Saturday, 27 March 2010

Cad and the Dandy: Final review

As expected, I got the dinner suit back from Cad and the Dandy the other day. Despite the changes that were needed, the whole process including two fittings has taken almost exactly two months, which is more or less what they promise. If you read my last review you'll remember that a couple of fairly serious errors were made, in the form of the wrong lining and the wrong type of silk facing being used. As one would expect, these were quickly rectified at no expense to me, and I don't bear Cad and the Dandy any ill-will as a result. I've heard more than one report of big-name Savile Row tailors making up a double breasted suit as single breasted, or vice versa, and I know that these things can happen. The important thing is that I am delighted with the final result.

The suit is, I'm afraid, still slightly crumpled in the above photo due to me being forced to transport it in a box. However, nothing a bit of a steam can't fix. The main thing is that the fit is excellent - noticeably better, even, than my A Suit That Fits suit, which I ascribe to the half-canvassed construction that Cad and the Dandy offer as standard. The guys at C&TD have been very helpful at making sure I get a great fit, with absolutely no attempt to hurry me away with a less-than-perfect suit, and I think the results show. In the end, I am happier with the button stance than I expected to be, and I don't think I'll be making any further changes to that.

Aside from the fit, the finishing of the suit is beautiful, with a number of the signs of quality tailoring visible, such as the pad stitching under the lapel that rolls it to slightly to keep it flat against the body of the suit.

There's also a good deal of hand-stitching, even on this suit where I didn't pay the extra for the fully hand-sewn construction. A particularly beautiful touch is the embroidered initials on the inside above the label. This is done by hand at no extra cost, and is so much nicer than simply having your name printed on the label as ASTF offers for an extra £20. In the picture below you can also see the way the pockets are constructed, cutting in to the material of the lapel, rather than having the suit cloth extend to wrap around them. I have always assumed that the latter method is better for reinforcing the pockets but, on the other hand, it seems less common on Savile Row and is used more frequently on more modern suits. Personally, I don't have a real preference either way, but I think in this case the more classic look is nicer and in any case it shows off more of that lovely red lining. You can also see the nice pocket buttons C&TD chose, that I hadn't even thought about when I ordered.

I really couldn't be more pleased with the suit. It's got the right mix of being perfect where it matters, but also with some of the clear signs of hand construction that give it a bit of personality. The whole process of ordering with C&TD has, despite the mistakes, been easy and enjoyable. I shall definitely be ordering from them again in the future.


  1. where's your cuffs? ;p

  2. My dinner shirt is too short, unfortunately. The collar is also uncomfortably tight :(
    I had the dinner jacket made to suit a 'perfect' shirt rather than my actual one, as my intention is to get a bespoke dinner shirt made in the next month or so - more on which in a future post!

  3. I don't think your comment on the shirt is correct. The arm length measure of the coat is clearly incorrect, if you order your new shirt why would you want it near your knuckles to show a bit off cuff.Your comments on the hand stitching indicate to me that C&D gave you the top of the range model not what a standard customer would have got if he had paid what you had paid. They knew you were going to comment upon the suit in your blog and gave you over the odds for the price paid. And the suit was still wrong and not fully to your specification. Bill Joyce.

  4. I think that Mr Joyce's comments are shortsighted. We know nothing of our reviewer's relationship with the people whose services he samples. We would do better to tend towards a more generous interpretation of his writing, and his tailor's work.

    I would also point out that the sleeves are not especially long. Sleeve length is anyway a personal choice. Indeed, on a more formal jacket, especially a dinner jacket, it seems to me that a slightly longer sleeve is suitable. The jacket is for formal leisure wear, and a longer sleeve appropriately suggests that practicality is not necessarily the primary concern.

  5. Bill,

    Thanks for your comments. I find that condemning coat sleeve length (or, indeed, most aspects of style) as 'simply incorrect' is generally not very helpful, as so much variation is permissible on account of personal taste. In my case, I find that my height means that slightly longer sleeves suit me, and I think that with a correctly fitted shirt, the sleeves will look perfect. If they do not, I shall indeed have them changed.

    The Cad and the Dandy website states that even their basic level suits have a certain amount of hand stitching, and I certainly have no reason to think that I have been given anything more than what I paid for. I also have no reason to believe that anyone at C&tD was aware of this blog when I ordered. You make quite a bold assertion based on seemingly very little knowledge of the facts, something which I find rather ungentlemanly.

    The assertion that the suit was 'still wrong and not fully to your specification' is also a bit odd. As I said, mistakes were made and rectified, as they have been by much bigger-name tailors than Cad and the Dandy. The suit is now precisely to my specification.

    Bill, I appreciate any comments on this blog, and I am certainly happy for people to disagree with or critique my style choices. On the other hand, leveling baseless accusations at my tailors is rude in the extreme, and not particularly welcome.

  6. Bill Joyce, comments.
    Well we are both right then, although hardly baseless. My comments were not meant to offend, you seem to have reacted badly to my opinion that they made you a better suit for the money you paid. I am no gentleman so you haven't offended me. I see C&D as trading off true bespoke tailoring. I see no difference in them from Dress2Kill or King & Allen or A suits that fit, where you can get a very similar suit for much less investment. C&D are just the new kids on the block.

  7. Bill, thanks for your response. The reason I reacted as I did is that your comment implied that C&tD deliberately misled me in order to cause me to write an unjustifiably positive review. The fact that I would personally benefited does not change the fact that they would have been dishonest with me (and therefore my readers) for their own personal gain. I cannot categorically say that they have not done this, all I can say is that there is no reason to believe that they have, and that for you to imply otherwise strikes me as rude.

    I can see that you don't like C&tD, which is a shame. I cannot comment on how they differ to D2K or King and Allen as I have not experienced these tailors. I personally will not use King and Allen while it continues to sell itself as bespoke, something which C&tD very pointedly do not do. Indeed, Ian specifically mentioned to me that it is important to C&tD would never to claim to be something they are not.

    I think I have explained ways that they are different to A Suit That Fits, and my feeling is that C&tD provide a far better suit for very similar prices. ASTF prices certainly vary more, but that is because they charge for every little extra - the only way to get a suit from ASTF cheaper than from C&tD is to use horrible fabric and leave out all the nicer details.

    Your comment about 'trading off' true bespoke tailoring seems strange to me. I don't think C&tD claim to be anything other than what they are: a very good made-to-measure tailor, providing great quality suits at around a quarter of the price of Savile Row. Tailoring, like almost any market, inevitably has companies at all levels: from Asda to Anderson & Sheppard. I choose not to wear Asda suits, but I respect that they fulfill a place in the market, and I don't condemn Asda for 'trading off' better clothing manufacturers.
    C&tD occupy a different enough position in the market that they are very unlikely to harm 'real' bespoke tailors. If anything, they might help to get people more interested in custom tailoring by providing a useful stepping stone.

  8. Thank you very much for your review, I'm now determined to buy a suit from C&tD.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay?

  9. Hi,

    Do! I can't recommend them highly enough.

    Their prices have changed a bit since I bought this suit and, in any case, are variable depending on the cloth you choose. Your best guide is this page on their website:

  10. My rule of style is no 3, style should make u feel good, happy and confident. All rules of style are very nicely written. thanks for posting


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