Huddersfield cloth is renowned as among the finest in the world and anyone who is anyone is proud to wear a suit with Made In Huddersfield on it.
Just ask Huddersfield Town manager Neil Warnock, snooker star Ken Doherty … and a Roman Centurion.
For they have had made-to-measure suits – in the case of the Roman soldier just a pair of pants – from Huddersfield company Jacob Brian.
This luxury suit-maker is hidden away down a street in Paddock … but walk into it and you walk into the ultimate made-to-measure experience.
For it’s right next to sister company Huddersfield Textiles which sources the finest cloth from several of the town’s cloth manufacturers.
This means people buying a suit don’t just see small cloth samples. You need to imagine what the finished suit would look like, so they see whole rolls of cloth and linings so they know exactly what to expect.
And they need to do really as prices start at £999 for a two-piece suit, £1,200 for a three-piece and can soar into thousands of pounds for those with something special in mind and money no object. Jacob Brian also makes shirts, coats or even just a pair of chinos.
The showroom features leather furniture, a pool table, the kind of wooden display units you’d expect in Savile Row, a grand piano, a free bar for customers and, oh, a full-size snooker table.
The showroom site used to be garages for car and caravan repairs but the building was gutted and transformed in 2019 and 2020 into what it is today, right next to the River Colne and Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
Sales director Danny Rhodes, who played cricket for Yorkshire as a junior and later went on to play for Elland and Golcar, said: “What we do here is unique but it’s all about Huddersfield.
“The cloth we use is sourced from Huddersfield and there’s nowhere else you can buy a made-to-measure suit and see the cloth length laid out on the table along with lining, buttons and trims.”
The company’s reputation has spread far and wide with one customer jetting in from New York just to buy a pair of trousers to go with a special jacket he had.
“He loves style,” said 34-year-old Danny from Lindley. “He knew about Huddersfield’s reputation and quite a lot about Huddersfield cloth so came to see it for himself.”
Other customers have travelled up from London and Birmingham.
Another is Town manager Neil Warnock whose new suit has a special message in the collar which is arguably Neil’s greatest quote during a pep talk to his team: “You’ve got to die to get three points.”
Snooker ace Ken Doherty wears Jacob Brian suits and other snooker players such as Jimmy White are now following suit – quite literally – and they sponsor Jordan Brown who is now ranked 44th in the world.
They also sponsor Town star Ben Jackson and former Town favourite Michael Hefele wears Jacob Brian suits.
Theo Mayne from Leeds who found fame on The Traitors TV show where he showed his passion for representing people from minority and LGBTQ+ backgrounds has a pink Jacob Brian suit with Diversity Is Key embroidered under the collar.
Huddersfield businessman Mike Turner who runs property development company Turner Key Developments weighs 32 stones and his size and shape means it’s impossible for him to find anything that fits off the peg.
With his wedding to fiancée Liz coming up at All Hallows Church in Almondbury in mid-April, in desperation he contacted Jacob Brian to see if they could help.
Danny certainly could and Mike ended up with a suit with a waistcoat, tie and even trim around the buttons that matched the bride’s bouquet and the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Mike, of Almondbury, said: “I usually avoid shopping as I can never find anything to fit. When Liz came down the aisle I was in tears she looked so great, but she turned to me and said ‘oh my God, you look amazing.’ It was a very special moment.
“I’d gone through so many measurements to make sure the suit fitted perfectly and the quality and attention to detail was phenomenal – the material is so luxurious. It even has mine and Liz’s names sewn into the back of the collar, along with our wedding date.”
To make each suit is a very detailed process and every consultation takes at least 90 minutes to choose the cloth and lining and then do all the measurements.
There are 15 measurements for a jacket and eight for trousers and a lot of decisions to be made – the style of lapel – single or double breasted; how many buttons on the front and the sleeves; double, single or no vent at the back; fully lined, half-lined or even unlined; size of the breast pocket.
For trousers should they be plain, single or double pleat; how many pockets and should they have buttons; straight pockets or continental sloping pocket; one button to fasten them at the front or a clip or perhaps a clip and a button.
As for linings, there’s a choice of 400 from plain to paisley to skull designs and vibrant colours that not so much catch the eye, rather poke you in it.
Then it’s a case of what colour buttons from a choice of 12, the colour of piping around them from a 26-strong range and any message sewn into the collar or your initials on your shirt.
“Every suit that goes out of here is unique,” said Danny. “There are so many combinations with cloth, lining, style and buttons that no two suits will be replicated.”
A two-piece suit uses around 3.5 metres of cloth for an average-sized person and add on another metre for a three-piece.
Once the measurements are done the suit is then sent off to be made which takes around a month.
Jacob Brian have just made identical matching suits for a father and his three-year-old son for a wedding.
As for the Roman Centurion wanting a pair of historical pants. Well, he’s in a historical re-enactment society and needed some typical Roman pants from the era. He now has an authentic pair complete with three-inch waistband, belt loops for rope and a style that tapers in from the thigh to skin-tight on the calf.
Jacob Brian now has a shop in Leeds city centre run by Max Kenworthy at 10-12 New Market Street above the famous Boris and Co Barbers near to Kirkgate Market and the Corn Exchange.
For more information see the Jacob Brian website at https://www.jacobbrian.com/
- Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.