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Entries in suiting (6)

Monday
May022016

abc's of men's fashion 60.

bespoke.

Bespoke is an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification. It may be altered or tailored to the customs, tastes, or usage of an individual purchaser.

A bespoke suit is custom-made, instead of customized from an existing pattern. An individual pattern is cut based on the client’s specific measurements and sewn by hand using fabric that is also hand-selected by the client and fitted to his body. There was a time when all men’s suits were bespoke and men would visit their tailor to be measured, be advised on fabric, style, dressing left or right. The tailor knew all his clients and used to keep patterns for future visits. The world of bespoke creates an intimate relationship between tailor and client. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for the suit to be ready.

 

- James

Wednesday
Nov262014

abc's of men's fashion - 56

blazer

Originated in the 1860s as a short jacket with patch pockets worn for cricket and tennis. In recent years,  and the blazer has arguably never been so popular, or so versatile. Gone are the laddish days of the Nineties and Noughties when it was cool not to make an effort. Dressing with elegance is now very much the fashion, something that has resulted in a resurgence in British tailoring, hence the rise of the blazer as a key component in the modern man’s day-to-day wardrobe.

A blazer, particularly a navy one, is the skeleton key that unlocks several looks. It can be dressed up with a natty pocket square and worn with a crisp white shirt, silk striped tie, smart trousers and brogues. Alternatively, it can be worn smart-casually with a button-down chambray shirt, chinos and boat shoes, or dressed down with a plain or Breton-striped T-shirt, indigo jeans and white Jack Purcells. It befits men of all ages and sizes and suits a great many occasions.

Traditionally cut a little shorter than a suit jacket, a blazer is usually worn as a ‘separate’ – ie with non-matching trousers rather than as part of the informal suit Mr Amies mentions. You do see some men wearing a suit jacket separately as a blazer, but it doesn’t look quite right because it’s usually too long.

If ever there was a garment that cracks the tricky smart-casual dress code, the blazer is surely it.

Dan Rookwood

 

- James

Friday
Nov212014

d is for double breasted.

courtesy of Mr. Hardy Amies:

Nature has made all men (and perhaps more fortunately, all women) double-breasted; and of course, all jackets follow suit. A double-breasted jacket really means therefore one with double-breasted fastenings. In this form of fastening the placing of the buttons is most important. The line is often emphasised by having the top button on either side placed where no fastening is possible. It follows therefore that the trick is most useful when a really narrow waistline is being sought. 

If double-breasted jackets were on the wane in 1964, then we have seen a veritable drought of the style for the past couple of decades. This is partly down to the sea change that took place after the 1980s, when all things Wall Street, including big shoulders, big trousers and big double-breasted lapels, fell from favour and were replaced with tighter, slimmer more high-buttoning single-breasted styles. This has remained the norm – with variations in button numbers from one to four, but always on a single-breasted jacket – for both suits and separates. However, some brave individualists have been waving the double- breasted banner for some time.

The beauty of the style is that it is very flattering, making a man look more like a superman. The most modern way of wearing it is as a separate jacket – a blazer or sports jacket alternative – with jeans or relaxed trousers in fabrics such as moleskin, corduroy or cavalry twill. You’ll look slim and chic and stand out. What more could a man want.

 

- james

Tuesday
May132014

travel with style.

this video by casey nesitat features the ludlow traveler suit by j.crew and is absolutely brilliant.

The Ludlow suit features:

  • Tailored, modern cut with a trim silhouette.
  • Narrow lapel.
  • Cotton.
  • Two-button closure.
  • Nonfunctional buttons at cuffs.
  • Pickstitching along collar, lapel and pockets.
  • Double vent.
  • Bemberg lining.
  • Slim fit.
  • Sits below waist, slimmer through hip and thigh, with a narrower leg.
  • Cut slightly shorter to ensure a clean break at the shoe.
  • Cotton.
  • Zip fly.
  • On-seam and back welt pockets.

The suit is made of cotton, and while I would never ever recommend buying a serious suit made of cotton, this isn't made to be a formal/serious business suit. as i mentioned in the title, it's a traveling suit. That doesn't mean you can't wear it for anything else, don't treat this as a professional suit, and don't have this as your first/only suit.

that being said, it's still a pretty cool idea--a lightweight, comfortable suit you can wear traveling without worrying too much about wrinkles, or maintenance. plus, apparently it's great for all travel activities: snowboarding, motorcycle riding, boating, surfing, scoring babes, flying, skateboarding on planes, standing in junkyards, and pretty much anything else.

Click here to visit j.crew's site and learn more about the ludlow traveling suit. 

Wednesday
Jan292014

parker dusseau - the commuter suit.

someone finally found a way to do it. No, I'm not talking about a way to prevent the lid on the honey squeeze bottle from getting ridiculously sticky; I'm talking about figuring out the formular to make commuting to work via bicycle while wearing a suit. Generally, when you attempt to ride a bike in a suit, there are a few things that happen:

 

  1. You show up a hot mess, with sweat on your forehead, dripping down your back, and showing through the armpits of your suit
  2. Your suit pulls at the seams in your back, forearm, crotch, and basically anywhere your body bends
  3. your pant leg gets caught in your chain
  4. you feel fairly awkward overall

 

I come bearing good news: Parker Dusseau (San Francisco, CA) has ended your days of suit-wearing, bicycle-riding woe with the commuter suit! Behold:

At first glance you think 'well now, that's a fine looking suit.' but then you see it on a bike, and you're thinking 'hey, h-how's he doin' that?' And that, my friends, is the beauty of the commuter suit.

With reflective inserts, hidden zipper pockets, ventilation sections, cuff buttons, stretch fabric, and all kinds of hidden gems, it'll feel like youre wearing nothing at all...nothing at all.

Parker Dusseau is also very aware of the fact that with a commuter suit comes the need for a commuter shirt. Well don't you fret, they've covered that as well.


The suit is made form Super 135 Merino Wool and Spandex blend fabric with a moisture resistant finish, and starts at $485 for the coat and $245 for the trousers. Jump over here to find out more about them.

- james

Tuesday
Jan072014

I got the blues.

As my graduation quickly and finally approaches, I figured it was time to invest in my future and purchase a navy blue interview suit. Seeing as how important first impressions can be in job interviews, I decided to go all out; no bargain suit for me. 

 

I went to several different places, tried on dozens of different makers, cuts, and fits, until I found the suit that I couldn't pass up. Reminder: do not buy the first suit you see, or even the first suit that fits well when you shop for a suit. Try on as many as you possibly can (within reason of ccourse). The more garments you try on, the better idea you'll have of exactly what it is you're looking for, what fits you best, which cuts you prefer, etc...

After several days of searching, I ended up at Nordstrom in Mission Viejo, California. The suit: 

  • hugo boss
  • pic stitching (hand stitched lapels)
  • peak lapels (the upward pointing lapel corners).
  • ticket pocket (tucked in)
  • flat-front trousers

After the fitting and initial adjustments were marked, I returned two more times for two more alterations to make sure the fit was perfect. When you're dropping this much money, you better make sure you get it right. Buying an interview suit is an investment in your own success. Don't set yourself up for failure with an ugly, poor-fitting suit. Step your game up and do it right.

the full breakdown

 

 

On a side note, when you're ready to take the leap into manhood and purchase a quality suit, go see Lawrence at Nordstrom in Mission Viejo, California--he's the man. Lawrence really knows his stuff. He understands current trends and timeless styles, and is both patient and kind. Trust me on this one, you won't regret it.

 

- james