I’m not sure what happens between sleep and coffee. I couldn’t tell you if I’ve ever actually been present in those moments, at least not in spirit anyway. I can only imagine that after I have set the kettle to boil, achieved only by some intrinsic, ineradicable instinct, hardwired into the brain for survival in the modern jungle, I must stand in the kitchen and just sort of… stare? Just stare into the garden. There’s a difference between staring in these moments and actually seeing, and in these moments, I must be doing the former. Staring into the garden but not seeing flowers, just staring into some deep vortex of timeless grey stains on the fabric of reality itself. Not hearing bird song, only white noise that rises and rises towards a crushing crescendo so powerful it could split the house in half, destroying the bricks themselves, reducing them to rubble and dust around me, leaving nothing but the lonesome figure of a man… in a Kimono … just sort of… staring.
Luckily, the neighbours are spared this grim sight by the tiny flicking-off of the kettle as boiling point is achieved. A movement and sound so minute and yet powerful enough to cut through the white noise and close the ever deepening chasm of nothingness that mere seconds ago stretched out before me for miles in every direction. Beans, then milk, then water, no sugar, stir, sip, exhale, rinse, lather, repeat, shower, wash face, wash hair, rinse, lather, repeat. Ritual is being replaced by repetition, where there used to be chanting there is now shouting at traffic, our idea of penance is 10k on the cross trainer to atone for the sin of pizza. There could even be some pun here comparing The 12 Stations of the Cross to the morning commute but frankly, it will take a better man than myself to come up with it. So where can I manage to fit ritual in my life? In between all the information in the universe being beamed into my home at the speed of light on a minute by minute basis, in between reality TV and football and advertising and wanting to work on my body and wanting to go to work on some dim-sum, where can I fit a nice healthy dose of ritual?
Cut to the bedroom: a man de-kimono’s and stands before the wardrobe. First up is underwear, always pants before socks and always right sock before left. I was oddly superstitious as a child and some fragments have lasted with me into adulthood. Venetian blinds not being perfectly horizontal or not having all slats sitting in the same direction being one of them, but the sock thing being the most prominent. Alas, I digress. Once properly deodorised and pomaded, aftershave can be applied, then watch, then signet ring and finally the not- too -sleazy looking gold chain. Now for the clothing, the true ritual of the day, the hair and jewellery is merely foreplay.
Now, it’s June, it’s summer and as we all know, that means at some point today there might be a single glimmer of sunlight to interrupt the hail and ruin the tropical thunderstorm that sits above London, so, it’s best we prepare. The shirt is the first to leave the wardrobe like a prize stuffed toy from the teddy picker. I will be wearing something lightweight in summery colours, nice bold blue and white candy stripes, a wide cutaway colour, button cuffed. Starting with the second button from the top we work downstream until we’re ready for the tuck. Once the shirt is on, we’re looking at trousers, again, lightweight and breathable are the watchwords today. Without going into detail, you probably know the drawbacks of wearing heavy worsted wool on the Central Line in the Summer months (and you thought the Kimono imagery was disgusting…) We land on blue mohair, not quite navy, but rich in tone and complimentary of the blue and white shirt and the brown accessories, think watch strap, sunglasses etc. The trouser waistband sits on the 6th shirt button down from the collar, the slightly higher longer rise and higher waisted look will make me seem slimmer than I actually am. Asides from their powers of instant weight loss, these trousers possess another unique quality in that they stand up to creasing too, so even if I do get a seat on the train, I won’t regret it by the time I get into work, all fresh as a daisy and sharp as a pin. Once we’re tucked in and side fasteners adjusted we can think about the jacket. Cream linen, half lined and unstructured. Pure Italian looking business. Brown horn buttons to compliment the blues and pick out the watch strap and sunglasses, an open weave to keep me from smelling homeless by the time I get home this evening. What follows are the finishing touches: I’m going for a plain white silk pocket square today, folded neatly as opposed to puffed up and peacocky. This way I won’t look ‘over-accessorised’ when I add my small blue and white, knitted wool lapel pin, which I do, then it’s pure white trainers a la The Courageous Man and voila, today’s ritual is complete. Now it’s off to get stuck behind tourists as I try and make it up an escalator at the station. Rinse, lather, repeat.
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.