When a true London gentleman wants a suit, he does not run to the department store and whip a baggy two-piece off the rack, with a three pack of plastic wrapped shirts thrown in for a discount. Rather, he relies on the skill and artistry of a trusted tailor to handcraft a bespoke suit with a glove-like fit.
Yet buying a tailored suit is not just about standing with your arms out and being sized up with a tape measure. Doing a little bit of thought in preparation for your appointment can make all the difference.
Think About Fabric
One of the most buyer-friendly elements of getting a suit tailored is the fabric. Big name designers will often produce their off-the-rack suits with a fabric grade of around 100s. Though respectable, this is far from the most sophisticated, durable or luxurious grade available. Your tailor will offer you fabric choices all the way up to 180s. Decide how high you want to go before you arrive at your tailor’s door.
Questions Of Style And Taste
There are some key, burning questions all men must answer honourably in their lifetime, most of them to do with suits. Single breasted or double? Two button or three? Are you the sort of gracious gent who follows the latest fashion to the letter? Or are you the wily cad who subverts it with a guileful dash of mischief? Perhaps you like to ignore modern tastes completely and stick with a tried and tested classic look? When you are ready to answer these questions, you are ready for a bespoke suit.
Your Tailor Knows All
Your tailor will know everything there is to know about how to craft a suit. His experienced hands can shape the rich fabric into the specific style you are looking for. Think about those elegant little personal touches that can truly make a suit belong to its owner – an unusual pocket shape here or a specially chosen button design there. Whatever it is, your tailor will know how to make it work for you. Do keep it tasteful, however. Remember: the truly great suit is never noticed. Its wearer always is.
Every man should have at least one bespoke suit in his armoury, whether for business or pleasure. Be sure, when you go to meet your tailor, you get the precise breed of high quality attire you are after.
Want to look your best this winter? Then read on to discover our top tips for men’s wear style this autumn/winter season. It’s all about the fabric and the cut, so it’s time to get your wardrobe in order.
Want to step out in style? Then step into our new showroom in Shoreditch. We’re pleased to announce that our new showroom has opened for business.
If you’ve been disappointed with the cut, fit or quality of the suits you’ve purchased in the past, then make your way to Fielding and Nicholson. Step through our doors, and you’ll find a range of handmade off the peg suits, a fitting room, our cutting table and a plethora of fabrics from which to choose a custom made suit. Our skilled tailoring team will also be on hand to assist you.
Ever wondered what the difference is between a tuxedo and a suit – then read on to find out.Satin accents
The choice and use of fabric is a key factor in distinguishing between a tuxedo and a suit. Satin is traditionally employed on tuxedos to provide accents throughout. A satin matching your tuxedo would be used to face or trim the lapels, to cover the buttons, trim the pockets and to make a single stripe down the outside of each leg.
Satin, on the other hand, isn’t seen on a suit. The fabric would be the same throughout, with even the buttons covered to match or alternatively, a classic horn or tortoise shell style instead. The cut, cloth, and style of a suit can vary far more than that of a tuxedo can.
Tuxedos are worn with formal white shirts that have either a wing collar or a turndown collar –though please note debretts disapprove of the former. Tuxedo shirts traditionally have a pleated front too. Suits can be worn with a wider variety of shirts, in either a patterned or a plain fabric.
The cut of your trousers
When it comes to the trousers of your tuxedo, not only will you find satin trims running down the outer side of your legs, but they’ll often have a tapered cut too. You may not find belt loops on the waist – so buy some braces if you need them (though a properly tailored trouser shouldn’t require them).
I t’s all about the accessories
Accessories also mark a distinction between the tuxedo and the suit. Wear a tuxedo, and you’ll be dressed more formally, with cufflinks, button studs, a waistcoat or a cummerbund and perhaps a bowtie too. You might also have a white silk handkerchief peeping from your top left pocket. Wear a suit on the other hand, and you’ll wear a long tie, either with or without a waistcoat.
Shoes at the ready
A high shine patent black dress shoe is the traditional footwear for a tuxedo, whilst with your suit, you have a greater range of options – a traditional oxford perhaps, though you might get away with a more casual loafer or slip-on style. You’ll have a broader range of colours to choose from too, black, brown or tan and more besides – but remember, the darker the shoe, the more formal it is considered.
Where do you wear them? Well, the tuxedo is worn for more formal, usually evening events, such as a black tie wedding, a gala or an awards ceremony, whilst a dark suit will take you pretty much anywhere, from date to board meeting.
Rules it has been said, are made to be broken , the points above explain the key distinctions between the suit and the tuxedo – but more and more now you find the distinctions blurred, tuxedos made with very little satin or worn with a long tie, for instance.
Just in case you were wondering, a tuxedo might also be called a dinner jacket or black tie , whilst white tie is a different thing altogether and much more formal to boot.
London is the traditional capital of menswear . To find the right suit for your special occasion, make an appointment to have a bespoke suit cut specifically for you .
If you’re looking for a style icon to emulate in 2017, read on to discover our pick of the pack and a few hints and tips on their sartorial style.1.Dev Patel
Dev Patel has graduated to style icon following his recent appearances on the red carpet, from the white dinner jacket he donned for the Oscars to the dark blue tuxedo he wore at the Baftas. These days he can be seen in a slim fitting suit, crisp white shirt and a classic pair of well-polished oxfords. Off-duty, he’ll relax in looser, more casual attire, but whichever way he’s dressed, he’ll top it off with his natural, tousled hair. He might not have won his best supporting actor award – but he’s a style icon in our book. What’s not to love about a man who takes his mum along to the Oscars?
2.Prince Michael of Kent
The most dapper member of the Royal Family, known for his signature cotton monaco hat. He’s seen about town wearing a perfectly tailored double-breasted wool blazer, teamed with a high collared shirt and a tie worn in a full Windsor knot – a combination that works brilliantly for him. He’s not afraid of bold pattern and can be seen mixing stripes, spots, and checks to great effect. That’s before we get to the beard, a beard that has a hint of a tsar about it. Prince Michael of Kent our style icon.
Stylish, multi-talented and modest to boot – what’s not to like about Eddie Redmayne. Oscar winner, Burberry model, he's wowed us on screen and off. He loves a suit, whether he's dressed to the nines in a tuxedo for the Oscars or rocking a pinstripe suit with a hint of vintage in its styling. He's comfortable in a suit out and about on the town, as he is at a gala. Cleverly matching a smart jacket and waistcoat with an open collar and worn chinos or flinging on a dapper scarf to muffle him from the cold. He regularly cuts a dash in blue and sometimes adds a hint of claret or green too. He's not afraid of texture either, often seen sporting velvet. Eddie Redmayne - style icon.
Idris knows the value of clothes cut from a good quality fabric and tailored to fit him impeccably. A statement coat, worn with monochrome separates, is a key element of his signature style, often adding an eye-catching splash of mustard or kingfisher blue to his outfit. He’s not afraid of pattern either, sporting a houndstooth check coat or a polka dot tie to liven up his outfits. Cutting a dash about town, Idris is a style icon from which to take note.
Designer, fashion director, buyer and style icon - Nick Wooster leads the pack when it comes to men's fashion. He's worked for some of the leading lights in the fashion and retail world. He can often be seen sporting a smart jacket and a bespoke shirt with sleeves tailored to show off his tattoos. He’s not afraid to throw in a bold pattern here and there either. Sunglasses, plus his distinctive moustache and beard, top off his personal style code. Classic style with a twist personified.
You might have seen Tom Hardy looking a little scary recently in ‘Taboo,' but clock him in a three-piece suit, and there’s something of the dapper Edwardian gentleman about him. Tom favours a dark suit, of the finest quality fabric and he’s not afraid to throw in texture and pattern too – in fact, the latter is an integral part of his style - championing the windowpane suit. He’ll top off his three-piece with keynote accessories such as a tie pin or watch fob. We’ve all seen him looking a little more casual in cargo trousers and a text strewn t-shirt too. However, whether he’s dressing up or down, attention to detail is the defining ingredient of Tom’s style which raises his sartorial efforts above the pack. Tom Hardy - fashion chameleon, we salute you.
There you have it, our style icons for 2017 and a few hints and tips on recreating their personal style. We hope you’ve found it helpful.
Do you like to wear slim fitting jeans or casual trousers when you’re out and about? Then perhaps a slim fitting suit would be the right choice for you. Want to know how you should be wearing one? Then read on to find out.A slim fitting suit, when fitted properly, will flatter your figure, following (rather than hiding) the natural contours of your body. You won’t find as much excess fabric as you would in a more traditional cut, and the suit itself will create a sharper silhouette.
When it comes to the jacket, the shoulder seams should sit at the end of your shoulder blades, let them drop off the end, and you’ll have too much fabric for the slim fit you’re trying to achieve. Too narrow at the shoulders and you’ll have unflattering and tell-tale pull marks across your back. A slim fitting jacket will also tend to have higher armholes and more tapered sleeves too. The lapels will also mirror the slimmer cut, being narrower than on a traditional suit. The body of the jacket will nip in a little at the waist, to show off your physique – but it shouldn’t be too tight. Here’s a rule of thumb, you should be able to do up all of your buttons comfortably and when you pop your thumb behind the top button – you should be able to pull it away from your body by about an inch – anymore, and you won’t achieve a sharp silhouette. Too tight and you’ll get a deeply unflattering ‘x’ mark where your jacket is straining at the button.
Like the jacket, the trousers will have a more tapered fit than a traditional suit, being slightly narrower at the ankle than at the thigh. A slim fitting suit should give you a couple of inches to spare both at your thighs and ankles, so take a pinch to see – if there’s any less, then you’re looking at a skinny fit instead. When it comes to length, the trousers will usually be fitted to a slightly shorter length than a traditional suit, just reaching the top of your shoes – covering your bows but not the rest of your laces.
A word about accessories, when you’re wearing a slim-fitting suit, the rest of your clothes should echo the slim, sleek look too. So do search out a slim fitting tie and tie it appropriately . As Debrett’s say “ties serve no practical purpose so they might as well serve a sartorial one ” – so find the right one for your suit. Don’t forget you’ll need a slim fitting shirt or you’ll risk finding yourself with unsightly lumps and bumps around your waist. Look for shoes with a more tapered look too.
When you first put on a slim fitting suit, it will feel snugger than you’re used to, and you might need a little time to adjust to it. Accurate measuring is a must to find a slim fitting suit that fits and flatters you. To find a slim fitting suit that you’ll feel comfortable in and that you can be sure compliments your natural stance, contact us today .
Our client’s purchase a large variety of bespoke garments, ranging from über smart dinner wear through to relaxed casual linen shirts and chinos. Less frequently however, do we get requests for bespoke loungewear. Not being a company to turn down a challenge, we sat down with the imaginative client and discussed style.The client was already – unsurprisingly - a bespoke addict. Having already filled his suiting wardrobe we knew his style well, but this time he desired something a little different. With the business suits we made for him we had decided to keep them dark and subtle, while we branched out a little further for his casual garments, letting his creative flair free. This resulted in much brighter more textured garments for him to wear to parties and casual events. The gown was to be somewhere between the two styles, business smartness with casual colour and depth.
The client had found the cloth by chance whilst on his travels and immediately had the idea of a dressing gown. He showed us several meters of the beautifully unique 12oz wool herringbone in maroon and cream, and asked if it would be suitable for the robe that his imagination had conjured.
A tailor’s inspection of the cloth revealed that the cloth was certainly heavy enough to keep the client warm but though the lightly brushed wool was very soft to touch, it may feel itchy on bare skin. This wouldn’t be a problem however – by lining the gown in silk (much like a suit), a luxurious barrier between skin and cloth is created. A maroon twill lining was selected to match the cloth and the designing began.
After sketching a few draft versions, we found ourselves looking at one perfect design and one grinning client. The final design combined elements of both suiting styles and run of the mill dressing gown aesthetic. It was to have two patch pockets on the hip – as one would expect on a dressing gown– and a patch breast pocket, which is more commonly seen on suit jackets. The cuffs would be turned back to reveal the lining and the tops of the pockets would have a band of the lining showing to match the cuffs. The lapel would be a wide shawl, also in the lining cloth. We debated adding quilting to the lapel, but eventually decided that having the detail of quilting next to an already busy herringbone would create too much of a messy finish.
The resulting design was a gown that somewhat resembles an elongated smoking jacket with a dressing gown belt. Perfect.
Unlike a coat or a suit, one needs to be able to perform a wide range of movement in a dressing gown. Where a jacket or coat would be removed to sit, a dressing gown would be kept on while the wearer sips his morning coffee and reads his newspaper. This meant the client’s existing patterns would be redundant. Where his normal style calls for silhouette hugging precision, the gown would have to be much looser on all fronts. A new, larger pattern was created and used to cut a first fitting of the gown in an alternative scrap cloth. Once chalked, pinned and analysed, the first fitting was taken apart and re-cut to the new measurements. Once re-constructed with the alterations, we called in the client for his second fitting. Bingo. The new pattern was perfect.
It was a little larger on the chest and shoulder than his suit jackets, but was still fitted enough to maintain shape without bunching or pleating. The waist, seat and sleeve measurements were all increased substantially to allow for more movement. The shoulders fit very similarly to that of a coat while the body was loosened for comfort. The mix of suit style and dressing gown comfort was achieved. An ever-increasingly excited client was sent away again - his next fitting would be final.
Well, with regards to monitoring ones carbon footprint that is. But relating to suits, casual jackets and trousers alike; this year green is being seen ever more frequently and luckily for us, wearing green is easy. So how can you do it?First things first, it’s worth looking at the shades of green you have to work with. While a suit in a deep forest green cloth would radiate a dark and subtle air, the same suit in a luminous lime green cloth would convey flamboyance and eccentricity. It is for this reason that you should carefully consider where you intend to wear the garment. Are you trying to peacock at a party or are you just spicing up an otherwise blue and grey dominated work-wear wardrobe?
The season should also impact your choice of shade. Speaking mostly of casual garments; in the summer brighter colours are the norm, while in the winter darker more autumnal colours are favoured. Though brighter suits are sometimes seen in offices during the summer months, turning up in any suit of a particularly bright nature is risky. So as a rule of thumb, the darker shades of green will be more formal and therefore acceptable for the office, lighter shades will suit summer casual the best.
As well as the season affecting your choice of garment colour it should also affect your choice of cloth material. Swatch 2, for example, is made from an 8oz linen and cotton blend. Both linen and cotton are natural fibers with great breathability – perfect for keeping cool in the heat of summer, less perfect for insulation on a cold winter’s day. The only real down side to cotton and linen – either blended or alone – is that they will crease very easily. It is for this reason that they make great casual jackets; full suits however will become very crumpled and lose their formality.
If you are choosing to have a full suit made up in green, choosing a cloth with just one solid colour will make it easier to dress up to be more formal. For example, dressing a deep British racing green (Pictured bottom left) suit with a crisp white shirt, burgundy knit tie and oxblood monk strap shoes will give you a smart look similar to that of your normal navy suit and white shirt. An alternative look for the same suit might consist of a tan brogue and a light blue shirt worn with an open collar – this is much more relaxed look, perfect for after work drinks in the sun.
If you are happy with regular work-wear colours for your suits but like more unusual casual garments, then a brighter or a patterned green cloth may be more to your taste (See swatches 2, 3, 5 and 6). For example, a jacket made up of swatch 2 would pair beautifully with cream chinos, dark brown brogues and an open collar denim shirt. For a look more casual still, pair the same jacket with a pair of blue jeans and an off-white polo shirt and clean white sneakers.
There are cloths with so many shades and patterns available that creating your own unique look has almost endless possibilities. From a dark (swatch 4) single-breasted wool suit to a double breasted olive (swatch 1) cotton suit, the right suit for you is out there.
Many thanks to Scabal for the swatch pictures. Swatches 1, 6 and 4 are from their New Deluxe bunch which consists of a huge variety of lightweight, colourful super 100 wool cloths. Swatch 2 is from the Amalfi bunch, which is full of spectacular patterned cloths made up of wool-linen-cotton-silk blends. As is the St. Tropez bunch from which Swatch 3 has come. Swatch 5 is from the Mosaic bunch, which boasts a selection of beautiful checks in 130 super wools.
In the fashion world there will always be shifts in style as new designs are introduced to the world. A lot of the time these designs are so flamboyant in both style and in colour that they are simply un-wearable in any real world setting.
However, after the initial display of these elaborate runway-show garments, the designs filter through many design technicians and marketing teams alike before said garments are ready for ‘general consumption’, as it were. It is these garments that hit the high street each season and form the coming months taste, stylistically speaking. For example, we’ve seen a rise in long line and torn clothing from within the casual wear industry while the suit industry has been brimming with slim and skinny fits.
Where this is true for high street clothing, it is quite the opposite for traditional bespoke tailoring and its stylish reliability. As we know, the techniques used for creating bespoke suits has remained relatively unchanged for over centuries. In-house tailors advise clients during meetings on cloths and styles. Because tailoring has been traditionally kept in-house like this, only a few tweaks in style have appeared over the years.
This was true up until recent years when the new age of technology opened to the world up to apps like Pinterest and Instagram. With these it became much easier for people to find pictures of the loud runway suit styles and draw inspiration from them. When they then take these ideas to their tailors they have a much more unique, individual idea of what they want their suit to look like. Thus the evolution of bespoke tailoring begins.
Only a few decades ago, suits were seen in mostly subtle greys and blues with pinstripes being the louder option. Now it isn’t uncommon to see much brighter cloths in checks, stripes and various elaborate patterns. For office-wear, the blues and greys remain popular of course but it is in the more casual settings that the louder suits are getting their time to shine.
It is clear that the world is changing faster than ever, as technology offers new ways to create suits with the likes of laser cutting, for example. Even the world renowned tailoring houses of Savile row are changing the way they work; older generations of tailors are beginning to retire, leaving the legacies in the hands of the new generation.
While the shift from subtle old school tailoring to the new age bright tailoring may seem ridiculous to some, it is a change that must be embraced. Old and new can work together and that is what Fielding and Nicholson aims to achieve. By bridging the gap between the expensive old-school Savile row methods and the more affordable new age tech tailoring we bring bespoke back into the 21st century.
Owning a fully bespoke handmade suit is a pleasure like no other and that pleasure will never fade - but it does come with a larger price tag. Choose a suit cut by computer and assembled by hand and you will have the best of both worlds. Or, choose to go made to measure with an entirely computerised suit – there’s an option for everyone. The biggest perk of all? You can browse the internet for inspiration to your hearts content and when you find the style you want – no matter how ornate it may be – you know you can have it made just like that, because its bespoke. We look forward to seeing your styles!