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The bespokesman - cut from a different cloth

The bespokesman - cut from a different cloth

Saving money on clothes normally involves compromising on quality, but tailor Thomas Mahon’s revolutionary new made-to-measure service is an exception to this rule. Mahon learned his trade at Anderson & Sheppard but has had his own business since 1995, and he cuts his clothes in the ‘soft’ style that is A&S’ trademark. The beauty of this is that Mahon’s clothes are incredibly comfortable, as well as looking good.

While Mahon, who’s based in Cumbria but visits London every week, is about 25% cheaper than the tailors who pay rent on Savile Row his suits are still around £2,800 each. His new MTM suits, however, cost about half this much, but give very little away in terms of quality. In fact so numerous are their virtues that it’s simpler to list them:

• Soft unstructured shoulders, which make the jackets extremely easy to wear and which mark out the wearer as a tailoring connoisseur.

• Even more extensive hand stitching than you’d expect from a Savile Row bespoke suit. This has the look and feel of a truly hand-made jacket because it truly is a hand-made jacket. First class cloth, in this case from W. Bill, London’s premier vendor of tweed.

• A quite incredible fit around the collar and back – to get such a ‘clean’ back on an unstructured MTM jacket is very unusual.

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• The beautifully formed lapel that rolls into the buttons – on most suit jackets the lapels are pressed flat like an envelope flap. Note the dandyish three-roll-two button stance.

• The modest ‘drape’ in the chest that is what separates Mahon’s style of ‘soft’ tailoring from the stiffer ‘clean’ chests made by the majority of tailors.

These unique clothes come from a unique source. Unable to find a British manufacturer he was happy with Mahon discovered that in India there are still tailors prepared to make clothes the old-fashioned way (by hand), and that the results cost no more than many designer suits.

I wore the jacket in the photographs to meet a tailor recently and noticed him checking it out. On hearing that it was MTM the tailor looked horrified, “But Tom will put us all out of business!” he gasped. This is as close to first-class bespoke as it’s possible to get for the money; it’s a product that is, in my experience, without rival. Next up from Mahon is a range of ready-to-wear suits made to the same quality. Stay tuned.

From £1,400 for two-piece suit in fine English cloth, www.englishcut.com

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