Monday 31 October 2011

2012 Sneaky Peak Part One. New Suit Range. 'The Richmond'

Here we go. This is the very first peak of the new EXCLUSIVE JB suit range for 2012. Apologies for the not so good photography. I am certainly no photographer. Professional pics will be taken once the whole range has arrived.

This new range will be called 'The Richmond"

This Range will be available to buy only for £750.00 as a 3.piece suit.

This new range will be available in 3 colours: Silver, Royal Blue & Black.

The Fabric is made in Italy by Vitale Barberis Canonico. And is 16% Kid Mohair and 84% Superfine Super 100's Wool.

2012 is really kicking off!


2011 has been an excellent year for us here at JB. We have surpassed our own expectations and things have been going rather well.

Well 2012 is going to be Ma-Hoosive (<---real word) !!!

The bookings for 2012 are already piling up, with more and more being booked every day!

If you would like to use Jack Bunneys for your 2012 wedding, then please book early. We will be fully booking weekends very early in 2012.

Also, it has become quite challenging to get an appointment at Jack Bunneys at the moment. We are currently booking Saturday appointments a few weeks in advance.

I look forward to meeting you all and look forward to an incredible and exciting 2012.


Thursday 27 October 2011

What's the difference??

Jack Bunneys is a funny little place. We have customers from all over the U.K. who travel to our shop to hire suits. And customers come from all over the world to buy suits here.

But what is the difference between Jack Bunneys and our competitors? Why do our customers drive past hundreds of other menswear shops to get to us here, in the not so desirable part of East London/Essex ?

Well to be honest I am not always 100% sure. I am confident in what we do and how we do it. But I am not always certain as to why some couples choose our shop forsaking all others.

I can only assume there are a variety of different reasons, I like to think that each customer we have the privilege to deal with has his own particular reason for choosing our shop, their reasoning being as unique as they are, and as unique as their weddings should be.

I do however get asked quite a bit, why are Jack Bunneys different? Why do people travel such long distances to visit, what was once a very local, family business? My only real response to these questions (apart from "I dunno") is to explain what we do and how we do it. To explain just how hard we all work here, and then hope that this demonstrates why are services have become desirable.

So this is what we do, and how we do it and this is the real difference between Jack Bunneys and other businesses :

Jack Bunneys has 3 full time members of staff. All three are company directors, all three perform every single role in the business. This includes making bespoke suits, designing and purchasing hire suits, preparing the hire orders, serving the customers and every other aspect of running a successful family business. We also have a couple of part-time staff, who work at weekends and on the odd occasion in the week too. Both of our part-time staff are extremely intelligent and educated to a high level (they are both students), they have also been trained to a high standard, both have completed the construction of at least one bespoke suit, by hand.

Our 'Hire' wear is made in Germany by Wilvorst. We do not hire our suits in, each and every suit we have, we own. (this may seem a peculiar statement but you would be surprised how many so-called formal wear experts use a trade hire service) Each one of our suits is custom made exclusively for Jack Bunneys. This allows us to choose the correct fabric for the correct style. Each one of our suits has been designed by ourselves here to our standards. We are always designing our suits with quality and fit in mind. Only experienced tailors (or designers) can offer this level of design. Our stock is held here on the premises (so each customer can try-on the actual suit they will receive) we use a European size scale which gives greater scope for 'in between' sizes. This allows us to get a better 'fit' when suiting our customers.

Our service, I believe is unique. I have worked for some of the biggest names in Men's formal wear and I have never come across another business which shows such attention to detail when preparing each and every hire suit:

Research and Design (We are constantly monitoring fashions and attending shows and fairs for inspiration)

Purchasing and Manufacturing (Putting our ideas into production. We source quality factories to make to the highest standard or make our own products. Actually purchasing our products so they are all in store to try.)

Advice on Fit, Style and Design. (A consultation with an experienced member of staff)

A Correct Suit Fitting.
(to try on the suit you will receive before booking)

A Fitting for each member of the party. (Each member of the party will receive a correct fitting, where they can try-on the garments they will receive on the day.

Refitting (any member of the party can request a refit at any time)

Preparation of orders 1. Making cravats and Handkerchiefs. (we make our own cravats and ties in up to 250 shades of pure silk)

Preparation of orders 2. Alteration. Yes a hire suit can be altered. (We carry out alterations to our hire suits ourselves on the premises, by hand, NO GLUE!)

Preparation of orders 3. Pressing. This is the MOST important part of the preparation. (We hand press each garment before it leaves. Including, jacket, waistcoat, trouser, shirt and neckwear.)

Preparation of orders 4. Bagging and Tagging. (Each piece is put together and bagged individually for each customer. Each bag is named individually.)

Cleaning and Pressing on Return. (every garment is dry-cleaned and hand pressed on return)

That is a breakdown of the practical things that you will receive with our service. However there are also the other unquantifiable benefits, such as the polite and professional service, the relaxed family atmosphere, the skill and knowledge of bespoke tailors and the experience of wedding professionals.

I would like to think we are unique. I would like to think there is no-one out there quite like us. I am sure that is true. There is no-one quite like us. But there are quite a few other fine establishments, who have some wonderful designs and offer an excellent service. Sometimes services which we do not even offer.

But I think our customers choose to come here because they like us! (as well as our suits and service). I know this sounds conceited but that is not how it is intended, I simply believe that the customers who choose our shop and simply must come here (despite distance, logistical issues etc.) are coming because they agree with our ethos and somehow 'get' what Jack Bunneys is all about. These wonderful people are visiting our shop because they feel comfortable that our philosophies are in alignment and we will provide the service they require for their big day.

Friday 21 October 2011

2011 Wedding Season - Pretty good i'd say.

Hi Guys,

We are nearly at the end of our 'Wedding Season' , although we still have plenty of weddings going on throughout the winter, the vast majority of weddings booked for 2011 have now come and gone.

Time for a little analysis of how our wedding season fared in these turbulent times.

I have done all of the sums (these are a comparison of Jan 2010-Oct 2010 and Jan 2011-Oct 2011) and what I have found is reasonably interesting (well at least to me)

The Wedding Hire Service grew in total by 32% in turnover.

The total turnover of the hire service increased considerably. This is due to a number of factors such as the V.A.T. increase, an increase in our hire prices and the popularity of more expensive ranges such as the "Oxford Premium, The Harrogate and The Kensington"

The total quantity of weddings increased by over 100%

The actual number of weddings booked was over double. This was because the average group size was far smaller. The popularity of "The Harrogate" range lead to quite a few individual "Groom" orders which reduced the average size of an order considerably. It also increased the quantity of weddings considerably.

The quantity of individual wedding suits hired increased by 25%

25% is still quite an increase in overall suits hired for 2011. Although not as impressive a figure as 100% in total weddings booked. This is because of the popularity of individual suit ranges such as "The Harrogate" & "The Kensington"

Obviously the average size of a wedding party has decreased significantly. (average size last year was 6.5 suits per wedding, this year it has dropped 4.3 suits per wedding).

The average size of a group has been decresed because of the popularity of individual wedding suit hires. Ranges such as the "The Harrogate" & "The Kensington" are being hired just by the groom alone.

The most popular colour in 2011 has been BLUE. 45% of all hired suits BLUE in 2011.

The Blue Worcester & Harrogate ranges have been the most popular, followed by the Oxford Premium blue and the Kensington blue. This is the first year that Blue has been the most popular colour for Jack Bunneys.

The second most popular colour in 2011 was GREY. 30% of all suits we GREY in 2011.

Grey was the most popular colour in 2010 (by just a small margin) but this year this was the surprise colour. With the Grey Oxford Premium proving very popular. This was not expected or anticipated.

The third and fourth place colours were BLACK and BROWN. They made up 20% of the total hire suits.

The Brown suit popularity has declined quite considerably in 2011, this was anticipated but still being booked quite regularly. Black wedding suits are never the most popular but are always the most consistent. Black wedding suits are used every year regardless of changes in fashion or style.

The most popular hire suit style for the second year running was 'The Worcester"

Once again the most popular wedding suit was the Worcester range. Although the most talked about range was the Harrogate. We had more interest in the Harrogate range than any other new range we have had before. The only reason the Harrogate was not booked more was the 'Very Slim Fitting' nature of the suit. In honesty the suit just did not fit all shapes and sizes.

The second most popular hire suit was the new "Harrogate" range.

This suit was the most talked about and most popular, in terms of inquiries. It would have proven to be the most popular suit for actual bookings if it were not a very slim fitting suit. But then it would not look the way it does if it were not.

The third most popular hire suit was the "Oxford Premium" style.

A classic tail suit. But in a better quality than the stores and high street brands. It seems that the public do not always want something 'different' but they really do want something that is 'better'

3.Piece suits (with matching waistcoats) made up nearly 60% of all wedding hire suits this year.

More couples than ever have chosen the matching waistcoat to the suit for the guys waistcoats, rather than the usual fancy waistcoat designs. In fact the couples I have spoken to this year have not really been big fans of wedding waistcoats. A matching waistcoat also looks very cool with the jacket off, which I think is another reason for its popularity this year.

Wedding (fancy) waistcoats were used with less than 50% of all wedding hire suits this year.

Although we are still using wedding waistcoats, it seems that their popularity is still in decline. 2011 is the first year that the figure has dropped below 50%

Cravats were used with less than 30% of our wedding suits in 2011.

As with the wedding waistcoats, it is with the cravats. More and more couples preferring the simple tie. This is because of the popularity of 3.piece suits and matching waistcoats.

Ties were used with over 70% of all wedding suits in 2011.

This is quite an incredible statistic. I would bet (not actual money of course) that Jack Bunneys is the only men's formal hire shop where this is the case.

80% of all wedding suits hired had a top pocket handkerchief.

Another addition for 2011. Top pocket handkerchiefs were rarely used in 2009/2010, now they are virtually standard.

40% of all hire suits had a pair of braces included!

This is because of Jack Bunneys obsession with getting suits to fit correctly!

We hired less than 50% of all hire suits WITHOUT shirts in 2011. This is a drastic reduction 2010.

We have been actively advising our customers to purchase shirts rather than hire. This is to ensure that each shirt is fitted correctly to each individual. This is essential when wearing slim fitting suits.

We sold nearly double the amount of wedding suits in 2011, than we did in 2010.

This was a combination of made-to-measure, bespoke, made-to-order and ready-to-wear.

May, June and July were all up on wedding suit hires for 2011.

Whilst August and September were both slightly down for the quantity of hire suits for 2011.

October is also up on the quantity of wedding suit hires for 2011 and November and December also have a larger quantity of bookings than in comparison to 2010.

So what does all this mean?

Well it means that Jack Bunneys are becoming more and more popular with each year. It also means that even our 'hire' customers are looking for something that is 'different'.

For me these statistics prove that Jack Bunneys can provide a service that is both traditional and contemporary with one not necessarily impairing the other. Traditional modes of dress will always exist and there is a customer which demands this from a traditional shop such as ours, but there is also another customer who wants something more unusual for his wedding, that does not want an 'industry standard' and this is the customer which we always consider when designing new ranges.
But more than this my conclusion is simple: The vast majority fit somewhere in between the two, finding their own place, without being pigeon holed, standing alone as unique individuals, as we all should.


Thursday 20 October 2011


So I received a lovely email last week, thanking Jack Bunneys for supplying wedding suits for their special day. This was incredible and all of us here at Jack Bunneys are eternally grateful for it. These sort of messages really do make our hard work worthwhile.
Anyway .... I decided to have a look to see if we have received any other messages of thanks, and I was shocked. We have lots of them. So here are just a few of those messages:

Hi Marc,

Firstly, I'd like to thank you and ALL the staff at Jack Bunny's who looked after myself and my groomsmen throughout the period (1 year+) we came to measure and fit our suits. I have to say
we all used to look forward to the experience on each and every occasion when we came to the shop, the way you all paid such great attention to our requirements with patience. We thank you again.

Lastly, it was a great pleasure to be fitted out in a 'Jack Bunny' suit for my wedding day and will surely recommend not only for wedding attire, but suits in general.

Keep doing what your doing's tremendous. Thanks again.

Most Sincerely

Dear Everyone at Jack Bunneys!
Thank you so much for all your help in choosing our wedding suits. The service you provided was first class and we have recommended you to anyone and everyone.
Thank you also for your help in returning some money left in one of the suits. True Honesty!
Thanks Again
T & J

The Jack Bunneys Team,
Thank you so much for all your help with our wedding suits. You guys really are a professional outfit! Here's a picture of the full colour scheme all pulled together!
Thanks again
The Chandlers

To all at Jack Bunneys
Thank you for all your time and hard work organising our wedding suits. Everyone looked amazing and we had a day we will never forget.
Tony and Jemma

All members of Staff at Jack Bunneys,
My son and I would like to express our appreciation for the way you all were so kind and helpful.
You were all part of making my sons experience something he will always remember.
It is very rare to find such quality of service in this modern time.
Thank You

Thank you for the hire of these suits. Everyone commented at how fabulous they looked!
A & S

Hi There,
We just wanted to drop you a note to express our thanks for all the help you gave us in providing our wedding suits. They were absolutely PERFECT. Despite everybody being different sizes and shapes, the suits worked brilliantly on everyone. We had so many compliments on the day from our guests and all the men felt great wearing them.
They were so good in fact that our friend has just booked the same suits for his wedding.
Thanks Again & Best Regards

To all at Jack Bunneys
Just a few words to say thank you so much for all your hard work and time in sorting out Gary, our dads, best man & 3 ushers for our wedding day.
They all looked fantastic & Gary loved his new suit.
Thanks again, we'll be recommending you in the future.
V & G

Dear all at Jack Bunneys
Just a little note to say thank you for the wonderful service and the superb suits we hired from you for our wedding.
Best Wishes
P & K

Hi Rob,
Just want to say thank you for making me look my best on our special day. Your enthusiasm and professionalism knows no bounds.
Thanks again

Dear Peter & All of the Jack Bunneys Team,
Back in September we had the most amazing wedding day. The weather was beautiful, everything happened according to plan and the people were joyful. And one piece in this big puzzle was the wedding suit was just perfect.
We wanted to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU!
Best Regards
J & S

To Everyone at Jack Bunneys,
Thank you so much for all your hard work on making all the men look so smart! Lots of guests said they were the best-fitted suits they had ever seen! We have already referred some guests to you!
Wish you all the best for the future
C & S

To All at Jack Bunneys,
We just want to take the time to let you know how thankful we are that we found such a helpful, professional and friendly formal hire specialist. From the moment we stepped foot into Jack Bunneys you greeted and treated us with such caring-ness. You helped N and all the men find the perfect suit, they all looked and fitted fabulous on the day.
Thank you again for everything you did to help our dream wedding come true.
With all our thanks and appreciation
C & N

All at Jack Bunneys
Thank you for your excellent personal service & your attention to detail, our suits looked amazing on the day!
And our wedding was perfect!
Thanks Again
N & N

To All at Jack Bunneys
Thank you so much for all your hard work and making that part of the planning so relaxed. The men looked exceptional and N is still a little smug after putting his foot down "I don't just want a brown suit, I want the one i've seen online!!" and yes he was right. They looked fantastic!
Thanks again
Kindest Regards
S & N

I am sorry that I cannot put them all in this one post together (there are far too many!). If you sent a message of thanks and i haven't featured it here, I will attempt to do a few more over the coming weeks.


A heartfelt thank you to all of you. It is these kind words that inspire and drive us.

From everyone here at Jack Bunneys. Thank you.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Mens Formal Wear My thoughts about the future of our industry

Having some discussions with the Brides and Grooms, who have been coming to collect their wedding suits today for their weddings at the weekend, has got me thinking about our little business here in Essex. It seems most of these couples have traveled huge distances (by U.K. standards) to come here and hire or buy suits, in my rather naive attempts to understand this phenomenon, I simply asked "why?"
Why come to our shop when they must have driven past a 100 other menswear shops to get to us? They quite happily replied that no-one else does what we do, no-one else has our designs, our quality and our quality of customer service.

This is obviously a good thing for our business but quite sad for the industry as a whole. The Formal Menswear business by its very nature has always been quite stagnant, never as fluid or organic as the fashion industry. The hire sector has always been the most rigid of this already stagnant industry because they are expected to be worn numerous times, the designs, styles and fabrics are slow to change. But do things really have to be this way?

When I first started in retail, I remember going to a college one day a week to pass my NVQ in retail. The training was incredibly old fashioned, even by the standards of the early 90's. We were shown videos (VHS not Betamax, i'm not that old) narrated by a gentleman in a 3.piece suit who kindly explained the difference between Menswear and the Fashion industry. The fashion industry was for women but menswear was a separate industry which was not influenced by the catwalks of Milan or Paris but rather more influenced by how chilly (or warm) a gentleman might feel on his way home from a hard days work. At the time I found these things old fashioned, sexist and unrealistic. I was a teenager and I knew how much we (my friends and I) would spend on our clothing when we went out for the night. I knew that certain shops would fall in and out of vogue with our group of friends depending on the look we were trying to achieve. Anyway within a few years a whole new sector, Men's Fashion not only emerged (it had already existed for everyone but the establishment) it has now become the standard. Men are not becoming more fashion conscious, they have been fully conscious for some years. Men are as susceptible to all the marketing and subconscious desires as women and why should they not be? After all the digital revolution has allowed us all to become acutely aware of our personal images and even manage it, to a certain extent if we wish to. We do this everyday without even considering it.

My point is this. If men are no different to women (when it comes to fashion, image and self awareness) why do we have an industry that refuses to evolve? why do we accept men's fashion everyday in our lives (consciously or subconsciously) but when it comes to wearing a suit for the most important day of our lives do we consider something out of touch with fashion and reality?

Here at Jack Bunneys we are carefully evolving our designs each wedding season. We are always eyeing the fashion industry and attempting to stretch this stagnant industry towards that end goal of having new designs each season which are unique for that time.

This is our dream and our future.