Tag Archives: bespoke suit

Men’s Fragrances

Bespoke tailoring instantly conjures up an image that suggests sophistication and style. Whether you’re wearing a classic handmade dinner suit tuxedo or distinctive traditional inspired three-piece suit it goes without saying that you’ll require the essential accessories to perfectly finish off the ensemble. This includes scent.

Limited Edition

The way a man smells lingers on the mind of every woman (and man) who gets a tantalising whiff of the exquisite and expensive aroma. Many fashion houses have their own unique formulas that are beautifully packaged up and introduced as an entry level purchase option for individuals wanting to flaunt style at an affordable price.
Whilst most fragrance brands look to hook potential buyers with limited edition scents that are pocket friendly, one Italian tailoring house has opted to create a buzz for another reason. Brioni’s self-titled, limited-run fragrance has a hefty £215 price tag! The buttery cognac coloured fragrance is packaged in a chunky, squat and square sculptured bottle that complements the label’s range of accessories and furniture.

Brioni’s aim was to package expensive so that it looks like it smells. Brioni features 100 notes that combine to create a dominating rich fragrance that highlights zingy citrus, smoky tones, musk, saffron, Sicilian lemon, leather and cashmere. In essence, it is designed to smell like the classic bespoke suit.
The Smell of Success

For men who aspire to look, and smell, the business careful consideration must be given to the finishing touches. Prestigious fragrance houses specialise in creating personalised bespoke scent that reflects personality, elegance and individual style. Master perfumer Oliver Creed creates “the favoured scent of the world’s most powerful, refined and attractive gentlemen.” His fragrances are bottled up and bought by the Hollywood A-List with a price tag to match – a bespoke formula can set you back a cool £10,000.

Creed’s fragrances are made with natural products that are by definition expensive. Incorporating synthetic products enables him to create a range that is a lower-grade version, without compromising too much on quality. Mass production is not on the agenda.

Aroma Appeal

Fragrance is a powerful tool that can alter mood and influence image instantly. Bespoke tailoring complements elegant sensory blends that create olfactory magnificence. In the same way you wouldn’t spoil the effect of a sophisticated handmade suit by wearing a crumpled shirt and scuffed shoes, your fragrance choice reflects the overall image and style that you wish to create. Perfectly matching fragrance to fashion has long been the pursuit of the rich, powerful and famous and bespoke garments provide the ideal introduction to upgrading your scent palette and collection.

Top 5 Expensive Fragrances

• The most expensive bottle of men’s fragrance in the world is Clive Christian No.1 Perfume for Men – retailing at £1,528.

Clive Christian No.1 – Imperial Majesty Edition Perfume is packaged in a customised bottle and priced $215.00 (or £140,000). His regular edition fragrances are a more reasonable $865 (£562).

Tom Ford has a range of sophisticated Eau de Parfums in the £142-£330 price pocket.

• If you prefer a citrus based fragrance try Annick Goutal’s Eau D’Hadrien, which supposedly smells like the Tuscan sun and costs a few quid short of £1,000.

• If you’re happy to share your unisex fragrance Caron’s Poivre has been around since 1954 and still shifts units despite the $2,000 (£1,300) tag.

Politicians & Suits

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IF, as it is considered, clothes make the man British politicians appear to be busy reflecting a message that contradicts the meaning of their profession. The old-fashioned, stuffy & traditional pin-stripe attire worn by generations of politicians has long been replaced with a more casual off duty approach to dressing. Although this implies unity with the people it does little in the way of earning respect for authority from the public. Whilst donning a handmade suit doesn’t instantly transform the nation’s views and opinions, wearing bespoke tailoring with confidence creates a more favourable and positive impression.

Public Engagement

Bespoke tailoring skillfully transforms body image, dressing confidence and the way in which other people perceive you. What it cannot do is alter posture, attitude and the ability to do the job. To genuinely look the part a politician must understand how to perfectly accessorise and present the bespoke suit. A handmade shirt, elegantly knotted silk tie in a refined but understated stripe design, exquisite cufflinks and handmade mirror polished shoes help to unite politician and bespoke attire so that they become sophistication personified. Without the confident attitude, street savvy mindset and charismatic personality to carry off a polished professional look a politician is simply a man in a posh suit.

As celebrities well know, to engage with an audience you must look, feel and think like a superstar. Whilst politicians are unlikely to scale such grand heights media attention is always gravitating in their direction. To appeal to the masses, in a role that should command respect, sharp and smart tailoring becomes essential workwear. We as the public, unfortunately, judge by appearance and unless politicians dress like they mean serious business we’re not interested in listening to what they have to say.

Status & Stature

Fashion and style are two independent statements that reflect an individual’s personality and appearance. In positions of power and influence it is important to present a sense of style and panache, simply because this is what we all aspire to possess. The way in which leaders dress is also reflective of the level to which the public feels valued. Scruffy dressing influences the audience to look elsewhere for direction and leadership.

Fashion is fleeting and rarely makes a lasting impression. For this reason alone bespoke tailoring remains the dressing option of choice for those individuals who want to project sophistication, charisma, power, knowledge and status – whatever the profession. Politicians like Nick Clegg and George Osbourne, for example, are trying too hard to be something they are not. Whilst a smart bespoke suit can make you look like someone who commands attention, authority and respect it is personal style that transforms perception. Today’s politicians lack the requirement of individual style and project an image that contradicts the reality. To look like a leader you need to think and act like one before slipping on a handmade suit to complete the picture.

In the political arena politicians must know their way around the fashion industry. Casual dressing should be reserved for off duty occasions when there is no camera in sight. Bespoke tailoring gives value and stature to your personality and when combined with accessories, and valuable fashion tips, it is simply the only way to go. To inspire like a true leader a politician must be prepared to stand out from the crowd.

 

Tailor Talk

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TAILOR TALK – A professional tailor might seem to speak a strange language at first –  the language bespoke. But most importantly he, or she, should make you feel at ease and to ask any question you wish. If you are not sure of something, just ask! Bespoke simply means made to your individual and specific pattern. The handmade tailored suit is therefore a one-of-a-kind garment that is created to make you look your very best. Understanding how best to convey your needs ensures that the tailor is able to translate your imagination into the perfect bespoke creation.

A bespoke suit speaks volumes about the wearer’s personality, character and style. Set your own trend by taking inspiration from style conscious leaders and influencers that you admire. Choose classic Saville Row style for a bespoke suit with timeless appeal or opt for contemporary simplicity with James Bond inspired elegance. Use visual references to ensure your tailor knows exactly what you want to achieve. Find a tailor who speaks your language to ensure he makes a bespoke suit that is made from a hand-drawn paper pattern to your exact body measurements.

Specialist tailors have mastered specific structuring techniques that create distinctive styles of tailoring. Whether your preference is traditional British or modern continental it is essential that you find a tailor with a complementary house style. You will feel more comfortable and relaxed with a tailor who specialises in your preferred garment style than one who has a long list of celebrity clients but doesn’t make the kind of suit you want to wear.

The tape measure never lies! No matter how you think you look the tailor will take multiple accurate measurements to capture your natural shape, size and posture. There is therefore no use in sucking in your belly when the tape measure winds around your waist. Allow the tailor to measure up so that the suit can be adjusted to compensate for specific features that you’re not comfortable with.

When visiting a tailor it is important to present the bigger picture. This means openly discussing your specific needs and requirements, along with suit purpose. When you’re being measured up you should therefore attend the appointment in suitable clothing that gives the tailor an opportunity to evaluate your unique shape and size. Wear a favourite suit and dress shoes to demonstrate how you naturally carry the garments.

When choosing a bespoke suit it is best to opt for a handmade suit that flatters your shape and size without being overly flamboyant in design. Save the quirky personal touches for the details. Add bold and luxurious silk lining to the jacket, elongate or widen the lapel and finish off with smart symmetrical buttons on the jacket sleeves. For a perfect silhouette choose a double vent.

A bespoke suit is made to your unique body shape and should therefore fit you perfectly. This means that you’ll have no need for belt loops on the trousers. Choose adjustable side tabs, with buttons, for added comfort and a streamlined look.

Take your time over any decision regarding fabric, colour, fit, style and cost. After all you want to be completely satisfied with your bespoke suit so use the multiple fittings as an opportunity to double check details. By the third fitting your suit should be practically ready to wear. Once your handmade suit is ready to wear your personal specifications will be stored in the tailor’s file, for your next appointment.

One For The Road: Cycling & Suits

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WITH an increase in the number of businessmen taking to the road on two wheels, bespoke tailoring has adapted to suit. This time, we are not talking about scooters (on which Henry Herbert tailors can often be found!), but the rise and rise of the bicycle commute.  However, looking fashionable without appearing flustered on a bike requires some sharp tailoring and clever details. The modern businessman can now opt for a suave and sophisticated handmade suit that can be tweaked to take them straight from home to the boardroom, via the cycle path.

Bespoke tailoring is all about the details. To travel in style fabric, function, fit need to be considered, and it is possible look like a cool cyclist without layering on the lycra. Cutting a dash in a smart bespoke suit that has been made with cycling in mind is the practical, sensible and logical (not to mention time-saving) choice for power dressing professionals and elegant executives.

What to look for:

The perfect cycling business suit provides comfort and flexible dressing without any compromise on classic bespoke tailoring or style. An active lifestyle requires a suit that incorporates practical features like visibility and shape retention for wear and tear on the road.

  • Choose a stain resistant fabric that is breathable and suitable for extreme weather conditions, and a cut that allows for freedom of movement and minimal creasing.
  • Make a few adjustments by lowering the jacket armhole to enable extra arm reach and additional shoulder support for riding comfort.
  • Pick a contemporary narrow trouser fit for safe cycling. A little extra padded support in the seat and crotch ensures a comfortable ride in the saddle. For additional comfort wear the trousers over padded shorts (get your lycra fix underneath!).
  • Select high visibility lining in a striking colour. Vibrant yellow reflects the Tour de France style influence and gives the bespoke suit a sharp, modern designer edge. For ease of physical movement and comfort opt for a jacket that is half lined, and keep your undercollar melton in sync with lining – so that when you flip up your collar to protect against windchill, the bright lining will show and allow for extra visibility to other road users.

Pay attention to the details:

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The ultimate cycle friendly bespoke suit takes you from A to B without any major dressing (or undressing) adjustments along the way. You will arrive at the office ready to do business.

  • Keep your cool by adding a sailor’s tab collar (see an example here) that can be adjusted according to temperature and weather conditions. This also provides wind protection around the neck and chest.
  • Add detachable fluorescent pocket flaps to increase visibility on the road.
  • Choose smart high-vis trouser turn ups to complement and finish the elegant cut of the bespoke suit.

Rather like the compact, quick-change folding bike, the bespoke suit offers a practical solution to dressing the part ready for work and play.  Choose durable and versatile fabric and distinctive details to create the perfect bespoke suit for business and leisure. Team with a complementary cycle helmet and leave the spare set of clothes at home. Say goodbye to lycra and hello to the modern fitness wardrobe for the busy executive.

 

The Myth & Legend of T.E. Lawrence

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THERE are many myths about T.E Lawrence. The flamboyant and controversial character that is classically portrayed by Peter O’Toole in David Lean’s film Lawrence Of Arabia was based on a British Military figure of below average height. Thomas Edward Lawrence may have been small in stature but his memory and legacy are of epic proportions.

Standing just 5’5″ tall Lawrence was very conscious of his stature and resolved to strengthen his physique and character to compensate for his lack of physical presence. The illegitimate son of Sir Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, Lawrence was initially turned down by the army because he was too small. He would however go on to make a huge impact in the First World War. He is primarily remembered as being the British Army officer renowned for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18.

Personal Style

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As an officer in the British Army, Lawrence was considered scruffy and quickly earned himself the title of the ‘untidiest officer in the British Army’. His sloppy style meant that his uniform was never worn with the required amount of reverence. Instead his lack of respect for authority was openly displayed in his careless dressing. Finer details like the loose buckling of his belt, or an unbuttoned shoulder strap, allowed him to demonstrate his individuality and unorthodox approach.

Whilst a dapper bespoke suit would have immediately given his small stature defined presence Lawrence relied on his broad mind to give him the edge over his peers. He embraced other languages, culture and people and developed a keen interest in archaeology. During archeology trips to the Middle East, Lawrence would immerse himself in all aspects of Arabic culture. He would also wear native costume to identify himself with the locals and their customs. Bedouin dress of flowing robes, headdress and bare feet was the normal dress code.

Romantic Hero

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Lawrence had a clean-living lifestyle that included complete abstinence from the consumption of meat, alcohol and tobacco. He is the classic romantic military hero. Although his deeds during World War I were highlighted by war correspondents, it wasn’t until 1919 that the British liaison officer became a media celebrity. With a bounty on his head the British Army made efforts to suppress his distinctive image in order to protect him from being recognised by the Turkish troops.

Hiding his now legendary status by changing his name to John Hume Ross, Lawrence joined the ranks of the Royal Air Force, but was found out and enlisted in the Tank Corps as Thomas Edward Shaw, the name that he used until the day he died. Lawrence was a prolific writer and his published works, including The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, were attributed to Lawrence. He died in an road accident, aged 46, whilst driving one of his beloved motorcycles at maximum speed.

Today’s romantic heroes may opt for a more traditional style of bespoke tailoring. Whilst he is mostly remembered via Lawrence of Arabia’s cinematic portrayal, T.E. Lawrence clearly had his own unique sense of bespoke style. Replacing the classic bespoke suit with a flowing white Bedoiun robe Lawrence displayed his true personality and flamboyant elegance, and demonstrated that you don’t have to be tall to stand head and shoulders above everyone else.

Country Tweed for the City

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Bespoke Tweed Suit

Tailor’s Notes
This stylish young gentleman, who divides his time between the Cotswolds and London, needed a lightweight tweed 3 piece suit which would work well in both environments. This suit is all about versatility and meeting the demands of both the city with the country. The suit offers a contemporary cut with its double breasted waistcoat.

The Construction
Made with a canvass, the suit is made and cut in England. As much of the suit as possible is hand tailored. As with every suit we make, unless you choose our Express service, the suit will take 8-9 weeks to make – we have a half way baste fitting and then a forward baste fitting before the suit is finished and delivered.

Details
The cloth was from Holland & Sherry and the lining from Dugdales in Huddersfield.

Find out how to order a suit

The Chalk Stripe Suit

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An English Classic

Tailor’s Notes
The English suit is famous for its contributions towards men’s fashion, and perhaps one of its greatest is the chalk stripe pattern. Popularised by King Edward VII, it looks as striking today as it did a hundred years ago.

The Construction
This suit was made and cut in Britain, and as much of it as possible was hand-tailored. The jacket was canvassed. A suit such as this takes 8-9 weeks to make, unless you opt for our Express Service. We have a halfway baste fitting and then a forward baste fitting before the suit is finished and delivered.

Details
The cloth is an English-made wool. The jacket has working cuffs and the buttons are made out of horn.

Find out how to order a suit

The English gentleman

Bespoke suit fabric: Blue wool

Fabric source: Peebles, Scotland

Suit Cut: Slim, Single Breasted, Two button

Bespoke suit occasion: Everyday suit

Notes: A blue suit made for a young gentleman in West London.  A great hard working wool for an every day business suit – but still finely cut to offer a tailored finish.

The Blue Wool Suit

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Beat the Blues

Tailor’s Notes
Here, one of our customers dons the blue suit as you’ve never seen it before. Traditionally, it’s the most conservative colour—but not when you’re riffing on it like this. Our favourite business look for spring is all about piling on the blues, from your suit to your socks and everything in between.

The Construction
This suit was made and cut in England, and as much of it as possible was hand-tailored. The jacket is canvassed. A suit such as this takes 8-9 weeks to make, unless you opt for our Express Service. We have a halfway baste fitting and then a forward baste fitting before the suit is finished and delivered.

Details
The cloth is an English-made wool. The jacket has working cuffs and the buttons are made out of horn.

Find out how to order a suit

The Cowboy Cut Suit

Images & Video

Unusual Swagger

Tailor’s Notes
A very unusual suit for a young hotelier in London. The suit jacket is finely-cut and is matched with a pair of ‘boot-cut’ trousers. This is a special case, with a customer who knows exactly what he wants. The remarkable result is testament to the fact that with bespoke, there are no rules—just preferences.

The Construction
As much of the suit as possible was hand-tailored. A suit such as this takes 8-9 weeks to make, unless you opt for our Express Service. We have a halfway baste fitting and then a forward baste fitting before the suit is finished and delivered.

Details
This suit was made from a fine English wool from Holland & Sherry.

Find out how to order a suit

‘Serge le Temoin de Playboy’ & Co. Sartorial elegance in Congo

I have mentioned this fascinating story before, but it is so gripping, it is worth talking about it again! SAPE stands for “Societe des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elegantes” which translates as the “society of atmosphere setters and elegant people“. Its members put fashion above all the other issues a developing country like Congo is facing right now.

The origins of La SAPE can be traced back to when the first French colonists arrived. They brought with them their famous fashion sense and inspired the locals who regarded the white man as far more elegant and educated than they were. In 1922 Andre Bernard Matsoua was the first local who traveled to Paris and came back dressed as a true French gentleman.

Since then, members of “La Societe des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elegantes” have been trying to get their hands on the newest, most expensive pieces of designer clothes that appear in Europe. There are some luxury shops in Brazzaville and Kinshasa, but most “sapeurs” prefer to get them directly from the Old Continent. This is actually every member’s dream, to travel to Paris and get their hands on killer wardrobes at the source.

Sapeurs spend thousands of dollars on suits, shirts, shoes and accessories, but this doesn’t mean they’re rich. In a country where the average salary is somewhere around $300/month, most of these guys don’t even have a job. Most of them lend their clothes for a living (renting a designer suit costs about $25/day), while those who travel to Europe bring the latest designer labels and sell them for a small profit.

All members of La SAPE have unique styles and crazy names: ‘Parfait le Bodeur‘, ‘Serge le Temoin de Playboy‘, ‘Baleine Sarkozy‘ or ‘Christian Dior‘. They live for fashion and feed off the attention they get when parading on the dusty streets of Brazzaville. The photos below are part of Francesco Giusti‘s La SAPE Collection, which recently won him an award for photography. They really do capture the charm of these special sapeurs. There is a beauitfully presenetd musical photo montage which tells the story too.