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The Suit Oracle

26 August 2016

We know there are a million questions to be asked about suits and style and we do our best to provide you with the information that you require. But what if what we’re saying doesn’t apply to you?

Never fear, “The Suit Oracle” is here!

From this Friday forth I will be answering all and any questions you may have about suits and style. Tips, facts, opinions and rules – whatever your question, it shall be answered.

Go on test me, I love a challenge…

Q: I’ve got a dinner party coming up at the end of September but I don’t really know much about dinner suit etiquette – what are the tuxedo basics?

A: I’m glad you ask! There are many faux pars to be made with dinner jackets. The basic things to remember: NEVER have notch lapels. Make sure you’ve got a peak or shawl lapel in satin. True dinner jackets should have no vent on them - though more modern styles sometimes have center vents, this is frowned upon. Have satin-jetted pockets. Flap pockets create un-necessary bulk, and patch pockets should be reserved for casual jackets.

Q: I’m clearing my wardrobe out and having a complete overhaul. I can’t afford to buy all bespoke at once, so what kind of suit should I buy bespoke, and what should I buy off the peg?

A: Another good question. If you were to buy one uber-special bespoke suit, I would recommend a single breasted 3 piece navy suit. Navy will work in almost any situation, from a big work meeting to a wedding. Opt for 9-10oz wool so that your suit will be comfortable throughout the year. I say a 3 piece specifically, as in the winter, the vest can provide an extra layer of warmth – and a waistcoat is often seen at weddings, so it will save you buying a separate wedding suit! Here at Fielding and Nicholson we have two levels of made to measure suits that will fit like a bespoke but with less of the price tag. If you can, we’d suggest buying one fully or semi-Bespoke suit as your special suit, and buying made to measure suits for your day-to-day usage. 1 Bespoke and 2 made to measure suits is better than 1 bespoke and 4 off the peg suits!

Q: I am a little shorter and narrower than most of my colleagues so I buy suits in a size up to make myself appear larger. It works, but I get told I look scruffy quite often – is there a way I can look bigger without looking scruffy?

A: Of course there is! The secret is in the styling. You don’t need to sacrifice fit. Always make sure your clothes fit you, this is how you avoid looking scruffy. If you wish to look bigger, chose a peak lapel over a notch lapel, and have your pockets slanted slightly. The peak lapel will draw the eye up your body to your shoulders, therefore creating the illusion of height and width. The base of the lapel will meet the button, looking similar to the point of an arrow - the slanted pockets also point to the button. As the position of the button is at your naval, attention is drawn into your waist. The slimmer waist then makes the chest look bigger still, and a strong athletic silhouette is created.

Q: I’ve been thinking of buying a bespoke suit, but I’m worried about buying a garment having seen nothing but a small swatch and not a full garment. How do I know that what I’m buying will actually suit me?

A: A fair question, and one asked by many. Our consultants have been trained to match cloth to each clients needs, based on a multitude of variants. We take into account your skin tone, profession, taste and age – and advise accordingly. We take pride in our work; we don’t let clients buy things that wont work. Countless visits to various cloth mills have expanded our knowledge of different cloth types and their qualities. Hours of measurement and figuration training has meant that our team is never caught off guard by any body shape and we know how best to style suits to create the image for yourself that you desire. You call a trusted mechanic to fix your car, and trust what he says. We are tailoring professionals, this is what we do, trust us – the proof is in the pudding!

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