Menswear At Royal Ascot

Menswear At Royal Ascot

Menswear At Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is a major event in the British social calendar, attracting the rich and famous from all over the world and generating over 6 million pounds in prize money.  It attracts many of the world’s finest racehorses and is visited by the Royal Family year after year. The Royal Procession is always an iconic moment to herald the start of every race day. Located in Berkshire, the event held on Tuesday 14th June to Saturday 18th June offers a truly memorable occasion. Anticipated and revered, these five days are made for socialising. Press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing, so dressing for this unforgettable occasion is an important part of the day.

There are three enclosures visited by guests on Royal Ascot week:

Royal Enclosure

The most prestigious enclosure of them all, this is an invite or membership only area. The dress code is extremely strict and gentlemen are reminded to wear either black or grey morning dress. This consists of a double or single breasted waistcoat, tie, matching top hat and black dress shoes. The morning coat has curved front edges sloping back at the sides into long tails. It is single-breasted with peaked lapels. Choosing a pale coloured shirt will sit well with the black-clad crowd.

 Queen Anne Enclosure (Formerly Grandstand Enclosure)

A more relaxed theme for this enclosure; gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie. A perfectly tailored suit would allow you to be more confident with the colours. Opting for light colours grey, beige or even light blue will bring the summer feeling to your outfit. Choosing a lightweight wool or linen will ensure the suit provides a cool attire. The ground will be uneasy so opting for brogue boots will compliment your look.

Windsor Enclosure (Formerly The Silver Ring)

Although no formal dress code applies in the Windsor Enclosure, no sportswear is allowed and smart casual is recommended.

Light coloured tapered trousers and relaxed neutral shirt will work well together. To avoid the chilly breeze, a casual blazer is recommended to really set this outfit off. Choosing a dark colour blazer will tone down your attire to provide a stylish and smart image. Again the ground will be uneasy so choosing sturdy footwear is crucial; rubber soled shoes will help you keep your footing and opting for darker colours will keep the grass stains at bay!

Wherever you get to view the most iconic races, you will have a fantastic day, topped off by feeling confident in your stylish outfit!

Wimbledon Wardrobe

Your Wimbledon Wardrobe

How To Ace Your Wardrobe At Wimbledon

Champagne, strawberries, sunshine – what a great way to spend a summer’s day relaxing at Wimbledon! It is the most prestigious tennis event on the calendar and has been held in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877.

With the event taking place throughout June and July wherever your ticket takes you; Centre Court, the three main courts or a relaxing picnic on ‘Henman Hill’ – here are some tips for what to wear to this wonderfully British occasion.

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Your outfit needs to be ready for the British climate so making sure you are prepared for all weathers is a must. One minute you may be relaxing in the summer sun, the next covering up to avoid the torrential downpour! A trilby hat is a great way to avoid the summer heat; it’s stylish, lightweight and matches whatever outfit you choose. An umbrella is an accessory that will no doubt prove very useful. And as far as your attire goes, choosing a breathable fabric, like cotton or linen is a good option for providing a comfortable outfit.

The Royal Box

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to The Royal Box, then you need to make sure that your dressed for the occasion. The Royal Box, in Centre Court is a very respectable seating area which requires all visitors to dress up. A well-tailored suit and tie will help you feel comfortable in your surroundings. Try and avoid wearing an all-black suit and opt for a royal blue or grey. Match this perfectly with a classic shirt in pale hues. Wear with some stylish Derby shoes in black or brown to complete the look.

Centre Court (& Courts 1,2 & 3)

Over recent years, the dress code for Centre Court has been relaxed. This means that you may wear ‘smart’ shorts. Tailored shorts with a shirt and sports jacket would be a more comfortable option. If you would prefer, a pair of chinos can be replaced for the shorts. Again opting for a classic pale shirt will be beneficial if the weather is kind to us. Teamed with a dapper blazer, you will look elegant for after match drinks and cocktails. Smart suede loafers will compliment your shorts or chinos stylishly.

Wimbledon Hill

Known as ‘Henman Hill’ or ‘Murray Mound’, this is a more relaxed, casual grassy area which shows all the action on the large screen. As no seating is provided, a comfortable attire is recommended. There is no dress code for Henman Hill but as you may be perched on a blanket on the grass, an outfit that fits nicely and is at ease with your body can help you enjoy your day. Tailored shorts, teamed with a smart polo shirt and classic lace ups in suede or leather will keep your look sharp and admired.

Remember, the weather is known for its unpredictable nature at Wimbledon, so don’t forget your little added extras to make sure the day runs smoothly. And talking of added extras.. enjoy the strawberries and Pimms…..and of course, the tenni

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Timeless Suit Style

Timeless Suit Style

Buying a suit is a tough decision for a lot of men. It can be especially difficult if you lack experience and don’t really know what you’re looking for. The amount of choice alone can be totally overwhelming. Here I focus on four timeless styles to make that choice a little more manageable.

Bespoke Plaid Suit* The Plaid Suit

Let’s kick off with the plaid suit, which I admit, is something of an acquired taste. You definitely have to possess a certain amount of confidence to pull off a bold check. If you can do it though, you will always be rewarded with more than your fair share of attention. Match a plaid jacket with a single-colour shirt and a less busy tie. If you like the attention, you can wear plaid suits all year round, dark in the winter, bright in the summer. If attention is not something you’re after, let’s move on to something a little less conspicuous…

Bespoke 2 Piece Grey Suit* The Two-Button Charcoal Suit

This classic dark-but-not-too-dark suit is perfect for mixing with an endless array of shirts and ties. Great with both solid and patterned shirts or solid or patterned ties, but do remember not to pair pattern with pattern. Perfect for just about any occasion and if you’re at all nervous about buying a suit, you cannot go wrong with a dashing charcoal number.

Navy Blue Bespoke Suit* The Navy-Blue Suit

Similar to the charcoal suit but probably a tad more versatile, this is the classic suit for every occasion and all year round. Job interviews, weddings, daily work or dates, the navy-blue suit will never let you down. It can also be worn with just about any shirt and tie and you can even get away with wearing the jacket by itself with a pair of jeans. If you’re in any doubt at all, the navy blue will see you well.

There’s something for everybody when it comes to suit design and it’s just a case of working with a good tailor and being steered in the right sartorial direction.

* The Double-Breasted Suit
In terms of fashion, double-breasted suits truly are timeless and are guaranteed to be never “out”. They’re also ideal no matter what age you are, but it has to be said, they’re particularly suited to tall and slender men. David Bowie always looked fantastic in a double-breasted suit, for example. If you can manage to get one made to measure, all the better. And remember to keep it buttoned up at all times.

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Grand National Outfit

Have you placed your bets yet? It’s time to organise your Grand National outfit!

The Grand National at Aintree is a prestigious 3 day event. Offering fun, thrills and drama it culminates with the big race itself on Saturday afternoon.

A day at the races is a great occasion to get dressed up. Be a bit more creative and bold, adding your own personality and style to your outfit! During this 3 day event, ladies day is hugely popular. Giving all women the opportunity to dress up – but who says men cannot go that extra mile and dress to impress? Having a unique Grand National outfit is the type of event that many of our clients commission us for.

Aintree is known for its glamorous, smart and sophisticated attire. At The Bespoke Tailor we can help you to achieve this look! You may be too late to cut a strut at this year’s event but there are plenty more opportunities throughout the year. From Royal Ascot, Epsom Derby and Glorious Goodwood to name just a few.

Grand National Outfit Styling

Sometimes, less is definitely more. With a good fit and cut, and with an eye for detail this look can be established with ease. If you do want to add a bit more to your Grand National Outfit. A bold, check jacket is the way forward, but always keep everything else clean and sharply tailored.  We use only the very best British cloth merchants. So, rest assured, not only will the quality of the tailoring be the best the U.K has to offer, but the cloth will be too!

Lapel
A classic “Notch” lapel is advised on a country suit. Hand stitching always adds a touch of detail. The width is important and a tailor should always take into account the proportion of the client.

Vents
The rear vent found on the back of the jacket ware invented when we began riding horses. The idea of the side (or double) vent was that is splayed across the back of the horse. I, being a tailor will always advise this to be the best route.

Buttoning
The traditionalists out there would argue that a single breast 3 button jacket is the ideal. They are not wrong, although a majority of clients would opt for the more elegant 2 button fastening.

Detailing
If want to add to the detail of your Grand National outfit, there are many ways to do so. From a storm collar to shooting back. Half belt to football buttons, country attire is where clients have fun with the details.

Lining
As you can see from the image here of a garment recently made for the horse racing, there are plenty of interesting linings around that allow you bespoke Grand National Outfit to stand out from the crowd!


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Enclosure Type

The dress code can depend on the enclosure you are attending – will it be the Members club or the Premier enclosure? These are by far the more prestige enclosures and strict race day dress code is applied. Most men are required to wear formal wear; a smart jacket and tie. For example, at Royal Ascot in the Royal Enclosure, you are required to wear a formal morning suit and ideally a top hat.

Formal morning suits consist of a black coat, waistcoat and grey striped trousers. Men may also wear a popular variant where all parts are the same colour and material, often grey and usually called ‘morning grey’ to distinguish it.

For less strict enclosures (Grandstand, Paddock) a traditional tweed suit is very popular – we recommend a good fitting three piece suit which will make you feel the part. And don’t forget the little touches – a pocket square will complete the look nicely.

Nothing looks better than a well-dressed man who oozes both style and confidence. The races are meant to be fun so you need to feel comfortable in your suit – let us help you to complete your look for the next key event on the racing calendar.

For further information, click here to view the official Aintree website.

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Origins of Style – A Brief History of the Pinstripe Suit

The pinstripe suit came into being around the end of the nineteenth century and has been in fashion pretty much ever since. Originally made famous by stylish Brits, the suit would become increasingly popular throughout the globe as men (and later, women too) wanted to project an image of sophistication and class through their choice of suit.

Where did the pinstripe come from?

As with most sartorial origin stories, there is a degree of controversy over how the pinstripe suit came into existence. In fact, the only thing that everyone is able to agree on is that the pinstripe was definitely an English invention. Beyond that, two schools of thought emerge, one that suggests the iconic suit began life in the world of banking, the other that prefers the notion that it actually became popular after its use in popular sporting activities of the day.

The banking theory has it that the pinstripe was a kind of uniform for English Victorian bankers and that the difference in the thickness and distances between stripes was a way of indentifying employees from different banking institutions. The sporting hypothesis sees the pinstripes as evolving out of the striped uniforms worn by men who liked messing about on water. Boating was an extremely popular pursuit in the 19th century, as was banking, so neither theory is unreasonable.

The rise of the pinstripe

The popularity of pinstripe suits grew rapidly once it had spread across the Atlantic, taking American culture by storm in ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. The suit became the unofficial uniform of the Prohibition era, beloved of the ultra-stylish and anoyone who wanted to stand out from the crowd and make a bold statement. Naturally then it was popular not only with film stars and jazz musicians, but also with gangsters, the most famous of which of course was Al Capone.

After Prohibition the suit became even more mainstream when huge stars such as Clark Gable and Cary Grant continued to popularise it. It is said that the pinstripe suit that Clark Gable’ wore in Gone with the Wind influenced the emergence of the flamboyant, flared-trousers, padded-shouldered zoot suit.

The modern pinstripe

These days the pinstripe is everywhere. It is still a part of mainstream sartorial culture and is one of a myriad of style options available to the modern man, or woman. In fact, the pinstripe has definitely crossed the gender divide and has become a basic component of women’s clothing, particularly in business, where it remains especially popular with both genders.

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Origins Of Style – The History Of Black Tie Events

The tie began its life in seventeenth century France when Louis XIII stole the idea from the croatian mercenaries he hired to fight for him in the Thirty-Year War. The king admired the piece of cloth tied around the Croatians necks so much that he made it a compulsory accessory at the French royal court and christened it a cravat (the French word for “Croat”) in their honour. However, exactly how the black tie or bow tie we now associate with the most prestigious social occasions and special events evolved out of a piece of rag round a Croatian soldier’s neck is not quite clear.

What we do know, however, is that it was in the late nineteenth century that the dinner jacket and corresponding black tie became popular amongst the British middle and upper classes who sought an alternative to the dress coat, which was an evening tailcoat thtat had begun to seem just a tad too formal.

Then in 1886 it properly became a part of fashion history when a formal ball was held by the tobacco magnate Pierre Lorillard on his estate in Orange County in New York state. We know how much influence this event was to have by the name of the club at which it was held: The Tuxedo Club. So, not only was the dinner jacket introduced to America, but it was taken to the heart of American society and given a new name that would last to this day.

The Evolution Of The Black Tie

As the twentieth century progressed, dinner jackets and black bow ties became less associated with regular evening wear and more associated with the special events that came to be characterised by the tie that was an intrinsic part of the uniform. In turn, “black tie events” became associated with glamorous events and people, and so in time they became synonymous with Hollywood and the glitz of the film industry. Amongst its most famous advocates were Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Dean Martin.

As time went on and the black tie lost some of its formality, other colours and designs began to creep in, but the bow tie was always a symbol of class and refinement. It would also later come to be strongly associuated with intelligence, as various famous intellectuals, politicians and scientists began to favour it, including Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Saul Bellow and Arthur Schlesinger.

In the decades after the end of the Second World War, black tie events have become increasingly less rigid in their protocol and today quite a lot of cariation is permitted. However, it’s still important to realise that black is very much used as a gentleman’s uniform. It is the beautiful dresses of the females at a black tie event that take centre stage in terms of colour and overall splendour. The male’s “uniform” should never over-shadow this. It would be ungentlemanly to do so.

 

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Top 3 satorial tips for the office Christmas party

Yes, I know it’s only September but it’s time to start thinking about the dreaded C word. Yes, that’s right – Christmas. The Christmas party season will soon be upon us and if you want to look like the dapper man-about- town that I know that you do, you need to plan ahead.

Office Christmas parties can be strange affairs. They can be an eclectic mix of Directors, Senior Managers, colleagues, clients and of course, their partners, Therefore, this is not an occasion for dressing down. You should seize this opportunity to wear something smart, eye-catching and above all, memorable. In other words, a bespoke tailored suit and if you want one in time for Christmas, you need to speak to your tailor now. Here are my 3 top tips for looking stylish at this year’s Christmas party:

    • Don’t wear the suit you always wear. A new suit in navy, black or grey that has been perfectly tailored to your body shape will make the impact you want to make and get you noticed.
    • Waistcoats are optional but I would recommend accessorizing your suit with a silk pocket square and a nice watch. Cuff-links will complete the look but don’t choose anything Christmas-themed and ruin the elegance of your attire.
    •  Same goes for ties. I personally prefer to wear a tie with a suit but it is definitely optional these days. Once again, don’t wear a tie that is Christmas – themed or has flashing strobe lights on it! Go for something silk, elegant and complimentary to your pocket square.

I know the above may sound a bit ‘bah humbug’ but leave the Christmas-themed attire for get-togethers with your friends or in the home….if you have to. Whether you like it or not, you are on display at the office Christmas party and you want people to remember you for all the right reasons.

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The versatility of the blazer

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If you do not own a blazer, then you’re missing out! A blazer is an essential piece of clothing for any man, for any occasion and for any season. They are an extremely versatile garment that will give you a stylish, confident look for either the workplace or a social gathering. A textured blazer is the best option to go for. It can easily be worn for casual weekends or smart weekdays. If money allows, a tailored blazer is the best way to go. A tailored blazer will fit to perfection and will make you feel smart and debonair.

Wool is the best material to choose for the winter months. Being a natural fibre with non-allergenic and heat-retaining qualities, all you need to worry about is picking your wool blazer in the colour you like the most. Opting for neutral colours will ensure you can wear your blazer with most of your other clothing. A tweed blazer is another great winter option, with its woven structure, tweed is well known for its durability. Tweed blazers are always present in menswear collections and will never go out of fashion so it’s money well spent.

If the occasion is floating somewhere between formal and casual, then the blazer really comes into its own. The blazer with a formal pair of trousers and a t shirt will create the look that fits somewhere in between, making sure you are not too over or under dressed. This is an ideal outfit for a formal occasion in a casual setting.

A textured blazer can help you go from casual to smart casual in the blink of an eye.  Paired with a simple shirt and jeans, this blazer will ensure you are smart enough for that last-minute meeting or networking event.

For the mature dinner party or fancy restaurant, a blazer will compliment a pair of chinos and a classic oxford shirt with some leather brogues. This outfit will ensure you are at the top end of smart casual so you don’t risk being underdressed.

For a special occasion, a blazer with formal trousers and shirt will create that modern, confident look. It is more interesting than the usual suit—but just as formal. You will create that enviable style and stand out from the usual ‘same suit for all occasions’ look.

You don’t have to own numerous blazers to achieve all the looks above; one tailored blazer will go a long way to creating that stylish look for every occasion.

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What to wear to Cowes week

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Cowes Week is one of the longest-running and prestigious regattas in the world. It is held in Cowes on the Isle of Wight at the beginning of August and hosts 40 daily races, with up to 1,000 boats and 8,000 competitors. Ranging from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors, it is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

The town becomes a hive of activity and entertainment lasts into the early hours of each morning. Around 100,000 visitors are attracted to Cowes by the festival atmosphere of the event so if you’re attending this year, make sure you feel stylish and comfortable at this fantastic occasion.

There is no formal dress code for being a spectator at Cowes Week but opting for lightweight fabrics that can be layered can offer versatility that will prove vital when it comes to the British weather.

If you are heading to Cowes Yacht Haven or the parade, a more relaxed feel is the order of the day. Both these venues offer food and drink and live music so classic chino trousers and a polo shirt can help you feel comfortable in your surroundings. The parade is waterfront so a jacket maybe needed for late evening to keep the chill at bay. A classic two button sports jacket will keep your look casual but smart. Boat shoes will provide comfortable footwear when venturing around the shops for a bit of retail therapy.

Shepards Wharf and Northwood House offer acoustic and jazz acts, a great selection of beers and cocktails and a more relaxed ‘chill out’ style. A tailored white cotton shirt paired with lightweight blue chino trousers bring a look that will ease you from daytime browsing to night time socialising. A navy blazer will give you that subtle nautical look. Brown/tan Deck shoes or loafers are comfortable yet stylish shoes that will complement your look and provide suitable footwear for checking out the town or going aboard the spectator boats. Make sure to accessorise your outfit with sunglasses and a stylish watch.

On the final Friday evening be sure to catch the firework display, a fantastic festival atmosphere that is viewed as an integral part of the event – and don’t forget your jacket or blazer….and umbrella. You just can’t trust the British weather!

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Staying cool this summer

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With summer well and truly here (despite all the rain), it may seem like trying to achieve a new cool, stylish wardrobe is going to be hard work but with many options and variations on offer, it may be easier than you think.

If you work in a stuffy office then the main objective of creating a summer wardrobe is that you always represent a cool, fresh and summer feel. A stylish, confident business look can still be achieved by choosing the correct fabrics and items of clothing to portray a professional image.

A smart office suit does not always entail a three-piece suit. There are many items that can be applied – opting for just a waistcoat is a great example of creating a smart look without feeling the full effect of a jacket. Waistcoats are a great alternative if the workplace or meeting requires a strict business dress code. If a jacket is required, then avoid full lining and instead opt for half lined jackets.

When choosing your shirts, you need to opt for lighter fabrics such as seersucker, linen or cotton. Pale colours will really help with the summer feel and not attract the heat as much as dark colours. You can never go wrong with classic white, pale blues and pale pink shirts – these colours can be matched with all suit types and are very clean cut.

For your trousers, again choosing linen, cotton or a combination of the two will allow a light airy option to keep you cool. If your workplace dress code allows, choosing tailored cuffed trousers can help you go from smart workplace to after work drinks with ease. A lightweight blazer can be added for the evening chill.

As far as summer footwear is concerned, loafers are a great versatile summer shoe that compliments many suit styles. Suede is the best option for the spring and summer months but if a smarter look is required, leather loafers will work well. For a more formal shoe, suede brogues are a great choice, they are light in weight and offer excellent ventilation.

So, by choosing the correct fabrics and selective items you can achieve a wardrobe that portrays a clean, fresh and confident attire that will make people wonder how you manage to stay cool whilst all around you are wilting!

Enjoy the summer and stay cool, calm and collected with your carefully chosen summer wardrobe.