Christie's Tailors in Leeds | Wedding Suits, Business Suits & More

Today I'm putting one foot outside of London and introducing you to a tailor in Leeds called Christies Tailors. We often assume that all the best tailors, all the most important menswear fashion houses reside in London and nothing else matters beyond the outer limits of the M25. 

In truth a lot of the mills are in the north of England, many of the designers manufacture their clothes outside of the city to reduce overheads. We're no longer living in the salad days where the likes of John Stephens who almost single handily invented Carnaby Street, designs and produces all the garments at the back of the store. 

Whilst I haven't had the pleasure of frequenting Christie's Tailors, the proud sponsor of this blog post, I've scoured ruthlessly through their website and can certainly vouch for the useful and educational content. 

Christie's Tailors have over ten years' experience and offer a variety of men’s tailoring services. They embrace challenges of creating and altering individual garments, as well as provide superior quality 2-piece and 3-piece tailoring.

WEDDING SUITS

They have a welter of fabrics available for you to choose from. (I'm told 800 which is staggering). A bespoke wedding suit is something that will give you that air of confidence on one of the most important days of your life. 

If you're unsure on what look you're after, the experienced tailors and consultants at Christie's will be on hand to guide you through the process. 

BESPOKE SUITS

Christie's offer a bespoke and made to measure service for their suits. Aside from your wedding day you might need a suit another special event, the Cheltenham Races, or the Grand National (slightly closer if you're in Leeds).

Importantly, a well-fitting business suit can really ameliorate you amongst your colleagues. You don't have to dress like Beau Brummell in the office to distinguish yourself amongst your colleagues. A well-fitting suit that is tailored to your spec, can be just as visually arresting.

You won't have to pay Savile Row prices for your bespoke suit when you shop at Christie's. Although everyone requires different functionality from a suit, it's best to drop by and make an appointment with Christie's to get a quote. 

OTHER SERVICES

Something that caught my eye when I was rifling the Christie's page was how they have offer their services to make unique garments. 

A rapidly growing industry is the Cosplay universe. Many people are looking to get their own garments made, inspired by the ones they idolise on the big screen. My friend Pete Brooker even travelled to Hoi An recently to get a Safari Jacket made seen in one of the James Bond movies. 

I'm sure he and many other fans of costume design would be interested in knowing about Christie's Tailors. 

 

The right Questions to Ask Your Tailor

The relationship between a tailor and consumer should be harmonious and built on implicit trust. A good tailor should make you feel nourished and equally, the tailor should also feel appreciated that he has brought value to an individual’s life. But what if this is your first time buying a suit? You don't know the lingo and think fabric is a nightclub in Farringdon. First off having a mild sketch in your head of the look you're after will be a great way to get the ball rolling. Maybe you've seen a suit on an actor, in a magazine, a particular pattern etc. Be realistic, but try and envision what your dream suit looks like. 

Here below for your careful consideration, are the right questions to ask your tailor. 

What have you got? 

Ask to see some look books; a recent portfolio. If he points to the cardboard cutout by the cash register you know you're in trouble. Any tailor worth his salt will also have an online store so be sure to check that out and any recent feedback on their social channels. Facebook is still a good barometer for ratings. 

The tailor will bring along sample fabrics for you to try, masticate the swatches a little (I said masticate, unless you REALLY like the fabric) and then ask.. 

What fabric is best for.. ?

[fill in the blank]. It's important that your tailor fully understands your needs. You might be getting married in the tropics and require a certain breathable fabric. It could be your work suit, but what kind of work? Is there a long commute involved and will your job demand any physical exertion? Ask your tailor to elaborate on why the fabric or cloth recommended would be suited to the occasion, and if there are any other options available to you.

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Free next Friday? 

Your tailor is a busy man, with many other customers, interviews to write and cocktail parties to attend. Make sure you schedule set dates and times with your tailor for fittings and additional alterations. Not having to chase each other for appointments over email will optimise both your time. 

Show me your papers. 

This is what separates the men from the marines in the tailoring universe. If you specifically want bespoke products, ensure that your tailor will create an individual paper pattern for you. Ask to see it and have it pictured with an edition of the local paper. OK so that might be overkill, but this is a reasonable question and will let the tailor know you're not here to have your pants taken down. Semi-pun intended. 

The best way to describe a 'pattern' in clothing is to compare it to a 'blueprint' of a building. An architect will build a house based on the blueprint and the tailor with piece together a suit based on the pattern.

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Will it be fully canvassed?

Canvas cements the lining and outer fabric of the suit, thus enabling its shape over time. You might be asking for an unstructured fit, in which case the lining might be absent from the body. Although ensure it's in the arms, all jacket arms should be lined for ease of access. Not all suits are fully canvassed, but the vast majority of made-to-measure suits will at least be partially canvassed. 

You don't want a yes-man tailor. It's important that your tailor presents positivity and optionality for you, but isn't just a yes man. In an interview for GQ Franklin Saltos, owner of N.Y.C.’s Tailoring Room, mentioned, 'The best tailor is an honest one. If yours routinely overpromises, jump ship'. 

I hate it man! 

I'm going a bit sensational with the questions today, but it's important to highlight early on what changes can be made during the process if you're unhappy with the design. It could be anything from the length of the trouser, to the style of the pockets. Having good communication with your tailor is key, even if you're unsure of the terminology, understanding at what point of the process you can make alterations is key. 

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The photos used in this blog post and from a past European-wide campaign I did with Brooks Brothers.

Men's Formal & Casual Wear by Remus Uomo

It's quite rare that I find a brand that design a collection which incorporates both formal, tailored suiting as well as casual wear and get it right on all accounts. Remus Uomo are that brand for AW17, showcasing an exceptional range of in-house design skills to suit the everyday gentleman for all of his sartorial needs. The Remus Uomo AW17 collection is just another take on their core values which are to create design-lead clothing for men who have a serious attitude towards fashion. They are often considered as understated sophistication and this resonates in their latest range focusing on a core masculine palette of navy, blue, grey and charcoal hues which are present across the collection. 

So lets take the AW17 collection by Remus Uomo to the test. I've styled a formal tailored look as well an an off-duty casual one. Which do you prefer?

When searching through their collection, for my smart formal look it was apparent that they have spent a lot of time and effort getting the fabrics right.  This season at Remus Uomo sees a continuation of print patterns in their formal and casual tailoring whilst hitting on what is a real trend in men's clothing right now.

Of course when dressing smart, the first thing to think about is the suit. I wanted something unique and I found it with a geometric patterned navy, single breasted suit. The rest was relatively easy to style. As the suit was quite a statement piece, I wanted to compliment it as best as I could using simple colours and textures. So I opted for a crisp plain white shirt and a pair of dark brown leather Oxford brogues. Time came to accessorise and I felt that it needed a little extra colour which I found in the claret wool blend houndstooth patterned scarf. You could easily add a tie to this style, although I wanted to showcase the playful aspect of the Remus Uomo casual tailored collection values.

Moving on to my casual look from the same brand and collection. With the need for greater comfort clothing, Remus Uomo have focused on the sports-luxe trend which is making a huge appearance across the collection. Each item in my casual look is versatile enough to be styled in so many other ways which is paramount when investing in casual every day, off duty clothing as it keeps cost per wear to the absolute minimum. 

I've gone for a tonal grey theme here but with a monochrome kind of twist, easy to style together and as I mentioned, individually as well. The grey geometric quilted bomber jacket is the stand out piece, lightweight and warm it is perfect for the cold season fast approaching. I've continued the grey theme subtly with each other piece (minus the jeans) having tiny touches of grey in their designs. I've layered a casual zip sweater underneath the bomber jacket, black jeans and a pair of white with grey sole sneakers.

To find out more from their AW17 collection, watch the short video below which will give you some further inspiration on how best to style their current collection. Of course as always if you like the looks, make sure you shop them by clicking on the lookbook items below. Happy shopping. 

 

SHOP MY FORMAL TAILORED ATTIRE

SHOP MY CASUAL OFF-DUTY LOOK

Photography by Charlie Sawyer

What to wear this Party Season | Black Tuxedo vs Navy Tuxedo

With the AW17 party season looming it's time to start thinking about what you are going to wear. Never has there been so much choice as there is today when it comes to tuxedo suits or dinner jackets and I've styled two of the most popular colour choices, black and navy for your inspiration. A black dinner jacket is the most classic of all styles whereas navy versions are making a comeback whilst gaining in popularity for those fashion conscious individuals who want to buck trends and look marginally different to the masses.

When asked to dress as 'Black Tie' it is worth double checking the exact dress code because 'Black Tie' could be just a generic term to wear dinner jackets regardless of the colour. White tuxedos are also quite popular, although you'll either have to be uber cool or the office joker to get away with such a bold statement suit - as I'm neither of those, I can't wear one!

That leaves me with either black or navy and if you want to look your dashing best, here are a couple of styles that tick all sartorial boxes. 

When wearing a black dinner jacket, the key is to respect the history around such a classic, tailoring masterpiece. With that in mind, stick to a timeless cutaway white shirt rather than wingtip collars, as it's much more sophisticated and stylish. When I generalise wingtip collars, I think about my 18 year old self and badly dressed Christmas parties. A black bow-tie is essential. If you are an expert in tying a bow-tie, try to make the knot small which will give you more fabric to create a butterfly style bow-tie. Black shoes complete the look. If you have the budget to buy a new pair of shoes to wear with your tuxedo, I would recommend buying patent shoes, it's a perfect match. Finally if you have over-indulged in the lead up to party season, or if your suit is a little tight, match the dinner jacket with a well fitted waistcoat and you can then leave the jacket undone and no one with notice it's slightly too small!

 

SHOP MY BLACK DINNER JACKET STYLE

I'm a massive fan of navy tuxedos, it's a slightly more modern style, so therefore you have a certain level of freedom to wear this slightly differently without repercussion and I have tried to accentuate this in my styled look above. Of course a navy dinner jacket or tuxedo would work extremely well styled the same as my first style, with a black or navy bow-tie and waistcoat. However in this look I wanted to showcase a completely different approach fixated around the pin collar shirt. The pin collar shirt is a 1920's classic, it is super smart, it's designed to protrude and champion the tie. 

Often when at your work Christmas party or winter party season event, there are two distinct timings to the evening. 1) The arrival or the dinner, where you keep your tie on and look pristine. Then 2) The wind-down which could be a DJ set, where you'll be welcomed to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. With this in mind, this outfit works extremely well. The pin collar bar, tie and scarf are all accessories that you'll wear to wow your audience on arrival, whereas later on in the evening you can remove the pin bar, remove the tie, undo a couple of buttons and you're ready to party the evening away. Navy tassel loafers with no socks is not everyones cup of tea, so I'll suggest alternatives such as dark brown or black Oxford shoes (*with socks!).

 

SHOP MY NAVY DINNER JACKET STYLE

Photography by Toni Tran with all photos taken at The Franklin Hotel, Knightsbridge.

How to wear a navy suit 5 ways

Here is my latest edition to my 'How to wear an item of men's clothing 5 ways' playlist and if you haven't already watched last weeks post on how to wear a grey suit 5 ways, go check it out. This week I'm showing you how to style a navy suit for work or for a wedding. A navy suit is the most versatile of all suit colours which is why most men have one or more hanging in their wardrobe. Bold colours work well with navy and in particular red, orange and yellow - however so do earthy tones such as brown or green. So here are my 5 looks to arm you with some basic palette choices when wearing a navy suit.

 

LOOK 1

LOOK 2

LOOK 3

LOOK 4

LOOK 5

So there you go, my 5 ways to style a men's navy suit - let me know which one you prefer and here is a recap:

What to wear for work in Canary Wharf

Are you new to working in the city of London? Have you just got your first job out of university or college and struggling to know what to wear to the office? I've been there and had to work it all out for myself - so here are my tips on what to wear to work so you don't turn up with a Simpsons novelty tie and therefore ruin any promotion opportunities for the next few years! 

 

SUITS

Invest in a good well tailored suit, it makes a big difference if you invest in something that will last. A cheap suit will wear out quicker and the fabric will not wash as well as a higher quality yarn. 

When choosing a suit colour avoid black, as although it may feel like your first day in the office is like a funeral, it is not. Instead opt for more warming, approachable colours such as a navy or grey. You'll find these colours will also be easy to style with different colour ties, shirts & pocket squares.

Have your suits on rotation. It is always best to have 3 suits, rotate so that you avoid wearing out the fabric and for hygiene reasons. I mean wearing the same suit everyday on the tube is bound to kick up a little bit by the end of the week.

Do not iron your suits, or you'll be left with a shiny look to them and when that happens, it is time to get rid.

SHIRTS

Keep colours simple and if in doubt you cannot go wrong with white and a variety of different shades of blue. Pattern, check and striped shirts are acceptable, although they are harder to match with ties and better worn with the collar undone. A general rule would be that if you are wearing a check, pattern or striped shirt, then match it with a plain tie. 

Join a Shirt Subscription Service, so you are never running low on shirts and keep up to date with new trends and fabrics. Hawkins & Shepherd offer a variety of different Shirt Subscriptions at discounted prices.

Always have a spare shirt and tie in the office. I've lost count of the number of times I've had after work drinks and had to sleep in the office, having a crisp shirt, toothpaste and toothbrush is critical. Or what about that time when you had your yearly appraisal and spilt a whole mug of coffee down your favourite shirt? 

Have a Friday shirt, one that has a foot in formal and a foot in casual, so you can keep things professional in the office then let it all hang out (the shirt) after work.

SHOES

Wear something comfortable as the chances are you'll be doing a lot of walking to and from the office and once you are there walking too and from the coffee machine. In my work photos in this post, I absolutely love these shoes come slippers from Donhall & Bell. My footwear tip would be to have a pair of these in the office to wear around the office and use a more hardier cheaper pair to walk to and from the office. Wearing these powerful, striking shoes you'll stand out for all the right reasons.

If you are wearing leather shoes, it's simple but make sure they are polished regularly or if you are wearing Donhall & Bell suede footwear, invest in a suede brush and give them a brushing every time you have worn them - this will help keep them looking pristine.

ACCESSORISES

Wear a watch. A watch will complete any outfit and they do not need to be expensive. There are many more fashion watch brands out there producing affordable stylish watches. I've recently found this watch brand called Kartel from Scotland and every single one of their watches are modern yet classic but most importantly only around £90.

Do not be afraid to accessorise with socks and pocket squares, although keep things relatively simple and not too over powering. Subtle hints and sartorial touches should be discrete. For example don't wear a bold red tie, red pocket square and red socks - it's too much.

 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Photography by Ella H