Tailors Uncovered : Anderson and Sheppard

When it comes to the discreet, elegant service that you would expect of Savile Row Tailors then none are as exquisite as Anderson and Sheppard. With no need to brag and ‘under the radar’ as the usual command to the pilot, A&S customers are a discerning and elusive crowd. Heads of state, industrialists, designers and  movie stars all frequent the establishment tucked around the corner from the main drag of tailors.

Like all good tailoring houses A&S have ` Per Anderson, apprentice to the great Frederick Scholte perfected the idea of tailoring based on the natural drape of fabric rather than the highly structured construction of the other Savile Row tailors with military backgrounds. The result is a incredibly comfortable suit that hangs neatly from the shoulders and gives the wearer the feeling that they are in charge rather than being coerced into proportion by tailoring.

 The soft shoulder line of my evening suit.

The secret is achieving a fine balance of savoir-faire drape without looking limp, as I amusingly find the Italian retranslation of the look. This is all to do with the cut of the arm holes. The expertise of A&S is in the way they can create small armholes high-up in the body. This enables a great range of movement without the collar lifting at all from the neck when raising your arms. Through the combination of their soft canvassing, meticulous hand sewing and understated shoulder pads you feel as light as a waltz, which was probably why Fred Astaire was a regular customer.

All the sleeves are hand sewn to achieve the famously comfortable shoulder. The workshops below the shop floor are the as organised and tidy as the rest of the house.

Trousers are never as simple as they seem, some pairs find you tugging at the waistband like an ingénue at her first ball and others are just perfect. My A&S trousers all fall into the latter category. Again the secret is in a cut developed by Sidney Sheppard, a trouser cutter par excellence and a fitting associate for Per.  Analogous to the comfortable arm holes, trousers are designed to sit high on your natural waist and the house is rightly keen on promoting the use of braces which not only enable them to cut their famous fish tail backs but also keep the line of the leg furrow free.

Danny Hall striking out on a linen cloth.

My A&S suits where all cut by the long serving master tailor  Mr Hitchcock who has now handed the shears and expertise to Danny Hall on the coat making side of things whilst John Malone is still busy cutting the most refined trousers. Bearing in mind the expertise of A&S when it comes to evening wear I choose to have my black tie tailored by them. The term refers more to a style than fabric. I used our fine Merino with purple dots on a ground of dark navy, a balance of formal and amusing which brightens most dinners. Needless to say the lightness of the three piece suit with silk facings has encouraged much dancing and as you can see still looks fresh after 10 years of wear.

Exquisite finishing and button holes on my waistcoat.

Shears in the skilled hands of John Malone

The whole of Anderson and Sheppard is beautifully overseen by wonderful Anda Rowland. Her highly educated eye, knowledge of luxury and business ensures the smooth running of the house. Her forward looking programme of training apprentices at all levels means that standards are always kept up for now and into the future.

Classic high waisted trousers with a fish tail for braces. I chose to have the brace buttons sewn inside.

Pressing is a surprisingly skilled job which takes years to get right, too much pressure can ruin a suit.

If an easy elegance in tailoring at the highest level is what you are after then A&S is for you. This quote from Fred Astaire seems appropriate for the fabulously run tailor. “If it doesn’t look easy it is that we have not tried hard enough yet”

Colin, always a friendly face at the front of house, do go in and chat to him.

If an easy elegance in tailoring at the highest level is what you are after then A&S is for you. This quote from Fred Astaire seems appropriate for the fabulously run tailor. “If it doesn’t look easy it is that we have not tried hard enough yet”.