Due to the fame of Savile Row, most people consider London the home of bespoke tailoring in the United Kingdom. But what about Manchester, England’s second city?
Yesterday I wrote a blog about Manchester’s fashion scene. Well, today we investigate the bespoke tailoring industry in the original “Cottonopolis.”
Traditional bespoke tailors in Manchester
Some bespoke tailors in Manchester have direct ties to Savile Row.
This includes father and son duo James Pendlebury and Michael Pendlebury, who featured in a 2004 GQ article (“Mad for Manchester”) about the bespoke tailoring industry in the North.
In the 1960s, the elder Pendlebury worked as an apprentice bespoke tailor under a master tailor who trained on Savile Row. He set up his own bespoke tailoring firm in 1973 and later partnered with his son Michael.
On his website, the elder Pendlebury claims that Michael “brought a new modern slant on the latest fashion trends.” Nevertheless, Pendlebury and his son still order their cloth from traditional, Savile Row merchants Scabal.
Manchester bespoke tailor Richard Smith
Another bespoke tailor headquartered in the centre of Manchester is Richard Smith, a Manchester University graduate who earned his degree in Design and Art.
After working for Giorgio Armani, Smith founded his own label and began making bespoke garments by hand.
Smith is a home-grown tailor that the city should be very proud of. But what about the other, more affordable options that exist in Manchester for people who are seeking a bespoke tailored suit?
Affordable bespoke tailoring in Manchester
Bespoke tailoring has traditionally been a highly expensive service. This is no less true of Manchester than it is of London. When you consider the years of training and handiwork that go into tailoring a bespoke suit, the expense becomes understandable.
Historically, bespoke tailoring has been the kind of service employed by very rich gentlemen or people who’ve managed to save for a long time.
Knowing this was the state of the market when they founded their business in 2006, A Suit That Fits owners Warren Bennett and David Hathiramani partnered with a local, Manchester style advisor and menswear aficionado, Andrew Varley, to bring affordable bespoke tailoring to Manchester.
Alongside other bespoke tailoring companies, A Suit That Fits has combined a local tailoring presence in Manchester with the work of Nepalese tailors to bring fully bespoke suits to its Manchester customers.
Using only ethically sourced cloths and agreeing to pay its tailors well above market-average wages, the result was success all round.
Quality tailoring from Manchester to Nepal
A Suit That Fits partners with tailors in Nepal to bring you affordable, hand-made, bespoke tailored suits. Once we’ve taken your measurements and you’ve specified the type of suit you want, your details will be sent to a master’s cutting table in Nepal and a paper pattern will be created, totally unique to you.
When our tailor has cut your suit and finished stitching it (in approximately 6-8 weeks), it will be sent back to us at our Manchester studio, where Andrew will call you in for a fitting. Any alterations will be performed then.
A Suit That Fits will always respect Manchester’s traditional bespoke tailors with their ties to Savile Row, but we also believe that the market needs to represent all types of customers, including those who cannot afford Savile Row prices. The people of Manchester can only benefit from a full variety of bespoke services.
To begin tailoring your own bespoke suit, book an appointment with Andrew at our Piccadilly House studio in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.