Good tailors for adjustments to suits, trousers and shirts are not always easy to find. There is a raft of pretty poor establishments dotted around London, staffed by dressmakers or general tailors with no specific experience of men’s tailoring.
For the last few years I have used a small outfit in Mayfair called Atelier Colpani (on Avery Row, parallel to Bond Street), which is where both Etro and Paul Smith send their customers’ alterations. However, while the work has been excellent Colpani has two chief failings: they are not specifically men’s tailors and they are in the West End, while I work in the City.
I was pleased last week, therefore, to find a bespoke tailor nearby that also does alterations: Graham Browne.
Based in Well Court, just off Bow Lane and close to Bank tube station, Graham Browne is a tailor established in 1968. Previously of Little Britain (next to St Paul’s) the firm specialises in bespoke but also does alterations – both are very reasonably priced, with bespoke starting at £790 and my adjustment to the waist of a jacket coming in at £20.
The work was well done and it was nice to see a tailor interested in the work of others: the staff inquired where my jacket had been made. It was the work of Edward Tam, someone regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with. I was pleased to hear that they approved of Edward’s work, and commented that “it is certainly among the best of the work we see out of Asia.”
An inspection of the seams confirmed that it had all been sewn by hand and fully canvassed. The only constructive criticism of Edward was that “perhaps the stitches could be a little closer together for strength.” As I have had the jacket for two years and heavy wear has produced no failed stitches, they seem to be working pretty well (no pun intended).
For those interested in Graham Browne’s bespoke work, all the measuring, cutting and pattern making is done on site. The sewing is done by a team in north London. Graham Browne has also been involved in making tweed cycling suits using the innovative material developed by Guy Hills and Kirsty McDougall of Dashing Tweeds.
The latest example of a suit in this material can be seen on the Graham Browne website, a suit for Gary Fisher – the founder of the cycle company of the same name.
While I was in the store I also saw a thick shirt-jacket in production. Entirely unlined but of a thick tweedy material, it is affectionately referred to by the staff as their lumberjack shirt.