Style

Where to Get the Perfect Bespoke Suit: A Brief History of Savile Row

London's most famous sartorial address may be synonymous with tradition, but it's been reinventing suits for the past 110 years.

Tailors at Henry Poole in 1944.

Source: IWM

Wednesday, Bloomberg Pursuits profiled Patrick Grant, the owner of Savile Row's Norton & Sons. For those who want to know more, here's a primer on the rest of the Row.

 

Henry Poole & Co.
Est. 1806
15 Savile Row
The original house, the one that built the street, remains a family-run business. It started as a specialist in military uniforms—including the ones the British army wore to Waterloo—and invented the tuxedo in 1865 at the request of the future King Edward VII. It’s since expanded east with four shops in Japan and two in China.

 

Huntsman & Sons
Est. 1849
11 Savile Row
Begun as a maker of breeches, it pivoted in the 1920s to dressing Bright Young People and thereafter movie idols, most notably Gregory Peck. Its signature personality is Colin Hammick, the cutter (and fit model) who crafted the classic Huntsman coat: high armholes, sharp shoulders, one button. The shop was refreshed after financier Pierre Lagrange purchased it in 2013.

 

Anderson & Sheppard
Est. 1906
32 Old Burlington St.
Originally at 30 Savile Row and now one block west, the house loosened up the Victorian stiffness of its neighbors by introducing the English drape, which allowed fabric to ripple generously around the swinging arms of Fred Astaire and the curves of Marlene Dietrich. It’s the choice for seriously fashionable suit shoppers, including Tom Ford and Calvin Klein.

 

Chittleborough & Morgan at Nutter’s
Est. 1969
12 Savile Row
Better known simply and boldly as Nutter’s, after founder Tommy Nutter, the “rebel tailor” caught the sartorial beat of swinging London, with vast lapels, nipped waists, and far-out window displays. Nutter’s dressed the Beatles for the cover of Abbey Road (except for George, who preferred jeans).

 

Ozwald Boateng
Est. 1995
30 Savile Row
An heir to the Nutter’s tradition of expanding a client base in striking ways. Like his peers Richard James and Timothy Everest of the New Bespoke Movement, Boateng used bold fabrics and innovative advertising to give tailoring’s golden mile a 21st-century shine. 

 

Cad & the Dandy
Est. 2008
13 Savile Row
The millennial’s choice, thanks to a strong web presence and suits that start at about $1,200. This nimble house once made bespoke garage togs for the hosts of Top Gear. Founded by two bankers who lost their jobs in the 2008 financial crisis, it’s too small to fail.

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