Robb Recommends: Alexandra Wood Bespoke

Bringing out the personal style smarts you never knew you had? All part of the service for The Row’s female tailor of the moment. 

Alexandra Wood has some bad news for me. “We don’t always see ourselves the way we are,” says the statuesque 43-year-old tailor and personal stylist. I’ve just told her that, when it comes to what I wear and when and why, I’m a basic navy guy. With a flash of, um, grey. Especially if it’s flannel. And in the summer, I’ve been known to dabble in camel (beige). This suits me, right? Suddenly, I’m not so sure.

Citation Longitude
Citation Longitude

If there’s one thing going for me though, it’s that we’re on the phone and Wood can’t see me. We’ve never met, in fact, and so it’s not that she’s telling me navy, grey and camel are my sartorial kryptonite: just that in her 23 years of experience, people don’t always choose the colours or the pieces that make them look, well, good. This, she assures me, is where she comes in.

So we arrange to meet. She’s based in Hertfordshire, but for the past 12 years, she’s been togging up well-heeled City types with anything from a simple two-piece made-to-measure suit to a full wardrobe style service out of Savile Row’s Holland & Sherry—suppliers of fabrics to Louis Vuitton and Thom Browne over the years—and she invites me to join her there.

We’re going to do a lifestyle audit, she explains, which in turn will inform my personal bespoke style report, a checklist of dos based on her style system. This, she goes on, will give me a colour palette and a body shape to work with, and establish my style personality. If Myers-Briggs did outfitting, sort of thing.

First of these personalities is Subtle and Understated (think a suited-and-booted Daniel Craig); then there’s the Dabbler (a pre-Barbie Ryan Gosling with the occasional lashing of brown corduroy); and lastly the Experimentalist. I’m pretty sure I’m not the latter, and when she tells me the category poster boy is Jeff Goldblum, I’m sure of it. And indeed, I’m not.

I tell her I work from home, where I mostly wear what I wore the day before, save for the odd press trip or fancy dinner when I need to dress like a proper adult rather than a vagrant artist, and that I’m not immune to jazzing up (my words, not hers, unfortunately) an ensemble (also me) with a neckerchief or a tie that wouldn’t look out of place on an office-based 1970s sitcom.

A few days later, my style report lands. It makes for interesting reading. I’ve never thought of myself as being easy to pigeon-hole—keep it enigmatic, right?—and I’m almost relieved when the report tells me I’m a blend of two colour palettes and two personalities. This strikes me as good. It means more stuff will suit me. 

My autumn tones are strong. Apparently I can get away with anything olive or a deep red shirt, and a mustard yellow beanie wouldn’t look daft either. I’m pleased to see there’s plenty of blue on there, too. Ditto summer, although it’s going to be a while before I pluck up the chutzpah to try lavender, mint or soft pink. 

When it comes to body shape, I’m trapezoid, which I gather is good news because it’s “the most balanced and desirable body shape” and the outline most clothes are made for. Fact is, I’m lucky to be tall and relatively broad shouldered, so the middle-aged belly has plenty of space to hide in. 

And then, when it comes to my style personality, I’m both Subtle and Understated and a Dabbler. A cross between the two Davids, she says, referring to Messers Gandy and Beckham. I’m more comfortable with the former, it must be said, perhaps because David is a friend of mine, but just as likely because of all those tattoos. 

Back on Savile Row, Alexandra had taken some measurements, right down to the proportions of my left wrist and the watch that’s strapped to it. And then we’d flicked through some swatches. I’m easily led, I’d said, and, much like her typical customer, I’m here for her expertise and to be told what to wear. So I give her carte blanche to pick out a winning combo. What do I think of Prince of Wales check, she asks? I reply that it reminds me of my father and a suit he used to wear in the 80s and 90s. “That’s good,” she says. “I’m going to make you a three-piece suit in it. You’ll look like a grown-up, cool version of yourself.”

She adds a striped shirt and then invites me to come back in a few weeks’ time for a fitting. And hey presto, a few weeks and one fitting later, a three-piece suit in Holland & Sherry luxury flannel super 130s Prince of Wales check and a striped shirt land on my doorstep. 

Everything fits like a glove, a dream for a guy long tired of shopping for off-the-shelf clothes required to fit a frame six and a half feet tall. As importantly, Alexandra has stretched my wardrobe, giving me something to wear that I look and feel good in and that I would almost certainly never have chosen for myself.

Better still, all this has taken very little time. A quick phone call for background, a 45-minute one-to-one appointment (which included time for me asking a few nosey journalist questions and some how-many-kids-have-you-got chat), one fitting, and that was all it took for Alexandra to see me and translate that into a wardrobe. To make me look good. 

“I can just see it,” she says when I ask how she can size up a client so quickly. “The shape, the colours, the cut. I guess it’s one of those things you either have, or you don’t.”

And she has it.

An Alexandra Wood two-piece made-to-measure suit starts from SGD 3,000, fully bespoke from around £6,000. For details visit or email

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