Le Snob: Tailoring is one of those physically small books that packs a huge collection of knowledge distilled from years of experience. Simon Crompton, the man behind the respected menswear blog Permanent Style and a contributor to The Rake magazine, wrote this book that was released last year. Unlike other books, Le Snob: Tailoring solely focuses on the bespoke suit while also covering ready-to-wear and made-to-measure. As the title of the book suggests, you will find yourself a tailoring snob afterward – if you already aren’t one.
The book starts off with the fundamentals discussing the differences between bespoke, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear. Also part of this section is suit styles, shapes, colors, fabrics and patterns. Fairly run-of-the-mill but essential moving forward. The author doesn’t dwell so much on this but gives enough information for the average reader.
To those with smaller budgets the second section is the most useful. The author looks more closely at ready-to-wear and made-to-measure but again doesn’t dwell too much on the topics. The list of brands/retailers in this section might very well be what most men need although they are still relatively expensive.
The highlight of this book is the third section: the bespoke process. I’ve read many things (usually bits and pieces) about bespoke suits but this one puts it all together from start to finish. The author makes it easy to understand even for the reader who hasn’t had a bespoke suit made yet.
The last few sections round out the book with how to put the finishing touches, a short discussion on formal wear, and caring for suits.
I got the feeling that the author felt he could have gone more into detail but held himself back because they would be somewhat difficult to articulate and illustrate. Maybe in his next book we will see him go into more detail.
In the last few years I’ve had many items commissioned but I wouldn’t say they are true bespoke. My tailors make a pattern but the end product is fused and not canvassed; and feature none of the handwork bespoke tailoring is known for. Nevertheless, I find this book relevant because I can see where I can improvise and that some of the pieces of wisdom are still very much applicable.
Whether you are buying ready-to-wear, having a made-to-measure suit made, or splurging on abespoke suit get a copy of Le Snob: Tailoring. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket and will ensure you get the most bang for your buck whatever way you purchase a suit.
I purchased Le Snob: Tailoring for $9.46 via Amazon.