Labour and Wait
85 Redchurch St., E2 7DJ
For over a century, Anderson & Sheppard has been the standard-bearer of London’s famous Savile Row, its name synonymous with superior English bespoke tailoring. Its distinctive house style is softer and less constructed than its neighbours’, as comfortable as it is elegant. This style, celebrated in the annals of men’s fashion as the “English drape,” has graced the frames of distinguished gentlemen the world over: statesmen and businessmen, artists and actors, maharajas and marcheses. “In my opinion,” the designer Tom Ford has said, “Anderson & Sheppard is the best tailor in the world.”
Anderson & Sheppard is distinct in another way: it is the only Savile Row firm to remain purely a bespoke operation, with all garments made by hand in England. It has not franchised itself, branched out into ready-to-wear
ormade-to-measure, or licenced its name for overseas use. Each and every customer is measured for his own individual pattern, which is stored on the premises in Anderson & Sheppard’s one (and only) shop. From that pattern, the customer’s suits, jackets, and formal wear are made in the time-honoured way: The customer, in consultation with a salesman, selects a fabric; this fabric is cut to pattern by one of the firm’s seasoned and skilled cutters; the components are stitched together by our rigorously trained tailors; and after two to three fittings, the garment is completed to the customer’s satisfaction. This is custom tailoring, and it is all that we do.
The English drape is the legacy of the legendary tailor Frederick Scholte, who, in the early twentieth century, liberated the suit from the stiff constraints of military and court dress. Scholte attracted the custom of the Prince of Wales, the future Duke of Windsor, in 1919, and thereby began a revolution in which it became not only permissible but desirable to wear soft suits (as opposed to uniforms or the socially prescribed morning and evening coats of Edwardian times) in “proper” settings. Scholte trained Per Anderson, who, with Sidney Horatio Sheppard, further popularized the English drape and made it their own.