Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A Corduroy Suit: Made to Measure by Alexandra Wood Bespoke

I've featured corduroy here on the blog a few times over the years. I wear it a lot, trousers in particular, but have long wanted a corduroy suit. A collaboration with Alexandra Wood Bespoke has at last made this possible and I'm now the owner of a navy blue suit.

Alexandra Wood made to measure corduroy suit

Alex recently expanded her tailoring business from her Bishops Stortford store and last year opened in Shoreditch. She also sees clients in Savile Row and is responsible for the dapper suits of Rory Bremner and Labour MP, Chukka Umunna. She offers made to measure and bespoke services (there's a tailor based at her shop in Cheshire Street, Shoreditch). It was here that I met her to be measured for my suit.

Alex had originally suggested a wool suit, but was more than happy to accommodate my request for a made to measure corduroy creation. She loves making clothes for men and I totally agree with her view that dressing well is the best way for a man to make himself attractive and sexy. Somehow it's very gratifying being told that you look great in your new suit by a woman tailor; the message doesn't quite have the impact when it comes from a man.

I selected a navy blue corduroy cloth from Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, an attractive two-tone lining in a blue/red and, as I usually do, real horn buttons. Some weeks later I saw Alex again for a fitting and, a few tweaks later, the suit was mine. 

I love wearing corduroy because it's fundamentally casual in nature. It's a cloth with a relaxed feel to it and adopts an attractive character as it's worn in. This makes it it ideal for the relatively new concept of what I call a 'casual suit': the suit you can wear with or without a tie for less formal use.

As a made to measure suit, it was made from a pattern (block) which was adapted to fit my measurements. I asked Alex to make the shoulders fairly soft - not too padded - and that is what I got. I selected details like the number and type of buttons and pockets, the colour of the lining and the cut and length of coat and trousers. The trousers are on the slim side, but dimensions like the width of the leg are all adjustable to the wishes of the customer and fuller trouser legs can be cut if needed. The corduroy is soft and comfortable and a beautiful deep blue colour. 

A made to measure suit represents excellent value in terms of pounds spent to quality of fit.  Prices usually start at little more than good quality off-the-peg suit but the fit will be far better. My suit would cost you £950. A bespoke suit (where the process would be much more time consuming, with more measurements and fittings, some hand stitching and a greater choice of details resulting in a perfect fit), would cost around £3,000.

Alex offers not only tailoring services but a selection of stylish ready-to-wear products. See her website here.

This was a collaboration with Alexandra Wood. I am working with Alex on her spring/summer collection and look forward to introducing you to that soon.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

That is a gorgeous suit! I am terribly envious.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke

Anonymous said...


Please try this outfit with grey, rather than brown, shoes.
You might be pleased with the result.


A. Nonymous

grey fox said...

Thanks Heinz-Ulrich.

Thanks also Anon - but you're not going to persuade me into grey shoes.


Anonymous said...

David, do you find that this particular corduroy fabric is holding its shape well? I hold out hope of finding cords that do, since I love the look in a suit, but I've not had luck with longevity. Any tips on particular makers/mills or weaves, as far as high-end corduroy for suiting?

grey fox said...

Thanks Anon - it's rather early days and I'm afraid I don't have enough experience of other mill's cords to be able to compare. A good tailor should be able to answer.


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