It is travelling tailor season again and Peter Harvey and Graham Lawless of Davies & Son were in San Francisco last week. They arrived with a work in progress - a city suit in a 15 ounce worsted from Smith's Whole Fleece bunch. The cloth has substance between the fingers but it feels significantly lighter on the body than either a flannel or a tweed of the same weight, and should be wearable much of the year.
It is always good to see friends but our visit demonstrated once again the benefit of a forward fitting for bespoke clothing. This piece is the sixth or seventh item Peter has made for me and the pattern is close to perfected by now. Nonetheless, his well cut left sleeve has been attached incorrectly and needs to be rotated. The creases at the back of the shoulder and at the back will go away once it has been removed and re-attached. It needs to be shortened as well.
When a tailor simply sews a suit and sends it on, as the otherwise very competent Hong Kong boys do unless instructed otherwise, problems like this must be noticed by the often inexperienced customer, who must then wait until the tailor's next visit before returning his suit to Hong Kong. What is on the surface a faster process - as little as three months - ends up taking at least as long as the Savile Row firms require, and is considerably more stressful. Assuming of course that the customer has noticed the ripples behind his shoulder in the first place.
Always have a fitting.