Editor's note — This is part of a continuing Pinstripes and Tweed series on custom clothing.
My much-anticipated made-to-measure blazer from Benson & Clegg that was previewed in late February was delivered a few weeks back when the renowned tailor visited Washington.
You may recall I was measured back in December at Benson & Clegg’s charming shop in the Piccadilly Arcade, which is just off Jermyn Street and only a couple of blocks from the legendary Savile Row.
While Benson & Clegg — tailor to the late King George VI, of “The King’s Speech” fame — offers a traditional bespoke service, made-to-measure is a more practicable option for Americans, as the multiple fittings required for bespoke cannot be done in a single trip to London.
Having worn my new Benson & Clegg blazer a couple of times, including on a recent visit to the spectacular Detroit Institute of Arts, I can confidently say it is a great jacket.
The blazer, commissioned in traditional navy barathea weave from Yorkshire-based Dugdale Bros. & Co., has a spiffy green lining with hacking pockets, side vents, gilt buttons featuring an American eagle and half-canvassing. Cut in a trimmer fit with a shorter and more contemporary length, the blazer is very dashing and can be paired with just about everything.
If I had to do things differently, I probably would have had a ticket pocket added and might have considered a fifth button at the cuffs. Speaking of buttons, the bottom two buttons are made functional by Benson & Clegg upon delivery as sleeve length alterations with already functional surgeon’s cuffs can be difficult.
From an American perspective, the blazer is classic English style. The shoulders, while perfect in fit, are padded — a detail that some adherents of Ivy-style might find objectionable. One thing Benson & Clegg could do as it further expands into the U.S. market is offer a three-roll-two lapel, which at present is only available with the bespoke service.
The bottom line: Benson & Clegg’s made-to-measure service is exceptional quality at an incredible value. There is simply no substitute for the personal service, craftsmanship and tailoring expertise one gets with such an established and highly regarded tailor.
— Dennis Lennox
— Dennis Lennox