the Huntsman signature : the one button cut

“Your suits make me very elegant,” confided Hubert de Givenchy to our Chairman in July 2015, at the launch in London of his latest book, celebrating Audrey Hepburn. Such an accolade, from one of the world’s most elegant men, was a wonderful endorsement of the craft of Huntsman’s bespoke tailoring.

The finest tailors understand how, by altering the proportions of the suits they cut, they can enhance the figure of their customers. At Huntsman, we have trained tailors and cutters — from father to sons, from masters to apprentices — for 167 years. A tapered waist will make a man look slimmer; bellied lapels create the illusion of broad shoulders; well-fitted trousers will give the impression of a longer leg; and a high waist-run lends balance to the torso. Indeed, by subtly manipulating the proportions of a bespoke suit in the right way, all manner of aesthetic enhancements can be made.

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The iconic Huntsman cut was first purveyed by the legendary Colin Hammick, who demonstrated a natural eye for flattering cuts. Huntsman tailors went in, as they do now, for single-button jackets and coats. “Ours tends to be a slim line,” Hammick said in 1990, “influenced by the hacking coat, with a slight waist and a slight flare and a rather low opening on our coats. We try to keep a natural shoulder, but not a Brooks Brothers shoulder. We tend to rely on the silhouette of the garment rather than the details.” Original designs were often a joint effort between tailor and customer. And what a roster: Hammick’s clients included the actors Gregory Peck, Stewart Granger, Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers and Paul Newman, as well as Gianni Agnelli and the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, and he also made capes for Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich.

Combining the most elegant characteristics of a dinner jacket with the waisted silhouette, high armhole and longer flared skirt of equestrian coats, the result was an elegant coat with firm shoulders and clean lines, which made for a quintessentially British look that was unique to Huntsman — and that still holds today. This formula has been perfected and refined over the years by a succession of first-rate cutters and tailors, each one ensuring that our tailoring stays relevant while maintaining its intrinsic Huntsman signature, moulding and shaping beautiful cloth to flatter the figure of every one of our clients.

It takes upwards of 80 hours to produce a Huntsman suit, and the process always begins with our iconic cut. Following that, the choice and quality of materials, attention to details, a trained eye and skilled handiwork are the essential ingredients to each piece,. Our cutters are architects, able to dis-guise physical incongruences through careful design and construction allowances that have been honed over many years, ensuring that the physical form of every customer is enhanced when the suit is worn, beyond that which is achievable elsewhere.

This is but one of the reasons why a Huntsman suit is uniquely uncompromising in its design and construction, and why we take such pride in our identity as a leading Savile Row tailor.