The lining in a bespoke suit is a personal expression that can extend into the public persona of a person or be something special since it is privy to the person commissioning the bespoke tailored suit. The lining in a handcrafted bespoke suit gives the person commissioning it, a creative canvas to express themselves and have a personal appreciation for it.
People having a classic approach respecting minimalism often go for subtle linings as it is aligned to their personal philosophy and outlook in life. There are others that want to showcase an edgier self with an eclectic vibrant lining by giving a brief glimpse of their inner self especially when they put on or take off the bespoke coat. Also, people like to align their lining choices with the specific purposes of their tailored suit. The inner lining of a leisure suit could be a lot more vivid and expressive than a typical conservative work suit. A tailored wedding suit for the groom could have the lining matched with the color of the bride’s dress or the theme color of the wedding. A person could also use their preferred lining color to be showcased in the exterior by having the lapel hole and the first buttonhole of the sleeve in the same color as your lining. This would create an innate synergy by giving people a glimpse of their inner lining and hence giving a visual of their inner self which in itself could be quite surreal for a Gentleman.
In a bespoke hand-tailored suit, the lining can also be custom designed. Anything you imagine can be created by printing on silk, bemberg or cupro to make the lining inside your tailored suit. It is, therefore, the responsibility of your bespoke tailor to reach out to the farthest corners of your mind and bring forth your deepest desires into your lining which could otherwise only be imagined. The suit lining will thus help to illuminate and free your mind by making you conscious of the fact that everything you imagine can manifest into existence just like your bespoke suit.
Why is it such that today, it is not common for tailoring shops to put their bespoke tailor or head cutter in the fore front and is it normal to do so? The answer can be found by taking a short journey back in time following the death of Alexander The Great in 323BC giving emergence to Hellenistic sculpture and lasting until the rise of Ancient Rome.
Pliny the Elder was an outspoken critic of this new decadent, lascivious style of rendering outspoken emotion from marble and bronze, lavishing praise on the preceding classical period of sculpture by exclaiming “Then art stopped.” But the appeal of Hellenistic art – expressed by twisting, gyrating limps, expressions of overt anguish, or rapture entwined with flowing drapery – is undeniable and has resulted in some of the most iconic sculptures in human history, including the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace now presiding over an entrance in the Louvre, and Laocoön and His Sons at the Vatican Museums.
Who is the bespoke tailor cutter?
So it is that when looking at bespoke suits
or bespoke shirts
, connoisseurs invariably find themselves drawn to the Hellenistic expressions in cloth: natural shoulder, chest-darted three-dimensional sculptures of cloth that evoke powerful emotive stances. And the person who brings this emotion to the clothing, the individual who unbinds the inner kinetic energy lying dormant in every bolt of fabric, is the bespoke tailor cutter.
It is the head cutter of the bespoke tailoring house who lays chisel to stone, the person who is able to translate the nuances, dimensions and particularities of your corporeal form to cloth. He is able to look inside your mind and into the furthest reaches of your imagination and bring forth that idealised vision every man has of himself. He is able to draw a pattern, merging reality and idealism; and then, through an act of glorious sartorial transubstantiation, he is able to cut out pieces of cloth, and steam, stretch and bend them to his will, creating from this a bespoke suit or a handcrafted tailored shirt that is the answer to your desires and transforms you from who you are to who you want to be.
What to Expect When entering a Tailoring House?
It is hence of utmost importance that you not only meet the head cutter of the bespoke tailoring house when you commission your bespoke suit or tailored shirt but also insist that he take your measurements as having your image fresh in the mind of the head cutter while cutting the handcrafted suit is what allows you to feel completely normal and natural while wearing it. This is because the bespoke tailor is aware of your body posture, mannerisms and movements that ensure the bespoke suit is cut in a manner that doesn’t obstruct it, rather helps you to conduct it in a more smooth and confident manner.
A well-cut hand tailored suit allows you to put it on forget about it because you feel so normal and natural in it. The only time you remember about it again is when someone compliments you on how good your tailored suit is looking. The entire magic and magnetism of a tailored suit lie completely in the cut. We would take a step further and add that not only is a tailored suit as good as its cutter but an entire bespoke tailoring house is only as good as its head cutter since he also supervises the crafting of the bespoke suit from start to finish.
Back in the day, you would never need to even ask, leave alone insist on meeting the head cutter while commissioning a suit since it was part the tradition of bespoke tailors, “the hands that measure are the hands that cut”. Today if the norm has evolved, and you need to ask to meet and be measured by the head cutter, you should certainly do so and if you need to insist, then you are probably in the wrong place and should go to another bespoke tailoring house.
The History of Double Breasted jackets has rather been interesting. Contrary to popular belief, the double-breasted jacket has its origins in the early nineteenth century as a casual garment also called the ‘reefer’ jacket. It was considered quite casual and worn by people for sporting events and events taking place in the countryside.
It later evolved to being worn for formal occasions as championed by the Duke of Windsor- who was considered a trendsetter at the time. After he wore it to official engagements and outings as a formal two piece suit it gained acceptance as a formal piece of clothing. It also became the de-facto dress code among heads of state in various countries for official engagements in their home country or overseas.
The 1930s and 1940s saw important people in banking, finance and heads of state wearing double-breasted suits. It was often seen as a powerful symbol with people of prominence and aristocratic lineage wearing it for day to day engagement.
The 80s, 90s and part of the 20th century saw the double-breasted suits losing their flair with people considering it dated as it had been visible quite extensively for five decades. The single breasted two-piece and three-piece suits found its way into wardrobes during this time being worn for formal and semi-formal occasions.
It was around 2014 that the famed designer Tom Ford re-introduced the large peak lapels. It was done in single-breasted suits and jackets and people took a liking to the prominence of it, making the single breasted suit more formal. Peak Lapels had otherwise traditionally typically been a mainstay of double-breasted suits. This contrarian look added a renewed freshness to the single-breasted suits making people more acceptable to the idea of the peak lapel and the silhouetted slim cut of the single breasted suit.
The rise of the peak lapel in jackets led to a resurgence of double-breasted suits and jackets in the past two years and has hence seen classical style complete a full circle. The single-breasted suits and jackets especially with a notch lapel were just becoming too commonly seen and have been much too visible especially with ready to wear. But the main concern people have with double-breasted suits is the fuller cut of the jacket which gives a square form to the entire suit. Lately, the slim silhouetted cut has also been adopted with double-breasted suit jackets as typically has been the case with single-breasted jackets. Also, the lapel width has been made slightly slimmer in comparison to traditional double-breasted suits from the earlier years. This is to keep in line with the slim silhouetted form of the entire jacket.
The style of being effortlessly elegant has seeped into the threads of the double-breasted jacket. It can now be worn with a slightly shorter length as a blazer. Also, the jacket can be deconstructed with it being semi-lined making it quite comfortable to wear it informally. The sartorial quotient is certainly raised when the double-breasted jacket is effectively paired in a manner that strikes the right balance between not leaning over the edge of being too formal and not steering away from being too informal.
Pairing it with cotton chinos in contrasting earthy tones lends it a smart informal look that would still strike a presence among the sea of people wearing single-breasted jackets with a notch lapel. Also with the right shirt worn with an informal collar and accessorizing it further with a pocket square and worn with slip-on loafer shoes would complete the entire balancing act. This style with certain aspects of formality being blended with the effortlessness of informality is an effective sartorial statement
The double-breasted jacket has definitely come back after a sabbatical and has evolved with renewed vigour. With people viewing it with enthusiasm lately, it will soon become a staple into their wardrobes lending a distinguished look among the discerning.
Gala Dinners and Award Ceremonies around the world usually adopt a “Black Tie” dress code. Unlike its literal meaning, Black Tie in this context means to wear a Dinner Jacket, which is more commonly known today as a Tuxedo Suit and is considered the most formal attire for a gentleman.
What Is Tuxedo Suit?
A Dinner Jacket or Tuxedo Suits have a few elementary characteristics which one should always abide by. Traditionally a Tuxedo Suit is always made of a plain solid black fabric with a Shawl Lapel made in black shiny satin fabric, one satin fabric covered button in the front and no more than three fabric buttons on the sleeve. The trousers are without belt loops and with a one centimetre satin strip running along the outer side seam. This is worn traditionally with a black satin cummerbund and a white pleated tuxedo shirt made with a wing tip collar to wear a black bow-tie and French cuffs for black cufflinks. The entire ensemble is then topped off with black studs on the shirt and black shiny patent leather shoes which are oxfords, brogues or whole cuts.
Over time a few details with regards to traditional tuxedo suits have evolved since everyone following the traditional rules of wearing a tuxedo suit started making everyone looking exactly the same in black tie events with absolutely no way to showcase their individuality. Due to this the shirt is now more commonly worn without pleats and with just black buttons instead of studs. Sometimes even the collar is made to accommodate a regular tie instead of a bow tie and the cummerbund is replaced with a black scooped waistcoat. All this has been gradually done as a conscious decision to look slightly different in a crowd of people in which everyone is wearing a tuxedo suit and has now become an acceptable variation of the traditional tuxedo suit which was originally invented by Henry Poole – The first bespoke tailor on Savile Row, London. However, making yourself stand apart whilst keeping the basic traditional rules of tuxedo suits intact is the true test of having a mature sartorial understanding.
Make Your Tuxedo Suit Stand Apart in Black Tie Events
- You can opt for a dark midnight blue fabric instead of the regular black one in your tuxedo suit.
- You could also add some hints and details by instructing your bespoke tailor to make the pocket jetting on the dinner jacket to be the same black satin fabric as your lapel and make the top border of your breast pocket in that same fabric as well. The lapel can be a peak lapel instead of the regular shawl lapel.
- If you feel you are going to win an award and would like to make the ultimate sartorial statement then you can opt for a dark midnight blue double-breasted tuxedo suit with a black peak or shawl lapel and black fabric buttons on the jacket paired with a black trouser. Wearing a double-breasted tuxedo suit will immediately make a powerful statement and setting yourself apart making others realize that you are a gentleman of high sartorial understanding.
- The final element that will put you at the top of the sartorially refined will be to wear a self-tied black bow-tie which will tell other that you are in the know of the art of tying a bow-tie which can further be made to notice by leaving it open and hanging around your neck towards the end of the event making you achieve the epitome of sartorial elegance with your tuxedo suit.
Tuxedo Suits which were originally created by Henry Poole and Co. – The first Bespoke Tailor and father of Savile Row- appears to be more popular today than the topcoat although both have been around for almost the same amount of time. The Topcoat – that practical piece of outerwear- is the closest connection the modern man has to the supreme elegance of Edwardian and Victorian Tailcoats. Why is the topcoat then not as common a sight as tuxedo suits in today’s time?
This apparently was not always the case. During most of the 19th century in England, the morning coat was standard attire for a gentleman outside of formal occasions and hence more commonly used than Tuxedo Suits. It was single-breasted, finished just above the knee and was made of a wool that, although heavy by modern standards, was not considered the ultimate protection from the elements.
Unlike tuxedo suits, the modern topcoat certainly has echoes in both morning and frock coats. It is interesting to notice how close the topcoat is even to the original late 17th-century suit. This ultimate ancestor of the male bespoke suit became popular during the late 17th century when Charles II returned to England. It comprised a long waistcoat, knew breeches and mid-length coat in the same material.
Of course, there are many ways in which these bespoke coats differ from a modern topcoat and definitely bear no resemblance to the tuxedo suits. Some tailcoats, such as the dress coat, are actually cut square across the waist and don’t fasten in the middle; the morning coat is tapered similarly but sharply at the waist (reflecting its origin as a riding attire). But the most stylish topcoats are also, one could argue, one-or two-button affairs with a similar swish to the skirt, unlike the tuxedo which is strictly one-button.
However, the sharp cut of a topcoat, just like tuxedo suits, certainly connotes glamour. It is the mark of the Man About Town. It swaggers and commands attention. It is old Hollywood with the likes of Fred Astaire in Top Hat or Gary Cooper in just about anything. Fred Astaire, especially wore many things in Top Hat (including a rather fetching and flowing cape) but he is best known for the morning coat that flew behind him as he danced and sang ‘Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails’, surrounded by a similarly clothed backing troupe. Gary Cooper, meanwhile, had a predilection for peak lapel coats with a fly front. Never was he seen with a tuxedo or a dinner suit or anything with even a slight resemblance to a shawl lapel. He is pictured in such a model several times over the years, most famously with Mexican actress Lupe Velez in 1929. And while such a coat has the ability to fasten three or even four buttons for warmth, it is most flattering buttoned to a single, central button and allowed to flow from the waist. The single waist button gives any garment – jacket, topcoat or tuxedo jacket – a fulcrum on which to fix the lapels and begin the long sweep of the foreparts.
The fact that most topcoats and dinner jackets are cut with one waist button and either a peak or a shawl lapel, put them on the formal end of the menswear spectrum – a view that goes back to those original tailcoats. For when the morning coat was originally introduced, in the middle of the 19th century, it was commonly found with both peaked and notched lapels. This was a time when it was considered relatively informal, or half dress, with the frock coat being the most formal option. Gradually, the morning coat replaced the frock coat and was worn almost exclusively with peaked lapels.
The same has happened in reverse with tuxedo suits in the 20th century. More and more are now made with the shawl lapel as men consider them less and less formal (or we have to presume they do, given how willing they are to wear cheap rental tuxedos). One more reason, perhaps, to hold on to the swagger of the topcoat over and above tuxedo suits.
The term ‘topcoat’ has not been used consistently over the years, unlike tuxedo suits which have always had a constant definition. In fact, it dropped out of use entirely at one point and has often been conflated with the overcoat in the nomenclature. We can define it in contrast to the overcoat, as the outer layer that is both shorter and lighter in weight. It finishes on or just above the knew and adds warmth and protection from the elements, but without the bulk of an overcoat. Partly for that reason, it is usually single breasted.
Defining it thus, by virtue of its weight, length, and use helps to understand why the topcoat is so inherently stylish compared to tuxedo suits. It is appealing because it is so versatile. It can be sporty as a blazer over knitwear and jeans or elegant with a suit and tie. Today, the style and range of can be quite vast but the recognizable elements of the close waist and flowing tails are always there. Such is the appeal of the 19th-century tailcoats angular lines and flattering proportions that it has survived, in form if not in name, as every gentleman’s go-to coat.
The workroom where the Master Shoemaker brings Handmade shoes into existence has air that is thick with the rich smell of the finest hides money can buy which hang around the room in a splendid display of chromatic exuberance. At the far end of the room, standing at one end of a rustic wooden workbench is a Handmade shoemaker who is everything one wants a Gaelic artisan to be in appearance is eyeing up a calf hide in rich maroon spread out before him. Actually, the handmade shoemaker is poring over it, his intense resolve crevicing his forehead, the way an aerial sea patroller might survey a coastline for sharks. The handmade shoemaker, having decided he has spotted every flaw and assessed how to work around the defects to maximum effect; he takes his blade and begins creating what will become the uppers of a discerning customer’s next pair of handmade shoes.
The skilled artisan of handmade shoes is key partly because the way you cut the leather determines how much you waste but much more importantly his work also decides the quality of components you have to work with later. Sometimes children don’t like to wear slippers that’s why the handmade shoemaker needs to be able to spot the defects and cut around them. Any slight defect such as insect bites, wrinkles, scratches where the animal has rubbed against barbed wire will soon become obvious when the patina is applied to the leather. The hawk-eyed handmade shoemaker is also required to pick out veins that are a fraction-of-a-millimeter thick because using any of these will make the leather weaker making it split when the bottom is attached. The handmade shoes need to be made by cutting the leather around them.
The hide which is subjected to such critical scrutiny will make no more than two pairs of shoes. In the case of crocodile skin, two skins are required to make one pair of handmade shoes partly because you need to use the softer, supplier part of the hide with larger scales in the center. It is well known that in handmade shoes if you see smaller scales it means the company has used lower quality side parts of the crocodile and also because the scales need to match given that crocodile skins are like human fingerprints in terms of individuality. This is an extremely tricky matter of value judgment. It means that only one-third of the animal skin purchased will end up as a pair of handmade shoes. It is definitely a costly decision, but it is where the reputation of the company rests on.
Handmade shoes tend to come in clean, narrow versions of classic shapes and are often spruced up by subtle sole engravings, bright piping, or rich patinas in sapphire, olive or dark blue. A common sight in the workroom is a handmade shoemaker armed with special pliers manipulating a lining and leather upper around a last, assessing the tension and pressure with frowning, obsessional vigor, occasionally blasting the leather with a blow heater to make it more malleable before reworking it further. Watching the handmade shoemaker, it feels like eternity before he finally decides to apply the upper evenly using tacks, which serve a similar purpose to baste stitching in bespoke tailoring. If he stretches the leather even a fraction too much before tacking, the upper’s being off center will be noticeable to the discerning customer.
At the patina stage, where the handmade shoes are given the beautiful chromatic finishes that will enable connoisseurs that will recognize the shoes as being distinctly handmade as the colors are brushed on with the loving, ultra-alert sedulousness of an artist applying oil to a canvas. Every artisan of handmade shoes including the one who applies the final touch of detail carries out his role as if the overall quality of the pair of handmade shoes depended on his professional excellence. A place where these children of the Eye known as hand-made shoes breeds passion of excellence with the community encouraging artisanal culture, making one feel pride and a quiet sense of confidence when wearing a pair of handmade shoes.
The custom blazer has long been a divisive garment. In 1800’s, the Lady Margaret Boat Club, the rowing club of St. John’s college in Cambridge, caused quite a stir in the university’s undergraduate community. Like most upper-crust sporting establishments of the time, a uniform was a compulsion, but unlike many dreary buttoned-up uniforms of the early 19th century, the members of the Lady Margaret Boat Club opted to tailor their jackets slightly short in length and in a shocking bright crimson flannel. The rationale behind this remains unclear, but one suspects that the case may be, these bright boating bespoke coats came to be known as Blazers, such was their vivacity. The trend caught on like a blazing fire because some 60 years later a priggish letter submitted to The Daily News queried the identity of the custom blazer, stating: “A Blazer is the red flannel boating jacket worn by the Lady Margaret, St. John’s College, Cambridge, Boat Club. When I was at Cambridge it meant that and nothing else. It seems that a custom-tailored Blazer now means a colored flannel jacket, whether for cricket, tennis, boating or seaside wear.”
Indeed, by the 1890’s the term Blazer was commonly used in reference to all those things, but additionally it had come to be associated with the dark-navy, brass-buttoned, double-breasted ‘reefer coats’ the Royal Navy distributed to sailors to wear when reefing the sails on deck in poor weather conditions. The use of the term was also compounded by the uniforms of the crew of H.M.S Blazer, who was known for wearing bright blue and white striped coats, not dissimilar to collegiate boating blazers, prior to the standardization of the Navy’s uniform.
It is a little-known and often overlooked fact that the early 20th century a custom blazer was a hybrid born of three different dissecting garments; the reefer coat, the colorful sports jackets that were considered appropriate active wear during the 19th century, and the collegiate boating blazer. Precisely how the three came to be molded into one is unknown, but it is clear that the custom blazer’s origin is of the elitist, associated with uniformity, prestige and social exclusivity.
Though it persists in this form, Knights & Lords Bespoke Tailors feel it is high time to acknowledge the democratization of the tailored blazer that has taken place is luxury menswear. Almost out of nowhere the blazer has shrugged off its stuffy and hitherto rather narrow parameters to become a garment that defies definition or any form of a narrow set of rules. As dress codes have softened over the past three years, the custom blazer has become the best barometer for the way in which men’s style is changing.
However, if the blazer has morphed into something more fluid, what is it that has allowed it to evolve? The answer is simple as explained by Ashish & Pawan of the highly venerated bespoke tailoring house Knights & Lords. It is simply a matter of taste. It is something that is easier to sense than to define and hence cannot be confined to the rule of the law. After all, all blazers are sports jackets but not all sports jackets are blazers. All we can agree on is the fact that it is a tailored coat. What kind of tailored coat it may be is something completely dependent on the taste of the wearer.
With this in mind, perhaps the key to the contemporary custom tailored blazer’s success is its softness of aesthetic. It is this relaxation in terms of the cut and construction of a tailored coat that is underpinning the blazer’s evolution. However, according to Ashish & Pawan of Knights & Lords, the texture of a blazer is now as important as its cut: “You can dress up or dress down a tailored garment with texture, and the blazer is no different. A classic fine worsted is timeless and quite formal, but if you can find a cloth with a bit of natural sheen then you are looking at more of an evening blazer or cocktail coat. Cut your blazer in a soft new boucle weave or wool-silk hopsack for a chic, contemporary look. Colors like a forest green or tobacco brown suit a modern blazer as much as the traditional navy.” This sums up the inherent hybrid nature of the custom blazer, literally presenting it as the ultimate sartorial chameleon, alluding to its versatility and capacity to move between different environments and social contexts.
It is quite a feat, and it goes some way to demonstrating how the bespoke custom blazer has transformed itself from the buttoned-up jacket of the establishment. At last, it is no longer the preserve of the stuffy elite or the conformist, but an elegant garment of unwavering sophistication, a tool for sartorial self-expression and the ultimate contemporary wardrobe staple. For those who wish to throw their gloves at the feet of traditionalism and yet remain thoroughly sartorial in appearance, this new generation of unorthodox custom blazers is the answer to a prayer.
The quality of every pair of handmade shoes by Knights & Lords is assured as each benefit from six weeks of meticulous hand craftsmanship, finishing, and inspection. These handmade shoes are crafted only from premium leathers sourced from tanneries that use the finest time-honored treatments, thus guaranteeing each pair of handmade shoes’ superb quality. Every pair of handmade shoes is cut from a single piece of full grain leather to ensure that the shoes are identical both in quality and the way they fit on the feet.
In addition to the fine quality of materials used in these handmade men shoes, the wealth of experience and attention to detail that goes in constructing a pair of handmade shoes means that, with care, they will not only last a lifetime but become even more comfortable and elegant with age. While one can have their handmade shoes polished professionally, the satisfaction of looking after your own handmade shoes is something that we at Knights & Lords recommend. Here are some tips from Ashish & Pawan of Knights & Lords which are simple procedures one must follow to appreciate your shoes to the fullest.
1) Always use a shoehorn – it will help in keeping your handmade shoes in perfect shape
2) Walk your new handmade shoes in gradually, wearing them only for a few hours in dry conditions during the first few days. This will allow the leather to soften and better fit the shape of your foot.
3) Rotate your pair of handmade shoes so they can dry out properly and breathe.
4) Always use shoetrees – they keep your handmade shoes in their optimum shape and help to remove creases.
Nourishing and Polishing – Prior to polishing dust over your bespoke handmade shoes with a brush and clean the stitches with a welt brush. Choose a jar of shoe cream specially made for handmade shoes which are slightly lighter in color than your handmade shoes if you wish to preserve its original shade or a slightly darker shade if you wish to deepen the original color of your handmade shoes. Using a clean cloth wrapped around two fingers held together; apply the cream sparingly with a circular motion. Progressively work the shoe cream into the leather and use a welt brush to make sure it has penetrated the welt. Once the cream has dried, polish it off with a soft brush until the desired luster has been achieved.
Waxing and Glazing – In addition to the regular use of cream, Knights & Lords recommends that you also occasionally use a wax polish. It gives your handmade shoes both, a wear-resistant coating and a more intensely gleaming patina, especially to the toe and heel. The wax should be applied to your shoes in a similar fashion to the cream, though more sparingly and with a lighter touch, using a slightly damp cotton cloth to achieve a brilliant, glazed effect. Give the final touch, preferably whilst wearing your handmade shoes, with a soft cotton cloth.
Sole Replacing – Your handmade shoes are exceptionally robust. When, eventually, they require re-soling, just bring them to Knights & Lords. We will carry out a full inspection of your bespoke shoes, undertaking the re-soling. The entire sole, welt and insole will be removed and replaced with new ones. Your shoes will then be expertly re-polished and returned to you as near to new as possible.
Taking care of your handmade shoes is the best way to reach a calm and meditative state of mind as it requires the modest use of intellect while appreciating the beauty, craftsmanship, and naturalness of your handmade men shoes. It is indeed a way leading to the tower of inner engineering, a realm that exists within a dimension of your mind which is beyond space and time, a place of eternal bliss.
What is the one single most important element that differentiates a Bespoke suit from one that is off-the-peg or made to measure? Apart from being handmade from wool clothes with absolute precision and perfection, the main difference between a Bespoke suit from one that is made to measure is canvassing.
A Bespoke Suit has a woolen layer of canvas that is hand stitched to the suit fabric with a web of interlocking stitches. The canvas gives more form to the clothes and ensures it maintains its curves by draping over you in a manner that will never look plain and flat over your body. The canvas also gives your lapel a rolled look whilst flowing well with your body without falling flat on it. Hand-rolled lapels are therefore one of the most significant features of Bespoke Suits which is unattainable on made to measure ones.
The web of interlocking stitches on the canvas making it one with the suit is done in a manner which resembles the clockwork movement of a watch. This level of handwork alone takes close to 50 hours as it needs to be done with a single thread continuous stitch without any broken cuts or pieces. If the thread breaks while doing it at any point, the entire thing needs to be opened up and the bespoke tailor needs to start all over again as it’s important that with every movement of the person’s body, the canvas layer and the threads move along with you giving absolute ease and flexibility of movement while wearing the suit. This entire process is one that is skipped altogether in a made to measure suits.
Additionally, the inclusion of horse hair in the canvas gives it the ability to grip the overlying clothes and aids in the natural movement of the suit in synchronization with the body. The canvas is made of wool which has a natural memory feature. As your suit gets older and the canvas threads become loose, the suit with the canvas will start taking the shape of your body and fit you better with time. This is in stark contrast to what can be achieved in made to measure clothing as made to measure suits will never be able to fit you better with time due to the layer of canvas that is missing on the inside.
The canvas also increases the life of your Bespoke Suit as the clothes and fabric never interact with your body directly due to the layer of canvas in between. A bespoke tailor treats the canvas of a bespoke suit similarly as an artist would treat their canvas for a painting. In both cases, it provides to be the fundamental step that is the platform which leads us into creating a unique masterpiece of perfection. It is also a silent elixir of life which keeps your suit in form, keeps your cloth fresh and makes sure the suit eventually takes the shape of your body and remains in that shape unlike those of made to measure suits. It is due to the memory feature and the extended life of Bespoke Suit that suits have gained the status of an inheritance piece which gets passed on to future generations. A value that can only be seen in bespoke suits and not in made to measure clothing.
With the shape and form of the previous owner, it is believed the inner qualities and personality of the previous owner also gets transferred to the new bearer. The canvass, therefore, is the soul of a Bespoke suit making it alive, fresh and immortal.
A History of Bespoke Suit Tailoring – The Drape Cut Method
The Eye of Bespoke, the source of guidance and inspiration for Bespoke Tailors with illuminated minds since the early 1900’s, was initially referred to by Federick Scholte of the legendary bespoke tailoring house Anderson & Sheppard in Savile Row, London. It came to Federick Scholte when he was trying a different kind of cut for the bespoke suit of King Edward the VIII who ruled from 1919-1959. King Edward was of fairly rotund physique and wanted a bespoke suit with a cut that made him appear slimmer without compromising on comfort. Federick Scholte, being a highly respected master in the craft of tailoring, took up the challenge despite being confused on how to achieve it.
However, he had the belief that anything and everything is possible as his mind had broken the self-created barriers and boundaries of the dimensions of reality. Over the years, mastering the craft of tailoring and bringing bespoke suits from his imagination into existence had made a deep shift in his inner dimensions, allowing him to balance his inner self with the outer world in perfect harmony. Once the balance was struck, he laid down the fabric before himself and with closed eyes, shifted his focus to the eye center which he referred to as the Eye of Bespoke. This meditative state along with his inner and outer balance would then be perfectly aligned with the Eye of Bespoke which could enable him to tap into the universal bank of knowledge and allow its energy to freely flow through him and around him, making anything and everything in his mind with regards to the suit he was tailoring, manifest into the physical dimension of his reality. This is how he brought into existence the Drape Cut method of suit making.
The Drape cut method of suit tailoring involved cutting against the grain of the fabric allowing the diagonal stretch ability of wool to drape over the curves of your body. This along with the combination of a fuller chest and the torso nipped in at a singular point in addition to a slightly flared hip gives a slimmer looking silhouette from the sides. A significantly larger sleeve-head is eased into a smaller arm-hole through a micro-pleating effect done by hand to give immense ease of arm movement. This makes the Drape Cut method of suit tailoring absolutely perfect for someone looking to achieve the right balance between aesthetics and comfort. The problem is that the shoulder and chest proportions are a very peculiar calculation that changes with every body type. This means that there isn’t and cannot be a perfect formula to achieve the Drape Cut which made it very difficult for Federick Scholte at the time to teach it to any of his students. Moreover, he was known to tailor suits using this revolutionary cut by mapping the initial suit pattern directly on the fabric. He never needed to make a paper pattern first, which is something that bespoke tailors even with the highest level of skill and confidence could not achieve, as the entire fabric would go waste if there was even the smallest mistake in calculating the proportions.
The only way one could master the drape cut method of suit tailoring was by seeking guidance from the Eye of Bespoke which would guide the bespoke tailor with the exact proportions pertaining to the specific suit pattern that was being cut for the client. It is therefore natural for any bespoke tailor who uses the Drape Cut method of suit tailoring to seek guidance from the All Seeing Eye of Bespoke and cut the suit pattern directly on the fabric in the same way as Federick Scholte.
Mastering Bespoke Tailoring – The Four Dimensions of Your Mind
It was also noted that a bespoke suit which was in tune with the Eye of Bespoke had the ability to redesign the wearers inner architecture in a manner that made it possible for him to re-shape his life in any which way he wanted, helping them to come closer to reaching their full potential in life. This was further believed due the long list of clients of Federick Scholte and Henry Poole which include almost everyone who has left their footprint behind such as Mayor De Rothschild, Napoleon Bonaparte and King Edward among many others. For a bespoke tailor to be able to tailor suits which are in tune with the Eye of Bespoke, they would first need to master all the four dimensions of their mind.
The first dimension is intellect – the logical dimension of thought. Once you have successfully directed your intellect to dedicatedly master the craft of tailoring you move on to the next dimension which is memory. Whatever you start learning has to be stored in your memory which includes but is not limited to the brain. Memory runs throughout your entire body. Your body remembers exactly how your forefathers looked and some part of it can be found on you even today which means every cell in your body has a phenomenal memory capacity that runs right up to the beginning of existence. Once the craft of tailoring becomes part of this memory, the ability to tailor suits becomes part of one’s second nature which would not be too different from minor tasks such as eating food or drinking water. Once the craft of bespoke suit tailoring becomes part of that memory, you move on to the next dimension which is intelligence.
Intelligence is very different from intellect which is only pertaining to the brain. Intelligence runs through the entire cosmos including you. Every cell in your body has the intelligence of how to make a piece of bread that you just ate, become a part of your body within minutes. The entire cosmos has an inherent intelligence which allows it to run its daily functions of life. The craft of suit tailoring needs to enter the inherent intelligence of the bespoke tailor which will propel him to the last dimension which is identity. Once the craft of suit tailoring has become a part of the basic intelligence, which is the same way the entire cosmos is run, his intelligence gets linked to the universal intelligence of the cosmos allowing one to tap into the collective intelligence of your archetype of suit tailoring accumulated over centuries of collective experience of bespoke tailors. Identifying and recognizing this supreme intelligence and universal bank of knowledge is what Federick Scholte called The Eye of Bespoke. One then simply becomes a channel through which energies of The Eye of Bespoke or any other archetype one identifies with can freely flow throughout the four dimensions of the mind. Things that are otherwise beyond comprehension of the physical brain or mental self can then be brought into existence.
A Bespoke suit that is tailored to be completely aligned and in tune with the Eye of Bespoke will then work on the same four dimensions of the mind, as your perception of yourself has now changed with what you could only imagine you look like with what you now really look like once you wear the bespoke suit. You can see, touch, feel and identify with what was previously only a figment of your imagination.
Something your physical mind could not have deemed possible. This will allow your mind to break through the shackles of your self-created boundaries and open your Eye of Bespoke. Once you have opened your Eye of Bespoke, you shall see and experience the same shift in your inner dimensions as your bespoke tailor who felt it while tailoring the suit. Its precision and perfection will work on all four dimensions of your mind making you achieve precision and perfection in all your actions in life. You will become one with the universal intelligence or the Eye of Bespoke allowing its energy to flow freely through the four dimensions of your illuminated mind, guiding you with the knowledge of how to manifest your thoughts into the physical dimension of your reality. Thus, an open Eye of Bespoke is the first step towards the inner engineering which will enable you to re-shape your life in any which way you desire.
Bespoke Suit Wearing Etiquette
Wearing a Suit is very different from wearing a “bespoke” Suit. When you enter the realm of bespoke tailoring and decide to start wearing a bespoke suit, you take the responsibility of keeping the bespoke tradition alive left behind by the nobles of the yesteryears who believed that only wearing a bespoke suit can make one achieve their full potential in life. These gentlemen who left their mark on the face of the world were known to believe that men were meant to be sublime and that achieving anything was possible as long as you had the knowledge to dress for it. You were meant to dress not like who you are, but who you want to be. Sartorial knowledge was not only considered the stepping stone of success but the power which could propel you to become one with the forces of nature, allowing you to change and shape your life in any way you wanted. If you aspire to reaching the epitome of sartorial elegance, it is absolutely necessary to follow the basic bespoke suit wearing etiquettes which will build the foundation for you and put you on the road to arriving at your destined door of unknown pleasures in life. Below are ten basic bespoke suit wearing etiquettes one absolutely must follow when wearing Bespoke Suits:
1- In a single breasted two button bespoke suit, always fasten the top button and leave the lower button undone. The same rule applies for a Vest, leave the last button undone.
Reason: Back in the 1900’s King Edward VII was a fairly healthy Gentleman and was not able to button up his lower button due to his rotund physique. Everyone around him did the same in his presence out of respect for him as to not make him feel inferior. Since then fashion has evolved but it still remains to be an unsaid rule for every Gentleman wearing a two button single breasted bespoke suit to leave the last button undone.
2- Always unbutton your bespoke suit jacket when you sit down unless it is a Double Breasted bespoke suit.
Reason: A double breasted bespoke suit has enough buttons done up to give the bespoke suit jacket a reasonable amount of support when you sit down. However, if you sit down without unbuttoning your single breast bespoke suit jacket, you run the risk of ruining its form and construction apart from looking very sloppy. In the Gentleman’s world, it is the equivalent of dropping your jacket on the floor and stepping on it. In a double breasted bespoke suit your buttons would remain done up all the time as it would float about in a very haphazard manner and look inappropriate if not done up.
3- Always ensure that your bespoke suit tailor keeps the length of your trouser such that the front just kisses the top of the shoe and the back comes mid way behind the shoe.
Reason: A well tailored bespoke suit trouser will never have too much of a ripple in the front as it looks sloppy and neither should it be too short so as to show your socks when you walk as it’s not a good visual. The trick here is to have the bottom done at an angle so it has only one break in the front and is slightly longer at the back to cover half the shoe. This will make it look smooth and straight in the front and will also never show your socks when you walk.
4- Always choose a proper peak lapel when getting a Double Breasted bespoke suit.
Reason: The Double Breasted bespoke suit which is of English origin is till date chosen by many Royals and Heads of state as their ultimate gentlemen’s armour as it gives a powerful impression when wearing it. A Gentleman always respects tradition and ever lasting style. It is an absolute must that a double breasted bespoke suit is always worn with a Peak lapel just the way others who have changed the world and left their footprint behind have worn it.
5- The bottom of your tie should just kiss the top of your belt when wearing a bespoke suit.
Reason: A famous Gentleman named Oscar Wilde once said “A well tied tie is the first serious step in life.” To show that you are serious you should make sure the length of your tie is such that it doesn’t cover your belt and neither should it be so short that it makes you look disproportionate. It should just touch the belt so that the people looking at you can realize the care you have taken to do up your tie while you look your impeccable best in your bespoke suit.
6- The collar ends should never show from your bespoke suit.
Reason: if your collar ends show from your bespoke suit jacket, it means that enough care has not been taken by your bespoke tailor to craft your bespoke suits which will eventually become an extension of your personality and a companion for life. The collar of your shirt should be broad and wide enough so that the collar points do not pop out from the lapel of your Coat. A Gentleman would immediately see how sloppy this can make you look if not taken care of in the most appropriate manner.
7- Never match your tie and your pocket square when wearing bespoke suits
Reason: If you match your tie and pocket square it tells others that you do not put enough time and thought to the way you dress by going for the most obvious decision, which also reflects on your character and gives people the impression that your decisions in life are made hastily. Make sure your tie and pocket square complement each other by belonging to the same family of colors but do not match it exactly. Matching your tie and pocket square steals away the flair. Its almost as bad as matching your suit and your shirt to the same color which showcases a reflection of your personality in the poorest manner possible.
8- Your belt and shoes should always match whenever you wear bespoke suits.
Reason: Since your belt and shoes are placed far apart from each other, when you match then it makes everything go in harmony with each other and gives you a more complete look when wearing your Bespoke Suit.
9- Shirt sleeves should always show from your bespoke suit jacket.
Reason: Make sure at least 1 to 2 centimeters of your shirt sleeves show from your bespoke suit jacket. It is one of the first signs of a well tailored bespoke suit and is one of the most elementary and basic rules to follow in the realm of bespoke tailoring.
10- Always remember to practice with utmost care the mannerisms, ideology and qualities of a true Gentleman when wearing a bespoke suit.
Reason: Back in the days, only true Gentlemen wore bespoke suits and it was a given that a person wearing a bespoke suit was a thorough Gentleman. Both went hand-in-hand in a manner that neither one can be complete in its truest sense without the other. It is for this reason that timeless elegance is enjoyed only by people who wear bespoke suits as being a Gentleman never goes out of style!