A Suit That Fits Blog
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Tag >> merino wool
When I met Sam he had already designed his three piece suit with our Style Advisor Rachel and was on to the fitting stage. Sam and his fiance Rachel were planning on getting married in Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire and then having a mini festival in a field fully equipted with bonefire, hog roast, tents and of course wellies.
Being a lover of festivals from a young age, (having been allowed to go to Glastonbury unaccompanied at the tender age of fourteen!) I loved the idea straight away.
The couples' outdoorsy theme didn't end there though with green being a big aspect of Sam's outfit. He went with a black UKAB Merino wool, with green lining, green pocket square, green stitching on his last cuff buttonhole and a green tie. Sam's lapel buttonhole was also made with green leaves and held together with colourful buttons. Sam's choice of style was very modern with slanted flapless pockets, a single vent and five buttons on his sleeve. He went for a notched collar but continued his modern twist through to his trousers, having horizantal pockets and flat fronts. His waistcoat was five buttons and had two pockets, perfect for the finishing touch of a pocket watch.
The green detailing of Sam's three piece suit matches perfectly with the cream of Rachels's dress and her fiery red hair, not to mention the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside (can you tell I'm a south west girl!!)
Me and ASTF Rachel were lucky enough that Sam was happy to send us over some photos. The happy couple had Richard Johnson of Totallyrich Digital Consultancy take pictures of their big day and it definitely looks like they had a wonderful time. The newly weds also sent us a link to Rachel's blog, a lovely personal account of their big day, we wish you all the best!
Rachel Mathews' blog http://rabel.co.uk/the-big-day-rabel-mule-get-wed/
Location: Cripps Barn http://www.crippsbarn.com/ Photographer: Richard Johnson http://www.totallyrich.com
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?
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