A Suit That Fits Blog
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Tag >> Mohair
Coming from the flax plant it requires a lot of processing to become a workable fibre but once formed into a fabric it's exceptional breathability and durability is only rivalled by it's ability to crease, ok so that's probably not such a good case for it but bear with me; when we compare it to cotton the difference in environmental sustainability is immense and linen can be spun finely enough to make some great shirt fabrics, making it the perfect eco-alternative.
Although it's propensity to break during the spinning process makes it more expensive than cotton, advances in technology that correctly tense the fibres so that they don't snap as often during manufacture have driven down the cost worldwide.
Linen has been produced since ancient times, we have records of the ancient Egyptians and evidence of many prehistoric cultures working flax into fabric. All told it's a fibre the human race knows well and haven't abandoned as the years have gone by, and it's got the big green eco stamp of approval. The Flax plant.
We see it much more in Italian and other Mediterranean cultures. They do have better weather, but linen is not inclined to bobble when it gets damp like woolen fabrics, so in the muggy drizzle of summer you can happily potter about cool and safe in the knowledge that you wont have to take a fabric razor to your suit. Here is an example of a great continental style summer suit:
If you do business in Dubai you can't go wrong with something like this, it's a classic relaxed fit with a low first button, enhancing the chest and allowing you to remain far cooler.
But I want you to think about this as a British thing, so I'll show you this charming example, it's a much slimmer tailored look.
Don't be put off by the light colours, you can still wear a navy linen suit , check out our linens to see what I mean and the great thing about linen is it's really colour fast and is easily coloured so you get it in a great range of colours and it stays that colour! Just to prove the versatility of linen I present you with a charming ladies casual jacket:
Linen looks great paired with jeans follow this link for a lovely jacket we've put together for just such a look.
So embrace the linen, love it, relax into the funky relaxed look you can create with a jazzy lined casual jacket. Go fourth and stand under your umbrella at one of the many remaining summer events, safe in the knowledge that you are cool and you look it.
Mod fashion is about creating a simple, sharp silhouette - meaning a tailored slim cut suit in a Mohair tonic suit paired with a super sharp shirt. This will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.
We've a fantastic selection of beautiful lightweight fabrics with a slight shimmer, CT-UK-25 is a particular favorite of mine! CT-UK-25 is a blue and pale yellow medium weight wool, silk and linen mix. The fabric is woven with two high contrast colours giving it a vibrant tonic effect. Sharkskin-5603-9 is another of my favorites, it's a light weight, grey fabric, with a tonic weave - perfect for all seasons. The Mod look is certainly a favorite of mine at the moment, particularly when worn with a skinny tie - which sets off the 60's inspired trend!
During these times of belt (or hip adjuster!) tightening, it is important to remember that one can breathe new life into wardrobe staples by simply adding a bit of colour. By this I mean accessorising an existing suit with a different colour palette, to give it a new lease of life, which is where the simple shirt can often come in handy.
If you know anything at all about menswear, then chances are that you've heard of super numbers. You probably know that they are something to do with the grading of wool cloths but aren't terribly sure of the exact details.
Let's start with the basics. The S numbers are a standard classification for fine wool products that state, in micrometers, the fineness of the wool fibre being used.
An 'S number' may be used to classify any cloth or yarn that has a wool content of at least 45%, while a 'super number' can strictly be used to classify cloth or yarn that is pure new wool or wool blended with a rare fibre such as silk, mohair, cashmere and alpaca, with no more than 5% of any synthetic fibre such as elastane or polyamide. The S-scale dates back to the 18th century England, where the worsted spinning process was invented; it originally ran from 30s to 100s - for many years 100s being the very finest cloth available. Innovations in machinery over the past 10-15 years mean that super-lightweight, high-twist wools can now be spun finer than ever before.
However, it's not all down to machinery. An essential development in the production of high s-number wools is the selective breeding of Australian and New Zealand Merino sheep to produce stronger and finer wool fibres - strength being critical as the fibre must be able to withstand the tight twisting required to create a fine weave. To understand the impact of breeding, consider this - fifteen years ago, there was no production of wool under 17 microns (which is less than half the width of a human hair); today, there are thousands of bales produced and the finest wools can have a fibre diameter of just 13 microns. The end result is that the S scale now runs up to 200s, the heaviest fabrics used today are generally lighter than the lightest used 15 years ago, and the 'super' and 's' scales have trickled into the collective conciousness as a quality yardstick for wool fabrics. Even those who know that the S number refers to the diameter of the individual wool fibres often think that because a higher S number means a higher thread count, than the highest S numbers are better quality, more durable fabrics. This is a dangerous assumption.
There's no denying that super 150s and 180s wools are beautiful, luxury fabrics and make incredible suits. They are not, however, the kind of fabric that you should consider for daywear. For a start, the fabric shifts when sewn, making it difficult to tailor. Secondly, the cloth is so fine that it can wrinkle as easily as linen; the fabric does not withstand wear or more than 2-3 dry cleanings, making for a high-maintenance garment. Suits made up of fabric higher than 120s should be treated as occasion-wear garments, best reserved for special occasions such as dinners and weddings (in much the same way that a lady would save her finest silk dresses or blouses) - beware of any tailor or sales assistant that advises a super150 fabric for everyday! For durable, day-to-day suits that need to be resilient to what life throws at them, chose a 90-120s fabric. They make up well and stand the test of time.
Of course, no matter how fine your cloth, your suit is only ever as good as the standard of fit and quality of tailoring. To get this part right, it is essential to have your suit cut and individually hand tailored for you...and where better to go for that than A Suit That Fits?
With the sun shining this week, Johnny, your resident west-end branch manager, has been thinking about summer styling!
Do I dare say it? I'm going to...I think....yep...SUMMER'S HERE! Even if it isn't let's tease the sun with our pasty white skin...OK, just me?
Us Brits are not known for our ability to dress for summer. We just haven't had enough practise. Winter we have nailed. Autumn is easy. Spring's a little bit tricky sometimes but Summer! Those tube journeys...a tie? Really?(Insert 'unhappy face' icon here)
When you think of a suit you really don't think perfect summer attire. So, instead I urge you to think about tailored garments and all they have to offer us on the two or three days summer will be burning our skin on. There are countless ways we can dress to suit the increasing temperatures while remaining smart, business like, unsweaty (let's get to the real problems) and sophisticated.
Start with the weight and content of the fabric you are choosing. Our fabrics range from the lightweight, 260g fabric to the heavyweight, 320g fabric. As a general rule a 300g fabric is an all season fabric but therefore will not keep you super warm in the depths of winter and will probably keep you a little too warm in the height of summer. I would advise, in summer, purchasing a summer weighted fabric. Anything under 300g and, to be honest, even the 300g if you aren't the type of person to get hot just thinking about the sun is the way forward. Leave the 320g weighted fabrics for late autumn and winter.
For the summer, look for a fabric with much more wool in it; due to wool's awesome breathable nature, body temperature controlling skill, feel to the touch and self cleaning properties! Stay well away from cashmere also. Some of our herringbones have cashmere content and should only be worn in the summer by people who don't feel the heat.
Once you have a great fabric choice you have almost won the battle. In addition to this you need to think about colour. A lot of us are resigned to the dark coloured suits that our offices demand. Dark charcoals, navys and blacks are common in every office I have ever worked in. They are very versatile colours, they look exceptionally smart with a crisp white shirt and they hide a multitude of sins; they do, however, also tend to absorb the suns rays and therefore slowly start to boil us. If you can get away with it in the office, why not try a linen suit? Our linens work well for this purpose due to their slightly more rigid nature. It will always have linen qualities and crease more than a wool but it will crease less than the linen suit you have in your mind (you're thinking about the man from delmonte...aren't you?) Linens don't have to be pale colours either. Why not try a navy, black or olive green? The nature of the linen will somewhat counter balance the fact that the colour is darker if intended for office use.
If you want to and can get away with it why not try lighter colours? We are all so used to charcoal, navy and black that we don't think any other colour will suit us. I urge you to be brave. A good test, and something employed by some of our Style Advisors, is to hold the fabric swatch to your face. Look in a mirror and go with instinct. You basically don't want to pale your skin out. You want to look healthy and to this day general health and wellbeing go hand in hand with tanned skin or skin with colour. How many people tell you that you look healthy and rested after a holiday? Were you rested? Probably not - it's a holiday - but you 'caught the sun' so you automatically become 'healthy', even though your skin is probably not thanking you, your wrinkles have evolved to deep set wrinkles and you still have an outline of sunglasses shape around your eyes. Try lighter grey fabrics to start with. We wouldn't want to go too crazy. With each suit you may want to experiment with colour. I have found that sandy browns and grey-browns are the next departure from traditional colours.
So, that's probably enough information to begin with. Over the coming months, watch out for more blogs about summer styling. It can be done....
Believe me my young friend there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
So said Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's classic 'The Wind in the Willows'. It's a sentiment with which I'm personally inclined to agree, having spent most of my time at university getting up at 6.
30 to do exactly that. Despite nowadays being a sport that's usually associated with lyrca-clad beefcake giants, the historical attire for rowing is in fact the boating blazer - a single breasted, 3 button jacket with patch pockets, usually made up in either a striped fabric in club colours, or in navy or ivory with coloured piping and club badge or buttons. The problem with traditional rowing blazers is that they tend to be made of either wool felt (heavy and hot) or polyester (sweaty), and usually fit like a box. For those lucky enough to be members of a club whose blazer has a basic background of ivory, red, black, navy or grey, then the easy solution is to order a perfectly tailored boating-style blazer from A Suit That Fits.
com in one of our lightweight wools or even a mohair . Club colours, buttons and badges can then be applied - please contact me (Call 020 3355 3560 and ask for Izzi) to discuss your requirements. A perfectly fitted club blazer shows off your physique, honed by many grueling hours in the weights room, and will make you stand out even amongst the most garishly striped blazer varieties (not to mention being lightweight and easy to wear). You could also choose our new half-lined jacket option for an even cooler feel. If you're interested in group orders for more than 4 club members, please get in touch with our New Business Development Manager Peter Beeney. For those who want to get in on the boating blazer action, but can't face the prospect of 6am starts and 90 minute sessions on the rowing machine, a jacket in one of our striped boating cottons is a perfect alternative - great for summer social occasions or for messing about on the river. There tend to be at least a couple of boating-style blazers down the spring/summer runways each year, so for a similar look, try our version of the style.
Boating blazers tend to conjure up thoughts of pimm's, strawberries, picnic hampers and the like - all quintessential images of English summer. It may seem strange to some to start thinking about summer clothing when we're still stuck in what seems to be a never-ending nuclear winter, but the well-dressed man alway plans ahead - especially when ordering suits. Ordering in March means that your blazer will be ready in good time for the summer regatta season.
Ladies can have a bit of a hard time of it when searching for the perfect boating blazer, as most the of the 'ladies' blazers on offer from traditional rowing clothiers look and fit approximately like sacks. I've come under a fair bit of criticism from the guys in my boat club for steadfastly refusing to buy one this year; however, the problem's been solved and I'm getting an A Suit That Fits.com ladies blazer in ivory lightweight wool, trimmed in my club colours of red and black! Finally, a feminine, shapely blazer that fits! If you're looking for a ladies rowing blazer contact me or book an appointment at our Liverpool Street office to discuss your requirements.
In my last post, we paid our respects to the humble sheep and the fabulous fibre it produces - wool. However, as everyone knows, sheep are not the only creatures that produce wool - the animals of their sister species, the goat, also have wool coats.
Both cashmere and mohair wools come from goats, rather than sheep. When I was a child, one of our neighbours had several pet goats, and their yellow eyes with rectangular pupils always mildly disturbed me, as did their ability to eat anything that was offered to them (including, on several occasions, my hair).
Angora and Cashmere goats, being wool-producing breeds, are considerably more cuddly-looking than those pet goats were, thanks their thick coats. Mohair comes from the Angora goat, a breed that first originated in originated in central Anatolia in present-day Turkey - which, along with Texas and South Africa, remains one of the main producers of mohair today. Like wool from sheep, Mohair wool is insulating, durable, dirt-repelling, flame-resistant and moisture absorbing. Very slightly thicker than wool fibres, mohair has even more tensile strength and is extremely crease resistant, and is often added to blends for this reason.
While mohair has scales like wool, they are smaller and not fully developed, meaning that mohair does not felt like wool does, is smoother to the touch and reflects more light, giving a subtle lustre. The fibre itself grows with the goat and it is the fine fibres from young kid goats that we use in our mohair fabrics. We have 2 kinds of mohair fabrics in our range - our plain-colour kid mohairs and our tonic mohairs. These are 'shot' fabrics, meaning that one colour of threads are used in the warp and a different colour in the weft, giving the fabric a slight two-tone effect. A mohair fabric is lighter and stiffer than plain wool, giving a very sharply tailored look that is best for summer wear. Mohair is a luxury fibre and mohair suits are an ideal choice for weddings, evening dates and dinners, business meetings and other special occasions - at A Suit That Fits.com, we use a high-quality mohair fabric, making one of our tailor-made mohair suits a sound investment for the future. Click here to see my version of a mohair 3-piece wedding suit, (a more formal look with one button, single vent, hand-stitched peaked lapels, vertical trouser pockets and paisley lining) and here for a more business-like style (with 2 buttons, a double vent, right ticket pocket and cross trouser pockets).
No sooner has St. Valentine's Day passed, and we are looking forward to spring and I dare say a fair few of us will be looking forward to the big day!
Hopefully you'll have made arrangements for your suit, in the same way that your bride made arrangements for her wedding dress i.e. in advance!
However, if you haven't A Suit That Fits.com have a service just for you and can turn around a suit in as little as 3 weeks (not inclusive of fittings), for the supplementary and reasonable fee of 70 (or 4 weeks for 50).
Now that you know a bespoke suit can be yours in time for the big day, here are a couple of things to consider;
Morning coats i.e. tails, are traditional fair but unless you attend ascott every year, you are unlikely to get much use out of your wedding suit again. If tradition is the order of the day however, choose mohair or a cloth with some structure in it i.e. a herringbone, so that the tail hangs well and will not crease too easily.
Three piece suits are versatile, and if you think that you'll get no further use out of your waistcoat, bear in mind they are making a comeback in the boardroom and so will be cut a dash at work also.
In addition, following the wedding ceremony and photos, you'll want to lose your jacket in preparation for several hours of eating and, assuming you don't have two left feet, the first dance with the bride! But what you don't want is to look like a member of the congregation, and your waistcoat will ensure that you do not.
Two piece suits must be smart, regardless of colour or style. Even if you are going for bright blue or pink, the cut and fit must be spot on, Bond like even.
Light grey is the wedding suit staple, it compliments more complexions than any other colour, provides great contrast for the wedding colour scheme, and compliments almost any bridal gown colour.
Black is sophisticated, and is the only colour (so I am informed) that is acceptable at an Italian wedding, but black can be limiting in other respects. If black is your new black, then perhaps soften the overall effect with a cream coloured bespoke shirt , and brightly coloured contrasting pocket square. Black shoes only (unless you are going retro in which case white patent are acceptable, but only for the seriously brave and funky!).
Ivory is for beach weddings, for those of us blessed with a contrasting skin tone, John Travolta or throwbacks like myself. Wear with care.
Charcoal grey is more formal and a very smart option. The lighter coloured fleck in the cloth such as is evident in mohair and flannel, soften the overall effect.
Bright colours show confidence, a sense of fun and hopefully that you have chosen with the assistance of the bride! Powder blue and dusk pink were incredibly popular last season, and similar colours have already been sought after this season. Choose a colour that compliments your complexion, and be sure to accesorise with contrasting, more muted colours i.e. dark brown and tortoiseshell shades. Choose shoe colour very wisely also!
Navy Blue is becoming increasingly popular. Silk navy suits or mohair navy suits being the most common and the most fetching.
You, or more likely your bride, may want some element of your suit to reflect the wedding's colour scheme, so come to your initial consultation armed with the prerequisite colours. It is a popular choice to have the back of your waistcoat, and also your jacket lining match the colour scheme.
Tweed has become a very popular option for wedding suits. Check and herringbone weaves have been most popular at A Suit That Fits, and the variety of colour and pattern is vast. Choose any cloth that has some colour that compliments your complexion and you won't go far wrong. Be aware that tweed is designed to keep you warm.
Worsted wool in all weights is also designed to keep you warm, so choose the weight carefully. However, if you like a lot of texture in your cloth, you are going to favour the heavier weights like flannels.
Mohair is goats wool and is lightweight and NOT designed to keep you warm. The weave of mohair is mesh-like, and so the fabric 'breathes', thus keeping you cool. In addition, due to it's inherent rigidity, mohair keeps it's creases for longer than worsted wools, and so is a fantastic choice for a wedding suit.
Silk is super sexy, feels great to wear and has a sheen which a lot of people favour at events such as weddings. It does not hold it's crease as well as mohair, and can crease more easily, but is worth the investment as an occasional suit.
The above suggestions are exactly that, suggestions and are not exhaustive. If you would like help planning and designing your wedding suit, A Suit That Fits' style advisors are on hand to assist in every way sartorial.
Best of luck!
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