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Classic English Tailoring Defined in Two Minutes

A classic Huntsman jacket from Savile Row in London, crafted before the time so many ateliers on “the Row” have been overtaken by investor buyouts

If you’re going to understand women’s tailoring, a great place to start is to have some understanding of the holy grail of men’s tailoring, namely–London’s ‘Golden Mile of Tailoring’ : Savile Row.

The subtleties of traditional English tailoring has become somewhat diluted with the influx of made-to-measure offerings and the practice of outsourcing tailoring work.

As a reminder, if not for posterity, we review what defines the traditional English cut, keeping in mind that the inspiration for English tailoring is primarily the military uniform.

According to My Custom Tailor:

“An English or British traditional cut is where the proportions are closer to the body. These suits have slightly narrower shoulders, a closer fit at the chest and an hourglass (as close to an hourglass as possible given the wearers body structure) shape at the waist. The skirt (hip) section of the jacket flares out ever so slightly to add accent to the waist.”


Characteristics of English Tailoring:

* Shaped shoulder, usually padded.

* Line from side of neck to tip of shoulder is straight (not concave).

* Shoulder-seam-area is smooth and does not angle towards nor away from the body.

* Ample chest area is revealed with medium size lapels.

* Chest pocket is cut straight, with lower pockets cut diagonally as often as they are cut straight.

* Natural or high button stance

* Lapel is medium-width, with a fairly high notch placement, typically with a fish mouth notch

* Arm holes are placed high with the house style varying in terms of whether the armscye cut is large or small.

* Waist suppression/ pinch is more defined than gradual.

* Jacket length covers the seat.

* Skirt has a slight flair.

* Double-vents

* Trousers width matches jacket width.

* Trouser turn-ups are prevalent, but sans pant-cuffs not unusual.

A Few House Specialties:

Peak lapel by C&M
Peak lapel by Chittleborough and Morgan.
The Dinner Jacket, invented by Henry Poole.
The Dinner Jacket, invented by Henry Poole.
Full Chest, Bernard W
Full Chest, Bernard W
Women's tailoring. Edward Sexton.
Women’s tailoring. Edward Sexton.
Drape cut, Anderson & Sheppard
Drape cut, Anderson & Sheppard

“A man should look as though he has chosen his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” Hardy Amies

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