Savile Row tailor Alexandra Wood aims to put smart back into the reputation of wedding suit hire – offering high style and bespoke service to ensure grooms look every bit as elegant as their brides
Alexandra Wood – a bespoke tailor who has made her name refreshing the wardrobes of sartorial Londoners – has a new venture refreshing the image of suit hire. And let’s be honest, it hasn’t always had a good press. The albums from all too many weddings tell a sorry tale of ill-fitting and creased garments picked up on the morning and removed as soon as decency allowed. But this venture is something different. Two years in the creation and taking all the knowhow Alexandra has garnered from outfitting grooms, best men and wedding guests (alongside City gentlemen), it offers a reassuringly stress-free way of getting the suited and booted you looking just right.
The chosen location for her first hire store is Bishop’s Stortford, a sleepy Hertfordshire market town half-an-hour from the City by train and convenient for Stansted Airport. The premises is a Tudor-fronted store on the High Street that has the distinction of having been a tailor’s shop for most of its long history. Alexandra says: “The landlord was delighted to have another tailor take over the store – it works with the building’s long tradition as an outfitter”. While the exterior is chocolate-box traditional, inside is a pared back setting with comfy sofas and lots of space; no stuffed racks to frighten the phobic clothes shopper. Instead, Alexandra has carefully curated an exclusive hire range that can cope with whatever the diary throws at you.
Wedding suit hire made simple
There are ten collections, ranging from the smartest summer sand through light grey (this season’s bright blue, according to Alexandra) and the classic navy. You will find a classic Bond DJ in the mix – specially made by Torre to be slim-fitting and ultra flattering – along with contemporary-cut formal morning dress and some sharp but no nonsense suits that would be perfectly in keeping with any style of wedding. All are designed with a particular style of occasion in mind, so the weight will be appropriate whether this is a chilly country church or tropical-island affair.
trends in weddings are changing, with some of her clients spending equal to or more than the bride
The process of hiring is designed to be pleasurable and Alexandra includes personal styling within the hire. This means she can assist with everything from a crisp bespoke shirt to the perfect silk pocket square and shoes. She says trends in weddings are changing, with some of her clients spending equal to or more than the bride: “Men want to feel as special as women on their wedding day and, of course, we also offer the option to hire the suit and then buy it if you fall in love with it”.
The back rooms of the store offer plenty of space to try on garments and get them properly tailored to you. This is especially convenient if a group want to choose and be measured for the same suit. Alexandra does always recommends that the groom wears something a little different to stand out – it is his day after all.
Alexandra’s customers are not just attending weddings – the service is equally convenient for summer ball or black tie occasion. Because this is not a mass-hire operation (Alexandra would typically only hire out a maximum of 18 suits a week), you can be sure she has tabs on your event. This means you don’t risk the sartorial disaster of wearing the exact same suit as a fellow guest.
Alexandra Wood Bespoke’s hire shop is at 10 High Street, Bishop’s Stortford. For hire appointments, or to discuss a bespoke suit commission in Savile Row, call 020 3369 8969. alexandrawoodbespoke.co.uk