Suits made by hand on London's famed Savile Row can take eight to 10 weeks to make and involve multiple workers: a cutter; a coatmaker; a trousermaker; a vestmaker; a coat finisher; a trouser finisher; a presser; and someone to sew buttons on. So says Patrick Grant, director of the English tailoring house Norton & Sons in a fascinating read over at the Wall Street Journal today. The story revolves around the old and new guard and how one up and comer broke with enough traditions to get himself in some legal hot water. One thing's clear, the Brits don't mess around when it comes to their suits.
The Savile Row association has formalized a tailor apprenticeship program, creating an official diploma that takes anywhere from three to 10 years to earn and requires mastery of areas like lapel-padding and buttonhole-making.