Category Archives: Tailoring

Friday Style Debate: Buttoning up without a tie?

Time to Debate!

FSD - Buttoned Up sans tie

There are a few places to go with this topic; the most obvious place to start being is it okay to do in the first place?  A second angle to discuss is how high to place the look on the difficulty-to-execute scale as this is definitely not a look for beginners.  A third area could simply be how to best go about executing the look?

As such I’m going to keep the topic open and let you decide on your own how to best approach it.  I’ll get the ball rolling though and give my two cents; first off I think it’s okay to tackle this look.  That said it’s definitely not for everyone – myself included – but when it’s executed well it can be a great high/low mix.  In terms of the the difficulty scale – this has to be right up there at the top.  The line between this look working and it being totally inappropriate is razor thin; your execution has to be flawless and/or you need a whole lot of “je ne sais quoi” to do it effectively. Lastly for my advice in terms of the how to execute; the chap on the right is going about things in a much safer fashion than our friend Mr Ryan Gosling.  When a shirt is darker than the jacket it is worn with it automatically drops the overall formality of the look opening up the tie-less option.  Gosling on the other hand is taking the most formal of shirts – the classic white – and pairing it with a traditional grey suit.  Everything about this look screams that it shouldn’t work; except for some reason it does.  As I said sometimes it just comes down to having the right amount of “je ne sais quoi” – let the debate begin…

What is Wednesday #28

What is Wednesday.

WIW#28

This weekly What is Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…meant by the drop between a jacket and pant?

A crucial concept to understand – particularly when buying a suit off the peg.  The drop simply refers to the difference between the chest measurement of the jacket  and the waist measurement of the pant.  A standard drop these days is 6 or 7 inches; as such a size 40 jacket will have a 34 or 33 inch waist.  A size 42 would then have a 36 or 35 inch waist; while a size 38 would have a 32 or 31 inch waist.  Pretty simple in the end.

The key however is how much alteration tailoring can occur in the pants waist and seat area; this is crucial for when the suits drop does not combine with your actual measurements.  I’ll use myself as an example as I wear a size 39 jacket and thus the pants would have either a 33 or 32 inch waist; this is a problem as my waist is a 34.  Check back next week as I’ll build on this critical theme.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com

What is Wednesday #27

What is Wednesday.

WIW #27 - rise

This weekly What is Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…meant by the pant’s rise?

In simplest terms the rise is the distance between the bottom of the crotch and the top of the waistband.  Generally this distance will be between 9-11 inches in length; pushing up to 12 and down to 8 in extreme cases.

In the image below you will see three lines; at the top is the waistband, at the bottom is the base of the crotch and in between is the middle point:

WIW #27 - rise II

The easiest way to understand the rise is to imagine cutting the pant along the line of the middle point.   If you want to increase (or lengthen) the rise you would open the pant at that level and add more height; the result being the crotch point would lower and the waistband would get higher.  Conversely if you want to reduce (or shorten) the rise you would take away length at that point; the result being the crotch point would raise and the waistband would get lower.

The idea with the rise is to get the right amount of proportional length in the mid section for your body; one that doesn’t make it appear too long nor too short.  It also assists with comfort ; too little or too much room for your “boys” is something we generally strive to avoid.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com

 

 

Friday Style Debate: can a t-shirt pair with a suit?

Time to Debate!

FSD - T-shirt with suit

Friday Style Debate: can a t-shirt pair with a suit?

Yesterday Fashionbeans did an article on the 8 Style Rules it’s OK to break – one of which of course was pairing a t-shirt with a suit.  I’ll get the debate rolling by saying I completely disagree. As I’ve discussed many times in this journal the dressing down of a suit is a great option – the high low effect of pairing it with trainers or a more casual style of collared shirt are just two examples.  The t-shirt (or sweat-top) however is a step too far; subtly dressing something down is not the same as pairing polar opposites.  To my eye the fellow on the right just looks confused – not formal or casual enough for any situation.  It literally looks like he’s off to the gym and didn’t want the hassle of carrying a suit bag.  It’s just not working – square peg in a round hole.

On the left however is a completely different scenario.  There are two keys to the why; first being this is an “odd suit” as opposed to a full suit.  For more on the odd suit read up here; simply put though it’s lower on the formality scale than a full suit thus you’re able to go further down the casual scale in terms of choosing what you want to pair with it.  The second key is simply that this guy has the “je ne sais quoi” that is necessary to pull this look off.  Unfortunately this is an ingredient that the vast majority of us lack – I sure know I don’t have it at my disposal.  As such tread very carefully.

What do you think?  Might I be overreacting – perhaps a touch stuffy and traditional?  Am I dead on?  Let the debate begin…

What is Wednesday #26

What is Wednesday.

WIW#26 - unlined jackets

This weekly What is Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…meant by a half-lined and unlined jacket?

I’m going to assume that everyone is comfortable with the idea of a full lining; they make up the bulk of jackets and as the name implies they cover the entire inside of the garment. Considerably less common in our climate is the half-lined and unlined varieties.  I’ll start with their similarities; firstly both will always have lining in the sleeves as this enables the jacket to easily pass over the arms.  Secondly both will have the inside of the front “lined” with the same cloth as the jacket itself; this is necessary to cover the canvas that runs along the front of the jacket and provides it with its shape.

WIW#26 - unlined jackets II

As for the differences; it simply comes down to whether or not there is lining covering the upper back area.  As you can see in the image above there is such coverage – the result is this is a half-lined jacket.  No upper coverage and it becomes unlined – pretty simple really.

The idea behind having the lining is that it allows for the jacket to move smoothly over the shoulders; something which comes into play when the cloth is a touch rougher resulting in friction between the shirt and the jacket.  This effect is both uncomfortable for the wearer and leads to unnecessary wear and tear on both pieces hence the half-lining option.  Smoother cloths simply don’t need the layer.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com

Friday Style Debate: French Cuffs vs Trim Sleeves – do you have to sacrifice?

Time to Debate!

FSD - Cuffs with slim sleeves II

Friday Style Debate: French Cuff vs Trim Sleeves – do you have to sacrifice?

No detail in the tailoring world has been under as much pressure as the french cuff; reason being the ever increasing push towards slimmer silhouettes.  The reality is that the slimmer the fit of the jacket the slimmer the sleeve needs to be to maintain proportion.

Why is this a problem for the french cuff?  As you can see in the bottom right the french cuff tends to stand off the wrist by about 1-2 inches which makes it a very bulky cuff – the result is the actual jacket sleeve needs to be wider or else it will not pass smoothly over the cuff itself. This is evident on the sleeve that is seen on the left; it flares at the bottom of the sleeve which to my eye looks both sloppy and out of proportion with the rest of the suit.  Which brings up the question – do you have sacrifice one for the other?

If you wear the french cuff traditionally – as is seen in the low right corner – than the answer is yes.  My call in that situation – slim sleeve all the way.  There is one solution though; as you can see in the upper right hand corner we have a slim sleeve with a french cuff shirt.  Why does it work in this case?  This fellow is wearing the french cuff in the same way as a barrel cuff – that is they overlap and then the link passes through like a normal button would.  The result is a tighter cuff but the link itself shifts to the back as opposed to the side.  As such it is less visible – it’s a bit of sacrifice but you get the best of both worlds.

So – what’s it going to be?  Will you pick on over the other or will you go down the middle with the barrel technique?  Let the debate begin…

Friday Style Debate: Is a higher waistband more elegant?

Time to debate!

FSD - rise debate

Friday Style Debate: Is a higher waistband more elegant?

The fact that I’ve asked this question in the manner I have shows a little bit of my bias right off the hop.  The reality is that our legs are longer than our torso; as such pants that sit at the natural waist maintain the body’s natural proportions.  By shifting the location of the waistband – whether it be up or down – we manipulate these proportions and alter the delicate balance.  In some cases the results are great while in others it can look quite odd.

In the image above we have a great contrast – the severely dropped waistband on the left verses the natural waist positioning on the right.  The difference in this case is likely close to 2.5 inches.  Which brings us to our question – is the higher waistband on the right more elegant? It all comes down to elongating the legs verses increasing the impact of the torso and reducing the visual length of the mid section.

I know where I stand on this one – I look forward to hearing what you guys think as we could have a lot of varying opinions on this one.  Let the debate begin…

 

What Is Wednesday #25

What is Wednesday.

WIW#25

This weekly What is Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…a ticket pocket?

This week marks the final post on the type of front pocket options that are available to us.  To review – our first look was at the range of standard pockets; that was followed by last week’s post on the slanted pocket while this week we look at the ticket pocket.

The ticket pocket refers to the mini pocket that sits above the main hip pocket.  It’s important to note that it is only found only on one side; typically it’s the right side though there is no reason a left handed person cannot request for it to be moved over to the left.

WIW#25 II

From a style perspective any combination of the pockets we’ve discussed is possible.  As you can see in the images above the ticket pocket can paired with either the slanted style pocket (left) or the flat sitting pocket (right).  The vast majority of the time the ticket pocket will match the main pocket in terms of being a besom, flap or patch style.  While that is the norm it is most definitely not necessary; in fact combining different styles is a great way to personalize a jacket and differentiate it from the others out there.

As for the why it exists – just like the hacking pocket it goes back to how things used to be in good old England.  Originally it was referred to as a change pocket. In the days when horseback was the main mode of transport it was where equestrians would keep change to pay at toll points that they routinely would pass; it was a nice touch that meant they didn’t have to reach into the internal pockets of the jacket.  Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution and the growth of the commuter railway and the change pocket becomes known as the ticket pocket.  As for today – a bus or rail pass, business cards, your fob, keys or if you’re looking for a dash of dandyism you might want to throw a pocket watch in there for dramatic effect.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com

 

 

Friday Style Debate: Feels Like Spring Edition.

Time to Debate!

FSD - spring trends 2016

With the sun making its presence felt today I was motivated to throw some spring trends in as the debate topic.  As things warm up and we begin to shed the layers there are a few great options that seem to be taking center stage within the fashion scene – two of which are the Cuban inspired shirt we see on the left and a more modern take on the bomber jacket that we see on the right.

Both options are refreshing takes on a classic and timeless design.  The off white color of the Cuban shirt instantly differentiates it from most the more standard white or baby blue options. As for the bomber – the floral cloth in this case takes what is traditionally a very casual garment and turns it on its head in the formality scale.  With that in mind come spring which trend will you be more likely to follow?  Let’s debate…

What Is Wednesday #24

What is Wednesday.

WIW#24 - slanted pocket

This weekly What is Wednesday post is aimed at answering some of the more basic and critical aspects of tailoring and the terminology we use to describe them. It stems from realizing that I’m constantly throwing out different terms with my clients and quite often they’re unsure as to what I exactly mean.  The goal of this section then is to alleviate this terminology gap and provide you with some know-how to talk tailoring with a little more ease.

What is…a slanted pocket?

Last week the discussion was about the different styles of pockets; this week is all about the different angles for those pockets.  In the three examples used last week all of them had straight pockets – that is a pocket that sat perpendicular to the center front of the jacket.  This by far represents the vast majority of suit jackets and sportscoats.

WIW#24 - slanted pocket II

The good news is that slanted pockets are very easy to understand.  As the name implies and you can see in the image above it simply refers to a pocket that is on an angle; for the most part the angle is downwards from the center of the jacket towards the hip.  The degree of the angle can be very subtle – 15 degrees or so – or it can be quite aggressive getting close to 40 degrees in certain cases.  This style is often referred to as a hacking pocket; a name that comes to us from the country pursuit of horseback riding as “to hack” is to ride a horse for light exercise.  Why the connotation to horse riding?  Because gentleman back in the day always rode horses in a jacket; as such it was easier to get your hand in the pocket when riding if the pocket was on an angle as opposed to being straight across.

As for today – it simply comes down personal taste and nothing else.  Some people hold the view that the slanted pocket makes the torso appear slimmer when cut in conjunction with a nipped waist.  To others it represents a way to subtly differentiate the jacket from the majority of straight pockets we usually see.  While others yet might feel it’s a touch rake’ish for their liking.  As I said it’s all about personal taste and what looks good to your personal eye.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com