doesn’t quite come through on my screen.
Yes it does, both emphasise the skirt a lot more.
Have a look at the previous post too (link at the end of the article) for more real-world shots
This is one of my favourites of yours. Thanks for detailing it. I wonder, though, is it fully lined, or half-lined? I myself would be slightly wary of commissioning a suit in linen if the lining meant that it was too warm to wear in high summer. Would appreciate your thoughts. Best,
Copying my reply on this question from the original review post:
“It’s fully lined. I’d normally go for an unlined one in summer, but I was concerned about this linen catching and wrinkling too much, as it’s lighter than what I’d normally have, so I had it lined”
To follow up the point, have you found it too warm for summer use?
No worries Luke. And no I haven’t
Simon, the jacket is too long, my preference is 31-31.5”, and the lapel width a bit too wide. The biggest issue for me however is the roped shoulder, a procedure I’ve always found unattractive. For me, a natural shoulder is a much better look, along the lines of your Ciardi garments. If Davide offers the natural shoulder as well then, Gieves would be an excellent choice as the overall slim silhouette is very nice. You’ve said that tailors usually have some flexibility in terms of jacket length, lapel width, and gorge height. The shoulder however is a different manner I suspect. Does Davide offer a natural shoulder silhouette?
It is normally, you’re right Scott. But actually yes, Davide does offer a natural shoulder silhouette.
However, keep in mind that if you want a more natural shoulder, you should consider all the other aspects of the suit which (to some eyes, including mine) go with that softer look. The lapel, opening etc are all more formal here, and perhaps would look better more casually with some a casual shoulder style.
In fact, see comment below on balance. That’s a good way to put it.
Thanks, those balance comments very helpful.
Thanks to this blog I’ve learned so much about suit construction and cut that I can finally say this:
The backside picture of the suit is *the most flawless* I’ve ever seen from a cut. There isn’t a single wrinkle or bunching under your shoulders or armpit area.
Hi Simon, without doubt my favourite suit (of yours). I think Davide is a maestro and will be seen as one of the SR super heroes in years to come. It’s interesting that in many of your posts a number of the comments are about the ‘balance’, particularly of the jacket. How much importance do you place on ‘balance’ when you look at the features of a jacket (lapel width, gorge height, buttoning point, breast pocket shape, buttonhole angle, shoulder padding, roping, etc.) is this purely subjective, or is there a PS ‘golden ratio’ of particular features you prefer?
Normally when I talk about the balance, I mean something more technical – how the length of the front and the back compare, and the left and right compare.
But of course there is also balance as you mean it, which is having the different design elements in harmony – not having tiny lapels and big pocket flaps, or a very structured shoulder and then curvy open foreparts.
This is rather subjective, because it’s a question of style, and most of those elements you list could be altered without necessarily altering the others – unless it were taken to an extreme. But at the same time, a balance between them all is something every tailor has in mind, and wants to achieve, even if it is subjective.
So for example, one of them might feel that if you broaden the shoulders, it looks better with a lower buttoning point, so the two balance each other out – the triangle gets bigger on all sides. But that isn’t necessarily ‘correct’, it’s just that balance is a way to think about those relationships.
This approach to balance of different design elements is extremely interesting.
After nailing to my liking features in sport coats with a tailor through successive commissions I found myself instinctively feeling wary of applying them straight away to a full suit meant to be a touch more corporate, even if still in a rather playful PoW fabric. I felt it called for a bellied lapel rather than convex and then… what else would be better changed? The tendency to keep what already worked to ‘play it safe’ might get in the way and maybe end up incongruous.
I may suggest a piece specifically on balanced design style combinations would be a very valuable addition to your style guides section. Certainly the combinations might add to a lot, but just a limited number of OK and KO combo examples would probably be educational enough.
Of course as you say there is subjectivity about it, but usually your own subjective opinions are valuable guidance.
I do know what you mean. I find as long as the changes are small, it’s ok. It also makes a big difference if you have seen the style your requesting somewhere else, on someone else?
The back is obviously very clean. However, would you say this comes at the significant cost of comfort and freedom of movement?
Not especially, but I’d also say it’s not quite as clean and close in reality as this image suggests. There is a little below the arms, and therefore a little movement
Interesting comment regarding the “stylistic” balance which is not that often discussed. For example, I see certain current work of some Savile Row houses that tend to cut a coat with a very low buttoning point (something we could call a classic feature) and a short skirt (something more mordern, let’s say), which then ends up with a coat which exposes a fair amount of shirt on top but looks disproportionated below the buttoning point. If you combine those features with a heavily bellied lapel but straight quarters the end result is to me really unappealling.
Surely that’s inevitable though? If you lower the buttoning point you get a shorter skirt – unless you also alter the length
Do you normally get an extra pair of trousers made with your suits, Simon?
Less so these days, as I have a lot of tailoring. But I would always recommend it to someone building a wardrobe of good clothes
You are right to say balance relates to back/front and sides.
The rest is not balance, but proportion.
It’s interesting seeing how the suit looks in these pictures compared to the original article, particularly the buttoning point. What was the difference in the photographer’s set up Simon? Are they crouched lower down in these studio shots?
These studio shots are all done in the same way, at the same height deliberately.
The others, at Pitti, are much less controlled and random, trying to shoot in amongst people
Very elegant indeed. Love the cut and the color. I am a big fan of linen and have several classic models myself (including a tobacco brown, beige, navy, grey prince of wales and a charcoal pinstripe which I love) That being said you will get more wear out of yours.
Just a small technical point Simon.
The higher button point increases the angle of the break line between the neck point and the top button. This allows the break line to pass between the pectoral muscles rather than passing over the medial edge. In a well developed customer wearing a less ‘ constructed ‘ jacket the shorter break line gives a much closer fit.
May I ask whose linen that is, and what weight?
Sure – The cloth is 250g Scabal linen, number 802258
How many can afford suits for this price? Maybe you can buy something cheaper ( say 1000 pounds) and rather give a healthy sum to charity,maybe its not going to fit perfect, but you will feel better about yourself.
Not many, certainly, but we cover suits from this top end down to around £1000.
Also, it’s impossible to generalise from one purchase as to responsible spending more generally. Some people have just one great suit, love it and care for it well. Others have 10 costing £500 that they barely wear and look after poorly.
I like the look of the suit very much but the colour for Summer use where dark colours absorb light thus heat a poor bland choice.
Thanks for this instructive post.
Given the chosen fabric, would this suit be differently rated in terms of formality, were the hip pockets patched instead? And how much?
By the way, I think one can aptly consider Davide Taub as belonging to a tiny group of world class tailors who are dandies.
It would only make a small difference to add patch pockets, given the cut. I wouldn’t recommend it.
A perfect suit. Also very inspiring with dark green linen.
I find the jacket lapels a touch too wide for a two-button jacket, and the trouser turn-ups too long; I’m not sure why you would need them with such a slim trouser.
This sounds dreadfully nitpicking, and I certainly wouldn’t criticise the cut of the suit, it’s just not my style.
No worries at all Nick, these opinions are always very welcome. And such nitpicking is a lot of what finding your style in a suit is about
I like Neapolitan cut suits and this is the exact opposite. Roped shoulders, bellied lapels, closed front quarters and a longer jacket are the things I would never have done today. If a linen suit is supposed to be more casual this fails on all counts
i have only recently come across your website, but i have some knowledge but still have learned a lot of helpful things and expanded my knowledge.
First of all: I am really jealous that you are in the situation to be able to afford so many savile row suits! Good for you!
Getting one is a major point on my bucket list i’ll hope to achieve some day. At the moment this is not quite my price range, but i am working on that ;).
First of all: I am really jealous that you are in the situation to be able to afford so many savile row suits!
getting one is a major point on my bucket list i’ll hope to achieve some day.
I am a lawyer by profession and wear suits every day to work. Currently I am wearing MTM suits, which are very neapolitan (full canvas, no padding, soft shoulder, side tabs) and cost about 1000 € per piece.I own 8 pieces. For my everyday office life I consider this as sufficient. I am a big fan of the Loro Piana Four Seasons 130s. What do you think about this fabric or Loro Piana in general? What is your favorite manufacturer? H. Lesser, Minnis, Scabal? How do you think Loro Piana compares to these manufacturers?
My sister is getting married next year and I’m actually thinking about going full bespoke. My fear: I think the suit is so good that I don’t want anything else after that 😀 (i experienced that with getting MTM Shirts). Do you think it would be wrong to wear such an expensive suit (i am based in hamburg and would probably pay around 2500-3300 €) more often than on special occasions or even every day?
I will give myself 2 pairs of bespoke shoes for christmas. They’re around 1800 €. a lot of money for a pair of shoes. question again: would you rather wear them every day to get more of them or only on special occasions to make them last forever? I am also afraid i won’t go back to RTW shoes after that.
Best regards from Germany (Hamburg)
So pleased you’ve found the site helpful.
On mills, most of the time there isn’t that much difference between them, but Loro Piana is often an exception. I haven’t worn that fabric, but Loro Piana in general are exceptional. Very expensive, but very good. There’s more on cloth in our Guide to Cloth if you’re interested.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing such an expensive suit regularly, no. It will feel special every time you wear it.
I would be a little more unsure about bespoke shoes. In my experience, there is a lot more consistency in bespoke tailoring. I’m still happy wearing RTW shoes. I would suggest trying top-end RTW first, if you haven’t already. And only buy one pair at a time. The second will fit better than the first.
But don’t worry about wearing those. Good shoes are designed to last decades, if looked after well.
This is one of my favourites you’ve covered. Mr Taube has continually proven himself to be one of the most talented tailors in the world.
I’m not a fan of the high buttoning point, but this suit still looks good on you. I’m partial to a lower buttoning point that emphasises the chest rather than a higher one that emphasises the skirt. This higher buttoning point has been trendy for the last 15 years or so, but not all London tailors cut this way. Have you found most tailors to be flexible regarding the buttoning point? I’ve had the button lowered an inch at a first fitting without putting the tailor through too much trouble, though I suppose that if it were lowered any more would require a recut at that point.
I’m also curious to notice which tailors line up the bottom button with the hip pocket jet and which line it up with the middle of the flap. I see most tailors these days line it up with the jet.
Most tailors are flexible with the buttoning point, yes, but an inch is quite a lot and most would not do more than that. As you say, it would be a fairly big change to the overall proportions.
Almost every tailor I’ve seen lines up the bottom button with the jet of the pocket.
My question is going to be a general one. I’m wondering, who really wears stylish, bespoke suits these days? By “stylish”, I mean suits with certain pronounced stylistic elements, whether British or Neapolitan, or any other. I’m sure there are some businessmen or politicians who commission bespoke suits, but if they do, they commission them in rather generic, stylistically restrained cuts. The vast majority of (wealthy) regular suit-wearers, obviously, either buy ready-to-wear designer brand suits at upscale stores, or use MTM services. I, personally, have never seen anyone wear a suit that had certain pronounced elements of a famous bespoke house. So, I’m wondering, who exactly commissions such suits, and has it now become just a hobby for a select group of people who are interested in “menswear”? Actually, now that I’ve written this, I realized I can name a few members of the European royalty (mostly British), who appear in bespoke suits. But that’s about it. Will be glad to hear your response, Simon. Thank You!
I think it’s been a tiny minority that have bought bespoke suits for years now, whether stylised or not. And I’d also say that most bespoke suits are not that obviously stylised either, so it’s always been a small part of even that market.
I do think it will be a trend in the coming years though, that suits will become more something for events and going out, rather than business, and that this will help more unusual or stylised suit choices.
Interesting. Thank you for the reply! Yes, I guess politicians and lawyers will continue dressing in corporate “uniform”, but there are going to be people, appearing in more visually interesting bespoke suits at various upscale events.
I agree about the buttoning point (and the trousers are a little slim for me), but an otherwise beautiful suit. The longer jacket it to be is to commended – it is SO much more flattering than the shorter variety.
Hi Simon, I was last at G&S a couple of years ago and they were making a big thing about how there was no house style any more as Davide wanted to move away from that. They showed me a jacket with a soft Neapolitan shoulder and I must say I’ve been tempted given the hassle of meeting up with travelling artisans, particularly this year. I wondered whether you had a view on whether it would be a bit of a risk going to G&H for something like this (I’m thinking of a summer odd jacket in similar style to your Ciardi gun club, but in navy hopsack or very lightweight cashmere)? Or it it better just to make the effort and work with a Neapolitan like Ciardi if/when they’re in London?
There’s certainly less of a house style in terms of structure and shoulder line etc. But for me, the cut is still similar to an English one and this keeps it fairly formal. If you like the style, go for it, but you are not getting a Neapolitan style, just one element of it.
I’ve always thought of linen suits as being fairly unstructured and informal. So it’s interesting to see linen used in a more traditional style.
Do you have any posts on roping of the shoulders and other features that make jackets more or less formal in style?
Apologies if I should have found this on your informative site myself.
There’s nothing specifically on roping, but the relative formality of styles is covered frequently. I suggest reading the first few articles in the Guide to Tailor Styles series (Guides section, in the menu)
Great fitting. I’m a natural shoulder guy. At is for over 40 years. Polo(before he was really big), Norman Hilton, Oxxford, etc. Don’t like the shoulder. But that is personal taste.
This is just glorious isn’t it?!
Hey Simon, I can’t seem to find a good place to ask this so I figured I might as well just do it wherever.
I’m interested in getting my first bespoke suit, as I love tailoring but from a lifetime of high level sports have a difficult physique to fit. My typical stuff is MTM by Spier & Mackay in Toronto, but I would really like to upgrade to bespoke after saving some money for it. Do you know of any good bespoke tailors in Toronto? All the websites I’ve looked through show off gimmicky suits, a bad sense of proportion, often Tom Ford esque tightness and shortness, etc etc. I love Ivy League style the most (Perhaps reflecting my life as an academic), but also enjoy classic English tailoring and, of course, the ever popular Italian styles. I’m not so fussed about style so long as the tailor is good, if I’m being honest.
Should you have any recommendations, please let me know. And should you ever have the time, means, or knowledge I’d love a city guide for Toronto. Sometimes I feel Canada is a little barren for great clothes compared to other countries, other than Himel Bros. and a few other outliers.
Thank you for your time.
I’m afraid I don’t have recommendations for Toronto, no. I’ve been a few times, and I’m afraid there just isn’t much. There was Leatherfoot, but that closed, and they brought in a tailor called Sr Francesco, though also increased the prices a lot. I don’t know if he’s still around, the quality seemed quite good – Italian though.
It’s not just Toronto, though, it’s all of North America. There just isn’t much classic craft like this. New York is the best and even that has little apart from European visitors. I think you’ll be best visiting there – at least you’re not far away compared to some.
That’s sort of what I’ve figured out over time. Thanks for getting back to me so promptly. I think I’ll just focusing on rounding out other areas of my wardrobe for now, especially as I’m young and don’t, strictly speaking, have any particular need for a bespoke suit quite yet. I have access to good British shoes (Loake, Tricker’s, Cheaney) and still need to pick up some essential shoes (Black oxfords being a notable omission) so will perhaps aim my big purchases over the next year at rounding out what I can.
The tragedy is that I was supposed to be working in Beijing, if not for the virus, and was planning to use the trunk shows that stop by Brio to finally get a great bespoke suit. While others find MTM and RTW worsted suits good, I find that fit is so important on finer garments like worsteds that my difficult proportions (42 inch chest, 31 inch waist) make it almost impossible to find a business suit that doesn’t look totally silly on me. Sports coats and odd trousers are much easier, in my experience.
Thanks for helping myself and so many others out in becoming more style literate! It really makes a big difference personally and professionally.
No problem at all Francis, very pleased I could help.
I love this on you. Such a great example of how bespoke can be superior to RTW/MTM: more ‘3 dimensional’ and spacious. I generally don’t like roped shoulders, but this is the first suit I’ve seen where the roping integrates with the general structure rather than appearing as an affectation.
Another great post Gieves and Hawkes one of my favourite suit makers on Savile Row, superb quality which you pay for what you get, Great post.
I happened to catch an episode of The Great British Sewing Bee the other night and thought Patrick Grant looked very stylish. Have Norton and Sons featured in your Savile Row commissions at any point Simon? Or have you otherwise got any opinion or insight regarding their work? Many thanks
They haven’t, Peter, largely because they just haven’t been doing anything that was different enough to make them worth featuring (nothing wrong with being a solid tailor in a particular mould, but it’s harder to make a case for covering them).
They have also gone through some ups and downs as a business and in terms of tailors there
Could you recommend an Irish linen cloth for a summer suit in true navy blue (i.e. a dark navy blue)? A lot of the italian makers, like cacciopoli or canonico, have navy blues that are in too light of a shade of the color, at least for my taste. I have not found a nice dark navy in a sufficiently heavy irish linen for a suit. In searching on this site I would find recommendation for a brown, tobacco, or the green, but not navy. Thanks!
I would look at the bunches of W Bill, Brisbane Moss, Holland & Sherry and any other British mill that offers Irish linen. If you can’t find a dark enough navy there, try and find someone that can source from Spence Bryson (Ulster Weavers), which is the mill those others mostly source from. They might have a wider range