A small suburb of Brazzaville in Congo has become an unlikely style capital, thanks to its dedicated followers of foppish fashion. Dressed to the nines in bowler hats and tailored suits, a group of cigar-wielding ‘sapeurs’ have been strutting their stuff through the shanty town – and on to the pages of a glossy new book, Gentlemen of Bacongo, by Italian photographer Daniele Tamagni. Le Sapeurs, as they’re called, wear pink suits and D&G belts while living in the slums. Whether it be spectacles or bow tie accessories are very important for the sapeur, setting him apart from the less sartorially savvy crowd.
On the inside of every Henry Herbert jacket, you will always find a label, discreetly hidden inside the inner pocket, stating the date we made the suit and who it was made for. This is a tradition of Savile Row, one of many personal and subtle finishes of a bespoke suit by Henry Herbert Tailors.
As bespoke tailors, Henry Herbert can offer any cut and style of waistcoat you wish. However, we have found that the styles below tend to be the most popular.
The Pocketwatch Waistcoat
The Pocketwatch Waistcoat is very similar to the Oscar Lafontaine Waistcoat (see below) with the exception of its pockets, which were originally designed to accommodate a pocketwatch or a stopwatch.
The Edwardian Line
The Edwardian Line was a reaction to King Edward’s Waistcoat. Both
waistcoats have clean symmetrical lines defining their shape, but the Edwardian Line has a sharp line punching through the area around the tummy – a provocative but subtle style reaction to the King’s favourite.
The Horse Shoe Sccop Waistcoat
The horse shoe sccop waistcoat is designed to be worn with a black tie. The low slung body hides it discreetly behind a buttoned dinner jacket and tuxedo shirt, but quickly reveals itself when the jacket is unbuttoned. It should be worn without a cummerbund and the waistcoat buttons should remain fastened throughout the evening.
The Lounge Waistcoat
The Lounge waistcoat was once always a key characteristic of the three piece suit, but today it has been adopted as a popular choice amongst the youth of Britain, such as the style icon Kate Moss and the members of indie band Razorlight who wear them over casual shirts and jeans for a day-to-day fashionable look.
The Oskar Lafontaine Waistcoat
Oskar Lafontaine is a German politician and former German Finance Minister. During his short tenure as Minister of Finance, Lafontaine was a major bogeyman of UK Eurosceptics. He is famed for always wearing a waistcoat, with two large, front pockets and five buttons, thus the Oscar Lafontaine Waistcoat.
Why do we leave the last button of a waistcoat undone? We can trace this back to King Henry VIII. It was considered a huge insult to Henry because he couldn’t see his toes, let alone fasten the bottom button of his waistcoat. His courtiers took it as a style ‘initiative’ and followed suit, hence it becoming ‘the’ way to button a waistcoat. It remains a point of style even today and most well dressed men will leave their bottom button undone.
Our suits and overcoats normally take 8-10 weeks from start to finish and our shirts about 4 weeks. However for those in a hurry, we offer an Express Service. Just click to find out more.