Who are my favourite tailors? (Part two)

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Please read part one of this article, here, before this one. Without that context, setting out my priorities, this summary will likely be misleading. Everyone is different, wants different things from bespoke, and simply gets on with people differently. 

Assuming you’ve read and digested it, here are the bespoke tailors I prefer after 15 years of trying around 60

It’s a short list, but I don’t think people benefit from having that many - it removes too many of the pleasurable aspects of tailoring. 

If you would like feedback on others - perhaps because you live in a different country and are picking from a different group - please let me know in the comments and I’ll help any way I can. 

Also remember there is a breakdown of the styles of 25 major tailors in this Guide, with photos and measurements. There is also a list of all the tailors I have reviewed, with links to those reviews, here

Soft, casual style: Sartoria Ciardi, The Anthology

Most of the time, the tailoring I wear is Neapolitan in style: soft chest, soft shoulder, open and rounded shape. It can be smart, but it’s the only style I like with jeans and chinos. 

Neapolitans are not always the most reliable, and sometimes the level of finish isn’t great. Some also tend towards a close fit and a short length. Sartoria Ciardi, however, has been uniformly excellent for me, with a great fit every time and a naturally roomier cut.

The finishing is good for Neapolitan, they visit London frequently enough and I get on well with Enzo. His English isn’t perfect, but a colleague he now brings with him is fluent. 

The Anthology’s cut is slightly different from Ciardi, with some Florentine influences meaning the shoulder is more extended and the fronts more open. But it fits the same function. 

English, smart style: Steven Hitchcock, WW Chan

Although Neapolitan style can be smart, there is always something sharper and more elegant about English tailoring, and I adore it. If I can, I would always want that style in my wardrobe - to be worn smartly, with smart trousers. 

Among English cuts, the one I’ve found I prefer is the ‘drape’ style. But I must emphasise that a big part of this is what flatters my body, plus a subjective preference for the look. Not everyone wants to make sloped shoulders even more so.  

The drape-style tailor I’ve had the best consistent experience with is Steven Hitchcock. It’s a narrow thing, as I also like Anderson & Sheppard and highly rate Whitcomb & Shaftesbury. In the end the difference is tiny points of style and of relationship - even stupid things like I’ve had more made with Steven, so I've been able to dial in fit and style. 

I also add WW Chan to this section because, while not English, their cut is slightly smarter and the product is very well executed. They deserve a higher profile. The biggest downside is access, as they only visit London twice a year. 

Structured, stylised: Michael Browne, Edward Sexton 

Most people would be fine with just one of those categories above, and with just one tailor within it. If I were starting again - and if writing about menswear were not my job - I would only stray outside of them in order to wear a different, unique style. 

Two clear examples of that are Michael Browne and Edward Sexton. My top coat from Michael feels different to any other coat I’ve had made, or indeed worn at all; my double-breasted suit from Edward is dramatic, storied and made to be noticed.

I’d suggest someone else might like to use one of these to make a tuxedo, or another piece of evening wear where a statement is less unusual. 

Trousers: Whitcomb & Shaftesbury

Again it’s a tiny difference, but Whitcomb & Shaftesbury have made the best-fitting trousers I’ve had. Their offshore service makes bespoke more justifiable, and given I wear trousers just with knitwear so much these days, it seems reasonable to use one tailor for them. 

Whitcomb are also a great team, and they’re very accessible. Visiting tailors lose out in terms of access and I prefer the neat, fine English finishing these days to any fussiness of double-buttoned waistbands or lapped seams (again, as detailed in part one).

Does this mean I’m only going to use three or four tailors going forward? No.

Most obviously, covering bespoke is my job so I will cover new tailors that readers might be interested in, and ones that fit different criteria to mine (such as style, access or budget). In the coming months that will include Paolo Martorano, Assisi and Fred Nieddu, for example. 

There is also a case for covering new styles from existing tailors. Readers have asked about the double-breasted cut from The Anthology and from Whitcomb, for instance. 

More subtly, there are some tailors with whom I’ve built a great relationship over the years, and would probably want to continue to use. They include Pirozzi, who would be a strong challenger for Ciardi had I not used the latter so much, and Nicoletta Caraceni, whose biggest issue is access (she doesn’t travel). Lorenzo Cifonelli too, who uses denim and suede like no one else.

If I was advising a reader, I might suggest they could use one of these as an indulgence, after years of establishing a working wardrobe. A Cifonelli denim DB or a Liverano ulster as a birthday present, perhaps, fully aware of the disadvantages of using a tailor as a one-off.

Comparing bespoke tailors is unfortunately not a one-dimensional or entirely objective process, easy as that would be.

But all the tailors mentioned here have made me a great-fitting suit or jacket, as they said they would, when they said they would. That’s really what most readers want when they ask who I recommend, and it's what I attempt to set out in the PS reviews. 

It’s when you pick between the various tailors that things get more personal. Hopefully this two-part explanation of my particular preferences helps others make their own decisions. 

Do let me know who your favourite tailors are, on what criteria, in the comments below. Especially if you've been doing this for several years and have lessons to pass onto everyone else.

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Lindsay McKee

Hi Simon!
Here’s the first comment.
As you and other readers may know,
My first foray into bespoke, as I’ve already said before is with Steed bespoke. Navy single breasted jacket and grey flat front Whipcord trousers. Thurston braces.
If I were to venture elsewhere to other tailors, my shortlist would probably be:-
Steven Hitchcock – Jackets
Anderson & Shepherd – Double Breasted Overcoat
Whitcomb & Shaftsbury – Spare trousers.
I don’t feel quite ready for an ‘Italian Job’ just yet. Needs to be a looser Italian fit, not close…any suggestions here?

Probably my next commission would be blue trousers in matching cloth to my jacket from Steed, making a suit. Seems a natural progression. Next, maybe a pair of grey flannels or fresco (high twist) trousers from Whitcomb & Shaftsbury or a Navy or Grey Herringbone double breasted coat with velvet collar… top or overcoat ( advice here!!!) ….from Anderson & Shepherd.
I don’t intend to rush into a next commission yet…my advice..get used to the fit of your first commission before venturing elsewhere.
Comments welcomed!!!

Tim

can vouch for both of these. Zizolfi is also very consistent and his son is heavily involved who speaks good english and is very responsive to emails and texts.

Man in black

how were steed?

Lindsay McKee

To Man In Black.
Very good. I’m about to have my forward fitting, all being well on 31st January.
Steed Bespoke are very easy to work with.
I was measured by Edwin and his son Matthew assisting. They are based in Carlisle but come to London too.
We’ll see crucially how the jacket fits but the trousers need no more adjustment and fit perfectly. So far, so good.
Check out their Web page!!

Mark Angela

I have used Steed on many occasions. I would rank them consistently higher in terms of quality and craftsmanship than my experiences with Hitchcock or A&S.
Hope this is helpful.

SC

I’m a bit surprised at the inclusion of WW Chan given the relative lack of access only twice per year and that you’ve only had one commission AFAIK, so the consistency hasn’t been experienced yet.

Jan

I can confirm that WW Chan is excellent. Extremely neat and accurate and a beautiful cut if you like something versatile and not overly dramatic. I tried semi-bespoke from Prologue three time but issues with consistency – they were experimenting with their house style and I ended up with two jackets that I don’t wear at all (one is nice, the first one I had made NB). Having moved back to Europe I am going to give A&S a go. Midnight blue double breasted as an alternative to black tie probably. Can’t wait

LM

Hi Simon, loved your article series on favorite tailors. I was just wondering what might be the reason for the absence of the more traditional row firms like Huntsman, Henry Poole or Dege (although you do mention A&S). Does this have to do with your specific taste or would you think that developing a relationship with tailors of these houses is more difficult due to the sheer volume of costumers they attract?

Keep up the great work!

LM

Makes sense, thanks!

Peter Hall

Looking forward to the work with Fred Nieddu. He is a tailor with a great abilities in design-something I’m increasingly drawn to.

He manages to fuse lots of ideas but still be in the British tradition.

SamS

I’ve only used Cad&the Dandy, through their Swedish sister-company (Götrich&Co). While some people turn their nose up at the idea of both off-shore bespoke and economics of scale in tailoring (the small, in-house production does evoke a sense of nostalgia), the results have been excellent. Of course, the price is a major benefit, as it’s usually not much more expensive to have bespoke tailoring made this way than it is to buy decent off-the-rack tailoring and have a skilled alterations tailor adjust it. The customer service has been mindblowingly good in Sweden; the times there have been issues they have gone out of their way to fix the problem.

Cad may not have quite as distinctive a style as some other houses, for better and worse, and they’ve made me both casual, lightly constructed tweed jackets and more formal suits. To me, this has been a huge boon as they’ve been able to move with me as I moved from an idea of wearing double breasted suits and ties daily, to a more realistic style of casual jackets, tailored trousers and quality knitwear. It also allowed me to explore a few different styles while maintaining the benefits of a tailor who knew my measurements and got better at advising me on what would work with the rest of my wardrobe. Since buying off-the-rack is almost impossible for me, having access to relatively affordable tailoring has been a (style)game changer.

I do dream about having Sexton make me something one day, though. While the style is almost the opposite of what I wear today, there’s something about the formality and extravagance of the cut that still speaks to me. But thus far, it hasn’t spoken quite loud enough to silence that little voice that asks “When would you actually WEAR this?”

Andrew Poupart

You should ignore that little voice. Once you put on a Sexton coat, the answer is clear: as often as possible. I have a single-breasted navy jacket (as close as I will get to a navy blazer) by Sexton and it is an incredible garment. And I have a ivory flannel DB that is just amazing.

SamS

I think if I would do it, I would make it an overcoat. Maybe a double breasted in a bold pattern; might as well embrace the dramatic cut!

Andy

I AGREE CAD AND THE DANDY ARE AMAZING THEIR SHIRTS FIT LIKE MADE TO MEASURE SHIRTS FOR.ME ALTHOUGH I ONLY BUY RTW. Lovely style!!!!

Amit

Hello Simon. Blessed New Year 2023 to you, your family and PS Team!

I’ve mentioned this to you in my past comments that’s it’s an irony that we don’t have the Tailoring Clothing culture here in India. The way Tailoring is mentioned or spoken here is in the context of Coat & Pant, and that is that. Everyone around and generally has that in their minds when they’re approaching a Tailor to get a Suit made for themselves, including the Tailor himself. Also the biggest problems adding on the woe’s of the customers are – big retail stores like ‘Raymond’s’ – they have their Tailors sitting in a factory in a different city, the fitting and trials are done In-Store with the Sales-Rep. and sent back to the Tailors for adjustments, that’s very disappointing as an customer because you don’t have of know who is doing this job for you, leave alone getting to know them or build an relationship with them.

AAKG

Hi Amit,

Well said about the scenario in India. One other thing I would mention is that my experience of the quality of fabric from Raymond’s has left a lot to desire – either it has come down or it was always not that good but I am late in recognising the quality.

Also, I would like to mention that after living in the Western Europe for last 13 years or so, most people here as well don’t go for tailoring even MTM – forget bespoke tailoring – I personally don’t know anybody who goes for PA quality bespoke.

Robin

You missed out shirts.
I’m assuming it’ll be Luca Avitable and / or Simone Abbarchi ?
Also , I’m thinking of getting a long coat made .My preference would be a polo coat.
Would be good to get a quick top 3 of who you would choose in the UK .

Lindsay McKee

And shoes!!!
Lindsay

JB

I agree a run down of tailors for coats would be very interesting, assuming it wouldn’t be the same list.

Nick

Hello Simon, a great series of articles, especially part 1. My choice of tailor 20 years ago was restricted due to geography (not much choice in Australia) but my experience leads me to believe there are two main criteria guys should consider: style (i.e. “house cut”) and relationship.
If the tailor cuts a style you like it’s hard to go wrong (and if they don’t, there will be tears). Having a long term relationship means the pattern is perfected, they know what you like (and don’t – and what’s already in your wardrobe) and makes the process so much more enjoyable, which I actually think is one of the major benefits of bespoke; a visit to the tailor is something I always look forward to.
Cheers,
Nick.

Tim

Hello Nick, are you still in Australia? Who do you currently use for your jackets?

Nick

Hello Tim, I still go to Terry Gasson in Adelaide (although I now live in Sydney). Unfortunately Terry is no longer with us – his offsider Barbara took over the business a couple of years back.

Jtkuga

I think the big surprise on the list for me is Chan. You spoke highly of them when you did a review of your commission, but, at least from my recollection, infrequently. My experience with tailors has been mixed. I like the cut but then the fit has been off. Another fits me good to his style but it is too modern, short jacket, and tighter than I like. Chan traditionally comes to Dallas and I haven’t checked recently but they had stopped their overseas travels for a while but I may give them a shot!

Il Pennacchio

Access means that I find myself returning to J Mueser and Sartoria Gallo, whose US cutter Eric Jensen is based out of New York.
Gallo is unequivocally Roman, though it’s possible to request a Neapolitan spalla camicia shoulder or Florentine side darts.
Mueser’s style, on the other hand, is much more flexible, if you choose their benchmade option.
I’ve considered commissioning something in an English style from Thom Sweeney, which has a New York location, but have yet to pull the trigger.
Leonard Logsdail and Paolo Martorano are, unfortunately, out of my price bracket.

Mac

Hi Simon
You’ve had a lot of jackets made by Caliendo. What aspect of his style ( if this is the case) made him fall out of favour?

Mac

Hi Simon
Yes very true on the fit and price but he does deliver in terms of consistency. I’ve tried Ettore and Pirozzi and impressed with both but especially Domenico Pirozzi.

Rune

Hi Simon,
I enjoyed a fun little competition with myself and tried to guess which you would mention and I got a few right, but most wrong. I am not surprised by your mention of Ciardi however and I think your points on body type vs style is interesting.
One thing I would have loved to see you comment on as a category would be evening or formal wear. You mentioned Edward Sexton briefly, but having read your books and articles for a few years I know you have tried multiple different styles and tailors, both british and abroad.
Would you favor a loose or drape cut for a dinner jacket as well and does things like finishing matter more to you on those occasions?

Thanks,
Rune

Phil

I second that. More in depth articles on evening wear in general would be really interesting. 

Sussman

You say Whitcomb & Shaftesbury made you the best fitting trousers so far.

Could you elaborate on the ‘delta’ in terms of fit between their trousers and the other tailors on the list?

Have you considered brining those trousers to fittings with other tailors? Especially since it is less clear that tailors have strong house styles when it comes to trousers?

Thanks!

Julian

Excellent two-part article, Simon! Particularly for the nod to readers like me who reside in Asia and travel only occasionally to the UK and Europe.

As a further guide, would you have the recent starting price points for sportscoats from Ciardi and Anthology, and suits from WW Chan?

Many thanks!

Mike

Hi Simon!
This two-part series has been great.
Another benefit (coincidentally) is that many of those mentioned also travel to the USA. I believe both Whitcomb and Shaftsbury as well as The Anthology have New York City visits on the books, right now.
While the USA is obviously a big country outside of NYC, it’s certainly closer than flying overseas, if one has the means.
Cheers!

Dan

Not really. I live in the south, and having to fly to nyc is not what I call accessible. That’s a big reason why I font do bespoke much and the price.

Nigel

I’ve had jackets from both WW Chan and the Anthology (I’m lucky that my office is only 5 minutes from both). The Anthology is obviously more casual but I’ve had Chan jackets in a more casual makeup (shirt sleeve shoulder, patch pockets, minimal shoulder padding). Would you say their style is still too smart to wear with jeans, for example? In many ways I like the extra structure, perhaps because it’s what I think a bespoke jacket should feel like!

Joe

Hi Simon,
I am one of the people that has not only taken the wonderful advice on your blog over the past 3 – 4 years and invested it into building a solid wardrobe of clothes now, the basics of which I expect to clothe me for some time. 
I stuck largely to your advice in finding a tailor that suited my needs and style and sticking with one or two tailors. And Elia Caliendo, for me, has been perfect for the “business casual” type of clothing that I needed. However there was a gap in terms of casual clothing that I wanted to bridge: I wanted to have the same pleasure and fit in wearing a pair of chinos or a pair of jeans, that I got from wearing some of the custom made trousers, jackets and coats that Elia has made for me.
It was in the comments section of one of the Jeans articles on PS where one of the readers mentioned the Dutch tailor Paul Kruize (paulkruize.com). He specialises in casual clothing:  jeans, chino’s, worker jackets and shirts.  I have had a number of each of these pieces made by him, and I must admit, I am delighted with what he has done for me.  
The reason why I think you (and possibly your readers) may find his offering interesting is because he provides a single one-stop solution for some of the core items that constitute a casual wardrobe.   I hope this is of some use to your readers. 

Michael

Caliendo not on the list despite frequent travels, English communication. Interesting.

Andrew Poupart

That’s a good list, Simon,and I think you made an important point about finding what works for you, the individual. I sometimes say that if were starting over I would simply go to Edward Sexton and give him all my money and I think I’d leave happy. But I make do and treasure the couple of jackets by him that I do have as they are so different from anything else I have in my wardrobe. Putting on an Edward Sexton jacket just makes me feel good.
My favorite tailor is quite clearly the company now known as Divij Bespoke, from Costa Mesa, California. They make in Hong kong, which keeps their prices down, but does not, as far as I can tell, compromise quality or finish. Long ago, they nailed my fit, especially for a double breasted configuration and I find I just use them again and again because I know exactly what I will get.
I’ve used Steed, especially early on in my journey. Steven Hitchcock makes beautiful clothes, too, and I especially like the trousers he makes. I’ve had a couple of things made by Cad & The Dandy with which I’ve been pleased. I have a Covid-delayed jacket almost finished with Caroline Andrew, who is simply a delight to work with. Caroline has made several pieces for my wife. And I just started a project with Angel Ramos, in New York, about which I am very excited.
So, if I were to select two, today, it would be Divij Bespoke and Sexton. I’ve never tried an Italian tailor and likely never will. It’s not a style that I think would work for me.
It was good to see you at Harry’s Bar last week. I hope to get the chance to chat with you a bit more next time.
Andy

Chris Jones

Hi Andy
I did give Edward Sexton all my money !!! I’m currently on suit or jacket number eleven. One through eight were all great but, for some unknown reason, they have changed the shoulders on numbers nine, ten and eleven. They managed to rescue one but are taking a considerable amount of time on the other two without being able to tell me why they did it or how they are going to put it right. I love the Sexton cut but I’m beginning to regret having so many made there. Perhaps I should have quit while I was ahead, familiarity breeding contempt and all that. I won’t have any more made there but I am thinking of trying Kimberley Lawton (Lawton Ltd) later this year.
Best
Chris

Ollie E.

Hey Chris,

Have you considered C&M?

I started with chittleborough a few years back, tried Sexton last year & found the attention to detail was better at the latter (can only chime in on my experience – it may be different for others).

JB

Hi Andy,
I would assume the Angel’s upcoming piece would be closer to an Italian cut than your other stuff at least? Or does he offer structured pieces as well?

Caleb C,

Simon,
As I imagine I am not the only reader that enjoys your site because they do not live in a place with a menswear culture to draw from, how would your outlook or recommendations change if “access” were essentially zero?
(From all of us who live outside large cities, thank you for the constant insight!)

Peter K

I also live in a city with few bespoke tailors. The ones I know of are either a glorified MTM with a flashy style or a true bespoke tailor with a rather formal style.

Standard RTW size 38 fits me quite well so I tend to buy ready made jackets and suits. It takes patience to find the right thing though as RTW can change so much from season to season and local shops usually carry just a small selection of the better RTW makers.

Matt L

Hi Simon,
You say that W&S make the best fitting trousers you’ve ever had, does that mean your preference for complete suits is to get only jackets from the other tailors and get all the matching trousers from W&S? Or is W&S here just for odd-trousers? I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but it’s the first thing that sprang into my mind when you called W&S trousers the best.

Andrew

Hi Simon, my favorite and only tailor is Nicoletta Caraceni for the reasons mentioned in my comment to Monday’s post.

I do agree that in an ideal world it would be nice if she travelled, but I find accessibility less of an issue now that I have a fairly sizeable wardrobe. I have enough suits and jackets that no commission is ever urgent and I go to Milan on business a few times a year, which is frequent enough to avoid that commissions drag on unfinished for too long. I am also in regular communication with her on WhatsApp regarding ideas for new commissions and other matters, so we interact much more than we would if I only visited Milan a few times a year.

On the other hand, I find that I often make the best discoveries by rooting through her shelves of vintage fabrics. That experience is not possible to replicate for travelling tailors.

Given my circumstances, Caraceni’s relative lack of accessibility isn’t that much of an issue. But, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone choosing a tailor that they need to make a dedicated long-distance or foreign trip to see if there is a viable local or regional alternative. I can see that this would quickly become too difficult to manage and lead to an unhappy customer.

Thomas Mastronardi

Bravo Simon. Simply excellent.

Sinclair

No love for Terry Haste?

Georgios

My favorite article of this year till now since your experience is given to us and will for sure help people to decide the direction they want to follow on bespoke. I must try anthology or ciardi since i almost always dont wear a jacket but something so casual could possibly work. By the eay what do you think of the anthology field jacket ? Im looking for something casual for everyday use but id preffer something with less pockets maybe..

Mac

Hi Simon

You’ve also had coats and a number of suits made by Ettore. What are your pros and cons with regards to his tailoring?

José

Hi Simon,
Great couple of articles! I think this was a great answer to a very tricky question. The question “Who is the best (insert profession)” doesn’t mean anything.The one we should ask when we want to know the opinion of someone is “Who is your favorite (insert profession)”. This applies to everything really, but “10 best” or “50 best” or “100 best” lists are made very often, which annoys me.
Just want to add one suggestion to the ones made by fellow readers, which is to cover the Steven Hitchcock DB. I’m not sure if it was covered yet, if it was nevermind. Very excited to see both the Anthology DB, and Fred Nieddu.

Trickeq

Nice list, Simon. I was under the impression that WW Chan does not offer fittings on their overseas tours (and simply straight finishes). Is that incorrect?

N

Before I read this I expected
Cifonelli and S Hitchcock/A&S to make the list (if I remember your A&S suits were cut by his father.) good to know my diligent reading was at least somewhat rewarded.

The Neapolitan selection was interesting to me given how many fruitful relationships you’ve had with a variety of Neapolitan tailors (Solito, Caliendo, Panico among others).

Anyways thanks for the good work and the delightful posts

GG

I have mine dialed down to two: Kotaro-san of Sartoria Corcos and Steed Tailors.

I wear jeans more with jackets made by Corcos.

FS

Simon, I know you have recently done some commissions with J Mueser and I’m looking forward to seeing the results covered here. Taking cues from your introductory article in this series, New York is accessible to me, the price point is reasonable, it’s an operation that should be around for a while, and Mueser’s house style—which would not have appealed to me 5 years ago when I was wearing a suit every day in a formal business setting—is very much in line with the way my style has evolved through Covid times. As always, your insights will be instructive for me. For reference, this would be my first foray into bespoke after a decade of being left relatively cold by MTM.

FS

Yes, thanks, it was helpful. But I was under the impression that you had subsequently ordered something bespoke from them.

Jan

Hi Simon, how about Suzuki in Paris as a pick for a subtly unusual style for a work suit, e.g. the suit you commissioned in grey flannel? I have to say I really loved that suit on you. (But this may partially be driven by how you styled it – the photos on the website also have quite a few garments that on a mannequin did not look that stylish to me.) fit, finish, reliability seem to have been there nicely. it would also still be at a reasonable price point (for me) whereas Camps would be more than I could justify for a piece of clothing.

Mark Angela

Simon you should try Steed. They often get a mention on your site, and for my money Edwin is ahead of Steven in both technique and quality.

It would be interesting to see if you agree.

Lindsay McKee

Very reassuring.
This is my first bespoke tailor and will be getting my forward fitting on 31st January.
Many thanks
Lindsay

Gustav

Thank you for a great article Simon! I’m not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I’ll give it a try.

I would like to commission my first bespoke suit since I’m living close to Naples right now and for the coming 5 months. I really like the Neapolitan style but would like to avoid the very slim and short jackets (and trousers) I’ve been seeing a lot here. Which tailor would you recommend for a first timer, preferably one that doesn’t break the bank completely.

Thank you in advance and sorry if this is the wrong forum for this type of question.

Gustav

Thank you for your answer! I have seen your pieces from Ciardi and they all look great I think! What kind of fabric would you suggest if I’m looking a for a suit that’s useful in most situations, not to formal that is. I don’t work in an office where people wear suits, or even jackets for that matter. Preferably I would like a suit that can be broken up so I could where the jacket with denim and the trousers with knitting for example. Am I asking to much? 🙂

Lots a questions, but as a complete novice when it comes to bespoke I take all the help I can get.

All the best
Gustav

Gustav

Thanks for your reply! I’m not a huge fan of corduroy and was thinking that a wool suit might be more versatile. Maybe in a darker shade of brown or green. Good or bad idea?

Gustav

Thank you for all your help! I will certainly let you know if and when I find a suitable option

Hello!

Thanks for this useful list. By starting a paragraph with the generalization, “Neapolitans are not always the most reliable…” you may, however inadvertently, be reinforcing racist and nationalistic stereotypes about Italians, especially those of the South. I work with a company founded by Neapolitans and they have been the most reliable, accountable, and professional partners I’ve ever dealt with. To prevent confusion or hopefully unintentionally reinforcing stereotypes, you may want to rephrase more specifically, to clarify that the specific Neapolitan tailors have not provided services as you had hoped or expected in specific ways, either through delay, miscommunication, or other particulars. Thank you for listening and for perhaps editing the sentence in question!

Teddy

Few comments for any new-ish readers as I’m sure this article will garner quite a bit of attention.

1. WW Chan, while fantastic, is best for those with previous experience. They execute very well but are not so strong on the style aspect (as are many tailors)

2. Find 1 -2 tailors you like within your price range and stick with them. Your first commission won’t be your best. While I love Camps de Luca, I have yet to find a grift or marry into royalty. Open to suggestions.

Question for the crowd as I don’t want to get Simon chased out of Pitti.. does anyone know why Roman or Florentine tailoring doesn’t feature more? Too similar to its neighbors perhaps? It’s rare to see a write-up on either. Anyone with experience?

Thanks for another great read Simon!

H

A very daring article.
In your book “The Finest Menswear in the World” you list Cifonelli as the best suit and Anderson & Shepard as the best sports jacket. Of course “the best” is not necessarily what you personally prefer. There are many other aspects as you wrote in part one.
But Cifonelli reduced to a denim & suede tailor? 😉

H

Of course your book and your list here are two completely different things. I only wanted to tease you a little bit.
As a hobby “tailor” I see Cifonellis workmanship and creativity as a goal (which I’ll never reach, but I need a goal..).

H

This is a silk buttonhole of a South Asian style waistcoat I’ve designed and sewn recently. The buttonhole isn’t perfect but at least they get better the more buttonholes I make.

The tweed looks pale green in reality, not like on the picture.

buttonhole.jpg
Hinke

Hi,
looking at the list the anthology have a great looking jacket for sale
Wool Tweed Sport Jacket – Grey Herringbone — The Anthology
and my question is would that be something to go for? Because of distances bespoke is not accessible, mtm is but not at a great level.

JerryShao

 I have never been abroad. I worked with some young tailors in Taiwan. Sinfonia Taiwan. The Anthology Taipei and MSMingshine, all were influenced by the Florentine and Neapolitan style, made some beatiful jacket in the casual style for me. I’m willing to working with Atelier Villapizzone who were trained in Milan to make a smarter suit or jacket for me.

NeiavLr.jpeg
YIXIANG

Thanks Simon, you help me to find my own style a lot.

YIXIANG

I really like your suit,especially the ones in british drape cut. But I haven’t find a tailor who can make one in that style in my country. A little be sad,honestly.

Il Pennacchio

Hi Jerry,
Can I ask you about your experience with Villapizzone? I’m curious because it’s difficult to find Milanese tailoring (compared to Neapolitan tailoring or English tailoring).

YIXIANG

Smater style than Neapolitan tailoring. Slighty padded soulder.One of the best handwork tailoring in my country. Special peak lapel style beacause he was trained in Yuki Inoue Milano.

H

I had a look at your picture in full size. That outfit looks great in every detail. Effortlessly elegant, stylish and easy-going.
How did you upload that picture?

YIXIANG

When you put a comment , there is a option to attach an image to this comment on the right side.

Alex

Out of interest Simon, have you received any feedback from other tailors you’ve worked with who didn’t make your personal favourites following this article?

J.

I think the last 3 paragraphs in part 2 summarise and give good and the appropriate context to both parts of your article. With this in mind – my go-to tailors are Ciardi and Cifonelli for suits, coats, overcoats and Cerrato for trousers only. All of them well tested with various styles, fabrics and cuts through the last 8 years, and they have been delivering impeccable and very consistent garments. I have commissioned a few jackets from Vincent Cuomo, also Neapolitan and travelling with Cerrato in London, which I am very happy with – but not thoroughly tested for me to give definite opinion yet.

S

Simon,

A bit of topic, but do you know how John Kent’s doing? I know he’s not been well, so I’ve had a fitting delayed for a while.

S

John

Simon – I fear that your inclusion of WW Chan may in time prove to be premature and impulsive. A bit like when you declared Kiton shirts to be the finest in the world, a statement which in hindsight I am sure you would accept was patently untrue.

Scott

Isn’t the point of this article who are your favorite tailors? Now you may change your mind concerning Chan at some point, but for now they’re on the list.

Tim C

Simon – another terrific article, thank you. In terms of my preferred tailors, having used far fewer than you, my defaults a WW Chan for more structured styles and Steed for drape styles. I’ve also very much enjoyed a handful of pieces made by Gianni Vople in Napoli, but those were sourced with assistance (I don’t speak Italian) which is no longer available to me and we’re completed on trips to Italy (as he doesn’t travel).

I’ve used Chan since the late 90s and have been consistently happy with their creations and with Patrick (who has really grown in terms of the breadth of his capabilities over time). I fully agree that they’re best with a more structured style and while I disagree that one needs to be experienced with bespoke to use them to their fullest, Patrick does seem a little more reticent to offer advice without being prompted. That’s too bad, because when he does, he’s usually spot on.

I’d also advise people not to sleep on their shirts. They are my absolute go to and perform admirably. I tend to stick with more durable fabrics (Th Mason’s Silver line, for instance), but the shirts routinely last 10+ years with very regular wash and wear. And I do not baby them – washing machine, dryer, iron. With a large amount of personalization available (on par with other specialized bespoke shirt makers), very high quality construction, attention to detail, responsiveness in terms of ordering via email and an attractive price, I’ve yet to find someone else that ticks as many boxes.

I also highly recommend Steed. Edwin DeBoise is an excellent craftsman. I tend to use Steed for jackets and trousers rather than suits (although I very rarely need suits these days) and find that Edwin’s approach suits that beautifully. Drape cuts are so comfortable to wear, but can look sloppy in the wrong hands. Edwin clearly knows how to thread that needle. He’s also personally very pleasant and highly professional – does what he says he will when he says he will.

Lindsay McKee

Edwin from Steed Bespoke is by current and very first bespoke tailor.
The fact that you admire his fine craftsmanship is very reassuring indeed.
Many thanks
Lindsay

Tom

Hi Simon. I very much enjoyed reading your list, as well as checking out the readers’ favorites in the comments here.
I am at the beginning of my bespoke journey and I live in New York. So far, I have had a navy twill suit cut by Ralph Fitzgerald at Huntsman, and a dark grey/charcoal wool suit cut by Davide Taub at Gieves & Hawkes. I love both garments and will likely use both tailors again in the future for different pieces of my wardrobe.
I am interested in trying a drape cut too though (Anderson & Sheppard, Steven Hitchcock, or Steed), as although I’m tall and slim, I have somewhat narrow shoulders, so I’d like to see how that style would look on me.
Also, inspired by the site, I recently commissioned a pair of odd trousers from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury as I like the understated style that they cut for you.
Your comments about dressing to your body type and your taste ring true. Once one finds that, I think sticking to as few tailors as possible would be ideal, as the fit of each garment would improve with each commission.

Lindsay McKee

Just to name two more tailors that get little mention are DAVIES & SON and DENMAN & GODDARD. I may add other tailors later.
Has anyone tried these two?

JL

Davies are fantastic and very understated (ie don’t shout on social media). It’s a pretty structured / military cut though so you need to like that style. There is a cutter there (name escapes me – Simon will know) who used to run Huntsman and does the one button jacket better than anyone.

Tom

I’m also a fan of Pat Murphy’s work. I haven’t tried him myself yet though.

Jon Lee

Who would be a tailor that does slim-fitting soft, casual / Neapolitan jackets?

Philip J. Kessler

I have been using London based bespoke tailors for more than 20 years. I prefer at least a quasi-drape style. In my experience, Terry Haste is extraordinary. He can cut to virtually any style the customer prefers. His advice is always spot on. And as fussy as I am about style, fit and quality of finish, Terry will not stop refining details until he is as happy with the end product as I am.

He is also a pleasure to deal with. He listens, he is down to earth and has a great sense of humor. He definitely doesn’t take himself too seriously. His Sackville shop is a welcoming place.

While I work and live mostly in NY, I visit London frequently and Terry is increasing his visits with his talented shirt making colleague Stephen Lachter (also excellent) from twice a year to 3-4 times.

I encourage you and your readers who are interested in great bespoke to contact Terry.

Philip Kessler

Curious George

I have two questions.
Which of the garments did you pay for from the tailors you have reviewed.
And secondly being as you are very friendly with certain brand and shop owners
Do you think your reviews are biased in any way?

Philip

Hi Simon – I was intrigued by your recent positive review of the Brioni bespoke experience. One of your readers inquired at the time whether you might have received special service from them in view of your profile. Have other customers – friends and readers – also reported positively on Brioni? Also, do you recall the name of the head cutter who handled your commission? Thanks in advance.

Meeko Quanzo

Hi Simon,
Can you do a style profile on the American Ivy enthusiast Arnold Steiner please?

Michel

Have you ever heard opinions on Chris Kerr (London) or Sartoria Francesco Guida, Neapolitan but cuts Florentine style? I believe I read somewhere that the latter has a connection to Liverano & Liverano

Hal Forrest

Hello Simon,
I have worked with two of the English and one of the Spanish tailors you describe. I am now living in Germany and would really appreciate your thoughts on some German tailoring. I know I am not alone,
Cheers,

Hal Forrest

Markus

Hello Hal,
Depending on where you live in Germany, the following might be of interest to you: https://www.parisiangentleman.com/blog/an-epic-sartorial-walk-through-the-city-of-vienna
Unfortunately, I cannot give personal advice, as I’ve never had anything in bespoke. In terms of reputation, Bernhard Niedersuezs, his father Rudolf Niedersuesz (runs Knize, but I’ve heard that he has a strong personality, which not everybody likes) and Zoltan Roeszler are probably the best known.
Kr Markus

Alexander

Andreas Hildebrand apparently is a young and serious German bespoke tailor with a southern Italian style. At least in this documentary he looks likable, professional and apparently also has good taste. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZEY_ZuCbZs&t=2408s
Please try him and report back to me 🙂

David Lilienfeld

Are any of these tailors in the US?

David Lilienfeld

Sigh. I live in San Francisco. Drat!

John

Hi Simon,
Frankly, these two latest posts are really instructive. However, one of the main lessons that could be drawn from both you haven’t explicitly mentioned this time around is why it’s crucial to go slowly when making a dive into bespoke. Fully understandable in the light of previous posts and comments.
Now to remain within the focus of this one, and considering what could be my choice in the case of a one-off purchase from one of these world-class tailors, it would be quite simple: a DB navy blazer and two trousers (mid and light grey) by Michael Browne. The DB should be cut in a way that would allow me to wear it with and without a tie for special events, but not formal ones. To tame the jacket, I would wear Edward Green classic oxfords instead of G&G’s or George Cleverley’s. I already know that no matter how many times I would wear it for such occasions as my personal uniform, friends and those in the know wouldn’t stop being amazed by the cratsmanship it would exhibit. Beyond enjoying wearing it, it would also showcase my way to express my respect and gratitude to the man and to the whole craft he has dedicated himself to preserve on his own terms in today’s world.
John

Laurent

Absolutely agree with you Simon on your points raised in the first part! It’s all about access and relationship. And obviously a house style that appeals to you.
I have been working a lot with Ripense in Rome over the past 10-13 years and despite the fact that I really like the style that is a welcome amalgamation of something fitted but also soft and lightly constructed, it’s mainly about the fact that I get along very well with Andrea and the fact that he has been travelling very regularly to Paris since he managed to build a clientele here.
thanks as always for you great work, best Laurent

Russ

I have recently started using Rhodes Wood in Harrogate. After having had a lovely bespoke summer weight jacket and trousers made in merino wool, I’ve now commissioned a tweed three piece suit.

The owner, Jeremy Beaumont, is charming and has developed a huge TikTok following for his entertaining menswear videos. The shop is beautiful, and the off the peg stock and fragrances (including Loro Piana and Santa Maria Novella) of the highest quality. Best of all, the bespoke prices are less than half that of Savile Row, making a visit from other parts of the country well worthwhile.

Ram

Hi Simon,
Just wanted to say that I admire the effort you took to compile this list. Can’t have been easy at all. Also happy to see a few of my favourites there.

Ram

Absolutely, it’s invaluable to have these civil discussions. Thank you for doing that especially as a lot of us vicariously experience these artisans through you and it always brings more insight to open up those points.

Young

My go-to tailor nowadays is Robert Bailey, who used to be with Huntsman to cover its Asian clients and now is running his own operation. Also he’s probably the only Savile Row tailor who’s fully committed to make regular visits around this part of the globe. I guess you’re not a big fan of Huntsman-style garments Simon but I was wondering if you had a chance to work with (or simply met) Robert before.

Dan

I am currently fitting for a sportscoat with Sartoria Dalcuore. I do not need a closet full of bespoke, but wanted the experience and to own at least one bespoke item. I am set for the final fitting. We will see how it goes and fits!

Alan

I expected to see Ciardi given that you have repeatedly praised their work, professionalism and how well their house cut seems to suit your personal style. However, I’m curious how you were able to build such a good relationship with them if Enzo does not speak fluent English. Was language ever a barrier?

§El Pancho

Simon,
I’m 192cm tall, 115Kgs, so very broad and wide shoulders.
Typical rugby player size.
Obviously i struggle to find good fitting suits.
In the new post covid more relaxed world of suiting (for someone that works in the city) not too relaxed.
What style or Neapolitan tailors would you suggest – my budget is modest.
I’m sure i’m not the only ‘big guy’ on here that struggles – i’m looking for tailoring they actually makes me less imposing.
Appreciate any thoughts or recommendations.
Many thanks

JL

Simon,
Not trying to flog a dead horse but there’s something that feels really quite odd about your selection, specifically Chan. I think it’s that you give a huge amount of air time to loads of other incredible tailors from every angle (fit, personalities, style etc) but then the one you pick as your favourite is one whom, in relative terms, you barely mention. I think most of us get the other picks; it’s just that one that feels most unusual. Care to say anything else on this?

CY

Hi all, I noticed several readers questioning the inclusion of WW Chan in the short list of favorites for this article, and feel that I should add a few words to those of other Chan customers who have already commented here. I live in the US and consider myself fortunate that they visit my city. (COVID era was an exception). I appreciate their versatility in offering structured English style as well as as Neopolitan style, which often seems more appropriate for summer attire (think spalla camicia for the shoulders) in one shop. They seem to have some kind of formula where they are able to be able to deliver garments with dead-on accuracy in fit. My guess is that there is enough foundational structure that they can use in each garment so that successive garments fit correctly, though commissioned in very different fabric and style. Patrick is so accurate and confident that they clearly are willing to, and can, send garments finished without fittings. If I am ordering something out of the ordinary–I ask for a fitting. They send the unfinished garment to me, and I take it to their hotel for a fitting at their next visit. I have to then mail the garment back to HK. That is a bit of a pain, but I willingly do that to be absolutely sure myself, of a positive outcome at final delivery. Although I have not tried 60 tailors, just a handful, I would rank them at the 95th percentile. I can highly recommend them for their overall quality, consistency, and great service. Cheers.

Jim

Interesting article and discussion. I realize this is largely subjective, but I would agree with Mr. Poupart in that you have to find what works for you. What do you like, what makes you feel good, and your budget,

I have only tried a small number of tailors as I don’t need a large wardrobe as I only have the opportunity to dress up very occasionally. That said, I have settled on Dege and Skinner. I have several jackets and trousers made by this tailoring house and I have found their work to be excellent. I just like their structured style.

I commission approximately one sport coat every year or two. Occasionally I’ll add a pair of trousers. Nick De’Ath is an excellent and talented cutter and over the years we have built a solid relationship. He has really dialed in my fit and knows what I like.

Even when the occasion or event doesn’t really call for it, I find myself slipping on one of my sport coats and/or trousers anyway. It just makes me feel so good and that’s what fine clothing is supposed to do!

Another fine article Simon. Always enjoy your website.

FS

Appreciate this. There’s a lot of homogeneity among the feeds I follow such that, from afar, it can sometimes feel like the same 15 or 20 people constitute all of what’s on display at Pitti. It’s nice to see some variety, both in terms of faces and styles.

Richard

Hi Simon,

Would you consider an article or series on non London based, UK tailors. I have used a few in the past and be very happy with the outcome. While their styles may not vary greatly to those in London. It would be interesting for those of us who struggle to get to London on a regular basis.

Lindsay McKee

Simon, & Tim C,
Forgive me for being slightly off topic but a question on shirting.
I see that, in theTim C, posting, Thomas Mason Silver Line in shirting seems to be a reliable and sturdy fabric, right?
Simon,
I looked up your various posts on shirting fabrics. They do say a twill weave which supposedly wrinkles less than poplin and 2/80 is sturder than say 2/100 or 2/120 fabric. I’m therefore looking at a pretty reliable fabric in these parameters if I’m correct here?
When I’m in London,I may pop into T&A , Budd or Hilditch and find out something about these fabrics.
Any advice here, please?
Many thanks
Lindsay

Lindsay McKee

Many thanks for that.
Lindsay

Jack

Hi Simon, it’s good to know your favourite tailors! I have noticed you chose relatively casual cloths for the Ciardi jackets, such as gun club tweed, corduroy, glen plaid, and cotton. Is this because you think these suit the jacket’s style better?

Many thanks,
Jack

SCOTT

Hi Simon, Thanks again for another extremely interesting article. I won’t pretend to be a regular commissioner of bespoke tailoring at this stage (although this is ultimately the aim). However, I can still relate to some of what you set out in terms of the priority you place on style and accessibility when deciding where to take your custom. I often find I can take the knowledge and learning you share on this site and apply it to my context which I very much appreciate. My ears pricked at the reference to Sexton. I recall you had a conversation scheduled with Edward in late 2022. Did this go ahead, was it recorded and, if so, do you have plans for the release yet? All the best, Scott

Ben R

Could Cifonelli slot into the structured English cut (for those inclined to the non-drape style)? Or would it be more of the stylized style?
Can the Florentine tailors, such as Vestrucci or Liverano, fit the drape cut?

Ben R

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like you could substitute either of the French or Florentine tailors for the English cut depending on the individuals style preference. And then compliment with some Neopolitan jackets.

Ollie E.

I’ve been waiting to see this article from you for a while!

And surprised you didn’t include Cifonelli:

Remember how much you loved that overcoat & the other pieces you had made with them.

I’d personally add C&M to that stylised structured list…

Tried all 3 – Michael was fantastic & I decided to stick with C&M for coats / jackets (due to relationship, attention to detail, quality & creativity etc – can’t fault them).

Off travelling for 12 months in Feb, so tempted to check out Cifo or Liverano, too.

Ghaz Khan

Nice article and for my ADHD mind resulting from a very busy work schedule involving multi-tasking to finish everything that I need to do in a given day, I did take the time to read both parts of the article.

Naturally my experience with bespoke tailoring is not as extensive as yours. Tired of the designer suits like Armani in my size where I had to do alterations on the suit and would still be average looking, I started somewhere in 2008 when I commissioned my first bespoke 3-button suit from Anderson and Sheppard. Mr. John Hitchcock was my cutter. I liked the fit but for some reason, I was not very impressed with the suit. Then after that I went to Kilgour where my cutter was Mr. Campbell Carey and after he left, Mr. Delroy Smith. Came back to Anderson and Sheppard and met Mr. Danny Hall. Finally, commissioned some with Henry Poole with Mr Alex Cooke as the cutter.

The 3 things I look for are comfort, cut and fit of the garment. In my experience the following are the ones I prefer in order below:

1. Anderson and Sheppard-no doubt the most comfortable garments, with excellent fit and cut. I have done the most commissions with them and Mr. Hall has done amazing work. The drape cut is very comfortable and if I have to go to one bespoke tailor, it would be A & S. Pricing is also very reasonable and they have kept the pricing relatively stable with the inflation.

2. Kilgour-before they went out of business, Mr Carey did a couple of suits for me and I loved the cut and fit. Their style is very contemporary and I loved the single button with slanted pockets. Mr. Carey moved to Huntsman later and I worked with Mr. Delroy Smith who did work on a number of suits and sports jackets for me. For the most part, I was happy with the garments. The shoulder padding/roping was somewhat exaggerated and made more prominent and I felt too much drape/room in the chest and arms.

3. Henry Poole-I am working with them more recently and have been to a couple of fittings. The garments have a softer, lighter canvas and are very comfortable to wear. I like the cut and would see how the final product turns out.

4. Huntsman: I followed Mr. Carey to Huntsman but he could not reproduce the garments and the cut like he did at Kilgour. Also, for some reason, I had to go for multiple fittings since alteration in the garments supposed to have been done completed for follow up fittings would not be carried out. Being in the US, my option is either trips to London, UK or meet the team at their US visits and it is tiring at times. Also the Huntsman jackets were more structured and less comfortable and seem to have a consistent problem with the so called “collar gap” which I never experienced with A & S garments or with Kilgour. As such, I finally gave up on them. Also found them to be extremely expensive relative to the quality of work.

I am not a fan of houses that outsource to India. The labor is very cheap there and I don’t want to invest into the suit even after a 40% discount. Also, I hope that if they charge me for full bespoke, the work needs to be done in UK, and they would not outsource the work on the garments.

I have read your article and not sure if I would try Steven Hitchcock, since A & S are taking good care of me. I do like the cut of Michael Browne garments, but just want to make sure that the waist to hip ratio is not too exaggerated to project a feminine look on men. I would try the double breasted suit from Edward Sexton. Looks like both Edward Sexton and Michael Browne have a style similar to Chittleborough and Morgan likely form past affiliations. Not sure if one should try them individually or just try Chittleborough and Morgan instead. Will need suggestions from you on that.

GK