Henry Poole of Savile Row
Sep 14th, 2018
The term ‘bespoke’ means ‘spoken for’, and was a term often used when ordering fabric. There is a great deal of handwork involved in creating a bespoke piece, from attaching the various layers of cloth and lining, down to the buttonholes. It is not uncommon for a suit to require 70 hours of handwork to be completed. Even when finished, a skilled presser will spend an hour shaping the garment to perfection.
Savile Row is famous all over the world for a high form of made-to-measure, bespoke wear and for representing the best in men’s tailoring. A Savile Row bespoke suit is made on an original drafted pattern that is unique to the customer and requires several fittings to perfect. For such a suit, you can expect to pay in the region of £5K.
Tailors first moved onto Savile Row in 1805, but the longest remaining resident of the area is Henry Poole, who has a history there dating back to 1846. Henry Poole have an impressive list of royal warrants and were the tailor of choice for the sartorially-savvy Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). In 1865, the Prince ordered a short coat in celestial blue to wear in the evening at Sandringham. This would have been considered quite casual compared to the traditional evening tails and frock coats that would have been worn. And so, the fashion for a short evening coat took off - we can thank Henry Poole this, and for what we now call a ‘dinner jacket’, Americans call a ‘Tuxedo’, and Germans refer to as a ‘smoking’.
As well as formal and civilian clothing, Henry Poole make livery tailoring for the Royal Household, and their finery can be seen at any state occasion.
Henry Poole is still owned by the founding family who are passionate about preserving and celebrating the craft of Savile Row. They also have a love for classic motoring. They regularly feature at the Concours of Elegance in Hampton Court and have strong links to the RAC. When the RAC commissioned a tweed in honour of the Segrave Trophy - an annual award that celebrates ‘Outstanding Skill - Courage and Initiative on Land, Water and in the Air’, Henry Poole were selected to make the recipient a bespoke jacket in the exclusive cloth. The same fabric lines the Segrave luggage collection that Caracalla had the honour of producing. The cloth and the luggage are exclusive to members of the RAC, but will be on show in the Savile Row showroom during September as part of their Goodwood display.
Photo credit: Alex Lawrence
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