24 January 2019

Benson & Clegg: Defining British Bespoke Tailoring

The story of one of London’s most revered and respected tailoring houses begins in 1937 in London’s Mayfair, when His Majesty King George VI was on the throne and the British Empire still ruled the world – for the time being at least.

Harry Benson and Thomas Clegg, two long established West-end cutters and tailors to members of the Royal Family, had made their name at Piccadilly tailors Hawes & Curtis. After more than 30 years in the trade they made the bold decision to establish a partnership and trade under the name Benson & Clegg. The partnership was established at 34 Bury Street in stylish St James’s and it was here that they brought their own unique style of tailoring to London’s high society, for whom a well-tailored suit was the mark of a gentleman…

“Mr Benson and Mr Clegg are known to many prominent film, stage, political and literary figures for whom they have cut clothes.”

The new premises was famed and admired for its unique ambience and sense of style – more private members club than a traditional tailors shop, as recognised by Men’s Wear magazine…

“The premises in Bury Street are exceptionally well-appointed. There are two fitting rooms, each in light oak illuminated with shadowless lights. Cosy armchairs in the reception room suggest the club lounge rather than a tailors’ shop.”

Among the first customers of Benson & Clegg was the Duke of Kent who was so beguiled by the new shop that he commissioned an order in the first week of business. However, the most famous customer to the company was His Majesty King George VI. The King had been a customer to Messrs Benson and Clegg while holding the title of the Duke of York, but following his accession to the throne Benson & Clegg were formally appointed as his bespoke tailors and later granted the Royal Warrant. In being given this honour, Benson & Clegg were responsible for the creation of the King’s formal attire, including his famous Naval jacket, often seen in many historical photographs. During his reign, King George VI epitomised British sartorial style and sophistication, and his suits were admired across the globe. His clothing represented the best in British tailoring, a tradition we have continued to this day.

In 1976 Benson & Clegg moved to its historic premises at 9 Piccadilly Arcade on London’s famous Jermyn Street – the epicentre of men’s style and fashion. It is from here that we have grown to become one of London’s most well known and respected providers of tailoring and outfitting. Our exacting standards and exemplary service was recognised in 1992 by HRH The Prince of Wales from whom we were awarded the Royal Warrant – an honour we still hold to this day.

Today, under the leadership of Mark Gordon, we pride ourselves in representing the very essence of British craftsmanship and heritage, firmly rooted in tradition but always pushing the boundaries of innovation, continuing to define British bespoke tailoring for over 80 years.