Austin Reed: Progressive Made to Measure Service Goes Door to Door

Austin Reed have unveiled their personal tailoring service, bringing the Made to Measure experience to your home, office, private members club etc. 

I think it's a fantastic move, progressive yet equally clandestine and traditional. Talk to any of the big tailors or shirt makers around today and they'll regale stories of how they would go meet their clients at their place of work or in their hotel etc. 

The legendary Doug Hayward would often meet his clients at The Dorchester and not only measure them, but watch them walk around the room. Study their posture and how they carry themselves. 

Austin Reed are recognising that it's a different world where our attention and time are strained. Not everyone gets lunch hours to nip off to their tailors to get measured. And how good is any experience when it feels frenzied? 

How does it work? 

Together (you and the Austin Reed consultant) will peruse their exclusive selection of luxury fabrics, linings and trims to visualise your bespoke suit.

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Following your first consultation Austin Reed will contact you to arrange a fitting. Final adjustments and any fine-tuning will be completed in a matter of days, with your finished design presented in a versatile Austin Reed travel cover.

Pricing starts from £500, with a made to measure 2-piece suit totalling to approximately £1000. 

My experience was relatively frictionless. I scheduled a consultation and thoroughly enjoyed the process. There is something undeniably empowering about being fitted for a suit on your own terms. I felt like Roger Moore. 

I think we've all been put in situations where we've been persuaded into ill decisions/purchases, perhaps due alien environments. In the sanctuary of my own home I felt much more confident about the process.

CONSULTATION

The Clothier came to my house, I offered him a cup of coffee and some biscuits (not the shortbread) whilst he walked me through the fabric and design options. We discussed football, fashion and of course dogs, whilst I was measured for the suit. Then we had to discuss the style options, such a single vent, turn-up trousers, side-adjusters and what colour buttons - to name a few.

PRODUCTION

After the initial consultation and measuring, the fitting is arranged. Any tweaking or adjustments can also be done through the Austin Reed Made to Measure service which ensures the desired result. 

 

 

Experience Made-to-Measure at Brooks Brothers | 150 Regent Street, London

My first introduction to Brooks Brothers was this week, where I was chosen as the UK influencer to represent London in their European campaign showcasing the made-to-measure experience alongside their other influencers in Rome, Milan and Madrid. As a lover of the exquisite craft of tailoring, it was a goal of mine to work with and learn from such a historic tailor such as Brooks Brothers which established themselves in 1818. Brooks Brothers flagship store, located at 150 Regent Street in London, is a vast expanse sprawled across two floors including their exclusive made-to-measure experience, pool table and a lounge relaxation area where you can sit down and browse their collection of suit, coat and shirt fabrics.

Brooks Brothers are an American tailoring icon, renowned for exceptional customer service, quality fabrics and the best tailors. They are offering their existing customers and a new generation of Londoners to experience their made-to-measure service of which you can enjoy 25% off until October 1st 2017.

Brooks Brothers' fine tailoring meets the extraordinary quality of Proraso's products and Carter and Bond’s barber shop expertise, offering a pleasingly old fashioned and flawless shaving experience. Customers wishing to create their bespoke Brooks Brothers suit will be greeted in a temporary Barber Shop area within the store, receiving an impeccable and professional shaving or beard and moustache regulation. 

I joined fellow influencers Fabio Attanasio, Giorgio Giangiulio and Alvaro Arce for the London Made to Measure Experience, narrating the creation of my own MTM suit and Proraso barber service.

The Brooks Brothers MTM configurator launched last Spring/Summer, continues accompanying clients in their online suits’ and shirts’ customisation through a wide selection of fabrics, pockets, buttons and vents. By booking an appointment in their favourite store, at home or in the office, clients finalise their MTM experience with the help of a qualified MTM specialist.

During the whole made-to-measure experience, I was extremely at ease and relaxed mainly because of the beautiful setting in their Regent Street store and the fantastic staff who cannot do enough for you, to make you feel welcome. My made to measure experience started with a tailor measuring me for my shirt, followed by the suit jacket, then trousers but it all depends on your requirements. If you would like to get a new autumn/winter coat tailored especially for you, then the tailor can advice you on the optimal length, size, style and fabrics that work well when making coats. The key is to trust your tailor, take their advice but also add your own ideas of personality into the mix - maybe it's an extra button or turn-ups on your trousers, make it personal to you.

Brooks Brothers' scour the planet for the finest fabrics made from only the best raw materials which is why it might take you a while to flick through all of their fabric swatches...but take your time and make sure you get the perfect suit for you! Personally I went for a 100% cashmere suit jacket in camel and a contrast pair of trousers in dark grey, both fabrics were in a herringbone weave and I made the trousers slim fit with bold turn-ups.

After getting measured up for my new suit it was time to get groomed using the extraordinary quality of Proraso's products and Carter and Bond’s barber shop expertise.  

Proraso is a Florentine brand founded by Ludovico Martelli producing high quality products. Thanks to its centenary experience, it has served the daily care of three generations of men.

Established in 1818, Brooks Brothers was the first to offer ready-to-wear clothing and has continued throughout history with iconic product introductions including: seersucker, madras, the non-iron shirt and the original button-down collar. Nearly two centuries later, Brooks Brothers is proud to uphold the same traditions and values and to be the destination for ladies and gentlemen from every generation. Since its founding 199 years ago, in New York, Brooks Brothers has become a legendary international retailer while maintaining a steadfast commitment to exceptional service, quality, style and value.

It is safe to say that, Gentlemen you are in great hands with Brooks Brothers.

Photography by Stefano Massè

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:

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

Label Online collaboration with Ted Baker

Isn't it great when your local coffee shop serves your favourite homemade velvet cake, when your barbers sells your favourite hair product or the supermarket also sells office supplies? Okay okay, enough of the analogies, I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at! When one of your favourite clothing brands starts selling another one of your favourite clothing brands, it makes shopping a whole lot easier and most importantly quicker! For me that is Label Online where they also sell other popular, designer brands making shopping simple.

Label Online have just launched their Ted Baker menswear collection, making it one of the premier online marketplaces for other great brands.

Ted Baker has always been a brand that approaches menswear design with a clear focus on quality, attention to detail yet with a quirky sense of humour. Their suit blazers have a unique printed silk inner lining, a lapel pin and the inner lining of the breast pocket can be pulled out and used as an impromptu pocket square. 

This outfit which I picked out from the Ted Baker collection features their crosshatch charcoal matching suit blazer and trousers. I've paired this charcoal grey suit with a wardrobe classic - a crisp white classic collared shirt with double-french cuffs, which you'll need cuff-links. Finally I love brogue shoes and these dark tan coloured ones from Ted Baker work extremely well with the suit. You can finally style the look with items from your wardrobe as I have done, such as a tie, overcoat and classic watch. 

Ted Baker now have a wider collection available online at Label and it encompasses tailoring as well as their main range. They also have a great range of bags and accessories, perfect for Christmas gifts, just check out my top picks at the bottom of this email...get shopping people!

 

SHOP THE LOOK FROM LABEL ONLINE

SHOP TED'S CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Photography by Ella H

ALL ABOUT WINDOW PANE SUITS

It absolutely astounds me how often the windowpane pattern comes in and out of fashion. Well currently it is back in, so if you want to flex your sartorial muscles, its time to get on-board as this time the trend is here to stay (probably!). As seen recently during London Collections: Men SS16 shows this style has at least another year to run and I'm hoping longer.

Taking its name from the wide windowpane like checked pattern, this style has recently been brought back from sartorial exile. A windowpane suit isn’t for the light-hearted; it’s a bold print of retro elegance that makes a statement.

In my look above, I have styled my light grey with light blue trim windowpane suit with a crisp white tab collar shirt. The squares in the suit detail match the cut edges of this straight collar of my shirt. I have then worn my wardrobe staple white tab collar shirt and navy knitted tie which goes with pretty much everything!

When colour matching window pane suits, I think the best that work best are greys/blue, navy/orange and brown/tan.

One of the main reasons to buy a window pane suit, is that the blazer works great in a smart casual look. Throw on a pair of dark jeans and some shows and you have transformed the look simply and effortlessly.

SHOP THE LOOK

Photos by Sophie Milner