A Suit That Fits Blog
The Number One Suiting Resource
An adaptation of 'A Servant and Two Masters' by Goldoni it is set in the 1960's and perfect for a modern, British audience. I failed to go and see it while James Corden was in the role of Francis Henshall but the other week I treated myself to a little after work outing with a girlfriend. I'm inclined to believe that Owain Arthur does an even better job in the lead role.
I loved it, the timing and atmosphere was amazing. If you intend to go and see this show I strongly recommend popping to the bathroom in the interval otherwise the level of laughter is likely to cause accidents, a tribute to it's Comedia dell'arte roots. I loved the way the production focused on taking visual clues from the costume to inform us of the character types and their function within the plot. This was subtle but still visable to the theatre savvy.
But probably my favourite aspect of the performance (given my profession) was the attention to detail in the costume of this 60's extravaganza.
Here we see one of the iconic 60's looks; carefully contrasting cloths, trousers with a single pleat and braces with a sports jacket with a slight longer length. In the context of the play it shows the rakish vanity of the character when combined with the slick hair and general demeanour. To bring this look up to date create a slimmer line to your trousers and jacket, cut out the pleats, airing on the slim side with your lapel. White collar and cuffs are really in style at the moment and mixed with a striped cloth for the rest of the shirt, this look is just super!
A note for any ladies reading; the use of suiting separates and carefully mis-matching cloths gives you great versatility. When choosing your suiting go for a few full suits in cloths that will work with each other. Then pick a few stand out cloths for single garments again remembering versatility is the key here. Bold trousers and skirts with simpler blouses and jackets are must this year.
I find the costume of the character Francis utterly charming. A little nod perhaps to the diamond print of the harlequin role that he presides within. Checks and tweeds within suiting have been really winners on the catwalks the past couple of seasons. Brown and blueish tones work beautifully together and something like the Check-875083-2 or our TPO range are all appropriate here. With summer not far off though it might be a good idea to bear in mind the CB range of checks as light weight alternatives. Looking at other characters within the play we come across the use of crisp white shirts. This look is simple but kept almost comically 60's with this crazy paving tie with a diamond print. A style tip here would be to try not to mix check suiting with bold print ties.
Another great tip this play has to offer is the use of classic men's tailoring on women. Provide you are not to full in the chest this can create a bold look. A slim fit dinner jacket can give you great taster of this look, a great advocate of this being Kate Moss (see Hana's blog for more info). These slim line slightly masculine jackets offer great options for pairing with jeans for a more casual look.
One of the reasons the characters costumes are so important is that visual character clues are a must in any comedy of errors. The importance of dress is also true in every day life. A persons first impression of you is often based on the your handshake, your smile and the way you dress. A crisp well cut suit speaks volumes but the devil is in the detail
-A slim lapel can give a slick modern look suggesting you're a forward thinker and like to keep up to date. But be warned if it's wrong for your build (such as a very broad or boxy shape) it may suggest that you follow fashions blindly and need a lot of direction even if you are a hard worker.
-Peaked Lapels look great and ladies can wear them all the time but gents need to be careful as they suggest power and if you're a young guy in a low level job it might come across as arrogance. It might be best to keep it for sports jackets until you've got a few more years under your belt.
- Small, bright contrasting details on a very sombre suit hint to a fun side of your personality. It's a nice detail and subtle enough for a day in the office but be careful, a full set of contrasting button holes is a statement not a detail.
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