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It is quite possible that that last statement was fueled by the third cup of coffee that I consumed this morning. Reading that back it sounds it a little over enthused, normal service shall now resume.
So where do these devilishly retro lovelies come from and how did they trickle into formal wear? Well those of us who ride horses will be familiar with gaiters used for effectively turning shoes into boots and protecting your leg.
This is the origin of the spat. Their original purpose was to protect stockings, dresses and trousers from splashes. The word spats stems from an abbreviation of the word 'splatterdash' denoting their humble beginnings. By the time we started the 20th century they had become a fashion must have for the dapper gent becoming widely associated with gangsters by the 30's in a shorter ankle boot like format. In spite of a brief 90's come back as a fashion accessory was sadly short lived since they were replaced by the rubber galosh (i.e. the rubber welly). To be fair these did do a much better job of keeping feet dry but they have never looked good with a suit.
Now there has been hot debate in our office today since I said I was advocating spats comments from 'ew so not cool' to 'aren't they a bit... you know kinky?' Well I am here to set the record straight, not only on they an amazing accessory to jazz up your every day suit, they have also been echoed in fashion.
Take these beautiful ankle heels; notice the buttons just like a 1920s dinner spat. Or below these lovely leather and tweed boots the concept of the canvas and leather ankle boot is so spatty and yet refined.
Coming into the autumn they'll keep you ankles warm and it's cheaper than a whole a new wardrobe, and ladies, if you're going out after work and don't want to take multiple pairs of shoes with you? Why not grab a pair of spats and slip them on to accessorise your attire, see Hana's new blog on vintage dressing if you want to go all the way.
Who knows, maybe I've been reading 'The Chap' too much of late but in my view if they're good enough for Depp? They're good enough for me!
This isn't one of the most popular themes these days but is definitely one of the most fun. It's something you can really play around with and something I've had a few guys coming to me in a panic over recently.
The most common set of questions are as follows; How do I pull this one off? These are the boots we picked out, what will they go with? Can I get something that looks like Will Smith in Wild Wild West?.
Now, if you are going to go full cowboy you do need a longer jacket with button down patch pockets, boot cut trousers and the bolo or Texan tie with gaudy slide. It's never going to be a suit that can transfer into a work day staple but what the hell, you'll look great for the big day. Ultimate Cowboy suit!
Links to ultimate cow boy suit:
If you're aim is something a little more subtle and reuseable think about picking aspects that nod to theme without being over powering. Go with classic and not too slim suiting making the accessories wild; cowboy hat being a must. Everything you never knew about the bolo tie info graphic. Other wise make sure you've got you lasso handy in case your filly tries to get away!
With Rachel now covering Oxford and Reading the City Road team has had a bit of a re-shuffle. The City Road girls, me and Rach are only together two days a week and in honour of this we decided to collaborate on a blog, me on the words, Rach on the pics.
Perfect little setup as I think I am the only fashion graduate who can't draw. Now, it may still be summer but if your want a new for Autunm this is the time to start thinking about it.
Our normal turn around is 6-8weeks plus fittings so even if you are still swanning around in your light grey suit and shades don't leave your Autunm option to the last minute. My favourite time of year is Autunm, the evenings have only just started to get dark and the colours are brilliant, perfect inspiration for your suiting designs.
Me and Rach have come up with three outfit ideas to get you started. First up, 'A Classic Three Piece with an edge.'
This is a great outfit for the more classic gent. The use of a contrast collar, pocket flaps and waistcoat give it that extra special something. The contrasting colour choice can be as wild or as subtle as you like. For this design we've gone with FLA-26, a grey heavy weight wool and cashmere cloth contrasted with HAB-2; a light brown herringbone cloth, also a heavy weight wool and cashmere. This is a real winner for Autumn and an idea that can be adapted for all seasons, events and occasions.
Fashion Forward suiting
Now, if you want something a little more on trend but still subtle, concentrate on your detailing. It is said that menswear is all about the details, something quite small can make all the difference. Again we've gone with a herringbone;HAB-3A, a grey wool and cashmere. The HAB's are such great cloths for the Autumn and can be really jazzed up with a splash of bright colour. With this outfit we've gone with straight flapless pockets with an extra ticket pocket all edged in red velvet. The red theme is carried on through to the cuff and lapel buttonhole stitching as well as a fushia lining.
Wild Autumn Oranges
Sometimes, classic and trendy are not what you want, sometimes, you want to walk into a room and make everyone go, wow! Our Sharkskin 5603-6 is a bronze cloth with a tonic weave that can do that. Keep the design very simple with a notched collar, slanted flapless pockets and straight leg trousers. With a really simple design you can afford to add a silk orange tie and really turn heads. The main thing to remember is that although suiting has a strong connection to the world of the nine to five it does not have to be dull. Tailoring is all about beautiful garments and amazing details.
One thing the Brits know how to do well is wear a good suit - and we have certainly not been short of sartorial inspiration during the celebrations. The chap that has stood out to me the most as looking especially suave at every occasion of the Olympics is David Beckham.
Beckham has played a role in the journey of the Olympic torch since May when it was brought from Athens to the UK at the start of the Torch Relay. As shown above Beckham went for a , the texture of which gives a little more depth to the without the need for a or .
A beautifully tailored suit, David wears a single breasted, two button jacket with notched lapels, double vents and straight flapped pockets paired with straight leg trousers. The pale pink shirt with black contrast tie works perfectly. You'll struggle to find Beckham without a Tie-pin when wearing a day suit- love it!. When the torch arrived in Britain David Beckham accompanied Princess Anne and Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. They had the honour of lighting the cauldron to celebrate the flame's official arrival. For this special occasion he returned to a notched collar and selected a darker suit colour, going with a navy.
Saying chinos are in, is like saying trousers are all the rage for men at the moment. Chinos are always 'in' and they are always a great staple in any man's wardrobe. They are the more casual summer cousin to the suit trouser, a garment that can come in a multitude of different colours and be worn with shirts or t-shirts alike but still look smarter than jeans.
Here at A Suit That Fits I have a lot of customer who love the fit of our but are really hankering for something more casual at the weekend, is the answer! Recently launched on our website by popular demand, I can't wait for the version, wink wink nudge nudge!.
A traditional pair of chinos would have been made of cotton twill and have evolved from military uniform, they tended to be made in quite muted colours. With the advent of chinos as a fashion item though they now come in many different colours. Cycling round London red chinos seems to be very much the rage but I have also seen colours as varied as yellow, green, even purple.
They can be worn with not only a varity of clothes, but also shoes. In this photo Zac Efron dons a pair of tanned chinos, giving them a more grungy look by pairing them with DMs.
Note though that because of the cut and style of chinos they still maintain an element of smart regardless of what footwear you put them with. In this photo above both Ashton Kutcher and Zac Efron are wearing converse for a more weekend look with Ashton going for a wide leg verses Zac's skinny. David Beckham has also gone with a slim fit putting his with tanned hiking boots and a silver dog chain for that footballer chic.
The real classic chino look though is demonstrated perfectly by Jude Law. A slate grey pair of chinos worn with a dark cashmere cardigan and grey pashmina. Subtle tones are always a winner, effortlessly chic!
1. Suits YouSimply put, does the colour of your suit suit you?Salt 'n' Pepper hair colour = greysRed head = autumnals; browns
2. Fits YouOff-the-peg' or fits where it touches is not an excuse to wear a poorly-fitting irrespective of the jib or cut of your i.e. how much room there is between you and the garment.
Point-to-point elements of the garment should be adjusted to fit if needs be; sleeve/trouser length. 3. Shirt Sleeves need only reach the top of your hands - they are not mittens and need not provide any protection for the hand. Jacket sleeves ought to be cut 1/2 shorter than the shirt sleeves' length if you like to shoot a little cuff.Shirt collars should fit with space enough for one's index finger to be inserted between collar and neck. Any larger and the collar will kink and buckle when the tie is tightened.
4. Tie A contrasting coloured tie or simple pocket square can make all the difference in setting the tone and can also set-off an otherwise run of the mill suit. Be sure to choose a tie colour that contrasts and compliments both your suit and shirt. If you have a club tie by all means wear it but this is no excuse for not observing the rules regarding colour-matching.And remember, it is better to be the only man in a room wearing a tie than be the only man not wearing a tie.
5. ShoesShoes can quite literally make or break a suit - or any outfit for that matter.Ask any woman and they'll tell you that what lets most men down is their choice of shoe.I generally let the toe-shape of the shoe dictate what shape trousers to wear e.g. narrow or bootcut for a longer toe shape, drainpipe or slightly tapered for squared toe shapes
6.Wear Care: PressingIf you've had a suit made for you, have it pressed before its maiden voyage - off-the-peg suits are pressed before they reach the shop floor, tailor-made suits are generally not.
7. Wear Care: Storage for Trousers After each wear, hang trousers upside down from the ankles using a clamp hanger or a skirt-clip hanger. This will keep the creases that you want, where you want them and eradicate others.
8. Wear Care: Storage for Jackets Your jacket ought to be hung on a hanger that best supports the shoulder and will keep their shape better if worn by you yourself - wool will take the shape of whatever it is draped over, hence if your hanger is too wide the sleeve head will remain misshapen. Hang jackets outside your wardrobe overnight before returning to storage. This gives the garment the opportunity to breathe and aerate.
9. CleaningContrary to popular belief, suits do not require dry cleaning every week or even month! Limit dry cleaning to twice a year but steam and press as often as your suit requires freshening up and/or sharpening up. I generally have a suit pressed when the centre crease is no longer easily identifiable
10. AccessoriesI am referring of course to adornment and not shoes.A simple pocket square can really set-off a suit and is the only item which is exempt from the rules of colour matching and can be a different colour to all items in one's ensemble.
If you have any sartorial dilemmas, then please do get in touch!
Our London Mayor is well known for putting his foot in it; from 'accidentally' drawing breasts on a board at an art event for the partially sighted, to effectively saying to a US journalist that he wanted to be supreme ruler of the UK a few weeks ago.
Now we all know that he meant supreme ruler of London but no matter how many times I read that line I can't help but think he's hatching a plan for world domination.
What many fail to realise about 'Our Boris' is that he is a practical chap. Often wearing back packs and cycling, it seems that his suit somewhat suffers from wrinkles and creases. Fundamentally, as we see from the above picture all he needs to do is tighten the straps and interviewers will see that he is wearing a classic suit well chosen for his colouring (although I would advise a little extra length on the trouser). Boris has a challenging build, with his square silhouette and round middle. This means that getting the shoulder width right is key to ensuring a balanced look, if it's too wide it simply accentuates his square frame.
A good suiting tip to take from Boris, that is great for his shape is to wear a fair amount of pinstripes. These work well for him, slimming and toning down the harsh dark palette of political suiting. One thing of note is Boris' habit of putting his hands in his jacket pockets. This leads not only to saggy pocket syndrome but means that his suits often have pockets half in half out or one in and one out. This generally gives an untidy look to his press photographs but makes him rather endearing as we realise that he too is merely human.
In short 'Our Boris' still needs a few style tips here and there but his international appeal, particularly as a popular British stereotype, makes him an ideal candidate for promoting the capital.
Planning a wedding is a challenge, ask any one, but it can become even harder when you're instructed to stick to a theme. Hands up guys if you've ever been faced with 'sticking to the theme' for either your own or a friends wedding? Or indeed if you are currently faced with such a hurdle and all you want is a classic stylish suit that fits like a dream and you can maybe wear again? The desire to fulfil both the role of wedding suit and future use is becoming increasingly important to the dapper chap as the purse strings are pulled ever tighter.
Well here are a few challenges that some of my chaps have been faced with in the past few months, with some great options that you can go for to solve all your theme related problems.
My quick fix guide will hopefully give you a few ideas to make sure the theme is met and you've got a suit you love for however long you want it. Remember, sometimes thinking out side the box can lead to stunning results. This week I'm looking at 'Reds and pinks.'. Pink and Red
This is a lovely option if you want to keep your suit classic. Go for the contrast detailing on the button holes and a bold red splash of paisley in the lining. This option looks fantastic with the mid to dark greys or black. If you wanted to be bolder with your pink theme choose the orchid lining and slip a hot contrast colour in for added fun. When using lighter pink and red tones you can also happily play with the lighter greys.
For something really stunning go with the the image below. The mixture of both a tailcoat and waistcoat in red tones is kept classic with grey trousers and a white shirt. It's got an amazing Ascot-esk feeling and for future use you could get the lounge jacket to match.
If you going for a more subtle look you could go with a light grey two piece suit with red melton. This way you wedding suit can more easily morph into an events or work suit.
One of my clients really pulled off a more classic interpretation of the red theme by sticking with burgundy tones: Mark really shined in his suit on his wedding day. He was a little worried at first but now he really loves it. A great outfit for versatility; the jacket works well with jeans for casual honeymoon wear and it looks good with a floral Hawaiian shirt, although I did promise Mark I wouldn't put up that picture.
So, reds and pinks are a relatively easy one but getting the balance right is very important. If you really don't suit bright reds as a colour pick on softer shades and blend tones rather than having perfect matches. Having everything in just three shades can be harsh on the eye and while you do want to follow the theme, you don't want to look as if you are the theme.
As for Zombie themes, it's not something I'd advice but a background level of red works really well!
Well, this year has already given us a glimpse of summer, and that can mean only one thing, time to lighten up our wardrobes in the hope that we reach those temperatures again. When it comes to suiting, we really should be pushing the heavy wools to the back and bringing out the light weight wools and linens.
I would opt in favour of , or our if you're looking for something for the office. It is nice and lightweight, but in a range of colours suitable for the office.
If you're heading off on holiday, or just want something more casual, try our Linens. There are some fantastic colours on offer this year. Have a look at my Linen Suiting blog to see some ideas. Of course, the three piece can be just as useful in summer as it is in winter. Think about leaving your jacket in the office when out for lunch. Wear your waistcoat instead. This will maintain the ultra smart appearance, whilst still keeping you cool. I've seen many of Edinburgh 's streets recently swarming with blokes who are cutting a dash with a waistcoat and trouser combo as well as a few famous faces.
Two of A Suit That Fits favourites do this look in the own way; Gary Barlow goes with his signature high chested six button waistcoat with a slight lossening of the tie to give it just a dash of the casual. David Beckham goes for a light grey waistcoat and trousers, worn with a tie but rolling up his sleeves to give his otherwise smart look a sporty feel. Colour also is an important factor when getting a new summer suit. I wouldn't advice a light grey or cream linen suit in the winter for instance but when the sun shines they are perfect colours. Light grey is a great shade for the office and cream for casual. It has never really gone out of style, proven by the image above. On the very far left we have Robert Redford in his younger days showing that separates are the way to go in his double breasted cream waistcoat with lapels and matching trousers. In the middle is Brad Pitt in a more relaxed outfit, wearing a two piece cream suit with an open collar shirt and last but not least we have P Diddy. He is wearing a two button notched collar, linen, cream suit with silver pocket square.
On Monday night, I attended the seventh annual Scottish Fashion Awards in Glasgow, hosted by Style Icon Alexa Chung. It was a glitzy and glamorous spectacle but, with Swarovski as a sponsor, who would expect any less! I had the pleasure of meeting a whole host of interesting people from across the industry, but more importantly, I met a few dapper ladies and gents sporting suits, separates and tuxedos.
In the photo below we have some dapper chaps sporting a mixture of fantastic outfits. Starting on the left we have a classic , versatile and perfectly accessorized, on this occasion with a smart tartan .
Next, we have a very daring double breasted jacket with eight buttons, three fastening, worn with a pair of light grey flannel trousers, again, finished off with a pocket square in a presidential fold. Third from the left is a classic two piece in light grey pinstripes, worn with slim lapels to give width to the shoulder line. Last but not least a modern two piece charcoal grey suit with slim lapels, worn with a skinny tie. Next, was James Robert Faulkener. Edinburgh's very own Rogue Milliner.
James' designs are fantastic, but not as fantastic as his plush velvet tuxedo, with shawl collar in satin, complimented by his waistcoat and scarf. Also in this picture, we see another velvet jacket with notched, split lapel in suit cloth, edged with satin.
In this final picture, I managed to snap a lady in a tuxedo, rare, but a great look. With a single fastening, satin edging, and full satin collar (rather than suit cloth). It really is a stand out tuxedo. Our gent is wearing a classic peaked collar tuxedo, with a one button fastening and straight flapped pockets. Pocket squares were really prevalent on the night.
All in all, it was a brilliant event with guest appearances from Dionne Blomfield, Millie Mackintosh of Made in Chelsea, Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame and New York stylist Derek Warburton, who sported a striking pink turban. Congratulations to all the winners, and I'm sure you'll all be household names in the future.
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