We attend many international and national competitions as well as travelling to studios across the globe and around the country so phone or e-mail us to get a list of where we are and when we are there to make arrangements for us to visit you for a personal fitting. Call in to the shop, email or ring on 0044(0)1889 583298 to make an appointment to discuss your next tailsuit, our lead times are 6 to 8 weeks.
Ordering a suit.
already planning to travel to. Alternatively the personal fitting can be carried out in your own country as we travel extensively throughout the year to international competitions and studios in many countries around the world, there is a small charge for this service but as it saves at least one return postage charge and in most cases works out cheaper than the postage it is more than worth it for the piece of mind of a personal fitting. For details of our travel diary please call or email.
This is an interview that has been recently published
A tale of Tails. Ballroom dancing has changed over the years – shapes have become more exaggerated, dancers are expected to extend more and it’s all more athletic. Tailsuits have had to evolve with the style of dancing and have developed the need to be more streamlined and performance orientated. Bespoke are continually developing and evolving their tail suits to keep up with these changes and trends, over the past five years the need for this has become more important so the Pure Class Tailors have been busy reinventing the Tailsuit to keep ahead of the game by introducing many new concepts to the design and construction of modern dance attire. Tailor Andy Brown explained how a tailsuit is made and how they have developed their latest design. The first step in the process is obviously to meet with the client and take measurements around 10 measurements are needed in most cases with a few more if the client has specific needs or physical traits that need special attention. The tailor will look at their hold and frame and general body shape and note all the individual characteristics. With more dancers these days recognising the benefits of going to the gym many have more developed upper body and this is something new the tailor has to take note of if they are to produce a well fitting suit. Each and every suit is cut by hand using the measurements and notes that have been taken at the first meeting. Although many of the cloths used are still English woollen cloths they have changed considerably from the cloths used 5 Years ago, the cloths used are now woollen cloths still supplied by traditional Yorkshire Mills or from noted cloth merchants Holland & Sherry of Savile Row. “We have developed some very particular cloths for our new suits,” explains Andy “they are stretch cloths, we have a traditional style woollen cloth with 6% lycra content and a fantastic microfiber cloth with a satin inner face that takes the place of the lining, both of these have a one way stretch which allows the back line to be kept tensioned and clean and means the suit moves much better with the dancer. It’s important that a tailsuit feels part of the dancer and moves with them to show more body movement and not against them which some of the older style suits tended to.” “Both of these cloths are lighter than previously used with the Microfiber being the lightest, The stretch wool suits are what we call our Feathertouch Tailsuits and the Microfiber we call the Featherweight, both of these suits have no linings in the sleeves and trousers, It is important to reduce the amount of lining in stretch suits otherwise the stretch effect will be lost; a lining also adds to the weight of the suit; without it the cloth can perform much better.” The next stage for a tailsuit is in the workrooms where the sections of cloth that are now cut are hand basted together. This is the stage which produces a suit where parts are tacked together by white baste cotton. The client is contacted and a suitable date is set for the fitting, the customer will try the suit on and the fit is checked by the tailor, it is at this stage that changes to get the perfect finished fit are marked on to the suit. The changes can be made easily at this point as the suit is taken apart and re cut to accommodate any alterations. It is also at this point that the position for any padding in the suit is noted, in line with the recent changes we aim to reduce the padding to a minimum preferring to show the best of the suit and dancer. Once the adjustments should any be needed are made the suit is sewn together. Machines are used in the process to join together some of the main sections of the suit, but a lot of the process is still done by hand by the Bespoke team (consisting of 2 tailors Mark Plant the business founder and Andy Brown, 4 tailoresses and several dressmakers headed by Melanie Plant co founder). The linings for example are all felled (sewn in) by hand. Bespoke believe in traditional methods which aren’t always the quickest or easiest but are definitely the best like using a one piece collar (so that there is no seam on the back or inside edge of the collar) this involves the collar being stretched and shaped individually by hand in the traditional way, using a steam iron to stretch the collar to the correct shape for each dancer, every collar is then hand sewn and finished, “As well as doing a lot of the work by hand to keep the quality consistent and high we also believe in using English materials with as much locally sourced materials as possible,” explains Andy “as well as the cloths all the thread and buttons we use are produced in England. If we cannot find a product that is made in England we will either get it made for us or we make it ourselves.” All of this enables Bespoke to be confident in their product and service. There will then be a collection fitting where any final adjustments are made and the elastics are marked and sewn in place, the fit and care is talked through with the customer and arrangements to see the dancer on the competition floor to check the look when performing are made. On average this process will take 6-8 weeks, but can sometimes be a little quicker if a suit is needed for a specific date. Bespoke also offer a 3 day service! Although there is a surcharge for this service and there are only a limited number of slots available each year. Tailsuits used to have much deeper sleeves and broader shoulders not to mention additional weight of the many canvases and sometimes unnecessary padding, we have now through hard work and development been able to remove a lot of the canvassing and padding along with the lining mentioned earlier, this along with the new lighter cloths has reduced the weight of the suit and stretch makes them feel even lighter. Bespoke are constantly developing and researching new styles such as a new side support which is built into the side of the body of the suit and helps to maintain a clean line, they have been testing this out with several top dancers and will be making this and several other developments available very soon. As methods of weaving and production of yarn evolves the production and nature of the cloth also evolves. Add to that the changes in the nature of dancing and the need for a competitive edge and there is constant development of the perfect set of tails. Bespoke also produce Latin trousers and outfits as well as clothing for many other dance styles such as American smooth. These can be made out of the same cloths as the tailsuits or from some of our range of dance specific fabrics. We have been using for our American smooth suits a 4 way stretch crepe cloth which is very light and moves and performs very well in this demanding dance style. Again everything we make is all hand cut and made to an individual’s set of measurements. Latin trousers typically take 3-4 weeks and a smooth suit the same as a tailsuit, these still need the fittings like the tailsuits as it is just as important to get the fit and look right as on the tailsuits. Dance tailoring differs hugely from regular tailoring and so a comprehensive knowledge of dancing and its requirements and demands on the suits is essential, to ensure correct pad placement, and understanding of the silhouette and the need for a partnership to look balanced. It is this knowledge and the quality of the Pure Class suits that takes Bespoke all over the world, in the last two months alone they have visited four cities in the USA, Canada, Singapore and two areas in Germany. These trips are paid for by customers who know the importance of an expert personal service and are prepared to go to the extra lengths to achieve this. This year so far Bespoke has used over 2340 meters of cloth, nearly 4,000 buttons have been handmade and used along with thousands of meters of cotton and hundreds of meters of lining and canvas. You can be reassured that each tailsuit that leaves Bespoke has been handled by people with many years of experience who care a great deal about how you look and how your suit fits and feels, whether you live around the corner or around the world you can get a service and a product that is truly Pure Class. As they say “Pure Class is not just a brand name but a statement of service and quality”.