A tailor to bridegrooms, Teds and skinheads by Jessica Cusack


so enthusiastic is George Dyer, that I don’t actually get to ask him any of my standard interview questions before his next costumer is impatiently knocking at the door and all we’ve done is chat for an hour. But George is a writer’s dream in that sense: so open and friendly that all queries are answered within his lively conversation.

Artist Ed Gray clearly felt this same connection when he wandered into Threadneedleman Tailors on Walworth Road, as he asked not only for a bespoke suit but to paint George in his work space. Upon its completion, the painting – named ‘Rock of Eye’ after the expression used in the tailoring world to denote artistic instinct over any scientific cutting technique – was given to Dyer as a gift, and now takes pride of place in his shop. I recommend anyone who ventures into George’s studio to enquire about the serendipitous story which emanates out of this work; it involves The Gherkin, a boat called the Dixy Queen and a horse named The Mumpa. A truly brilliant tale.

George inspires a lot of admiration and curiosity, his craftsmanship radiating through his small shop’s windows. It is decorated with the tools of his trade, from chalk and pins to suits in various stages of realisation, resting upon walls densely covered in photographs of notable moments in George’s career. George’s most famous clients have ranged from Martin Freeman to the BBC’s Robert Elms, via David Haye, Suggs and Richard Bacon, among other stars.


Born in Jamaica and raised in South London, George started his career in the seventies as an apprentice, and worked his way up until opening Threadneedleman Tailors in Elephant and Castle, where he still resides.

An incredibly accomplished tailor, George offers bespoke suits in a variety of fashions – catering to anyone from Teds to Skinheads, bridegrooms and The City worker – and has an eye for definitive style, not replicated on the high street (Marks & Spencer is certainly not providing the perfect Mod suit these days). He even has the capacity to remember the particulars of each individual cut, listing each intricate detail from memory.

George himself is a snappy dresser, and today he is sporting a beautifully crafted waistcoat of his own design. ‘I went to school to dress up, not to learn’, he comments on his love of style, ‘I started learning after I left school.’

The independent tailors which used to populate London, and in which George learnt his craft, are now a rare sight due to the rise of cheap retail. The fact that George’s small shop has weathered this storm speaks wonders – the only difference, he tells me, between him and Saville Row is £2,000.

Our conversation eventually grinds to halt by the fervent knocking of George’s next client, clearly eager to undergo the Threadneedleman experience.


Ultimately, George is what they call ‘a real people person’, and having a suit made by him seems a veritable event. As I am bidding him farewell, the final thing I learn about George is that not only does he make great suits, but he also offers sound life advice. ‘You must find something you love and try to do it as your work’, he tells me, ‘and then you’ll never be bored. I’m here because I’m good at what I do and I surround myself with people who spread the gospel’. I can only conclude that bespoke is not a strong enough word for George’s work: unique is far more fitting.

187A Walworth Road
SE17 1RW
t: 0207 701 9181

“The only difference, he tells me, between him and Saville Row is £2,000

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