Chester Barrie Reveal New AW19 Collection | Make Mine a Double (Breasted)

Chester Barrie AW19 1.png

It's always an unbridled joy to wax lyrical about Chester Barrie. Breaking news, they have just released their AW19 collection combining the sophistication of the modern world with the elegance and tradition of Savile Row.

The emphasis this season is on suits but there is a good selection of jackets, perfect for weekends as well as the office. We can cast our eyes back to the AW17 collection when Chester Barrie imbibed a whole renaissance with their immaculate double breasted jackets. 

Shapes are strong and flattering infusing premium cloth with detailed patterns and tactile finish sourced from a variety of mills, Loro Piana and Foxes Brothers being the pack leaders for this AW19 collection. 

Warm Autumn hues (not colour-ways. Colour-ways is not a word in my book. Nor is smart suiting for that matter) and subtle patterns combine to form timeless and elegant styles.

Having spoken to Pete Brooker, editor of the James Bond fashion blog From Tailors With Love, I’ve learnt corduroy is expected to explode this season after Daniel Craig was seen wearing a bloodied Massimo Alba cotton-corduroy slope suit on the set of No Time to Die.

corduroy daniel craig .jpg

This will be in keeping with Chester Barrie's prophecy that corduroy is the seasonal must have. Corduroy features prominently in the AW19 collection with a selection of trousers and a jacket that are ideal for the cooler winter days.

From the super-soft corduroy jacket, made from using a mix of prime cotton and luxurious cashmere, to the sturdier cotton corduroy trousers it is a far cry from college lecturer cord of years gone by.

Although I still think the college lecturer cord is still a strong look. Rocking the corduroy jacket on campus will have the other lecturers get up and place their pens on your table like that scene from A Beautiful Mind (one of my favourite films ever!)

Have you seen inside Chester Barrie recently? They had a refurbishment late last year. They were the first tailor on Savile Row to have a virtual interactive 3D scan, allowing their long distance customers to feel a part of the brand's community.

It's further prove that Chester Barrie is a forward thinking menswear tailor, with one eye on its heritage, the other on consumer experience, and it's third eye (the all seeing eye) on sustainable fabrics and future trends.

From the sumptuous Prince of Wales check suit (also available as a three piece) to the Melange Texture Suit crafted in an exquisite cloth and completed with peaked lapel and extra ticket pocket, this a collection designed to help men look their best.

For jackets the stand-out piece is a double-breasted baby camel jacket though the Hopsack Donegal Jacket, which uses different coloured yarns and a mix of cashmere and silk to give it extra dimension, is also a contender.

And finally, a note on Chester Barrie’s sophisticated range of Sea Island cotton shirts: their lightweight, cashmere-like feel and simple elegance are the perfect foil to Chester Barrie’s sophisticated tailoring.

Collections are priced from £499-£1500 depending on what you're buying. 

Chester Barrie AW19 2.png

Great Suits and Shirt Pairings | Men's Style Advice

It's not always the simplest of tasks to pair the right suit with the right shirt. Depending also on what side of the fashion spectrum you sit on, some shirts that could be construed bilious, have little chance of being tempered by a suit, no matter the quality. Here are some simple style pairings that might help you.

Pin or Tab Collar Shirts = Double Breasted Suits

The 20's were considered the high water mark of men’s tailoring. The pin collar shirt was introduced as a mode of rebellion. The young fashionistas of the day didn't connect with the formality of the stiffened starched collars and migrated over to the soft pin collar shirts. A problem arose however when the relaxed silky fabrics were too delicate to support a tie without looking unkempt. Hence the introduction of connecting the collar to a pin, allowing the wearer a more defined shape.

During the 30's the Double-Breasted jackets were becoming more prevalent, popularised by the Duke of Kent, hence why the four-button construction that buttons at the lower button is eponymously referred to as the "Kent". A suitable marriage for the pin collar shirt would be a double breasted jacket. With the double breasted jacket comes the broad peaked lapels which offers the verisimilitude of a large chest, a look that would certainly augment ones masculinity. A look that has survived in the UK thanks to modern renaissances of London Speakeasy's and Gangster series such as Boardwalk Empire and Peaky Blinders. 

Grandad Collars and Waistcoats

Grandad Collars are considered less formal because of their unconventional look. With a few different interpretations to the origins, from foundry workers to New York wives cutting off their husbands' collars to clean, it has a colourful narrative. Most bloggers will tell you that a simple neutrally-hued blazer will do the trick, however I gravitate towards a waistcoat only, or if the climate is conducive, simple accoutrements such as braces will suffice. 

Mix and Match

david-gandy-white-blazer-style.jpg

The one unsubtractable rule to mix and matching the suit jacket and trousers is to keep the shirt simple. Anything too ambitious in the pattern or motif department and the entire look will unbalanced. A tieless button down shirt will maintain a clean look. 

Ivory Tuxedo - English Spread

Whilst black and midnight blue dinner jackets have silk facings to primarily differentiate them from ordinary lounge jackets, the Ivory Dinner Jacket does not need such a distinctive mark. Not only should the IDJ be a statement in its own right, silk facings invariably pair and precipitously clash with black silk bow ties. A classic pleated-front shirt with soft turndown collar is traditionally paired, although if you're looking for something more contemporary, David Gandy's interpretation using the blue cotton English Spread collar is a suitable act to follow. 

 

Shop These Suit & Shirt Combinations by Hawkins & Shepherd

How to Style a Grandad Collar Shirt

Grandad shirts have been making a come back for a couple of seasons now in menswear and especially for your favourite menswear brands collections for Spring/Summer 2017. But what is a Grandad shirt and how to wear one? Firstly styling a Grandad shirt is pretty simple. As shirt collars go, this one can be worn both formally, casually and as I have down, formal yet casual, so how on earth can you get this wrong?

Most fashion aficionados would say that the Grandad shirt should always be buttoned-up to the top, as it has it's history back in the 1920's formal attire - so who are we to restyle such a classic. Well times have changed and our dress sense is moving more casual than formal.

The Grandad shirt's origin is just over the Atlantic Ocean at New York in 1927. When a lady named Hannah Montague cut the collar off her husband’s shirt to wash it separately and so was born the detachable collar. As I mentioned previously, the Grandad shirt is historically very formal. Lots of different detachable collar styles were available including the 1920's classics of the Pin Collar or the Tab collar, no pioneered by the menswear brand Hawkins & Shepherd. Without the detachable collar buttoned in, the shirt has a plain banded type of collar, which gave birth to the grandad collar you'll find today. 

I do feel that the best look for a grandad shirt is buttoned up to the top, either underneath a suit, simply with a pair of trousers or unbuttoned with jeans. Although the shirt is formal, you'll have to double-check your companies dress-for-work policy to see if they are allowed, as you can clearly not wear a tie with this shirt. 

In this look, I have brought a navy grandad shirt from Reiss and paired it with another classic tailoring piece...the navy pinstripe suit. Two very formal pieces of tailoring, but with a couple of buttons undone on the grandad shirt, whilst roaming London between meetings gives this look a distinct laid-back feel to it. 

If you like it, shop it.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

Double-Breasted Suits & Pin Stripes | Style Edit | 2017 Menswear Trends

Okay so unfortuently I haven't taken these photos outside my own mews in London W1, I'm not that flash...but I've made up for it with what I'm wearing, luxury mews meets luxury tailoring. When dressing up or suiting up in 2017, look no further than double-breasted and pinstripe suits and if you are confident enough, why not try and combine the two. 

2017 is sending us First Class some Italian style and I really hope this menswear trend finally gets adopted by the stylish British men. Double-breasted and pinstripe suits are nothing new, in fact they are a sartorial classic. However this style rarely gets the attention it deserves on our shores as we tend to veer towards single breasted blazers and it is time to mix it up a little.

I went shopping along Oxford Street and found a perfect navy double-breasted, pinstripe suit from Reiss. The sizing was pretty much bang on for the blazer however the trousers needed a slight tailoring adjustment, but no biggy. I've combined the suit with a 100% cotton, extreme cutaway, fine blue striped shirt from Hawkins & Shepherd. Keeping with the luxury feel to this tailoring, the cashmere, peak lapel overcoat is also from London's Hawkins & Shepherd. To complete this look, I'm wearing some suede slippers by Donhall & Bell, grey wool tie by Reiss, tortoiseshell glasses by KITE, a leather briefcase by Launer and finally an incredible limited edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Night & Day Q380848L watch exclusively available at The Watch Gallery. 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Ella H

Two Sartorial Heavyweights | The Pin Collar Shirt & Double-Breasted Blazer

Dressing smartly, dapper, sartorial or formal is always much more comfortable and natural for me. It seems the older you get and the more grey you get the better you look dressing formal as apposed to casual wear and I'm at that cross-road right now. When dressing up I have some sartorial trends that I will look towards if I want to look a little bit different and extra special...for example the Pin Collar Shirt and the Double-Breasted jacket.

The pin collar shirt is an absolute classic, notoriously from the 1920's era, when all men knew how to dress. It's a trend that has been with us certainly for the last few years, pioneered by London shirt makers Hawkins & Shepherd who created a large range of pin collar shirts ahead of the fashion trend curve, which has now been replicated amongst most if not all of the high-street stores. A white pin collar shirt is a wardrobe staple which you should bring out on the specialist of occasions.

These pin collar types work extremely well with the double-breasted suit or blacker. These two heavyweight sartorial master pieces are available at Reiss & Hawkins & Shepherd - so go check them out in the shop the look section below.

I've finished off this look with my new glasses by Kite, black loafers by Donhall & Bell and a semi-skinny black tie by Hawkins & shepherd. Sorry for the short post today, although it is a Sunday and I have a roast dinner waiting for my down the local pub!! 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Rebecca Spencer

LIVE A DOUBLE LIFE

Girlfriends, boyfriends get off my back - a double life as in 'Double Breasted'...okay now I have you back on side I'll start this blog post! I have been a fan of the double-breasted jacket for some time now and it's time to share why  and what to look out for when buying double-breasted suits. 

Single breasted suits and blazers still dominate the worlds suit market but in the UK more and more designers and high-street stores are upping their double breasted offerings which gives us a great opportunity to choose a style, material and colour that suits you best.

What is the difference between a single and double breasted jacket? The first thing you will notice is that the double breasted suit jacket has extra fabric that folds one lapel over the front of the other lapel, creating an overlapped style. With a single breasted jacket you will have a number of buttons vertically along the front of the suit (the total number of buttons will depends on the style of the suit). With the double breasted style, you'll have two columns of buttons, usually either 4 or 6 in total.

How should you wear a double breasted suit jacket? The most important thing to remember when choosing this type of suit jacket is that it should be tailored slightly shorter than the single breasted cousins. You should not button all of the buttons up, usually it will  be the middle row in a 6-buttoned scenario.

One of the main reasons why many people avoid this style is they can be quite hard to 'pull off' and considered not very versatile. Which is why in this style post, I have used a double breasted suit jacket and styled it without the matching trousers and opted for a light grey slate coloured chino.

Wearing double breasted will invite comments, applause and a hell of a lot of jealousy...but get it right! In my style for this post, I have worn a classic pin collar shirt from London's best shirtmakers Hawkins & Shepherd as they work extremly well with this classic style.

SHOP THE LOOK

Photo Credit Sophie Milner