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Dressing the part for St George’s Day

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Let’s celebrate and be proud of our English heritage by honouring St George’s Day on 23rd April. St George’s Day was once celebrated as widely as Christmas, with it being a National holiday but the celebrations began to subside by the end of the 18th century after England united with Scotland. A well known symbol which relates to St George’s Day is the English Cross. It is understood that English soldiers wore a sign of St George on their chest and on their backs during the 14th century, as the Saint was regarded as a special protector of the English.

A traditional custom that is not now adopted widely is to wear a red rose on your lapel! This is a strong but conservative way to support St George’s Day.

At The Bespoke Tailor we can help you achieve a confident and proud look by providing you with a traditional British suit, tailored to your needs using only British fabrics. And to display your subtle red rose we can offer luxury suits with different styles of lapels which range from peak, wide peak, standard notch, narrow notch, wide notch and shawl.

Our luxury British traditional suits have a design that can offer a fitted feel with a professional cut closer to the body. They have narrower and more defined shoulders with high arm holes that can provide close fitting sleeves.  To complement these assets, slim neat shoulder pads are added.

For your jacket, we recommend the two side vent jacket that can be either single or double breasted. Single-breasted jackets have a single row of buttons down the front, and the jacket flaps only overlap enough to allow buttoning. A double-breasted jacket has two rows of buttons, and the front overlaps sufficiently to allow both flaps to be attached to the opposite row of buttons. The style is then completed with tapered waist trousers to give you a traditional look.

Navy and Grey are the perfect colour suits for this occasion – depending on your preferred choice, we can complete the look with a wide choice of coloured shirts and accessories, giving you an impeccable look where you will ooze confidence. After all, we are celebrating being proud of England!

When it comes to using fabrics for our suits, I only use British cloth as it is without doubt the best in the world and I’m only prepared to work with the best.  British cloth is renowned throughout the globe for its sheer quality and what better way of supporting our own Cloth Specialists?

So, why not celebrate St George’s Day with a traditional British suit?

The Bespoke Tailor can help with all your needs and make you feel proud of our English heritage.

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Should I choose a double-breasted or single-breasted suit?

While both options look good, the single-breasted option is the most common and has buttons down one side and button holes on the opposite side that meet in the middle when closed.

The double-breasted version has sets of buttons on each side and the left side folds over the right and is fastened by one or two of the buttons.

A single-breasted jacket or blazer is the staple of most men’s wardrobes however, a double-breasted version can look fantastic. When fitted correctly, a double-breasted jacket oozes sophistication and style but will require extra time and effort to get the look just right. What outfit doesn’t look striking with extra attention to detail and fine tailoring? A custom made double-breasted jacket will look elegant, like a second skin, and it will accentuate your assets whilst disguising any flaws.

The double-breasted jacket always has peak lapels, completing the superior look. The original design has six buttons, two of which close.

This classic look is perfect for tall men. If you are short in height, a four- or six-button combination where only the bottom one closes is a better choice for you. The four-button double-breasted variety is sometimes known as the ‘Kent’ after its supposed creator, the Duke of Kent. Carefully chosen fabrics and colours will complete your masculine, powerful look.

So when should you wear your statement piece? It’s probably not for every day use, unless you’re in the movies or always on the red carpet! Perhaps wear it on those occasions where you just have to stand out, like a wedding or other special event. Choose only the best fabrics and the finished product will make you look like you mean business!

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Iconic suits from the film industry

Impeccable clothing on male leads on screen is almost as crucial as the characters themselves. Getting it right creates a timeless presence, adding to the authenticity of our heroes. Let The Bespoke Tailor take you on a journey of some of our favourite iconic suits from the film industry.

When thinking about tailoring in the movies, James Bond immediately springs to mind. A spy defined by his impeccable taste in almost everything. His effortless style and sophistication leaps from the screen and is emulated by many. Sean Connery waa popular James Bond and in a classic scene from Dr No where he lights a cigarette at the baccarat table, he’s wearing probably one of the nicest dinner suits ever made. A perfect cinematic moment.

The Glen plaid check grey suit that Cary Grant wore in the 1959 film North by North west was probably his most famous garment. The weave on the material had a hint of blue to it and Cary’s suit seems to almost change colour during the film. Hitchcock paid close attention to the wardrobe as it was said he didn’t want the film to date.

When Cary’s character, Roger is in the field being chased by the crop-sprayer the suit looks to be a very light grey. However, when Roger is standing by the railway carriage in disguise, it almost looks navy. The look may be a little baggier than would be worn today but it’s still slick with its crisp, white shirt and perfectly co-ordinated tie. Classic perfection that still has the power to wow audiences old and new.

The eighties did have some stylish moments as we can clearly see in American Gigolo, thanks to Richard Gere and his outfits supplied by Georgio Armani. One of cinema’s most memorable wardrobe scenes is in this film when Richard Gere flicks through his huge range of shirts and blazers. This is undoubtedly where the phrase ‘Armani suits’ became ubiquitous with having style and who better to carry it off than the very sartorial Richard Gere?

Did you know that Robert De Niro wore 45 suits in Scorcese’s Las Vegas gangster drama Casino? And all of them were specially made? Rumour has it that the costume budget for this movie alone was around $1 million. I would have liked to been the consultant tailor on that one!

Jack Nicholson was mesmerising in the film Chinatown which was set in 1937 Los Angeles. As well as being one of the best dramas of all time, it is also one of the most stylish, as it had a series of fantastic bespoke three-piece suits that were perfectly accessorized with pocket square and tie ensembles. Talent like Nicholson’s had to be complimented with impeccable attention to detail and the very best of fabrics. An amazing cinematic experience from one of the very best.

So there you have it, a few of The Bespoke Tailor’s favourite iconic suits from the film industry and the influences are still being felt today.

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Planning your spring wardrobe

I know it’s hard to think about spring when the rain is lashing against your windows and the wind is buffeting against your conservatory but it might just put you in a better mood if you do.

Daffodils and crocuses are already starting to emerge and sooner or later you need to be turning to your wardrobe to see what you’ve got available and what new garments you may need to invest in.

The changes you make at the start of spring can be fairly subtle. There may still be a nip in the air so rather than make changes in cloth at this stage you should be looking at colours. The deep dark colours of winter can start changing to the gentler hues of greens, mid-blues, and lighter greys. Waistcoats can still be worn and you may want to invest in a lightweight coat to keep the chill out.

As the temperature creeps up you can gradually put away your heavy wool suits and move to lighter flannels, cavalry twills and milled worsteds. Every man’s wardrobe should contain a lightweight suit and sports jacket that will serve them for the spring season and moving to more pastel colours such as beige, tan and ivory are ideal for this time of year.

For a more casual look then a smart pair of chinos, a soft and lightweight blazer, a pale relaxed shirt and a silk pocket handkerchief cuts a fine sartorial figure. For the office, then light grey, mid blue or beige two piece suits in soft cotton or light wool will set the tone perfectly.

Cloths that allow the air to circulate through them are a good choice for spring so wool-linen blends or silk blends may be a good addition to your wardrobe. Now is a good time to look at your spring wardrobe and see if it fits the bill. What have you got planned for spring? Are you taking a short break? Will you be going to a sporting event? Plan your spring wardrobe now so that you can look sharp for the season.

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Suiting up for the office Christmas party

If you regularly wear a suit to work then you may think the office Christmas party is a time to dress down and wear what you like. This is not a good idea. The office party, to a certain extent, is just like any other office event except it has more profile. This means that your boss is likely to be there, there’s a good chance that your boss’s boss will be there and there may even be some clients there so it’s still a time where presentation and impressions count.

Don’t wear the same suit that you always wear to work. Instead, wear a suit that you wouldn’t normally wear…as long as it’s not a summer suit in a pale pastel colour. Navy, grey or black suits are best and, together with a crisp white shirt, you will cut a fine sartorial figure. You don’t want to blend into the crowd and by wearing a new suit or a suit your colleagues haven’t seen before; you will still make a good impact. Here are some other quick tips for suiting up for the office Christmas party:

  • Ties tend to be optional at Christmas parties but if you’re unsure, take one with you. You can always slip it on at the last moment if everybody else is wearing one.
  • Fight the temptation to wear a Christmas-themed tie or waistcoat. It’s okay to maybe have some tasteful festive cuff-links or tie clip but when it comes to being festive, subtlety is the key.
  • Accessorizing with a pocket square and a nice watch will give a classic finishing touch to your suit.
  • A lot of Christmas office parties start shortly after the working day so there’s not a lot of time to get ready. Plan your attire in advance so that you can immediately change and be ready for the event.

Another good reason for men getting suited up for the office Christmas party is showing some respect to your female colleagues. There’s a good chance that they will want to wear something more elegant and sparkly than their normal office attire and if you’re there in your jeans and shirt, they will be made to look and feel a bit awkward. Your female colleagues will prefer it if you’ve made an effort so getting suited up is just plain old-fashioned good manners!

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Developing an individual style

I am often asked by my clients about what the latest fashion and styles are in men’s tailoring and my answer is always the same. Fashion and style are two different things. Fashion is what may be popular at this present moment but it doesn’t mean
that will always be the case. Style is something that you develop and stands the test of time. It’s something that you learn from experience and being comfortable in your own skin.

Every man’s wardrobe should contain the right mix of fashion and style items so that you can wear what’s on-trend now and pieces that are more individually tailored to you, your personality and what makes you unique. Fashion is about the here and now, style is about the detail. Developing your own style is something that a good tailor can help you with because a good tailor will take the time to get to know you, what your lifestyle is like and how your body shape will suit certain clothes.

When it comes to developing your own style there will normally be your casual-self and professional-self that you need tailoring for. A good tailor will know how you can mix and match pieces to create that smart-casual look that so often is the dress attire
for events and specific occasions. Knowing your own style can be more difficult than it seems and it often helps to work with a tailor who can work with you and introduce you to palettes of colours and accessories that you might not previously have considered.

As well as in the suit you’re wearing you can bring out your individual style in a tie, waistcoat, pocket square, cufflinks scarf or hat. Accessories are great when it comes to experimenting with style and finding a fit that suits your personality and makes you more distinctive.

Why not try a bit of experimenting yourself this autumn and see how you can develop your own individual style?

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Why should you dress up?

When Lewis Hamilton was recently refused entry into the Royal Box at Wimbledon for not being dressed smartly enough I have to admit to a certain smug smirk. As a tailor I sometimes get downhearted by the unmitigating slide towards casualness where nobody bothers to dress up anywhere. Visits to the theatre, fine dining restaurants, important social occasions etc should be an occasion to dress up and if you can’t dress up for the Royal Box at Wimbledon when will you dress up?!

Anyway, excuse the rant but it is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. Dressing up isn’t about one-upmanship or displaying wealth, it’s simply a case of having a sense of style and expressing yourself. Here are my five top reasons why every man should make the effort to dress up, especially if the occasion calls for it:

Self Confidence and Maturity – being smart shows that you are comfortable in your own skin and that you have the confidence to project your style. It will display to others that you are mature, motivated and have respect for the occasion.

Self Respect – you will feel good about yourself. The time, effort and pride you take in the way you look will boost your self image and it can’t fail to be noticed by others.

Positive Reaction – clothes maketh the man and when you look good, people respond more positively to you. You stand out more and people will value the fact that you take care in your appearance.

Improves mindset – when you look the part you feel the part. Whether you’re dressing for an important social occasion or business meeting, dressing smartly will keep you focused, create the right impression, and also keep you on your game.

Remembered – the sharper you look the more you will be remembered. This may not be important to you but in some cases, especially interview situations, being remembered for all the right reasons is crucial.

So, as autumn approaches, take a look at your social and business diary and highlight those occasions that deserve some sartorial effort. And if your wardrobe isn’t up to the task, it’s time to invest!