Boss ladies and power women of the world, take note: hand-made and well-crafted bespoke British tailored suits are not just for men! Our ace correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of the top British tailors on Savile Row in London, where you’ll find the best luxury bespoke custom tailored suits for women. Here’s how to find a chic tailored suit that’s custom-made just for you.
Luxury bespoke tailored suits for women
The heritage of haute couture is all about custom-fitted apparel for women: evening and wedding gowns, chic day dresses and the like. But what are we supposed to wear to work?[white_box]
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For generations, Savile Row in London has been synonymous with the expert craftsmanship and time-honored traditions of bespoke men’s tailoring. But by reputation – if not in fact – it has remained the province of men, even though women are now the majority of the workforce.
Of course, there are numerous ready-to-wear designer offerings with sharply-tailored modern suiting for women from brands like Givenchy, The Row, Gabriela Hearst and Alexander McQueen. At more accessible price points, Theory and Veronica Beard are tried-and-true sources. We’ve turned to them many times before a big meeting.
But the process of purchasing a made-to-measure tailored suit is the epitome of luxury – and it certainly shouldn’t be off-limits to half of the population.
The good news? The old-school British institution of Savile Row is waking up. We are seeing a new crop of Savile Row tailors in London catering to women and our lifestyles. This small but mighty cadre of tailors are helping women exude confidence and power in the boardroom. And anywhere else they want to be.[white_box]
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An added benefit is that for supporters of slow fashion, these timeless garments go beyond making a sartorial statement. They’re an ethical one, as well. A sharply-dressed woman in a bespoke suit that’s been sustainably made, who looks and acts like a leader – what’s not to love?
Where to Find the Best Bespoke Luxury Suits for Women
Here are the need-to-know Savile Row ateliers who are turning out the best suits for all the girls running the world.
1. Banshee of Savile Row
New kids on the block – quite literally – Ruby Slevin and Rocco Tullio of Banshee of Savile Row are the husband and wife team who opened up shop on Savile Row summer of 2019.
Slevin studied fashion design at Grafton Academy and later apprenticed on Savile Row with the Cad and the Dandy, designing and cutting in men’s and women’s bespoke tailoring. Tullio studied fine art in Italy and was an artist working in oil painting, sculpting and architectural design. Together, they make timeless clothes for the modern woman by combining the best of traditional craftsmanship and lasting materials with their own artistic aesthetic.
Beyond obtaining a flawless fit that accentuates your particular body, clients can choose from an infinite range of fabrics and colors. Other details can also be customized, down to the shape of a lapel, waistband height and even pocket configurations. Each garment is handmade in London or at a custom-built workshop in India where every tailor has been trained exclusively by Savile Row master tailors.[white_box]
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2. Gormley and Gamble
Founder Phoebe Gormley of Gormley and Gamble fell in love with Savile Row as a teenager when she took holiday jobs as a runner and button sewer. It was then that she also learned that none of the tailors liked making clothes for women, as they were “too hard to please.”
In 2014, while still in university, Gormley made the decision to drop out and launch the first atelier on Savile Row to cater exclusively to women.
G&G can custom-make any garment, from suiting to silk shirts, trousers, skirts, and dresses. They only use the most reputable British, Scottish and Italian mills. The firm specializes in silk, working in collaboration with silk-printers in the UK to make one-of-a-kind printed linings.
Their women-focused approach is also apparent in their elegant solutions to common female concerns: like the dreaded shirt-gaping or exposed bra straps. By women, for women, indeed.[white_box]
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3. Huntsman & Sons
What do Queen Victoria, Katharine Hepburn and Nicole Kidman have in common? They have all had bespoke garments made at Huntsman & Sons, the storied Savile Row shop established in 1849.
While it is best known for men’s tailoring, their high profile female commissions prove they know how to add a feminine twist to classic suiting. Their cutters will take up to 50 measurements and watch how a client moves, holds themselves and stands when no one is looking.
That information is transferred to paper patterns, and these observations are further factored into the cut, creating a truly custom fit. There is a tailor for every type of garment as skirts, trousers, waistcoats and jackets all have different handling needs.
Town or country, velvet smoking jacket or tweed shooting jacket, Hunstman typically finishes a garment eight to ten weeks after the first visit.[white_box]
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4. Edward Sexton
Savile Row’s stuffy establishment image was given a rock & roll makeover when Edward Sexton, together with the late Tommy Nutter opened the iconic Nutters on the Row in 1969. The master tailors were responsible for the flamboyant and creative looks of legendary rock stars. Including Mick and Bianca Jagger, Twiggy, Elton John, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney.
While Sexton is no longer technically on Savile Row, his Knightsbridge studio continues to make the most glamorous and stylish bespoke suits for modern day divas like Naomi Campbell and Annie Lennox.
The Sexton custom process is precisely the same for women as it is for men. The technique encompasses design, technical construction, balance and flair. The brand’s expressive cuts reveal an understanding of what clients want above all. Which is to look stunning, and to fully feel and own their power.
5. Kathryn Sargent
Discovered as a rising star during her fifteen-year career at Gieves & Hawkes of No.1 Savile Row, Kathryn Sargent rose to the position of Head Cutter, the first woman to do so in the entire history of Savile Row.
In 2012, she struck out on her own, opening her studio on Brook Street in Mayfair. Though her studio caters to both men and women, Sargent is especially passionate about women’s tailoring, and specializes in the business sector. Some of the most powerful women in London are among her most valued clients. Including some members of the Royal Family, though she is too discreet to name names.
All pieces are handmade in London and intricately crafted as per time-honored Savile Row standards. But Sargent doesn’t have a particular “house style.” Instead, she enjoys working with everyone who comes through the door to create a suit that is absolutely unique to them.[white_box]
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6. The Deck
Capitalizing on the zeitgeist of increased focus on women’s equality in the workplace, female empowerment and the slow fashion movement, founder Daisy Knatchbull launched The Deck. A London-based tailoring house exclusively for women.
The Deck offers four signature suit styles: jackets can be single- or double-breasted and there’s a double-patched safari style. Trousers are flared, straight, wide or cigarette-slim.
Knatchbull previously worked at Huntsman & Sons, and she and her female tailor attend every fitting in the made-to-measure process in their Belgravia atelier. Luxurious fabrics come from the likes of Loro Piana and Holland & Sherry. They’re designed to take the modern woman from the office to school pick-up and then to a party. All the while standing taller and feeling bolder.
bespoke Savile Row tailored suits for women
The British tailoring industry is experiencing a renaissance, thanks to all the boss ladies seeking out the pleasures of wearing a bespoke suit. And it’s a luxury that they have deserved for a long time. Now how about we talk about that equal pay thing?
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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.
Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.