There has been a steady rise in the number of bespoke tailors stepping into the arena of made-to-measure. To compete with a wide variety of premium and high-street brands that offer affordable and good quality suiting, Savile Row tailors are themselves becoming brands and therefore opening up their products and services. English Cut, founded in 2001 by Savile Row tailor Thomas Mahon have just launched their made-to-measure service, coinciding with the opening of their first stand-alone store on London’s Chiltern Street.
Titled the English Cut MTM Code, Tom has brought together a unique formula which brings the hallmarks of the bespoke tailoring experience to the made-to-measure suit.
We went to experience the made-to-order service that, in our eyes, brings in to very close proximity parts of the experience and quality of product you’d expect from a bespoke service. Of course, in bespoke, you’ll have a suit made to fit you like a glove which works with the shape of your body. What Tom has done is made aspects of the bespoke experience such as quality, accessible and affordable. The English Cut MTM Code consists of three levels of differentiation, MTM 1, MTM 2 and MTM 3- each offering a variation in style, cloth and finishing to suit individual preference and budget.
The MTM Code = English Cut knowledge + professional service + English cloth + manufacturing precision
MTM 1 starts at £595, and uses the English Cut pattern which is the foundation of your suit, and where you can select from a choice of six classic British cloths woven in Yorkshire, England. From the initial consultation it takes just six weeks to get your completed suit. MTM 2 features English Cut’s signature cut but with a few subtle differences, including a more draped style of cut, a lighter canvas and bespoke waistband and metal zipper. You have a choice of 30 different cloths including 10-13oz, super 120’s and super 150’s wool worsteds- all of which costs from £995 and takes 6 weeks to produce and be delivered to you.
With MTM 3, you get the same cut and features as MTM 2 but with a near limitless range of cloth- similar to that of a bespoke customer, and then after the final fitting, the suit is hand-finished in English Cut’s bespoke workshop at the store. It takes approximately 12 weeks from order to completion of the suit and starts from £2,250.
At my first fitting, I was placed inside a sizing jacket to get the closest fit to a size where they can form their block and make my jacket based on that. Aided with numerous measurements taken for sleeve and body length, as well as waist and inside leg, the order is written with my own preferences of cloth and finishings. At the second fitting, the jacket is presented in it’s basic form, without buttons, from which Tom takes his tailor’s chalk and makes the required marks for the personal adjustments required to ensure the fit is spot on.
Taking all the final adjustments allows Tom and his team to produce the best fitting made-to-measure suit you’ll find on the market for it’s price. Even adding details such as hand sewn button hole on the lapel by a talented lady called Pam. In fact, her skills are applied to the bespoke suits, so to get them on English Cut’s made-to-measure is a real treat. I went for a classic single-breasted jacket with double pleated trousers with turn-ups in a lovely soft grey flannel wool.
Ape talks with Tom Mahon
What made you start out on your own and launch English Cut after years on Savile Row?
I trained at Anderson and Sheppard on Savile Row, eventually becoming their Head Cutter dealing with their most well known clients. I have fond memories of Anderson’s as this is where I honed my skills for Savile Row’s service, grasping the aesthetics and natural comfort of this unique style of soft tailoring. I went on to found English Cut in 2001 to create something special that was personal to me, whilst paying homage to the great people who trained me. Leaving London and setting up in a stately home in a beautiful part of the world was the exact environment I needed to start something really special. To build a dedicated team so we could raise the tailoring bar forever.
What sort of gentleman is English Cut designed to cater for?
We’d like to think English Cut is designed for those who respect the traditions and craft of the Row. Thankfully we’re realists and we know it’s anyone looking for quality, comfort and style, and we know that everyone wants to look good. A good suit needs all of these aspects and they’ve got to work. We know people today are very well informed and we must offer the same elite quality, service and style expected from our bespoke clients. This however, is not just reserved for the top tier but must be the benchmark throughout the entire range. English Cut is built on expertise, authority and authenticity. Combine this with our experience and long relationship England’s finest cloth and trimming manufacturers, then we feel we’re doing our utmost to give the very best in British tailoring.
Why should one go for a made-to-measure suit instead of getting a ready-to-wear suit?
Well, it’ll fit for a start. Whatever service you choose it will be personal to you. Of course, the higher the level you go then the more personal it becomes. But remember, it will be made especially for you, unlike ready-to-wear, which is always a little generic.
What’s the best styling advice you have ever been given?
People often say it’s the details that matter the most. Well, they certainly matter but not the most. First, you need comfort then you need a good silhouette. That’s your starter for great style.
English Cut offer their made-to-measure service at their London store at 58 Chiltern Street, W1U 7QZ. They also plan on attending international trunk shows, so keep an eye out for them in a city near you.
English Cut MTM Code prices starting from £595 for MTM 1, £995 for MTM 2 and from £2,250 for MTM 3.