Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Double Breasted Dogstooth with Cad & the Dandy III: The Review

Here it is, the long awaited arrival of my latest bespoke suit by London tailor's the Cad & the Dandy. With the final suit here, you can get a sense of what was spoken about in the two earlier posts in the series, when I talked through the central elements of the suit's design. The finished suit has a modern, sharp quality (a pleasant surprise to me as it happens - I thought it'd look more traditional) whilst still maintain some features more readily associated with the signature 1930s aesthetic that I like to maintain in my clothes; extremely broad, sharp peaked lapels with a nice rounded belly, straight cut jetted pockets, a deep-cut single rear vent, turn-back cuffs, high waisted trousers with pleats, vertical cut welt pockets, and finished with chunky 2" turn-ups (designed specifically to match the width of the pocket jets and turn-back cuffs).

I made a number of gambles in this project and I'm pleased to say that they have paid-off, I am thrilled with the suit, both its cut and its quality. I specified whopping great lapels at 4.5" wide (this was the widest that the Cad & the Dandy would let me have them) with a high 2.5" gorge. The effect, I feel is very impressive and sharp, whilst still maintaining something of a Jazz-Age quality (helped by the dual buttonholes on each lapel which were factored into the design). I am also very pleased with the decision to cut the suit with turn-back cuffs to add a dressy quality (when dressed up, this makes a wonderful second cocktail suit alongside my chocolate number) and I'm also pleased that I kept the pockets simple, to prevent the suit from becoming too busy. I'm also very pleased with the decision to opt for a chunkier 2" turn-up than my usual 1.5" on the trousers, and that I opted for a single reverse facing pleat. I'm not usual a fan of either of these features, but the boxy quality they produce compliments the double-breasted cut of the coat.

Where I am most happy is the choice of cloth. As you will know, this suit was a somewhat snap decision on my part and I didn't design or plan it as thoroughly as I normally do before I place an order. Nonetheless, the decision to run with Dugdale's solid, dependable English worsted was a very satisfying one, the suit drapes well, feels solid without being too heavy or constricting and I love the pattern. The use of dark navy as opposed to black in the dogstooth, in my opinion, creates a softer, yet more distinctive pattern and is an inspired move by Dugdale's. I also supplied a pure purple silk satin fabric which I bought cheaply on holiday in Marrakesh to be used as the lining. Initially, I was terrified that it would clash, but I think you'll agree that the effect is rather lovely. The quality of this lining, and the fact that its very breathable, has made this suit extremely comfortable to wear, the dogstooth cloth itself is a heavy 14oz, but having worn it several times since I collected it a few weeks ago, I have not overheated once.

This being my third suit, my pattern is so perfect by now, that the forward fitting became the collection fitting, hence the reason that there are no photographs of a forward fitting to show you! I actually walked out of the shop that day, after the rear-vent setting had been tweaked slightly whilst I was still there, to help it sit more neatly, this being the only alteration necessary. The Cad & the Dandy turned the suit around for me within an hour, whilst allowing me to sit, browse some new swatches and enjoy a cup of coffee - their service was uncompromisingly helpful and efficient. My only tiny complaint, is that although the fit of the sleeve is excellent and feels like its been pitched perfectly, there is a tiny bit of excess in the rear of the sleevehead around the top of my shoulder, which creates a tiny bit of creasing when my arms are relaxed, which is not ideal - I had this on my first half-hand made blue suit, but not my second chocolate suit, so hopefully we'll be able to correct this on my next order. In all other respects, the fit is simply marvellous. the sleeves are nice and slim, the chest is cut full with a strong hourglass waist and there is a nice strong line to the shoulder and the lovely high roped sleevehead that I like on my suits. The suit drapes beautifully around my middle with no pulling and sits neatly through my back; no mean feat due to its strong curvature.

I also must point out that the Cad & the Dandy were extremely accommodating throughout; I set a very tight completion date on the suit (in order to wear it to a wedding) and the company pulled out all the stops to ensure that it would be ready in time, the whole service was extremely fast for a bespoke suit (from placing the order to the final fitting) and always I would highly recommend the Cad & the Dandy for their impressive service. They take their business very seriously, and in my experience always strive to live up to their identity as a luxury London tailors - they certainly do appreciate the value of providing a high standard of customer service - I always feel valued when I go in there.

Overall then, I can attest to yet another very enjoyable and satisfying experience with the Cad & the Dandy, and to the quality of their product. I have written about this before, but I would like to re-emphasise that there is, in my opinion, relatively little which separates the Cad & the Dandy from other more expensive London tailors. It is true, that more expensive or exclusive tailors offer more fittings, and can refine the finer points of the fit, beyond that which is feasible for the kind of price that the Cad & the Dandy offer. There is no point pretending that this is the same kind of bespoke suit that Huntsman or Norton & Sons produce, but it is nonetheless a suit of impressive quality, and the real worth of the Cad & the Dandy is in its extremely impressive value for money. I do not know of anywhere else where you can get a fully canvassed bespoke suit which fits very closely, with a hand-padded chest, lapels and hand-set sleeves (as well as all the other elements of hand-work expected of a British bespoke suit) for under £1000.00. I always leave the Cad & the Dandy feeling extremely special, and like I have an extremely precious piece of clothing in my possession, which a lot of care and skill has gone into and that, I think, is the essence of the bespoke experience.

Bespoke two piece suits start at £950.00, with a turn-around time of between eight and twelve weeks, including a basted and forward fitting. Extra fittings are undertaken if necessary, but will increase the length of the process.


  1. Absolutely beautiful. Both the man and the suit!

  2. Charming of you to say so Mark!

    Many thanks.

  3. I personally think the fit of this garment is better than the typical Anderson and Sheppard I see all the time.

    1. A bold claim, but I'm sure that the Cad & the Dandy would be delighted to hear you say so sir!


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