Flick through the weighty tomes found in the archive room at Number 15 Savile Row and you’ll find names as diverse as Charles Dickens, Dr Livingstone, Buffalo Bill, Winston Churchill and King Edward VII (the latter, in 1865, commissioned some eveningwear in dark blue silk – the modern iteration of which is the tuxedo).
With more than two centuries of bespoke tailoring tradition to its name, Poole is now run by Simon Cundey, who is the seventh generation of family owners (it was inherited by the eponymous founder’s cousin, Samuel Cundey, on the former’s death in 1876). The founder had a healthy fixation with the proportions of the body, according to Cundey, and this priority still reigns supreme. “It’s about the balance of the individual’s height and build,” he says. “While fashion currently has the waist button an inch-and-a-half above the bellybutton, at Poole it is put right at the true waist position. We also put the gorge line, which is where the top collar meets the lapel, higher up, which gives a real sense of elevation to the wearer.”
Other clever in-house trickery involving shoulder seams, lapel widths and waist heights all conspire to lend customers of all shapes and sizes an imperious air. If a Singapore appointment appeals, keep an eye on the house’s Our Visits page on its website. henrypoole.com