July 9th, 1971

Quote of the day: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on Society.” Mark Twain. For similar and more, read on.

Tip of the week: Tailoring Talk

A Little Tailoring Trivia

A coat always used to have a single, central vent, rather than side vents, so that it would sit neatly when worn in the saddle. The central vent would also allow room for a sword to hang backwards from your waist, which is why the left side of the vent will always be over the right.

Seven Tailoring Faux Pas
  • Never say to a tailor, “You’re the expert, go off and make me a suit”. They will make something they like but which you may not.
  • If you don’t know exactly what you want, at least know what you don’t want.
  • Don’t ask for something they don’t do. A traditional Savile Row tailor is unlikely to be too wacky.
  • If they can’t make what you want, a good tailor will direct you elsewhere; a bad one may make it for you but it probably won’t be quite right.
  • Be flexible. Just because you have your heart set on a certain style doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
  • Don’t expect your suit overnight. The longer it takes, the better it will be.
  • Once you’ve found a tailor you like, stick with him; it takes time to build up another relationship. Equally, don’t feel compelled to stay with someone whose suits you dislike.

Belts and Braces
  • Belts should never be worn with suits. They will give the appearance of cutting you in half, ruining both the lines of the suit and your appearance. They also give people the impression that your trousers don’t fit properly, which is hardly the sort of statement you’d wish to make. Besides with a bespoke suit, why would you need one?
  • Braces are far better, provided they are button-on rather than clip-on. As they fall from the shoulder, the trousers will be allowed to hang, creating natural movement, which is exactly what you’re after.
  • Braces and, if you must, belts should be worn as a detail rather than as something functional – you really shouldn’t need anything to keep your trousers up other than your waist. You could wear belt and braces together, but only if you’ve taken leave of your senses.

How to Spit and Polish your Shoes
Spit and polish will create the best possible shone on a shoe. It is a shone achieved without brushes, but with just a cloth, some polish, water and elbow-grease:
  • With a moist cloth, though not overly wet, apply polish to your shoe
  • Rub a small area briskly until it is no longer cloudy
  • Repeat many times over different, small areas
  • Stand back and check your reflection in the toe cap

Tie Rules
DO   buy silk ties with a wool interlining. It will feel classier, look better and last longer.
DO   wear a tie clip to add a little extra to your tie
DO   remember that wool ties can create a different and intriguing look
DO   experiment. Ties serve no practical purpose, so they may as well serve a sartorial one.
DO   roll ties up, but never fold them, when packing. Should they emerge wrinkled, hang them in a steamy bathroom rather than iron them

DON’T   tuck your tie into your trousers. It should reach just above the waistband, but never be inside it.
DON’T   match your tie to a pocket square. It couldn’t be more wrong
DON’T   leave your tie at half-mast. A tie, when work with a suit, should be properly done up.
DON’T   be too extreme. Too wide and you look like a wind-sock, too narrow and you’ll look like a country and western singer
DON’T   ever go novelty. Flowers, stripes and bold colours are fine, The Simpsons is not.

Style Guide: How to Wear a Suit
  • A suit – and certainly a bespoke one – should be designed to make you look impressive even when you are relaxed, so make sure you stand at ease. This is important because if you are wearing a suit all day, you don’t want to permanently feel at attention
  • A suit should improve your posture as it will give you structure within which to stand. Without a sit on, you are more likely to slouch
  • Never think of your suit as a uniform. It should be worn with individual flair, not as something you have to wear for work.
  • When you sit, pull your trousers up at the top of the knees. It will lessen the strain on the knees. You should also unbutton your coat, especially if wearing a double-breasted suit.