Cad & The Dandy Full London Bespoke: Fitting

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cad-dandy-mirror

My return visit to Cad & the Dandy for the second fitting was conducted on one of the warmest days of the year. The thought of slipping into a woollen suit, no matter how beautifully made, was unconscionable. I wandered past the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the sweaty mass of jacketless City boys into the charming, Dickensian side alley where C&D occupy a small berth. Too small, it would seem, for their current levels of business as they are expanding into another property around the corner to house their alterations operation. The fittings would still be conducted in the current property as the purpose of the acquisition of additional property is to smarten up the experience of visiting C&D.

cad-dandy-fitting

Smartness isn’t much of an issue when it comes to the product. The last time I had seen my suit, it was a basted, half-made fragment of cobweb strength. I slipped it on and off, appraised the design and was pinned and brushed. The suit I saw this time was markedly different. I recognised the fabric in an instant; the subtlety of flannel is continually arresting. The jacket was now finished and I admired its beauty and construction as it hung there, gleaming in the spot-lit changing area. Fully canvassed and hand stitched, the jacket was something to behold but I was more concerned with how it appeared on my shoulders. The waistcoat had also been finished and the trousers, with double pleats and side adjusters, were making their debut appearance.

One has no reason to fear for one’s trousers here as they are always perfectly made. The waistcoat, next in line for analysis by James, was in need of adjustment. It lacked a little shape under the arms but it was simple work and would be completed, I was informed, in a couple of days. The jacket was splendid; snug, comfortable and beautifully weighted. James, with a rear view, began fiddling with the material; “I think this could be brought in more” he said. Initially I wasn’t sure, but a side view confirmed this. The trouble with looking in a mirror is that it isn’t nearly as accurate as a tailor’s eye.

“Are you happy with it?” asked James as John, who was responsible for the tailoring and the first fitting, wandered in from the glorious day. All the basic requirements were there – the waistcoat was shawl collared and double breasted, the jacket peak lapelled, slant and ticket pocketed and the trousers, cuffed and pleated. And it all fit my peculiar bones very well. I was certainly happy. The real question was, “Am I happier with this suit?” My first Cad & the Dandy suit was my first foray into tailoring. It fits beautifully, is robust and will always hold a special place for me in much the same way that one always remembers, clearly and affectionately, all of one’s ‘firsts.’

cad-dandy-front

I can safely say, having examined them together and worn them in quick succession, that my new suit, the highest category of suit offered by C&D, the ‘Full London Bespoke’, is a noticeably superior product that comes with a noticeably superior price. Am I happier then?  Well, I am certainly impressed. Happiness is impossible to rank so arbitrarily – it will take weeks, months and years to realise exactly how happy I am.

The question for any gentleman venturing to Cad & the Dandy to solve their suiting woes should be whether the ‘Bespoke’, a suit that actually has the right to use the term, is the correct choice for them or whether they should opt for one of the less expensive made-to-measure options. The question, as always, is one of preparedness. If you have a budget and are cautious about spending spondulicks on sartoria, opt for a made-to-measure.  If you would like a suit that gives the rest of the Row a serious run for its money, go all out for the Full London Bespoke.


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.

Comments

  1. David Royce says:

    Looking at the fit of this suit you would have been much better off-the-peg or with MTM. It’s not particularly well fitting as the proportions seem off.

  2. Derrik Ollar says:

    Personally, I think the suit looks absolutely stunning. I don’t have any double breasted vests with a shawl collar, but now, that’s on my list. Also, the pleated pants fit trim and shapely just like a well cut flat front pant would. Maybe a lot of people need to rethink their attitudes towards pleated pants.

  3. Patrick says:

    Very nice! Like the cuffs too. In the front shot, the waistcoat seems a little loose right under the chest and underarms.

  4. Patrick,

    I think that is because I had been a little over zealous with the rear buckle!

    W

  5. Jake says:

    It looks great. It’s very hard to judge the fit from photographs, but it looks good to me, so I’m not sure where David Royce is coming from. That said, if he thinks that the difference between a bespoke suit and a MTM or off-the-peg is in the fit alone, then he is mistaken.

    I too am currently getting my first bespoke suit with CatD, after doing the MTM service last time. If anyone is interested, I’m writing about the whole process including the cutting and basted fitting. http://bit.ly/cYuu2l

  6. j. says:

    No offence meant, but I happen to agree with David Royce: there is a serious problem with the proportions of either the suit or the model.

  7. E says:

    Although I think David’s take on the suit is a bit harsh, I’m not impressed either. I do think proportions are a bit off: the vest is too short, the lower part of the jacket too long and too voluminous. It makes the garment look a bit feminine.

    Also, the drape of the cloth leaves a little to be desired, in my opinion. For instance, in the last picture the left arm of the jacket looks kind of ragged. In the picture before, the inside seams of the trousers seem – again – not very fluent. It might just need a good pressing, but I’m not completely sure.

    However, shoulders and neckline are very good. Let’s just say – apart from the proportions – the suit might settle after wearing it a couple of times, but it might just need some TLC for the finishing touch..

  8. It’s interesting to note the comments on the fit of the suit.

    Although sadly predictable, I cannot agree with Mr Royce that an off-the-rack suit would be a better choice, particularly for my frame. I am a skinny squirt with pipe-cleaner arms; off-the-rack suits are made to accommodate men of bulging bicep. I second the comment made by Jake that bespoke is about more than fit and I would also be interested to learn how MTM would have been ‘better’ since a bespoke suit is a more exact fit to one’s frame as more measurements and allowances for posture are taken into account. It’s not that bespoke isn’t made-to-measure; bespoke is more than made-to-measure.

    To the comments made by j;
    The suit is made for me and to flatter ‘me.’ If the proportions are still out in your eyes, blame my mother (or father). The bottom pictures are misrepresentative as they foreshorten me slightly; this occurred because the photographer was very close to me. I apologise for providing such poor pictures for the article.

    To the comments made by E;
    In my opinion the vest is not too short. It might look ‘clipped’ because it is double-breasted and therefore horizontal at the hem, unlike a single breasted waistcoat, but any lower and the bottom buttons would be over my crotch which would present a ghastly aesthetic.

    Secondly, the opinion of the ‘ragged’ drape of the cloth – bear in mind that this is one photograph, taken of me in slight motion. I’ll admit that the fall of the sleeves doesn’t look perfect but it is down to the fact that I was dressing quickly, without a mirror, for some quick snaps. Again, I apologise for the poor quality of the photographs. In the banner picture at top, you can see that in an environment with more time to set the jacket correctly, the material drapes perfectly.

    I have no idea what you are referring to in relation to the inside seams.

    Best to all,

    W

  9. Hilton says:

    You are looking rather picturesque after your return from holiday. The tan is becoming to you.

  10. Kai says:

    Bravo Winston on the suit and the way you deal with the criticism.

  11. Petro says:

    Why not disclose that you have had a close working relationship with this outfit since at least early 2009? This might affect your impartiality. CATD have offered free upgrades in return for reviews in the past (I stress reviews, not necessarily a positive one), so I certainly don’t think it’s rude to ask for a full disclosure.

    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?98537-Opinions-on-MTM-Cad-amp-the-Dandy-et-al.&p=1014832#post1014832

    http://www.cadandthedandy.co.uk/wardrobe/?p=49