Savile Row at your service
If you can't make it to London, you can still catch up with the city's top tailors on their frequent trips to the States.
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Despite its many changes, Savile Row is still very much a street in London where some of the world's best tailors ply their trade.
But just like the Row's methods and fashions have traveled widely, even the tailors themselves often make trips to measure customers overseas.
So for those who can't get away to London but still want a custom, bespoke suit, make an appointment with your favorite tailor the next time they make a state-side visit. They typically travel only to big cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, so you may still have to make a trip to see them.
But from the comfort of their hotel, they will advise you and measure you up, then return to London, make your suit, and ship it back to you.
For the most part, the tailors take care of you, offering insight about what might suit you best. But there are some things to think about before you set out to your appointment. "You've got to know what the reason for the suit is," says Thomas Mahon, a Row-trained tailor and blogger at Englishcut.com. "Whether it's for work, or a special wedding. Then we do the guiding."
Colin Heywood, of Anderson & Sheppard, advises that you bring a jacket you like to your appointment to expedite the measurements. The tailors are often booked solid during their visits and appreciate knowledgeable customers.
For more about what makes a smart visit with a tailor, check out this post at Mahon's Englishcut.com blog. (For reasons to make an appointment with Mahon himself, who will be in the U.S. in early November, we'll let him explain in his own words.)
Here are a few traveling Savile Row tailors for you to consider making an appointment with. If you want a broader perspective, never be afraid to ask a tailor about other tailors. They're usually quite complimentary and are genuinely interested in helping you find the best person (and suit) to fit your taste.
If you're partial to Richard Anderson's single-button, long-lapel suits, he'll be taking measurements in the U.S. between Sept. 20 and Oct. 7, in several cities. To make an appointment, visit his Web site at richardandersonltd.com
Edwin DeBoise, who apprenticed with legendary Beatles' tailor Tommy Nutter, of Steed tailors will be visiting Boston, New York, and Chicago in October.His Web site has all the details.
For the Anglophile in you, Anderson & Sheppard make two U.S. visits a year. The next one starts Oct. 16, and will move through San Francisco (at the Hungtington Hotel) for two days, Chicago (The Drake) for two days, and New York (The Mark) for a week. Call the hotels to make an appointment, or contact them in London at +44 (0)20 7734 1420. Heywood describes Anderson's "house style" as "soft tailoring, with a certain amount of drape, and very little padding in the shoulders."
Suits from Henry Poole & Co. focus on balance - straightening our your shoulder line, cutting a jacket length that equals out your torso and legs. Tailor Simon Cundey travels frequently to the U.S. as well as to Japan and several European countries. This Web site has a calendar; make appoints by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). But starting at the end of September, the Web site will add a feature enabling you to pick swatches of fabric, general style, and accessories, so that when Poole visits they can bring with the basic suit and fit it to you exactly at your appointment.
Be warned that some tailors don't travel. But many of them, like Richard James, do sell ready-to-wear pieces at high-end stores in the United States. (For James, it's Barney's in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Beverly Hills.)
As for Ozwald Boateng, the new-generation style icon, he has couture studios in Los Angeles, Toronto, and cities in about 10 other countries. But while he may be changing the course of Savile style, he will still only tailor you a bespoke suit if you visit him at his atelier on the Row.