How to choose the best bespoke tailors in the UK

By Harris & Howard

How to choose the best bespoke tailors in the UK

How to choose the best bespoke tailors in the UK

By Harris & Howard

How to choose the best bespoke tailors in the UK

The UK is known around the world for being the home of the best bespoke tailors. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the centre of the bespoke clothing world in the UK is Saville Row, but this is not the case. You'll find tailors in every corner of the nation, each delivering their own unique skills and styles.

The history of bespoke tailoring in the UK

The first English bespoke tailors opened on London's Saville Row in the 1800s. This was the time of the development of the men's suit as we know it (please see our post on the history of bespoke tailoring to learn more about the fascinating story of the suit), and it wasn't long before the dinner jacket became a staple piece of menswear in British culture.

Saville Row quickly developed a reputation as a hub of sartorial excellence, but bespoke tailors existed all over the country. In the north of England, the growth of the cotton industry during the Industrial Revolution saw cities such as Liverpool and Manchester expand rapidly. This led to the development of new materials and an increase in the range of garments that bespoke tailors could offer. Cut to around 160 years later, and there are now hundreds of bespoke tailors all across the UK.

Why bespoke tailored suits are the best

Quite simply, there are two reasons why bespoke suits are better than anything you can buy off the rack: fit and quality.

Bespoke suits are completely individualised to your body shape and proportions. Your tailor will take your measurements to create a suit and then make any alterations needed to fit you perfectly. Contrast this with off-the-peg clothes, where each size is expected to fit the average body type for around 50,000 people, bespoke clothes are made for one person and one person only.

How to choose a bespoke tailor

With so many bespoke tailors in the UK from which to choose, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. Here are a few factors to consider to help you make your choice.


Bespoke tailoring doesn't come cheap, but it's excellent value when you consider that your garment is completely personalised to you. Bespoke tailors away from Saville Row are much more affordable but deliver the same level of quality, design, and choice.


English bespoke tailors produce clothes to suit all occasions, from dinner jackets for weddings to business attire, country, sporting and casual wear. If you're not exactly sure what you want, the leading bespoke tailors will be happy to show you some of their pieces and advise you on fabrics and patterns, to help you gather inspiration.


The very finest English tailoring uses exceptional materials and processes proven across the generations. Choose fabrics such as linen, cotton, and tweed, and beware of tailors who only use synthetic fabrics. The top bespoke suits are also made with a canvas lining which moulds to your body, making the suit fit even better over time.

Harris and Howard, for example, use the very best fabrics from around the world, including linen from Ireland and Egyptian cotton, and source materials from the very finest mills to create truly luxurious pieces that will last a lifetime. Our meticulous approach focuses on small details, such as hand sewn buttonholes, which take at least an hour to complete, but give a much better finish.


Making a bespoke item of clothing shouldn't be rushed. The time it takes to make depends on the type of garment, the cut, and the fabrics chosen, however, average times are around 4 weeks for shirts and approximately 6 weeks for a suit. If you need something a little more urgently, Harris and Howard are usually able to expedite the process for a small fee.


Look out for a bespoke tailor that has some experience behind them. Harris and Howard have been providing luxury clothing for many years and have a combined experience that stretches back generations.

Have a chat!

Some people might feel a little daunted by the process of ordering a bespoke suit, but the best tailors have the skills to make sure it's an easy and enjoyable experience. You will want to choose a clothier who offers an initial consultation to get to know your style and what you want from your garment.

Check out the bar!

Having a bespoke piece of clothing made for you is a unique and enjoyable, experience. It's the polar opposite to rushing into a shop, fighting your way to the changing rooms, and finding something that fits OK. It's a chance to relax and talk about your individual style with someone who really knows their business. To make it an experience to savour, Harris and Howard have a bar stocked with delectable whiskies, beers, and wine, or tea and coffee if you prefer.

Please see our FAQs to find out more about our ethos and the process of making a bespoke piece of clothing, or contact us to arrange an initial consultation.

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