Saturday, February 13, 2010

Henry Poole.... Again

If you missed the first Henry Poole dissection, check it out here There were a few curious details which raised several questions about the make which couldn't be answered since there was no customer label; we were therefore not sure if this were a bespoke garment or a sample or something.

To help clear the air a bit, StyleForum member Ohm was kind enough to donate a bespoke Henry Poole coat for dissection and comparison to the other coat. Thank you, Ohm.

It's a two-button in a heavy brown herringbone tweed with suede elbow patches.



The date and customer name have been crossed out on the label so we are not sure of when it was made, but the address stated of 15 Savile Row means it was made after they moved from their Cork Street premises into their current location in 1986.


One of the first things I noticed was that the lining of this garment has been sewn to the facing by machine, unlike the previous Poole coat which was done by hand, and the pockets were made directly on the lining, the same as the A&S suit that was recently dissected.


Some people maintain that the lining should be inserted by hand, for a number of reasons. These two coats show that, at least at some point in their history, both Henry Poole and Anderson & Sheppard, two of Savile Row's most prominent houses, disagreed.

Another interesting detail about this coat is that there is a pre-fab commercial shoulder pad. A thin one, but pre-fab nonetheless.


Again, many maintain that the shoulder pad should be made by hand, and I know of at least one reader who will be brandishing torch and pitchfork when he sees this, but in a tweed of this weight, not even the most experienced tailor would be able to tell the difference between a hand made pad and a pre-fab one without opening the lining.

As a company, Pooles have been known to be the most forward-thinking of all the Row houses and they have always been trying new things, and trying to stay abreast of new technologies. This is only to be commended. While I don't like their choice of haircloth in this garment, one which incorporates a synthetic core wrapped in hair and which is very common in modern, factory-produced garments, I also have the benefit of hindsight on that one. I have also tried it and decided that it wasn't for me, so I can't fault them for trying it, I just hope they have gone back to the real stuff.

The biggest surprise on the last Poole garment was the pad stitching of the lapel and collar- it was done by machine. While it is generally assumed that everybody on the Row still does this by hand, I have it from one of Gieves and Hawkes' clients that they have done this by machine for many years. Since we weren't sure whether the last Poole coat was bespoke or not, we reserved judgement about the padding. But here again, this time in a coat which we know to be bespoke, the lapel has been done by machine


and so has the collar


So it was not just a fluke.


UPDATE- I am led to believe that management at Poole's was perhaps unaware that the padding was being done by machine and has since insisted that it be done by hand. Good news.


AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

Interesting post

Unknown said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


voxsartoria said...

Wow. Satan won't like this Pooles story, since he thinks them more old school.

- B

Anonymous said...

I'm a Poole's customer, and your two disections have definitely made for an interesting read. Because of what you've written, I've taken a second look at a couple of jackets they've made me. The linings are definitely sewn in by hand, and the inside pockets definitely not directly on the lining. The seat seams are also very obviously hand done. Thank you for your very educational blog.


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