Fit for a king

Personal service has tailored to the individual needs of many, including King George VI, making it an enduring choice through the decades

When you are looking for a suit fit for a king, visit a king’s tailor. Benson & Clegg, in Piccadilly Arcade on London’s Jermyn Street was granted the royal warrant as official tailor to King George VI in 1944.

The firm created the king’s suits, morning dress, military uniform, and the double breasted overcoat he wears in many historical photographs.

The tradition continues today. Benson & Clegg holds the royal warrant to the Prince of Wales as the supplier of buttons, badges and military neckwear.

So what is it that makes Benson & Clegg such an enduring choice of the monarchy?

“We provide an individual service to the customer from beginning to end,” says Kenneth Austin, Benson & Clegg’s master tailor.

“The cutter helps you choose the fabric, rather than a salesman, as in many other tailoring firms. He then measures you, oversees the tailoring and carries out the fittings. It creates an individual relationship with the client from the outset.”

Austin uses this knowledge when overseeing the creation of each suit. “I have a picture of the customer in my mind, so I can check with our in-house tailors that the construction is exactly right. As a master tailor I do some of the making myself to ensure the perfect fit.”

Unlike many firms, which use self-employed outworkers, Benson & Clegg employs its own jacket tailors on fixed salaries. “It means they can afford to take the extra time and trouble to get the details exactly right,” says Austin.

King George VI

The company also provides hand-crafted blazer buttons, hand-embroidered blazer badges and regimental silk ties, some of which are individually woven for the Prince of Wales.

“Holding a royal warrant is an honour that means we must always provide the highest level of individual servicethat extends to every customer,” says Austin.

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