What would it take to capture the heart of one of the most famous and beautiful women of the Twentieth century, the actress Marlene Dietrich? Incomparable wealth, or matinee-idol looks? The French actor Jean Gabin had neither, but he did have what tailoring expert Michael Alden has called “nuclear levels of presence”. Like Fred Astaire, who’s clothes seem to exude the charm he’s said to have possessed, so Gabin’s incomparable suits seem to be a manifestation of his charisma. (more…)
For men who’ve never been to a tailor the price can seem intimidating, but in reality the cost is the least interesting thing about a hand-made suit. It’s as relevant to compare the price of a suit made by Chris to the price of a designer suit as it is to compare the price of a Rolls Royce to that of a Renault Laguna; while both cars will transport you from A to B they are entirely different in every other way. A shop-bought suit (even one with the name of a famous European designer on the label) is likely to be made in a vast Chinese factory, while Chris’s suits are cut, by him, at his board in his Berwick Street shop, and sewn together in Soho. (more…)
When you order a lounge suit, whether for work or play, or even for a wedding, it’s a relaxing thought that before too long you’ll order another one. Of course you want to get all the details right, but ultimately you can always refine the specification next time around. So it’s relevant that while it seems justifiable to own two dinner jackets, a light-weight one for the summer and a heavy-weight one for the winter, most of us only own one at a time, and rarely replace them. (more…)
It’s easy in winter to reach for a tweed jacket when you’re heading out for a weekend lunch with friends. However, if, when dressing for the same kind of occasion in summer, a man wants to wear something more interesting and less formal than a navy-blue blazer then the options can seem limited.
The obvious alternative is to go for a linen jacket, ideally in a heavy, open-weave cloth that will rumple rather than crease, and allow a good flow of air through it. It could be made from cream, tobacco brown, or blue linen, but these solid hues are ideally saved for Mediterranean holidays or country weddings. (more…)
What do Lapo Elkann, Gianni Agnelli, Matteo Marzotto and Luca di Montezemolo have in common, aside from their incredible wealth and status as style icons? They all wore or wear suits made from Solaro. While a lot of different fabrics are referred to as Solaro only London cloth merchant Smith Woollens, now part of Harrisons, offers the real thing. It’s an olive coloured wool cloth, which comes in a variety of weaves including herringbones and twill. Its defining feature is that it’s woven with red yarns on the underside, which show through the fabric to a greater or lesser extent depending on the angle of the viewer. (more…)