Friday, 18 December 2015

The only time where size matters, it matters most.

Today we welcome back James Sharp to tell us more about his experience of ordering a bespoke suit from Gresham Blake... 

Welcome back, avid readers, to the second installment of my middle-aged escapades through the world of bespoke tailoring. In this delightful plethora of text you’ll find much more of what to expect on the next stage of your journey, and as expected, you’re shown through with reassuring expertise at hand. Now, you've made an appointment so see one of the associates within a branch of Gresham Blake, and you’re feeling confident in your ability to keep an appointment, but you’re not sure what to expect during it. If you've read the first part of this adventure, you already know you’re going to get quality service, (and if you haven’t you should read it here) but what you probably aren't going to be aware of is the sheer amount of choice involved.

There is a lot to peruse and choose from.
Speaking from new-found experience, it’s probably best to have a think about what sort of style, fabric and colour that piques your interest. The reason for this is simple: the choice is staggeringly high. Fortunately your associate is an expert at isolating what you do desire through your wants and needs but also discarding your dislikes discreetly. Your time is not wasted with options you were never going to approve of to begin with.

With myself, I wanted to stay simple and not over-complicate matters for my first time around. Mixing this in with my being a fan of styles around the 30s and 40s, the choices available were reduced drastically. Throw in my uses for the suit (casual, naturally) and the cost, (high quality fabric, yet affordable) and they get reduced even more. Preferred designs, colours and patterns follow, and you are even closer to your ideal image. All of this with amicable, personal advice to hand. This, I might add, helps take away the overwhelming options to make them, well, just whelming.

Yes, there’s more. I'm trying to prove a point here!
But you’re not done yet. Now you have the bit you've read in books and seen in the movies. The infamous measuring of your person. Nervous? Excited? Perhaps you’re perspiring under the sudden pressure dropped on your shoulders. The gargantuan responsibility you have to just… Stand there and let a professional work. Okay, so it’s a little anti-climactic to what you’d expect, but the act itself is a testament to precision and it’s rather interesting to be a part of your personal creation. It really sinks in that this is for you, and you alone. Your measurements are checked and re-measured by a second person to accommodate for variance and the phrase ‘measure twice, cut once’ is adhered to solemnly.
And you’re still not done. There are more options to go through. Perhaps you've never even considered them. I hadn't. It had never even occurred to me that there’d be another list of custom parts for you to browse. But there was. Lapel design, flat or angled pockets, even name embroidering is a feature. The list goes ever on!

Options are often illustrated on nearby friendly mannequins.
Eventually, after much deliberation and decision, you come to the end of your adventure. I found it quite fun, personally. The staff are easy to talk to and well informed and the whole thing felt very simple and controlled. Nothing hidden or run-away antics to worry about. What you see is what you get, only there was a lot more to see than you’d have realised.

Stay tuned for the final blog post in which I’ll take you through the last visits, on this occasion, to Gresham Blake. A fitting and the finished product are all that’s left to be delivered and I shall enjoy every second of it. While silently weeping over the calories I've been forced to abandon. Again.

Gresham Blake
20 Bond Street Brighton BN1 1RD
Mon - Thur : 10am - 5.30pm
Fri : 10.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday : 10am - 6pm
Sunday : 11am - 5pm

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