London tailor Edward Sexton gets little play on the blogs and fora that constitute the majority of the English-language discourse on the subject of bespoke tailoring. This may be because he spends little time worrying about PR. And the reason he’s able to ignore the world of PR, I’d suggest, is down to the fact that he’s one of the UK’s very best tailors.
As both a customer and a journalist I’ve been inside most of London’s tailors’ shops, and I’ve had suits from quite a few of them. None have exhibited the attention to detail, or put in the time and care, that Sexton did when he made me a suit (pictured above). From his insistence that his coat-maker attend my fittings, rather than rely on chalk marks to see what small nips and tucks were necessary, to the fact that he likes to service his suits after they’ve been worn a few times to make sure they’re absolutely right, he provides a different level of service from most tailors.
The cut, as you might guess given his pivotal role in developing Tommy Nutter’s famous aesthetic, is uncompromising, but it’s certainly not the zoot-suit caricature that his lesser rivals accuse him off. As a result his structured jackets (“We give you the shoulders that God forgot to give you,” he told me) are a far cry from the Neapolitan garments that conventional wisdom currently deems to be the ne plus ultra of tailoring styles. However, it’s also true that many women prefer the look of a man in a structured coat.
Sexton is further distinguished by his great taste. He is among the best-dressed tailors in London, and it may be no coincidence that the other one who comes to mind is Joe Morgan, who also used to work with Tommy Nutter. I still remember a rus-in-urbe outfit of Sexton’s that consisted of a pair of cords, brown loafers, a roll-neck and a double-breasted tweed jacket. Sexton appears to be conspicuously dressed up, even on the rare occasions when he’s seen in a shirt and V-neck sweater. He is superbly dressed as a result, and has good style advice to dispense.
Perhaps the fact that one of Britain’s best tailors doesn’t go-in for light-weight construction and a Neapolitan cut is simply too dissonant a piece of information for igents to absorb; they’re more comfortable arguing about the hairsbreadth that separates Marinella and Drake’s ties, or Rubinacci and Solito suits, than they are considering genuinely different approaches to style. And the fact that Sexton’s own impressive dress sense owes nothing to the principles of sprezzatura only compounds his outsider status. However, men willing to allow the fact that there’s more to style than simply going on a voyage of sartorial discovery that slowly, but inevitably, arrives at the city of Naples should pay him the attention he deserves.