A lot of larger-size gentlemen will come to Savile Row, not because they watched too many James Bond films in their youth, but simply because they’ve had so much trouble finding suitable off-the-peg options on the high street.
There’s a reason, of course. The off-the-peg manufacturers like “Average”. All manufacturers make for Average. Any variation from Average costs them money, so if you’re not Mr Average, they do their best to ignore you. Shopping becomes full of unpleasant surprises.
Savile Row prides itself on minimising unpleasant surprises, but here’s one for the large folk:
With most of the tailors, including my beloved alma mater, Anderson & Sheppard, if you’re over a 44-inch chest, then expect to be charged an extra 10 per cent. Depending on the suit, that’s anywhere from £200-400. And that’s just for the basic wool worsteds. Imagine if you were ordering cashmere or vicuna…
It’s to pay for the extra cloth and stitching your large frame will require [see photo above]. I can see why the tailors do it. I can also see why some customers wouldn’t like it.
I don’t charge the extra, myself. Frankly, for every large fellow walking in, there’s probably a very small, resource-friendly chap walking in right in after him. What goes around, comes around. Horses for courses.
Besides, no tailor will offer a discount if you’re under five-foot-four, either.
(PS: Yes, I do cut for women, both large and small.)
Image reproduced from englishcut.com
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