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

Friday Style Debate: Super Bowl Edition

Time to Debate!

FSD - Super Bowl

We’re sticking with the sports theme as last week’s Aussie Open Final was a nice precursor to the main event that is Super Bowl Sunday.  The quarterback position is always the most talked about aspect of the big game and this year is no different.  Denver’s Peyton Manning (left) and Carolina’s Cam Newton (right) are as contrasting as they come; from their respective playing styles to the fact that this is the biggest age difference between quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.

The other major contrast – style.  The above images were snapped from the tarmac of the San Jose Airport as each team arrived this week and that contrast was on full display.  The question is which style will win-out come Sunday; the more conservative and understated approach of Manning or the more exuberant and envelope-pushing style of Newton?

Let the debate begin…

What Is Wednesday #23

What is Wednesday.

WIW#23 - pockets II

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 patch, besom & flap pocket?

A pretty simple topic this week – specifically we’re talking about the styles of front pockets found on suit jackets, sportcoats or blazers.  Generally there are three kinds – patch, besom and flap.

WIW#23 - pockets

On the outsides we have the patch and flap styles – both are easy to remember as they are simply physical descriptions of the pocket.  As for the besom style – if anyone can let me know where the name comes from I’d be much obliged as I can’t seem to find an answer.

The big question though – which style to choose and when?  The easy answer is whatever you aesthetically prefer – today the rules are interpreted quite loosely and you’ll see all three styles with relative frequency.  That said the most formal of the bunch is the besom style – it is typically what you would find on a tuxedo and black tie jackets; however as you can see in the image above it also just as useful with a standard suit.  On the other end of the spectrum is the patch pocket – definitely the most casual of the three.  Traditionally found on sportcoats and blazers; they are presently gaining a lot of momentum and finding their way into more standard suits.  They are in fact a great way to relax a suit and give it a touch more playfulness.  As for the flap style – it sits right in the middle and will forever be the most popular choice for its versatility which enables it to be equally appropriate in both formal and more casual environments.

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: Aussie Open Edition

Time to Debate!

FSD - Aussie Open

I’m not sure if there is a sport that is as stylish as tennis – from the players on-court attire, to the elevated fashion that you see on the spectators and by the fact that the biggest name in the game is Roger Federer.

Which brings us to today’s debate in honor of Sunday’s first grand slam final of the year at the Australian Open.  It pits Novak Djokovic who is looking for his 11th grand slam title against Andy Murray who is aiming for his 3rd.

Gaining a mental edge is critical in tennis and perhaps this debate will lead to exactly that for one of these men.  With that in mind who wears the suit better – Djokovic on the left or Murray on the right?

Let’s debate…

What is Wednesday #22

What is Wednesday.

WIW#22 II

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 open or closed quarters?

This is a natural follow up to last weeks discussion about the nuances of the jackets skirt – here is the link if you didn’t get a chance to give it a read.  While the skirt deals with the amount of flare that occurs in the bottom third of the jacket; open or closed quarters specifically deals with whats happening at the center front of the jacket from the fastening button down to the bottom.  In image below on the left you have an example of closed quarters, while on the right we see open quarters.

WIW #22 alter

What is the difference?  Quite simply it refers to the amount of opening that occurs below the fastening button.  With the closed quarters on the left there is little to no opening at all. Comparatively with open quarters we get a big opening that essentially mimics what happens from the button up to the collar.

Which one is better?  Neither – it’s all about aethetics and whatever looks visually right to you is the option you should choose.  The reality though is that we see a lot more open quarters jackets than closed.  In general it’s a softer look as there is simply less cloth visually in the mid section – this allows for more contrast as there is often a glimpse of the shirt, tie or sweater in this case.

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 – Is the double vest an emerging trend?

Time to Debate!

FSD Pesko

Friday Style Debate: Is the double vest an emerging trend?

For those of you who were unaware the peacock festival that is otherwise known as the menswear trade-show Pitti Uomo finished up last week.  As per normal it had the standard does of styles that were totally on point along with an equal mixture of interesting possibilities vying to become trends and those that we hope just go away (more on that next week).

Which brings us back to this debate – does the double vest layering we see in the image above have a chance at emerging as new trend?  In this case we’re looking at Bloomingdale’s Men’s Fashion Director Josh Peskowitz – is the layering creating something that is visually interesting and grabbing you?  Perhaps it’s a case where it only works with this specific outfit?  I say that because you’ll notice the two complimentary shades of grey in his trousers.  Of course it could also just be a case of a fashion guy trying to set himself apart at a trade-show filled with other fashion-heads – the question is what do you think?

Let’s debate….

What is Wednesday #21

What is Wednesday.

WIW#21

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…the skirt of a jacket?

The skirt simply refers to the bottom third of the jacket – roughly from the level of the second button down to the hem.  You will always find in the skirt the lower front pockets as well as the back vents.

Now that we know what the skirt is – let’s shift to what role it plays with the look and feel of a jacket.  As we learned in What is Wednesday #4 the button stance represents the thinnest part of the jacket; from this point down the jacket’s width is actually increasing in circumference as it transitions into the skirt and sweeps over the hips.  The look and feel of a jacket is really influenced by the amount of flare that is added – or lack there of – as it flows over the hips and the seat.

WIW#21 II

The difference is clearly shown in the two images above.  The fellow on the left has much more fullness – or width in the circumference – which allows the skirt to softly flow over his hips and seat.  The fellow on the right has little to no ease at all as you can see the jacket is hugging his hips.  If you could see the side view it would be hugging his seat in the same way.  To hammer this home look at each of their right thighs – on the left there is a good two fingers of space whereas on the right there is none.

Which is correct?  Both are – it all depends on the look and feel you want the jacket to give and more importantly is impacted by the proportions of your body. The fellow on the left is much broader in the shoulders and chest; as such he has chosen more fullness in the skirt because it balances out the top and bottom of the jacket. If his jacket hugged his hips it would have the effect of making his chest and shoulders actually appear disproportionate to the rest of his body.  The fellow on the right meanwhile doesn’t have to worry about this as he is rail thin from the top all the way to the bottom.  In this case he has chosen to keep the line of the silhouette quite straight; he equally could push the skirt outwards a bit in an attempt to create a more dramatic sweeping silhouette.  At the end of the day it all comes down to a personal choice.

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 #20

What is Wednesday.

WIW#20

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 vent? (And how many should I have?)

A vent is a vertical slit on the back of jacket that rises upwards from the bottom hem – its purpose is to allow for a greater ease of movement when wearing the jacket.  There are two options to choose from – the single vent or double vent – as can be seen in the image below:

WIW#20 II

On the left is British PM David Cameron in a double vented jacket; while on the right is his Deputy PM Nick Clegg in a single vented jacket.  Both options are equally correct and look good when they lie flat and at a 90 degree angle as seen here.

Which brings up the big question – which option is preferable?  My first response to clients is always whatever looks aesthetically cleaner to their eye.  In most cases they don’t have an opinion thus response number two – do you put your hands in your pockets?  If the answer is yes then you should always choose the double vent.  The reason is the double vent creates a flap that covers your seat when your hands enter the pockets of your pants just like can be seen here:

vents

If you don’t put your hands in your pockets then my advice is to still stick with the double vent – reason being that two vents simply allow for more ease of movement than one thus allowing us to cut the garment a touch closer in other areas.  I would also add that aesthetically it looks more balanced – but that is just my personal opinion of course!

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

info@martinfishertailors.com

7 Sartorial Keys For 2016

First off welcome to the new year – I trust everyone had a great holiday season.  If last week was more about finding our feet again; this week is about finding some rhythm and getting back in the groove.  As such here are seven keys to get you in the right sartorial frame of mind for the upcoming year.

7 Sartorial Keys For 2016

1. Flannel

We’ve entered the heart of our winter and for the next two-and-a-bit months our sense of style has to be blended with practicality like at no other time of the year. Cue the flannel – it’s deep, rich texture makes it one of the most versatile out there as it transitions effortlessly from formal and casual environments as one can see from the two images below.

Flannel

It also pairs beautifully with other cloths – from a formal smooth worsted wool, to brushed cotton all the way to a casual dark denim.  Whether we’re talking an individual pant or a jacket or a suit than can be worn together or as a separate – nothing will get you through the winter like flannel.

2. The Wool Overcoat

Like I said above, practicality reigns supreme at this time of year and nothing maintains that balance quite like the wool overcoat.    From a style perspective there are very few pieces that are as versatile as the wool overcoat; equally effective complimenting a suit or formal wear as it is elevating a more casual weekend look. And if the weather is bad enough that it’s performance that you’re looking for we’ve still got you covered.  Enter the Loro Piana Storm System – where arguably the worlds best mill takes their 100% pure wool overcoat cloth and attaches a double barrier membrane that is resistant to water, windproof and allows the skin to breathe.

overcoat II

Most importantly the cloth maintains its distinctive softness while achieving a level of practicality that is the perfect synthesis of style and function.  If you’re interested I have swatches for you to get a sense of the cloth – the cost is $995 and the turn around is roughly three weeks right now thus you still have time!

3. Unstructured Jackets

This trend is not going away in 2016 – and for good reason as the comfort and softness of an unstructured jacket is undeniable.  The idea behind them is to make a jacket that fits closer to a sweater or shirt in terms of how the feel on the body.

Untitled design (4)

What is up for debate though is for who and when are they most appropriate.  I’ll start by saying that well built guys with a natural roundedness in the shoulders are always able to wear unstructured – be it in a formal suit jacket or something more casual.  The body fills the jacket out and it presents a very clean and shapely silhouette.  Things get more complicated for guys with less muscle; their boniness makes wearing an unstructured jacket formally very difficult as it doesn’t present as clean an appearance.  In this case it is perfect for the summer months where the lightness and breathability are more important and a less crisp silhouette is expected.  What is on for everyone is the thicker cloths of winter – especially the flannel we touched upon above.  The heavier, bulkier cloths give an added level of structure that create a clean, crisp silhouette regardless of your shape.  They’re perfect for layering over sweaters and the fact they’re half lined means you’ll never get too hot.  Commit to getting on this for 2016 as it’s the new normal as opposed to a trend that will soon dissipate.

4. Loosen the Legs a Touch

For those of you who regularly read the journal I spoke about this topic earlier this year; I refer to it as relaxed trim and it seems to be gaining some momentum as we move into 2016. Specifically in this case I’m talking about pants – in the spring/summer fashion shows that just passed we saw a lot of designers promoting a much looser fit in the pant leg.  Fashion always tries to push things too far thus I recommend bringing in the concept by loosening certain areas strategically.  A softer look in the seat, mid section and thigh area is what you want to be thinking about while still having a gentle taper to the bottom – in the end a simple mimicking of the bodies natural shape.   Here are two perfect examples:

relaxed trim II

In this case we’re still looking at 14-16″ openings at the bottom; we’ll see how the 16-18″ openings that we saw on the runway catch on and assess again as we head into summer.  My thought is it won’t catch on and relaxed trim will hold court for the next few seasons.

5. Tone On Tone

Simplicity always works.  Tonal took off in 2015 and as it makes so much sense it’s going to stick around for hopefully many years to come.  Pairing different shades of the same color is a very simple way to keep things unified though visually interesting.  A way to add another dimension to this; play with different textures.  And if you want to take it one step further don’t be afraid to add in some pattern as well.  Play with the possibilities – keep in mind that is can never really go that wrong as you’re always in the same color family.

tonal II

6. The Cuban-Inspired Convertible Shirt Collar

This look started to gain a bit of traction last summer within specific groups in the tailoring community.  As tailoring and traditional menswear in general has gained a lot of momentum over the last few years these fringe communities are now being tapped by designers as the next influencers.  With that in mind I’m predicting the 1950’s Cubano look with the convertible collar to take off.  The key is to avoid the traditional boxy look and instead stay with a clean trim silhouette.

Cuban done right

7. Getting Fit in 2016?

With the turn of the new year most of us inevitably have some new fitness goals in place.  As we approach the two week mark hopefully you’re keeping your focus and not long from now you’ll really be able to start to see the difference.  With you working so hard to get fit – so should your clothes.  Too often I see guys who put in all the hard work only to wear clothes that visually adds back the 10 pounds you worked hard to shed.  Don’t let that be the case – wardrobe re-shaping and alterations services are available; let us take your existing clothes and work them back into shape just like you’ve done.  Don’t hesitate to give email or give me a ring to discuss the possibilities.

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

info@martinfishertailors.com