Bespoke tailoring is a centuries-old tradition that is the art of custom-made clothing for the defined individual. The word bespoke is derived from the 17th-century old English adjective meaning “been spoken for.”In the context of tailoring, it denotes a garment that has been made for you and you only. It offers the opportunity for an individual to create a truly exclusive garment, not just in shape but in material, detail, and finishing.
In a time when mass production and “off-the-peg” fashion have become the convention, there has been a recent resurgence of people opting for bespoke clothing over fast fashion - especially as the joy and luxury of commissioning your own garment is far better than spending hours scouring an ordinary shop for something that speaks to you. Unfortunately, we live in an age when increasingly first impressions are paramount, and many resort to surgery when they’re unhappy with their body shape. Gentlemen can now consider a little lipo or implants for pecs and buttocks… ouch! Whereas bespoke tailoring has always provided a painless solution to help gentlemen select styles, colours and cuts that flatter one’s shape, stance, stoop, and shoulder slope and to produce garments that enhance the body’s natural attributes.
For the professional person, bespoke tailoring permits endless customisation. Maybe a sober business suit says nothing too overtly but the opportunity to select vents, pocket angles, jetting, lapels, cuffs and button options can make a real statement of your attention to detail. A seasoned traveller may find it helpful to have internal pockets that exactly fit and retain his mobile phone, passport, visa and wallet securely. You may even wish to have concealed pockets to protect valuables from thieves or perhaps need to carry medication safely - all these things can be accommodated usually for little or no cost but can make a huge difference when jostling through notorious cities.
For the more flamboyant individual, the world of bespoke tailoring really is your equivalent of cosmetic surgery, allowing you to create your own unique look. With more colours, stripes and patterns than ever before, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the ways you can demonstrate your personal flair and personality. Everyone should push the boundaries a little and for some, a coloured buttonhole and contrasting stitching are enough for a casual jacket and for others, a bright green check on their gilet and breeks for a day in the country is the answer.
Harris & Howard Bespoke continually raise the bar and set benchmarks to others in our quality and attention to detail in the tailoring and construction of our bespoke garments. We use a layer of canvas in the construction rather than bonding man-made fibres, creating the very finest, high-quality garments.
There are many levels of luxury in bespoke tailoring, and we offer everything from a sophisticated entry-level suit to a hand-sewn masterpiece. It’s our aim to be completely transparent and help you choose what is best for you and your budget. To assist our clients in developing a wardrobe that is consistent in price, style, and quality, we offer two levels of service, White Label and Black Label.
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Half-canvassed and crafted with machine stitching.
Approximately 80 hours of artistry are poured into every white label garment we make. Throughout the years, the floating canvas of the white label garment, combined with a mixture of traditional and modern construction techniques, has served our customers well, creating a quality, well-lasting garment that looks and feels better with age
Utilising the latest computer-guided lasers, your individual pattern is cut with the highest levels of accuracy and consistency. Next, the tailor uses state-of-the-art sewing machines to craft the suit, followed by pressing it to the desired finish. Constructed with a half-canvas, the jacket has a layer of canvassing that extends from the shoulders and finishes halfway down the jacket’s body. This creates a robust chest piece that provides shoulder-structure, and past that, the bottom part of the jacket is layered with fusing.
The combination of the two creates a well-structured garment, where the cloth drapes naturally over the chest instead of appearing stiff and lifeless and, the fusing allows for a defined shape at the waist as there’s no canvassing to manipulate in that area. The more affordable option, a white label garment requires less work in comparison to the black label garment, while maintaining the shape and necessary structure to flatter the wearer’s upper body.
Full-canvased and hand-sewn
As much of the sewing is done by hand, black label is the definition of sartorial distinction. A beautifully tailored garment takes time, and our artisans take over 120 hours in a skilled, laborious process to produce each black label piece. Constructed with full canvas, the canvassing “hangs” or “floats” through the entire front of the jacket and inside of the collar.
With the finest attention to detail, the canvas is hand-sewn into the garment’s interior using hundreds of minute stitches. This creates a weightless feel that delivers superior comfort and durability, of which only a full canvas can provide.
The canvassing contours to your figure, and with it running all the way through, any bumps and imperfections are smoothed out. You may have heard some horror stories of off-the-peg garments “bubbling” as the glue in the fusing interface starts to delaminate and wear away as time goes on. The full canvas of a black label garment means not only does this not happen but also supports in providing a layer of added insulation in colder temperatures, and when it’s warmer, moisture transmits away from the body, as the canvas allows the garment to “breathe.”
Hand-sewn throughout, there are many advantages to the handwork of a black label garment: aesthetic and comfort being the most prevalent. The extra work of hand cutting and sewing a suit provides a nod to our heritage and is essential for checks and plaids to flatter the uneven surface of a human body best. The hand-finishing of a black label garment is something extra special and is the ultimate and most sought-after luxury in tailoring. Although on the pricier end of the spectrum, due to the way it’s constructed and the exquisite finish it delivers, black label is the option preferred by many.