This little piece isnâ€™t going to directly improve your knowledge of Savile Row tailors. But if youâ€™re around Savile Row on a Friday evening, I know a couple of watering holes that are a real education.
Itâ€™s sometimes difficult to spot the difference between tailors and cutters. But hereâ€™s a couple of tips:
Theyâ€™ll both be in suits. However, if you look closely the Tailorâ€™s suit is better pressed. This is because he only wears his suit to and from work. When heâ€™s in the workshop heâ€™ll wear his â€œSittinâ€™ Drumsâ€ (old clothes). The Cutter will have been wearing his suit all day, tending customers in the front of the shop.
(Mulligans Oyster Bar, behind Savile Row on Cork St.)
With a little observation and eavesdropping youâ€™ll soon find them. The one complaining about a â€œskiffleâ€ (i.e. a rushed job) will probably be the Tailor, whoâ€™s had pressure from a Cutter all week. Or if you hear constant moanings about how slow the trade has been recently, Congratulations! Youâ€™ve found yourself a Cutter.
But apart from that, they drink as heavily as each other.
If youâ€™re not experienced enough to spot a bespoke suit from a single glance across the bar, a really simple guide is to check out the lapel hole. On Bespoke, itâ€™ll be dead straight and look a bit longer than your used to seeing on ready-to-wear i.e. it should be an inch and 1/8th, exactly.
If the lapel hole is like that, chances are youâ€™ve got someone in the trade. Savile Row bespoke only has the normal, shortÂ â€œkeyholeâ€ lapel holesÂ (with the little round bits on the end) on the actual bottonholes. With a bit of luck, heâ€™ll be drinking the sales tax off that â€œBit oâ€™ Privateâ€ heâ€™s going to make for you.
If youâ€™re not wanting to meet tailors or get a discount suit using the â€œfolding stuffâ€, theyâ€™re still both great places. And the food and drink is as good as youâ€™ll get anywhere; particularly well-known are the fabulous steak pies in The Windmill. Lovely.
(The Windmill, at the end of Savile Row, on Mill St.)
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