Alexandra Wood isn’t your usual tailor. For one, she’s a woman – one of the first on Savile Row, and still something of a rarity on the storied street.
Driven by a desire to make the world of men's tailoring more personal and less intimidating, Alexandra began her tailoring career in womenswear, but quickly discovered that she had a hidden talent for men’s tailoring.
After a number of years working in luxury retail, while studying Design and Professional Pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, she landed a role at Shanghai Tang on Sloane Square.
Two years later she joined its bespoke department as a tailoring assistant, but within two days was promoted to tailoring manager at the age of 21.
Since opening the doors to her own business in 2007, Alexandra has personally designed suits for a whole host of high-profile men. She even helped politician Chuka Umunna land successive placings in GQ’s Top 50 Best Dressed.
Alexandra has been a regular fixture in the fashion press – featuring in titles such as Forbes, The Sunday Times Style, and The Guardian.
Which is all to say, we’re rather pleased to announce that Alexandra is Square Mile’s new style shrink.
If you want some advice from one of Savile Row’s leading lights, just email your question to email@example.com
Now that face masks are becoming increasingly compulsory, how do I wear one without looking like a dental nurse?
Fear not, there are some that are suitably stylish options. Choose a cotton mask for longevity, comfort and sustainability. Note: anything with synthetics will make you very hot.
If you’re on a long train ride, you’ll want to feel comfortable and ensure that your style game is firmly on. Choosing a pure, luxury cotton such as pima or supima (the finest cotton) won’t cause you irritation, will be washable, and will be far more practical in the long run.
Our office has introduced a smart/casual dress code. I'm used to wearing suits. What should I be wearing?
Smart/casual is a tricky one. There is more to think about than choosing one of your trusted suits. It’s worth some pre-planning so that you’re not in a mad rush every morning.
Choose three great sports jackets; five shirts (one for each day); and three pairs of smart/casual trousers.
Choose twill, cords, smart jeans, flannel or wool for your trouser options.
Simply mix and match with a new pocket square each day if you like a splash of added colour and simply rotate each week.
It needn’t be as hard as you may think; it simply means having an organised shopping trip and buying everything at once to ensure that everything matches well together.
I need a suit for special occasions. What advice would you give?
The choices have become so varied that it’s often hard what to choose first.
However, for the sake of not getting carried away, the most classic suit would be a navy.
Navy – or blue – has been proven to be the friendliest colour. So, whether you’re going to a meeting or a wedding you can’t fail.
If you’re not looking for a conventional suit, then why not choose a cotton or cord suit, which is ideal for a really cool weekend look and the bonus is that you can split the pieces up and wear as separates.
I get so hot in the Summer and want a shirt that makes me feel cool. But I’m not a fan of creased linen. What’s my best bet?
The main importance here is that you choose a lightweight fabric made from 100% natural fibres, such as cotton or bamboo.
Not only is this good for the environment but they allow your skin to breathe, where ‘non-iron’ styles contain polyesters and or viscose and actually trap heat, therefore making you a lot hotter than necessary.
You will also want a weight of below 95g/m that indicates the weight of the cloth.
Look for poplin, Pima and Supima cottons for the ultimate in comfort value.
Supima cotton is a superior type of cotton grown in the USA, representing less than 1% of cotton grown in the world, offering strength matched with its butter-like softness.
Any questions to ask Alexandra for next month’s column? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org