Ede & Ravenscroft is an old traditional English tailoring business specializing mainly in official and ceremonial menswear.
The Cambridge boutique offers a wide selection of suits, more casual jackets, shirts, and various other accessories for most occasions. Personal tailoring service is also available.
The quality seems very good, comparable to internationally renowned brands. Prices are fairly moderate for such standards with about £70 for a shirt or £50 for a tie.
They also stock much ceremonial wear such as Cambridge university gowns.
Ede & Ravenscroft is the go to for quality menswear, which while expensive, is a little more palatable during the end of season sale. I actually really like their clothes and selection, so the below won't actually stop me from coming again. Their shirts are surprisingly form fitting and require little additional alteration out of the wrapping. Here are the litany of downsides to note, which I acknowledge is from a North American perspective (see Harry Rosen in Canada, Barneys and Saks Fifth in the US as the standard) and may be unfair compared to other end British houses:
1) You cannot try on the shirts. They give you a sample shirt which gives you a sense of the fit, but you can never know for sure. I know it's a pain to repackage shirts, and also risk them becoming discolored if a particularly dirty individual tried it on, but if other places don't see a problem with this, why do you?
2) Alterations are extra and are NOT included. Are you kidding me? Normally if you buy something full price (that is, not on sale) this is included. Nope, something like 15 pounds for shirt cuffs, another 10 to shorten a shirt, and so on and so forth. They say they have to recover their costs and send the clothes to their tailors in London. If you go out and get it altered at your own tailor, you risk them not taking any responsibility for any defects to your clothing so in essence, you don't have much of a choice.
3) I am a young person in Cambridge shopping at your store for a tux shirt, studs and a morning jacket. How do you not ask if I'm a student or tell me about the 10% student discount? I just discovered this on their website (in order to inquire about point #4) after our purchases, and well too late, I'm now back in Canada now.
4) They do not farm out their VAT paperwork, so it is a much bigger pain to reclaim the VAT if you are an out of towner looking to reclaim the tax. Instead of getting the refund instantly at the airport, you actually have to mail the paperwork back to them after getting it stamped at customs. And guess what, they didn't give us a heads up about this, nor did they give us the envelope and stamp to send it from the airport. Now, we'll see how long it takes for them to get us our refund back.
Cycling past Ede & Ravenscroft almost(!) makes me wish I could be a man for the day- its window displays of suits, silk scarves and jackets are just so elegant. Step inside and, with its chandeliers and attentive staff, you really do feel like you're accompanying Sebastian Flight to his tailors in Brideshead Revisited! While the clothes are expensive, they can be much more reasonable during the sales, and the shaving kits, handkerchiefs and other smaller items all make perfect gifts for stylish male friends who seem to already have everything.
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