A wise man once said, “The fear of taking a chance is trumped by the hope that it might be the last chance you have to take.”
… Okay, that may not be entirely true. The sentiment is most certainly true, sure, but I couldn’t in good conscience tell you if whoever said it was wise or not due to the fact I saw it daubed on the side of a telephone box in Covent Garden. Now, far be it from me to question the sagaciousness of a vandal, after all, I own a copy of Banksy’s Wall and Peace, I get it. The free thinker has never been afraid to break the odd rule, to live ever so slightly outside the restrictions of social norms and to dance merrily to their own dragging beat. But it got me to thinking, would the people of ancient Greece have taken “Courage is knowing what not to fear!” quite so seriously if Plato had spray painted it on the side of the Parthenon? Free expression of the self is one of our birthrights, surely, but what if people don’t agree with what you’re saying or how you say it? What you’re wearing or how you wear it? And to that matter, what is it to be truly original any more? Is there anything more uniform than the legacy The Ramones left of matching leather jacket’s and ripped jeans? Growing up, punk meant ‘no rules’ but try wearing a three-piece tweed suit to go see The Exploited at The Underworld in Camden…
Alas, I digress. Walking towards Tavistock Square, my mind keeps skipping back to the phone box. I’ve seen many a memorable piece of art in a phone box before, most notably around Soho, but this one has taken me from a slightly different angle. How often do I take a sartorial risk? How do I compare to how others see me? Do others see me at all? Do I even meet the perception I have of myself? Time for a reappraisal… I Dress, Therefore I Am.
Prince of Wales jacket? check. Baby blue cropped trousers I had made but was always afraid made me look like a flaming queen? Check. Crisp white shirt, cutaway collar? Check. The tie goes back into the draw, the leather double monk strap shoes stay off, filled today only with shoe-trees. Pure white trainers? Check. Slipping them on, knowing full well I will be meeting MDs in Canary Wharf and Barristers in Temple today, I feel like Joey Ramone. In this instance I am Sid Vicious. These trainers are my vandalised Parthenon’s. But then, the first wave of doubt creeps in, “What will the boss say?” Joey turns the amp down and looks sheepishly at the audience. “What will my client’s say?” A Public Support Officer has Plato scrubbing the paint from the walls before remanding him with an ASBO. No no, be strong my boy, to thine own self be true. Get up, walk towards the door, one air cushioned-sole step at a time. Make it across the threshold and you’ll be out, out into the big wide world, no turning back…
My 11am fitting in Canary Wharf looks at the trainers the second he sees me. He’s approaching me from across the reception. It takes him a couple of seconds before he finally looks me in the eye. I’m about 15 yards from him, traversing the lobby of the bank. Both of us are so in our head’s trying to make sense of the situation that we’re not concentrating on how our actual faces look as we maintain awkward eye contact. 10 yards now and we’re staring at one another as if trying to read the other’s mind. 5 yards now, fear is coursing through me, ‘What have I done?! Okay, recover this. Lie, say they’re orthopaedic. Say your real shoes are being re-soled, someone stole them, anything!’
“Good morning _____, good to see you” Shake hand > Apologise for the footwear > Hang head in shame. But before I can say anything…
“Very cool look by the way”.
Maybe this bank was not the correct platform to unveil myself. Maybe this is not the last risk I will ever have to take. Maybe my client had humoured me and is, at this very moment, calling into question my previously accepted expertise. Questions I might never know the answer to, but maybe they’re answers I am not supposed to know. It’s none of my business to know what others think of me, just as how I dress is none of their business. As I leave the building, I approach the huge revolving doors and the closer I get, with every revolution of the glass before me, I catch the sight of my reflection, sporadic and momentary like a strobe light. I look just exactly as I want to look. So, what if people disagree with what you wear or how you wear it?
Who gives a…
Winter can be a testing season - not least as there can often be ice to scrape off the car, train cancellations due to brutal weather, and much greater difficulty in keeping warm. However, for this time of year, finding attire that keeps the cold at bay while still looking smart does not necessarily have to be arduous.
Here are three particular style elements that can prove especially effective during those colder months and, here at Fielding & Nicholson, we can put into clothing for you.
Besides being a good sales tactic(!) there is a very good reason for buying an extra pair of trousers when you purchase your bespoke suit.
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.