Ditch dry cleaners. Sew up pockets. And dance in the dressing room. How to get… Savile Row style – at a snip
- High Street shops are full of blazers, sleek trousers and structured shoulders
- READ MORE: Finally, our High Street favourites are designing special ranges to flatter petite women… Your shortcut to tailored chic
As director of Anderson & Sheppard, Anda Rowland runs one of the most celebrated tailors on Savile Row.
Her clients, among them the King, choose from more than 4,000 different fabric types for a bespoke suit, costing more than £6,000.
But sharp suiting is far from a boys-only game. Anda is known for her understated elegance, mixing savvy High-Street buys with vintage pieces and taking inspiration from women who wear tailoring well.
‘Cate Blanchett is always my favourite,’ says Anda. ‘Tailoring is a lot about the attitude that you wear it with, and she makes it look relaxed.’
The good news is the tailoring trend is no longer just for A-Listers — High Street shops are full of blazers, sleek trousers and structured shoulders.
So, who better than Anda to give a style masterclass, revealing all she’s learned at the sharp end of the tailor’s scissors?
Here’s her advice straight from Savile Row — including how it can work just as well for women…
LOOK FOR A GENEROUS CUT
We leave a lot of extra cloth in our pieces for adjustment: three or four inches throughout the body.
It’s not unusual to see suits that have been worn for 30 years because we make them to be able to alter them.
Look for pieces with excess material built into the seams. This oversized trend is a gift.
If letting out — or taking in — won’t save a piece you love, alter it.
Linen trench coat, £179, arket.com
Can a dress become a top? Can you give the top three-quarter length sleeves?
But, if you think you’ll want to alter trousers, beware pockets on the back.
There is a limit to how much you can take the waist in before the pockets get too close.
With coats, go for quality. It elevates the everyday to something more glamorous. You’ll get far more wear out of it.
HIGH STREET HIT: Arket’s oversized jackets and trench coats are made to last.
And cotton, linen and silk can be dyed in your washing machine — to give clothes a new life for another season.
MULTI BUY LIKE MEN
High rise wide leg jeans, £35.99, zara.com
Men buying multiples is something they often get right. With women it’s the opposite — they look for variety. But if you’ve got something you look fabulous in, why not build on that?
Straight high waist jeans, £35.99, zara.com
Look for other versions of it; buy the dress you love in different colours.
When I find great trousers, ones that can be worn with trainers and heels, I buy a couple of pairs.
If you’re wearing them as part of a suit, alternate them because over time with cleaning, wear and sunfading, they will change colour slightly. You want to keep the colour match.
And never throw jeans away, however many pairs you own.
If you keep them long enough, the style will be popular again one day.
HIGH STREET HIT: Zara is a good choice for denim jeans and jackets in flattering styles and colours.
DANCE IN THE DRESSING ROOM
Linen blazer, £298, and trousers, £178, reiss.com
Fred Astaire used to wear his tails and dance around our fitting room to see how the jacket sat on his neck and if the shoulders rose when he raised his arms.
Wide leg trousers, £150, reiss.com
If you’re standing rigid in front of the mirror in a pair of heels you borrowed from the salesperson, you’re not giving yourself the best chance.
Take your time, move your arms, sit down, stand up, bend down and tie your shoelaces.
And don’t confuse tight with a good fit. Tailored pieces like jackets or dresses needs to fit across the shoulders, but something with more drape can be more flattering.
HIGH STREET HIT: Reiss has an excellent selection of jackets, trousers and suits in strong colours — not just the usual black, grey or navy.
KNOW WHEN TO SAVE AND SPLURGE
These days, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get elegant knitwear.
My tip is to take off the pilling on a cheaper buy with a small nail file. Just run it gently down the sweater and it removes it all very easily. Then you can spend more on the trousers where the choice of fabric will be more obvious.
My top tip for trousers? Take out the pocket bags and discreetly sew up the pockets. They’re always too shallow to hold anything and just add volume.
Uniqlo has affordable pieces of well-made, lambswool and cashmere knitwear
HIGH STREET HIT: Uniqlo has affordable pieces of well-made, lambswool and cashmere knitwear in simple, neat shapes.
FOCUS ON THE FABRIC
Wool blazer, £150, and wide leg trousers, £115, cos.com
Always choose natural fibres such as wool, cotton and linen — because they’re stronger, wear better, and wash and clean better than synthetics.
But avoid your dry cleaner if you can — it can actually be really tough on fabric.
Even if one of our customers wears a suit very often, we say they should only dry clean it once a year and in between bring it back to us.
We air it and steam it, which gets it pretty clean. Find a local tailor who offers this service.
It’s wrong to think ‘dry clean only’ means it must be made of noble fibre.
Wool blazer, £155, and trousers, £115, cos.com
HIGH STREET HIT: Cos has very good knitwear shapes and weights in 100 per cent merino wool and cashmere. This lovely suit would look even better if you changed the buttons to natural horn chocolate brown ones.
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