Beginner's Choice - Graham Browne

Sometimes I am asked about suggestions on entry level bespoke tailors, places people can venture without breaking the bank. Clearly, most of the Mayfair tailors will be out of our budgets and it may be unwise to spend a significant amount on a first bespoke project. Among the city tailors in London, I recommend Graham Browne as an option for beginners.

Their shop display is always pleasing to the eye, as it often includes projects they are currently working on, and this sometimes becomes an inspiration for customers. The blazer with the purple silk lapel in the picture is made with medium-weight pure wool tweed by Dashing Tweed - a young company in the bespoke market. 

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Note that the perfect pattern-matching at the back of the blazer highlights the skills of both the pattern-cutter and coat-maker.

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The lightweight fabric blazer I am wearing below is made using super 130s - all wool by J&J Minnis, a brand that had been long favoured by English tailors. There is also an enormous range of fabrics to choose from at Graham Browne; it certainly has one of the most comprehensive range out of the tailors I have encountered. Graham Browne cuts well with classic medium weight fabrics, within 12-13oz, heavy enough for 3-seasonal usage internationally. For bespoke beginners, a workhouse suit or a simple blazer will be a good starting point. 

Graham Browne's default house cut is a military silhouette, featuring a tight waist, short skirt, narrow shoulders and minimum chest drape. Such cuts often work very well with people who are comfortable with street wear.

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A standard Graham Browne two-piece suit takes around 8-10 weeks to make and starts at £1000, which is considered low for a garment that is solely made in England. All garments are assembled in the in-house workshop where a pattern-cutter, Russell or Richard, will draft a paper pattern for your measurements before going through the process of production, where traditional techniques such as full-canvasing and hand stitching is used.

Overall, my experience at Graham Browne has been great. The staff at Graham Browne try their best to tailor the needs of a specific client and tend to give thoughtful advice. I urge you to consider them as a starter to your bespoke journey.

PS: I recall they were having a New Year's sales selling Lumbs Golden Bale by H.Lesser, one of the best fabrics from the 80s, for £800. It might be worth popping down to see whether they have anything left. 

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Graham Browne

12 Well Court (off Bow Lane) London, EC4M 9DW

+44 (0) 20 7248 7730