Steps into the sartorial world of ready-to-wear tailoring
Words by Emma Coady, a leading personal shopper for both menswear and ladieswear.
“I love a man in a suit”
Never underestimate the power of a well fitted suit. When my housemates debrief their dates I often hear “he was wearing a suit” as if this defines their date.
The purpose of a suit is to enhance wearer’s best features. The wearer will look taller, fitter, slimmer; the male’s equivalent to a girdle.
The collective noun for tailors: a disguising of tailors. A suit will disguise your less desirable areas and create an illusion.
There are a few men who walk into the office and have a distinct sense of style. They wear a suit as if it’s a second skin.
Each consultant has their own signature style of altering a suit. Once the trust has been built, save yourself time and return to the same consultant like a mistress. A common misconception is that “it should fit perfectly straight off the peg”.
Sale shopping for suits is like an invitation to dinner when somebody else has dropped out. Your interests will fall at the mercy of availability.
Need we mention the Italian wool houses? Ci, ci, ci.English mills are also well respected. Wool blends are the perfect travel companions. Paul Smith sells two wool travel suits. One is crease, water and stain resistant. Post-work Friday backflips anyone?
Print & Colour
Fine subtle prints work on dark, subtly coloured suits. Avoid looking like an optical illusion. Pin stripes give a very corporate feel to suits. Do avoid wearing striped suits and striped shirts.
Checks are better avoided in the workplace unless they are evenly spaced and very discreet. Prince of Wales checks have an occasional look. They look sharp at weddings but in the office will leave you looking like a backing vocalist for Bruno Mars.
Take care selecting the right shade of blue. Royal Blue is occasion wear territory. Ensure navy is on the darker side for work. Light grey suits work best in a luxurious fine Italian wool. Beware of shiny suits and men who wear them!
Trouser Leg Length
Trouser length is dictated, in part; by trouser bottom width. Wider legs tend to be longer, with a break. Narrowed short as they rest on the shoe differently. Ankle swingers emphasise slim long limbs. For a wider calf opt for a longer length.
Single or Double vent?
“Does sir have a protruding bottom?” Should one have a ‘prominent seat’ a jacket with side vents may be more flattering. “wunderbar”
Frank and Beans
Suits tend to wear out on the knees and crotch first. Request your tailor to insert a silk saddle between the crotch and the crux of the trousers to prevent any rubbing. Let’s not elaborate..
The Devil is in the Detail
Lapels and ties need to be proportionate. There should be a correlation between the lapel and tie blade width. Try to avoid pocket squares and ties being identical in colour to avoid looking twee.
One button is very fashionable and best suited to formal occasions (‘i.e. Tuxedos)
The classic tends to drift between two and three button jackets. The rules for buttoning a jacket are simple: the button which sits on your ‘natural waist’ is to be fastened.
Tailoring is an experience to cherish. Enjoy your next shopping trip; if it’s offered do say YES to the complimentary champagne.
To book a personal shopping appointment with Emma, email firstname.lastname@example.org.