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Friday Style Debate – Should you wear your jacket when driving?

We’re back after a long hiatus – time to debate!

Yesterday I saw two guys in a beautiful convertible sports car – both were in jackets and it got me thinking as to the appropriateness of wearing a jacket when driving.  Both guys looked great – overall they had a similar vibe to the two guys above (apologies for the grainy shot but it’s just too good an image to pass up).

I’ll get the ball rolling on this one – my answer is no despite how good it can look.  The bottom line is that it’s bad for the jacket as it inevitably leads to creasing in the back skirt of the jacket – something that never looks good when you emerge from the car as it undoes the stunning effect that it had when you were in the car!  Secondly you have to wear a seat belt which is simply uncomfortable with a jacket that is naturally pushing upwards as the wearer is bent at the waist giving the skirt of the coat nowhere to go.  The double over-the-shoulder straps seen above fixes that problem to a degree but I don’t suppose many of you out there have that option.

That my take – what do you think?  Let the debate begin…

5 summer tips for dealing with the heat…

With summer (finally) in full force I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to handle the heat while still dressing for a professional setting or for summer events. With that in mind here are 5 easy summer tips to keep you a bit cooler:

  1. Forgo the tie – in certain business scenarios this will be difficult but if it’s appropriate do away with the tie.  All the heat that is generated from your upper body needs a place to escape and opening up the top two buttons allows exactly that.
  2. Roll your sleeves – for those moments when you’re able to take your jacket off get those sleeves up.  In combination with opening the top up you actually get full circulation which is critical to regulating that lower back and armpits.
  3. Let the ankles breath – in the same way that opening up your neck and wrists cools your upper body the same occurs with your legs when you go with the no-show sock instead of a traditional long sock.  Baring your ankle might be a big step for some of you style-wise but once you feel the breezy cooling effect on your ankle you won’t go back when the heat turns up.
  4. Unlined Jackets – the reality is that linings don’t breath as well as the cloth that your jacket is made from hence get rid of as much of it as you can in the warmer months.  A warm weather cloth is made with a looser weave to enable your heat can escape and the cooler air around you can get in and cool you down.  With that in mind shed the lining and allow the cloth to do its thing.
  5. Slightly fuller trousers – based on the first four tips it’s clear that air flow is critical to keeping yourself comfortable in the summer.  A really trim pant makes this very difficult thus opting for a slightly fuller leg is a good play.  Nothing drastic but an extra 1/2″ to 3/4″ in the circumference will make a noticeable difference.

I’m in a bit of a rush this morning but a quick google search found me this guy – a pretty solid example despite the fact he is on the more casual side spectrum and that he has a vest on (he’s Italian thus he must deal with the heat better than us Canadians!).  He does check all the boxes though – open neck, rolled sleeves, no-show socks, unlined jacket + the slightly fuller trouser.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments – take care…

Time to start planning…

It’s just past 5pm and not only is it still light outside but the sun is beautifully shinning down upon us.  This means there is light at the end of this winter tunnel though I’ll have to conveniently look past the fact that they’re calling for more snow over the weekend to really enjoy the moment!

Most importantly though the soft light makes me think of summer and with that naturally I start to think about wedding season.  If you’re getting married this spring or summer it’s time to get planning – take the stress off and get in to talk things over with plenty of time to spare.  It’s always safe to give yourself at least 4-6 weeks to make sure we can slow down and really enjoy the process of putting together your look.

The inspiration from above comes from Gurminder’s wedding last summer.  He wanted an elegant look first and foremost but one with a little pop for interests sake.  I think we achieved that with the soft purple jacket made of a wool linen blend cloth from Loro Piana – finishing it off with a simple light weight trouser and vest combination made with cloth from Vitale Barberis Canonico.

Have a great weekend and get that planning going…

Friday Style Debate – When wearing a suit where do you put your sunglasses (when you’re not wearing them)?

Time to Debate!

FSD - sunglass on head

It’s been quite awhile but the Friday Style Debate returns with an important public service announcement as this is less of a debate and more of a proclamation.  I don’t think there is much wiggle room in this one but you guys might have a different opinion thus I expect to hear from you if that is the case.

Simply put – if you’re in a suit your sunglasses should never be put on the top of your head.  I think this is more than adequately shown with the image on the left.  Unfortunately though many guys in this city seem to be unaware as I have seen it three times already this week.   As for what to do when you’re not wearing them?  My choice is always to slip them in the breast pocket (low left image) with one arm dangling out so as to keep it in place.  Another option – though a bit too peacock’ish for my taste – is to have glasses on the outside of the pocket with a single arm resting on the inside.

A pretty simple debate don’t you agree?  I’d love to hear your opinions one way or the other – let the debate begin…

What is Wednesday #16.

What is Wednesday.

WIW #16 - surgeon's cuff

This weekly 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 surgeon’s cuff?

A surgeon’s cuff – or working cuffs – refer to the functioning buttonholes that are found at the cuff of the jackets sleeve.  The fact that they’re functioning gives the wearer the ability to roll the cuff in the event they choose to do so.  The name comes from the 19th century when surgeons would roll their cuffs back when operating on patients.  This allowed them to keep their coats on which was important as men of their stature were always expected to be formal in the public sphere.

WIW #16 - surgeon's cuff II

As for today – it must be stated that nobody should be rolling their sleeves up as if you’re hot then simply take the jacket off.  If you want to show that your jacket has working cuffs then simply unbutton one or two of the buttons to subtly make the point as seen in the image above.

One more note – going back a decade or so the practice of the surgeon’s cuff was maintained as a way to show your suit was of a higher quality.  At the time this was due to the fact that it required an extra sewing operation hence an additional cost – one that would only be incurred on a higher end suit.  Lately however everyone is doing surgeon’s cuff precisely to appear as a higher quality jacket while cutting corners in the more important areas.  The moral of the story – they can be a nice detail but don’t let their presence fool you.

As always please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or comments. 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

Things To Think About #1 – how you look vs how you feel

Welcome to the inaugural entry of the “Things To Think About” section.  The idea behind this section is simple; to get you thinking about how certain aspects of tailoring and clothing in general apply specifically to you.  It’s by understanding the subtle nuances of your clothing that you will get the most out of the relationship with your tailor as well allow you to make better decisions when buying ready-to-wear clothing and accessories on your own.


Things To Think About – how you look vs how you feel

I’m starting with what I feel is arguably the most important concept in clothing.  The concept itself is quite simple; how you look in something and how you feel in something are two completely different things.  The goal – whether it’s me working with a client or you building your own wardrobe – is to align these two elements as much as possible; something which is frankly far easier said than done.

What is the difference between how you look and how you feel?

How you look; this is simply what you see when you look in the mirror.  You might like what you see, be on the fence about it or not like it at all.

How you feel; this is what is left when you take the mirror away.  When you’re standing and you look down at your outfit how does it make you feel; you might like it, be on the fence about it or not like it at all.

A key to this conversation – in this context I’m talking about the psychological “feeling” that the clothing is giving the wearer as opposed to the way a garment physically fits and feels in terms of comfort.  The physical element obviously plays a role in this but for the sake of this discussion we’ll only address the visual and psychological aspects of the equation.  I’ll address how the physical relates back in the next post.

THINK #1 a

An Example.

I’ll use myself for this one.  A few months back I found a pant sample in storage that was from 8 years ago; it was in perfect condition though it needed to be slimmed down to become more contemporary in its fit.  I took the opportunity to experiment and slimmed the leg a bit more aggressively than usual – half an inch trimmer in the thigh and knee measurements and a quarter inch less at the bottom.  Nothing too drastic but my thinking was enough to visually create a slimmer silhouette.

The Result

It worked beautifully – when I look at myself in the mirror I see a silhouette that is just hint cleaner than usual and it looks absolutely fantastic.  One would think I hit a home-run but when I look down at myself or when I’m out wearing them I can’t help but “feel” they are too trim and proportionally out of balance with my body.  And to clarify they are not physically too trim (re. tight) as I move freely and comfortably.  I’ve tried to wear them consistently in the hopes that I’ll just get used to this new silhouette – hasn’t worked.  I’ve paired them with different shoe styles (thinner, chunkier, dress shoe, dress boot, loafers, trainers) to find the right balance – hasn’t worked.  I’ve played with their length thinking the amount break would change the feel – nope.  The bottom line is that regardless of how good they look to me in the mirror or how many compliments I receive – they simply don’t feel right.  And with that they sit unused in the closet and will remain there until I decide to loosen them ever so slightly.

THINK #1 b

The Take Away.

Aligning how things look and how thing feel is critical; getting it perfect every time might be asking too much but we’ve got to get pretty darn close as much as possible.  And that is why I’m asking you to think about this stuff – you can’t be passive in this process and hope that alignment naturally occurs.

It is for this reason that as a tailor I go through the initial stages of the fitting process without saying anything to the client; I simply analyze the fit, style and how the garment interacts with the body and take notes independently.  Once I complete this process I then ask the client “What do you think?” – notice that I don’t ask “How does that look?” or “How does that feel?” as I want to see which way they go on their own.  More often than not clients return the question by simply saying “What do you think?” – throwing out the old joke “you’re the expert after all!”  That might be the case but it’s irrelevant what I think in that moment; aligning the look and feel can only come from one person and that is why you cannot be passive when it comes to your clothes.

Once I get a sense of how the client is feeling we can then start to makes some decisions together – do we sacrifice a touch of “feeling” for some “look?”  Do we do the opposite?  Perhaps the client want to go trimmer with the knowledge that we can always “loosen things up down the road if things don’t feel right.”   At the end of the day that is one of the reasons why tailoring is so addictive – the ability to make changes is built into the clothes themselves.  This allows for a journey to occur whereby we get clearer with each commission and an individuals sense of style and alignment is truly found.

Let me know what you think about this new section – as always I value your input and would love to hear any suggestions you have about what topics need to be tackled.  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

Friday Style Debate: is this the future of men’s tailoring?

Time to debate!

FSD - layers

Friday Style Debate: is this the future of men’s tailoring?

Are NBA superstar Russell Westbrook (middle) and the NYC design duo of Maxwell Osborne (right) and Dao-Yi Chow changing the future of men’s tailoring right before our eyes?  Before you dismiss the notion think back a decade ago to the arrival of Thom Browne on the fashion scene with his school-boy inspired shrunken jackets and cropped trousers.  Many laughed it off at the time as “fashion” but ten years on and we’re still seeing slim silhouettes all thanks to him.

Which brings us to what we’re seeing today; an emergence of gender neutral silhouettes – both trim and flowing – that play with balance and proportion by combining oversized layers in varying lengths and widths.  It’s being described as tailored sportwear at this point and you have to wonder if it will gain enough momentum to alter the traditional tailoring game in much same way that Thom Brown did a decade ago.

So what do you think – are we seeing the future of men’s tailoring shift before our eyes?  Let the debate begin…


Friday Style Debate: The Merits of The Left and Right Footed Sock…

It’s time to debate!

photo 2

I must admit that I’m blurring the lines between debate and research on this one – depending on the response I might have to seriously look into sourcing this! The idea of right and left footed socks first came to my attention when my father bought a pair of running socks and raved about them for months.  I then discovered last night that I to had a pair – unknowingly by way of a gift from my mother.  I broke them out for the first time and I must say that they felt pretty fantastic.

Which gets us down to our question – is the left and right footed sock nothing but a sales gimmick or is there actually some common sense in it?

Let’s debate…

Friday Style Debate: over the top detailing or just plain beautiful…

Let’s Debate!


I can safely say I have never seen this in all the years I’ve been involved with tailoring – let’s just say it takes the imagination to the next level.  What we’re seeing here is working button holes on the cuff of a pair of bespoke trousers.  This comes from our friends over in Seoul at B&Tailor shop.

I think the old me would have scoffed at the unnecessary embellishment.  Since my visit to LA though I’ve become more open to experimentation and the varying styles that are out there. With that in mind I’m loving this detail – not saying I’d do it myself but definitely appreciating the beauty and craft of it as well as the playfulness!

What about you – a step too far and just plain wonderful?

Time to debate…