Making Magic

Pardon my recent absence, friends and fiends! Just finished a paper entitled “Do Looks Matter in Negotiation?”, which was a nightmare to write. Now, on to even more superficial issues.

My friends probably know it takes little to sway me — a perfectly tailored shirt and suit. Such is the magic of, ahem, bespoke. Really, why do all bankers, lawyers and other corporate rogues get so excited about being measured up and hand stitched down?

From an older Forbes article on The Most Expensive Suits

What makes a suit cost upwards of $5,000 and sometimes considerably more? It’s a combination of material, labor, skill and not a little egotism. (You have to think you’re worth it, after all.)

If it is egotism, I like how it manifests itself in an understatement — no labels, no monogram (monogram monogram monogram), and probably not given to flashy details either. This, in spite of the illustriousness of Savile Row’s clientele, whose names are rarely released, in the spirit of things.

Henry Poole & Co., Savile Row (credits: Cobbler's Web)

Henry Poole & Co., Savile Row (credits: Cobbler's Web)

So, this thing about hand-tailoring — it’s only for those who can afford it (but are barred by good taste from explicitly telling you so). Little wonder the tailors are getting riled up about made-to-measure stores encroaching on their corner — they’re instituting measures to show customers they’re the Real Thing.

The sartorial row on Savile Row

… The Savile Row Bespoke Association is launching a quality mark to distinguish its products from other companies who sell “made-to-measure” suits under the banner “Savile Row Bespoke”.

That would allow potential customers to at least know what they are buying when they pay for their hand-tailored suit.

I quite like the idea of a quality mark — it makes a point but doesn’t overstate it. I’ve realised this is something that comes with experience and maturity, and is something I’ve been working towards of late. This is also probably one of the reasons why I’ve come to respect bespoke a lot: it says a lot without talking too much.

On a separate note, this is rather amazing:

In reality, sales of high-quality bespoke suits, even in the current recession, have not fallen noticeably over the past year.

More Readings for the Week:
1. Cobbler’s Web: amazing collection of bespoke clothing and shoes
2. A Suitable Wardrobe
3. Gentlemen: A Timeless Guide to Fashion

This entry was published on October 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Making Magic

  1. rueben on said:

    remember it was not too long ago when saythefword predicted that the economic tsunami would have sweep over the runway. check this out http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8298946.stm

  2. saythefword on said:

    i know, right! i just got home from hanoi and am reading about it now! plus versace pulled out of japan! things keep happening!

  3. Rachel on said:

    ” This is also probably one of the reasons why I’ve come to respect bespoke a lot: it says a lot without talking too much.”

    I love this line and I think it’s so applicable not just to fashion, but to everything in life. Meeting people who say alot without talking too much is one of the most rewarding experiences ever🙂 You really feel like you’ve found this gorgeous, hidden gem haha

  4. saythefword on said:

    hi rachel! totally agree! i’d love to meet more people like that.🙂

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