Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Road-Testing the [Pounds Sterling]30 Suit; the Men's Cut-Price Fashion Revolution Is upon Us, but Can a Cheap Suit Fool Those More Used to Spending Hundreds? One Writer Finds Out

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Road-Testing the [Pounds Sterling]30 Suit; the Men's Cut-Price Fashion Revolution Is upon Us, but Can a Cheap Suit Fool Those More Used to Spending Hundreds? One Writer Finds Out

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON DAVIS

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I HAVE just been to lunch where my starter and main course cost more than my suit. This might sound vulgar. Until I tell you that my suit cost [pounds sterling]30. Yes, that's [pounds sterling]30.

As in a cab ride to Heathrow, two DVDs, a good bottle of Burgundy, tickets to Legoland, or my lunch, oysters and fish pie.

I wear a suit every day. I am passionate about them and love the cut of a good suit. It puts me into work mode and makes me feel grownup and serious. I own a dozen or so, and most are bespoke, although hardly any were actually made for me. They're second-hand and I usually spend about [pounds sterling]200 on them.

I favour Hornets, a wonderful secondhand gentleman's clothing outfitters tucked away in Kensington.

The owner, Bill, has been in the game for donkey's years and knows more about tailoring than anyone else I know.

Hornets has two shops: one for suits, smoking jackets, black tie and coats - I have a 1960s Aquascutum overcoat with ivy green velvet collar that cost [pounds sterling]90 - and the other for sports jackets, shoes, jumpers and shirts. It has end-of-the-line Jermyn Street shirts for [pounds sterling]15. It's the great suit secret of London for those in the know, and popular with the likes of Jeremy Irons.

The trick is to find a suit that is a pretty good fit, then take it to a tailor who, for [pounds sterling]30 or so, will tweak it to fit perfectly.

I have, among others, a Henry Poole, a Chester Barrie, a Timothy Everest and a Huntsman. The owner of the Poole suit has five made every year and discards the old ones annually - mine hadn't been worn once. They would have been about [pounds sterling]2,000 new.

So, when I heard you could buy a suit for [pounds sterling]30, I jumped at the chance of test-wearing it. I went for one by George at Asda. And, by George, it is surprisingly good. I wasn't confident when it arrived. It was black. I hate black suits - good only for court, funerals, doormen and gay Swedish architects. …

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