Cad & the Dandy, a couple of English clothiers whose names are as colorful as their work, are now serving clients in NYC.
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“Every tailor shop calls itself two names, but our last names—especially with the spellings—don’t exactly roll off the tongue. So we chose to play with the idea,” says James Sleater, who, along with business partner Ian Meiers, are better known as Cad & the Dandy, or C&D. “A cad is someone who’s a sort of rogue, a rascal; he is dapper and usually good with women. And a dandy is someone who dresses well.”
Although they may seem silly, Sleater and Meiers are the real deal—and their approach makes a certain amount of sense. Wouldn’t you rather think of yourself as a well-dressed rogue instead of just another suit (albeit a nice one)?
Former bankers, Sleater and Meiers have been in the bespoke suit business for three years, and have three shops in London, including one on Savile Row. Now they’re coming to New York to serve American clients for one week per month (book their next NYC trip between February 27 and March 1). We met up with them in their Midtown hotel, the Grand Hyatt, but they’ll also lug their 5,000-plus fabrics to your home or office, if that’s easier.
A bespoke suit from Cad & the Dandy takes about 10 weeks from start to finish—remarkable, because “a typical Savile Row tailor servicing a client in the States can take up to a year,” says Sleater. After about four weeks, they have a baste, and after another four, they’ll do a final fitting (and then as many additional fittings as needed, but they have to coincide with the pair’s monthly trips across the pond).
When C&D meet with a client, they start by educating the customer: explaining the differences between fabrics and which ones will suit certain styles and figures best. “Just because it is the most expensive fabric doesn’t mean that it’s the best,” Sleater says.
“One of the nice things about working with the American clientele,” he says, “is that they’re more open to color and patterns—stuff like windowpane and gingham are popular here, whereas in England people aren’t too adventurous with that.”
C&D’s playful attitudes have translated into flamboyant creations, including an exact replica of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka suit ($5,400) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an interpretation of Robin Hood’s garb for a groom’s themed wedding. “That one was tough,” says Sleater. “We weren’t going to put him up there with tights. We had to figure out how to make this work, but we had to be creative and ended up making sort of a retro spin.”
All jokes aside, Cad & the Dandy describe their house style as classic: structured tailoring, rogue shoulders, a strong silhouette, and a sleek waist point. “We don’t want to create passing fads,” says Sleater. “For example, the slim lapel look: Of course we’ll do it if someone wants it, but the classic width is what it is for a reason. We want to create suits that’ll last.”
Cad & the Dandy offer three levels of service: a machine-sewn made-to-measure suit (from about $700); a full handmade, traditional Savile Row–style suit (from about $1,300); and a hybrid, best-of-both option (from about $1,100). They make ties ($72) and pocket squares ($30), as well.