features
Golden Shears 2013
A look at Jennie McWalter's entry for The Golden Shears 2013
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HRH The Prince of Wales
A visit to the Bespoke Shop by HRH The Prince of Wales
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The Bespoke Shop
A look at the Bespoke Shop and the ordering process
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Clifford Street
A look at our new Clifford Street Shop
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top 5 articles about the notebook
contributors
Finnan
Finnan is an apprentice coat cutter under John Hitchcock and... More
Oliver
Oliver is a junior trouser cutter at Anderson & Sheppard... More
Sunna
Sunna recently finished her apprentiship as a tailor under Derrick... More
James
James is Front of House at Anderson & Sheppard and... More
Ollie
Ollie joined Anderson & Sheppard from Newham College as an... More
Jennie
Jennie is an apprentice coat maker at Anderson & Sheppard.... More
Mr Hitchcock
John Hitchcock is Managing Director and Head Cutter at Anderson... More
Anda
Anda is the Vice Chairman of Anderson & Sheppard and... More
Audie
Audie runs the Clifford Street store and has 30 years... More
Emily
Emily joined Anderson & Sheppard in December 2011 and works... More
Conor
Conor joined Anderson & Sheppard in 2012 and works in... More
Ashleigh
Ashleigh joined Anderson & Sheppard as an apprentice coatmaker early... More
Emily H
Emily joined Anderson & Sheppard as an apprentice coat maker... More
Max
Max works for Danny Hall and is learning to be... More
Matthew
Matthew joined us in December 2013 straight after his A-Levels.... More
Mike
Mike is the full time Trimmer at Anderson & Sheppard.... More
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IN TO THE FINALS

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We are proud to announce that Colin Heywood, our bespoke shop manager, is through to the final of the British Carp Angling Championships after six rounds of competitive qualifiers.

The semi-final heats are taking place on Barston Lakes in the Midlands.  Barston is an incredibly prolific venue that, in the right conditions and on the right day, can produce massive weights. It is one of only 4 venues in the country to be in the 1000lb club during an official competition; the others being the famous Drayton reservoir, Thorpe Lea, and Elphicks North Lake.  Colin and his teammate Steve Gee will compete in the finals on the 12th September at Wraysbury Nature Reserve in Surrey.  We all wish them luck.

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THE BOWER ROEBUCK MILL

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At the beginning of June Ashley, Emily and I went on a day visit to the Bower Roebuck mill together with other members of the bespoke tailoring trade in Savile Row. The whole day allowed me to meet some very interesting people as well as gain a greater extent of insight on how cloth is designed and woven.  It is an ingenious and extremely intricate process that I can hopefully explain to some extent.

The tour started with a warm welcome from the CEO of Bower Roebuck. He told us a little bit about the heritage of the area in relation to cloth making. Established during the industrial revolution, Yorkshire’s textiles industry has set a benchmark for the highest quality Made in England cloths.  Yorkshire mills produce the majority of England’s worsted and woollen cloth. The reason why a lot of mills in England are located in the county of Yorkshire is due to the terrain of the Pennines and the very damp and wet climate (just to confirm it was raining all day when we were there). In the 18th century,the hills allowed the water to run down easily to the mills which were then powered by water. I said a quick prayer before the tour began asking for us not to get flooded, after all, the mills aren’t run by water anymore.

 

BR8BR3 I was in a group led by Wayne Fitton, a designer at Bower Roebuck. His passion and depth of knowledge was noticeable from the start and I would like to thank him as it made the tour a tremendous pleasure. The  Bower Roebuck mill is very specialised and they provide somewhat of a bespoke service to their customers. Some examples of cloths they produce are the Diamond Chip and Dali collections, all for Scabal. But before you can enjoy the luxury of the finished outcome,  over ten production steps are required to produce the cloth we all enjoy wearing. It begins with the sourcing of the highest quality yarns and and ends with the “finishing” of the cloth.  Quality control is carried out all along the process with countless numbers of checks for faults and consistency so every meter is on par with the next.

Overall, it was an extremely valuable experience which really put the cloth we work on everyday into perspective. It made me appreciate the number of hours and the immense pride that’s invested inside the mills around England which is than translated into each individual garment we produce for our customers.

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THE PACKAGE WE CALL A BUNDLE

Mike-at-the-Trimmings-StationAs the Trimmer at Anderson & Sheppard, I take great pride in preparing the trimmings,  including canvas, melton, linings and buttons.

I receive the cloth, that has expertly cut by one of our Cutters, together with a ticket, which details the customer’s details and needs.  First I cut the horse hair, which is a small piece of canvas that goes over the shoulder and chest.  Then I cut two pieces of domette, which is similar to felt and gives body to the shoulders.  It also stops any horsehair piercing through the cloth.

Next I cut a small piece of  Holland linen which becomes firm once pressed and which strengthens the pockets.  I then select the materials for the collar.  I choose and cut the undercollar melton making sure that I select the right weight and colour.  To that, I add the collar canvas, which I always cut on the bias to make sure that the collar sits perfectly on our customer’s neck.  We need to include two pieces of sylesia, which we use for pocketing. It has to be just the right thickness to withstand wear from keys, coins, pens or mobile phones.  Linings are either chosen by the customer or chosen by us at their request.

We always to try to match linings to cloth but many customers prefer to choose something more personal.  I have to make sure that the lining is suitable for the cloth’s weight.  We add our special striped lining for the sleeves.  To make our bundles, I wrap everything up in a large piece of body canvas and include the garment’s ticket.  It is now ready for the tailor.

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FOR FAR AWAY PLACES WITH STRANGE SOUNDING NAMES.

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As in the song “Far away places with strange sounding names”, these beautifully cool Irish linen shirts are perfect anywhere and at anytime of day.  There are twelve colours and the more they are washed the better they will be!


WHY I PREFER DOUBLE BREASTEDS.

Finnan-Lane-Double-Breasted-JacketAs an apprentice under Mr Hitchcock for just under four years I have been fortunate enough to learn the classic cut of an Anderson and Sheppard double breasted jacket. Its an uncompromising garment that has stood the test of time. Flicking through the pages of our book A Style is Born you will see many examples of its stylish charm.

Being of a fairly tall stature I need to think carefully about the proportions of my clothes. A double breasted has a high enough opening to cut me off at the right point giving balance between my torso and legs. Here at Anderson and Sheppard we cut a generous lapel with belly which compliments the full chest that our drape provides and gives a dramatic swooping line drawing attention to the fitted waist. These lines together with a broad shoulder really help create a waisted silhouette that is very flattering.

This is the exact reason why any gentleman can wear a double breasted jacked. It helps even out the taller figure but also provides shape to the shorter and even more portly man. This is the reason why the cut of a “DB” is so important. Its meant to been worn buttoned up. This means the cutting and fitting must be exact as the jacket needs to move with you whilst being buttoned. It can’t be too tight or the pulls created across the mass of cloth would be unsightly. Its a delicate balance.

As a younger man and given the popularity of a double breasted amongst the older gentleman I find it helps me to stand out and gives a definite maturity to my style. There are ways of creating different looks with the jacket whilst maintaining the classic elegance. Show buttons can be eliminated, especially on a seersucker or sportier cloth, providing a cleaner more modern look. The wrap-over of the foreparts can be tweaked to change the opening and show more or less shirt. Plain cloths or wide stripes work very well with the look and compliment its lines especially in darker shades.

My next suit for work is a classic Anderson and Sheppard navy blue herringbone from our specials. There is enough detail in the cloth to make it interesting but the deep shade of navy keeps it very smart at all times.