Editor's note — This is part of a continuing Pinstripes and Tweed series on custom clothing.
The made-to-measure suit this correspondent commissioned from Benson & Clegg while on a visit to London in November arrived about 10 days ago.
Details on the jacket, made from a beautiful navy herringbone cloth from Dugdale Bros. & Co., included half-canvassing, natural shoulders, side vents, hacking pockets, a ticket pocket, three-row-two lapel, half-lining (or as the Brits called it "buggy lining") and contrasting deep red or almost maroon lining with a forest green under-collar. The sleeve cuffs are to be converted to surgeon's cuffs later this week when Benson & Clegg visits Washington.
Meanwhile, the pants were flat-front with no cuffs and featured a slimmer cut. Additionally, the belt loops were replaced with side-tab adjusters because, frankly speaking, belts are not only annoying and uncomfortable, but serve no real purpose if one's pants fit properly.
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Delivery was a bit delayed, but that was expected because of Christmas and New Year's. And unlike other experiences with overseas tailors, no "brokerage fees" were assessed by the shipping company because Benson & Clegg sent the suit via the postal service. This may have also added a couple of days to the delivery, but it saved money as both UPS and FedEx are notorious for charging customers "brokerage fees" even when no known duty has been assessed by customs.
As expected with Benson & Clegg, the quality — to say nothing of the service one receives — is superb.
The three-roll-two lapel was perfectly executed. The only disappointment came with the shoulders, which were too padded and structured to constitute natural shoulders.
The bottom line: With quarterly visits to Washington, as well as New York, Benson & Clegg's made-to-measure service is an excellent value, especially for those wanting the sartorial expertise and Savile Row quality of London's famed tailors.