Custom clothier and shirtmaker Savile Row has returned to its roots with a new location that opened May 8 in Clayton.
The dress clothes tailor had previously been in Ladue, but owner David Shockley said his first store was actually stationed across the street from his new one, albeit nearly 28 years ago. He said he is enjoying the new store’s proximity to Clayton’s bustling business scene.
“We like it. It’s got a lot of good visibility and some better foot traffic,” he said. “It’s fun being part of the Clayton community.”
Located at 8101 Maryland Ave., the business crafts made-to-order tuxedos, suits, sport coats, dress shirts and trousers that accommodate a range of clients, said Wendy Jones, custom clothier for Savile Row.
Like Shockley, Jones has many years of experience in the custom clothing business. Before coming to work for Shockley, she was the owner of J.B Simpson Custom Clothiers in Ladue.
Jones said Savile Row’s customers are in search of looks that span from the conservative to the colorful, which helps keep her days interesting.
“The people are fabulous,” she said.
Jones’ passion for the industry is rooted in her family and her upbringing by “fashionable women,” which included having grandmothers who were both seamstresses. The ties go back even further, to her great-grandfather who owned a clothing store of his own.
Jones still has a piece of that heritage with her, in the form of the original tailoring kit he used to own. She also has scores of old clothing magazines and catalogues, some dating back to 1926. For Jones, there is a timeless appeal in helping others look their best.
“It gives them a sense of empowerment and stability,” she said. “You put it on and you just feel important.”
To help their clients keep feeling that way, Jones and Shockley keep in touch with a network that helps inform them of the latest trends.
For colors and cuts they turn to their international fabric suppliers in France or Italy while suit makers keep them updated on the latest styles. Jones said they also attend trade shows several times a year that provide insight into what’s new even before it’s widely available.
However, trends can emerge from beyond such established circles, forcing clothiers to stay on their toes. A few months ago, Jones said the normally restrained Matt Lauer appeared on TV wearing a sport coat with a glen plaid pattern. The Today Show host's look created a social media frenzy.
“Within minutes, it was all over Twitter,” she said. “People see that and they want it.”