Mirror, Mirror: A bit of big time for Delco's genuine British tailor

Michael Beaumont in his studio with one of his custom suits; they're seen on "Super Fun Night."
Michael Beaumont in his studio with one of his custom suits; they're seen on "Super Fun Night." (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 07, 2013

ABC's new comedy Super Fun Night starring funny lady Rebel Wilson is probably on its way to Flopsville.

But Michael Beaumont, owner of Newtown Square-based tailoring outfit Beau & Co., is hoping his bespoke English suits donned by the show's male lead, actor Kevin Bishop, will be more of a bonanza.

"They called us up looking for classic English suits," said Beaumont, who hails from Manchester. "And we were so excited. I flew out there to meet with them, and we've been working with them ever since."

To date, Beaumont has sent to Los Angeles five Beau & Co. suits - including the smart grey chalk-stripe ensemble Bishop wears in the show's opening credits - two shirts, several pairs of trousers, and a couple of pieces of knitwear.

Among Beaumont's favorites? A gray waistcoat and trousers in tiny Prince of Wales check. You can't get more British than that.

 All of Beaumont's fabrics come from mills in the suburbs of his native Manchester. Although British textiles have a reputation for being strong as steel, it's more than the swatch that defines the pieces as classic English: It's all about the cut.

True British suits, Beaumont, 28, says, have the silhouette of military uniforms. The shoulders are broad, and tailors often use a heavy, stiff fabric across the chest to communicate an air of superiority. Waists are very defined.

As Beaumont talks to me, he throws his shoulders back and stands tall. He picks up a jacket and shows me two rows of pockets. One of them, he says is a "ticket pocket."

"Years ago, men used ticket pockets to hold their train tickets in," Beaumont explained. "And see this collar, it's made by hand."

These are nice throwback details for a generation of men who grew up considering khakis the height of dressy.

Beau & Co. slacks are mostly flat-front, but Beaumont can work in a pleat. And like the menswear suits of today - from New York-based Thom Browne to Philly's Commonwealth Proper - the fit is, well, quite fitted.

Nick Miller, 35, president of ProSource Construction in Villanova, gets all of his custom shirts, as well as several suits, from Beaumont.

"I'm wearing the man's version of the little black dress," he said, referring to the all-flattering wardrobe must-have for women. "I wish I was in finance sometimes so I could wear the suits every day . . . I really get noticed when I'm wearing his clothes. Everything fits so well."

On this crisp autumn morning, the fireplace is crackling and fiery-colored leaves are visible from the studio's floor-to-ceiling windows - perfect ambience for fitting groups of groomsmen, the bulk of Beaumont's clients.

On the walls are clocks set to London time and East Coast time. Two mannequins are dressed in waistcoats, and a rack of dress shirts are dotted with white collars and cuffs, and gingham prints in deep purples. (According to Beaumont, the checkered pattern will be big this fall.) Throughout the studio are decades-old notions: thimbles and seam rippers his mother retrieved from both sets of grandparents. Beaumont comes from a family of tailors.

Beaumont, however, spent most of his youth playing football (soccer for Americans). So, despite a passing interest in fashion - he was intrigued with details on blazers - he planned on becoming a professional athlete. Then at 18, he suffered a career-ending meniscus tear, so he majored in business.

After graduating, Beaumont took a job as a consultant, but at the same time - then even more intrigued with a well-made blazer - he started a tailoring business with his brother called Brooks Beaumont, sourcing all of his fabric from mills at home.

In 2009, a new job took Beaumont to Canada, where he met his wife, a native of Media. Two years later, the couple moved here - smack in the middle of the tailored-menswear revolution - and Beaumont opened Beau & Co.

He started with suits, taking customers' measurements and sending them to London to be manufactured. Those start at $1,500. Dress shirts are sewn at a New Jersey plant and range in price from $150 to $200.

This January, Beaumont plans to launch Henley Bond ( www.henleybond.com), which will enable users all over the globe to order custom shirts by submitting their measurements - a way to offer bespoke details to the time-short, digital-savvy male.

And so a classic company gets a new media twist.


ewellington@phillynews.com

215-854-2704

@ewellingtonphl

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