Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Science of the Bespoke Shirt, with Ede & Ravenscroft

Discovering Ede & Ravenscroft's beautiful Chancery Lane store last weekend was a real delight. Meeting with Mr. Roy Sarling, Ede & Ravenscroft's Bespoke Shirting Specialist to order my first bespoke shirt proved even more enjoyable. Having a bespoke shirt made is a similar rite of passage to a first bespoke suit - the level of attention to detail, precise measuring, the thousands of beautiful shirting cloths and superior craftsmanship makes a bespoke shirt a truly wonderful thing to commission and collaborate on with a shirt maker. I haven't experienced such a rush of excitement and anticipation when ordering clothes in quite some time.



In ordering a bespoke shirt I was hoping to create something that wouldn't be available off-the-peg, whilst also resisting the temptation to go for something so outlandish that would become completely impractical. Although overwhelmed by the vast variety of weaves, colours and cloths (it is hard to describe how much more variety is available for bespoke shirts than is offered off-the-peg), I think I managed it. Despite being tempted by a tangerine herringbone, as well as a superfine plain imperial purple and even a turquoise, the eventual choice was something fundamentally more subtle. Dusty coral pink is fast becoming one of my favourite colours for accessories, because its soft, subtle and believe it or not was a hugely popular colour during the early 20s. I originally suspected that finding a coral pink shirting fabric would prove difficult, but I need not have worried.



A superfine two-ply ninety gram cloth, with an extraordinarily fine, silken handle was the eventual choice (the top swatch pictured below). The cloth itself comes from one of the most technologically advanced shirting fabric producers in the world and was out of this world in terms of soft handle and precision of weave. Having had a good look through a number of bespoke shirting bunches for the first time, it has to be said that the quality of cloth available has to be one of the premier advantages of going bespoke when it comes to shirting.



The other great advantage of going bespoke, is the level of expertise and personalisation a shirt maker can bring to a commission. This shirt is littered with lots of little points of personalisation, care of Roy's expert eye. Given that I wanted a long pointed collar, akin to that on a typical spread-collar from the 30s, Roy has deepened the collar and band from that of my off-the-peg shirts to allow for a long, narrow point. A collar tab is also being added to allow for the collar to sit close around a tie knot and button underneath the tie, helping it to lift a little from the neck, sitting proud, just the way I like it to. To match the tab on the shirt collar, the shirt gauntlet buttons are also going to fasten with a tab - a lovely little stylistic touch that was again Roy's suggestion.



The collar itself is going to be fused - this is not traditional but it'll keep the collar looking neat and clean with no puckering when its bent around the tie-knot and tabbed in place; its the modern, innovatory equivalent of a stiff starched collar. Even the collar bone pockets are being made precisely to fit my own collar bones. The front bottom edge of the shirt cuffs are also going to be 'mitred' or cut away in a rounded diagonal shape, to prevent the bottom of the cuffs from wearing thin due to constant contact with a desk - a feature recommended for those who spend a good deal of their day sitting and either typing or writing in the office. The body and sleeves are being cut slim - all judged by Roy's expert eye. It was particularly fascinating to see him pluck at the cloth of the shirt I was wearing all around my chest and arms, to assess the 'depth' of the shirt, so he could decide upon the necessary sleeve and body proportions. Another delightful feature is that Ede & Ravenscroft insist on lining the front of every bespoke shirt with a superfine voile lining, to prevent any skin tone from showing through - a wonderfully thoughtful feature that allows the colour of the shirt the shirt to shine through true.

Roy is a third generation bespoke craftsman, and as you will have gathered by this point, he is something of a shirting maestro. With some thirty five years in the business, twenty one of them with Ede & Ravenscroft, his passion for shirting is infectious, his relationship with his workshop extremely close and his technical understanding is superlative - though he would put it differently. "Its not about what you know, its about what you don't know - in this business you never stop learning". I certainly learned an awful lot from him at the fitting.



Also refreshing, is Ede & Ravenscroft's approach. Roy emphasised to me up-front that the process is slow and careful and that I won't be leaving the shop with the shirt until he is happy with it - a reassuring thing to hear for a first commission. Also refreshing is the fact that Roy, unlike a lot of shirt makers, has no minimum order requirement. It doesn't matter whether customers come in for one shirt or six, its all about providing an old fashioned, uncompromising service. Indeed, the store is imbued with the most illustrious sense of old-world comfort, service and glamour - right down to the excellent selection of gentle jazz standards melodiously serenading in the background. I was highly impressed by the personal, relaxed and generous service in the shop. I say generous because the time and warmth that Roy and his team exude is truly delightful.

The bespoke shirt making service is available exclusively in Chancery Lane, by appointment. Shirts start at £295 and as we have heard, refreshingly there is no minimum order required.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

In Defence of Personal Taste

Another commentary piece this week, and one addressing a subject which is rather close to my heart, so please do forgive the incessant use of personal pronouns which are to follow. Having spent the last five weeks being fortunate enough to work in Mayfair and enjoy a stroll down Savile Row most lunchtimes, one thing that continues to impress is the sheer diversity of house cuts, styles of tailoring and particularly differences in the use of colour and pattern between tailors. 


For example, Norton & Sons will almost universally present in their window a clean and crisp silver-grey suit (possibly with a subtle worsted check) finished with a dark cashmere tie. Huntsman will offer a variety of loud tweeds, whilst Dege & Skinner may offer up a deeply traditional embroidered velvet smoking jacket, only a few doors down from Kilgour's daringly minimalistic grey sharkskin single breasted coat and black silk skinny tie. One of the great joys of Savile Row is this diversity; in the subtle differences in tradition and convention which mark each tailor apart. Different customers work with different tailors to suit their individual tastes. Without these differences, Savile Row would cease to exist and unremarkable boredom and homogeneity would reign supreme. Where would those who cared about their clothes go to?


 It is the caring individual's love of clothing that drives Savile Row as an entity, so in my humble view such things should be nurtured. I know for example that I'm a somewhat flamboyant dresser, but I enjoy being a flamboyant dresser and in my defence, everything that informs my dress sense is rooted in sartorial history and in a genuine appreciation and enjoyment of a maximalist approach to colour and pattern. So why gentlemen wandering up and down Savile Row in frankly unimaginative plain charcoal blazers and unremarkable white shirts feel the need to sneer (because certain parties have sneered) I do not know. It is important for those who engage with the world of tailoring to celebrate its individuality, without falling into the all too human pitfall of judging those who engage with their tailoring slightly differently - such divisions can easily do more harm than good and create tension and disunity, rather than a mutual respect for one another's style and clothes. Equally, those who have the luxury of bespoke suiting should not presume to judge those who cannot afford the same - I know many people who thoroughly enjoy wearing and feel good in considered and well thought through made-to-measure and off-the-peg outfits.


All fashion, like other forms of art (and I do like to think of tailoring as a kind of art-form in itself) is a deeply personal form of self-expression. That which is personal, is totally subjective and no one can be more right or wrong with respect to how fashion 'should be' for this reason. When writing, I often offer guidance as to the conventions of tailoring, or offer an insight into my own thought process - but I would never presume to critique or judge someone's personal taste in a negative fashion. If an individual feels more comfortable with the bottom button of his waistcoat done up, the world will not come to an end. In writing a blog offering style advice, I always aim to remember that such waffle is just that - advice. The joy of dressing is that rules can be retained, re-explored or even just down right rejected. If an individual looks and feels comfortable in their clothes - that is what matters and contrary to what some might think, it is that personal sense of comfort which brings with it an attractive and natural sense of style.


I sincerely hope that this offers some positive, rather than negative food for thought. Please rest assured that normal service will be resumed within the next few days, I have a fascinating insight into the world of bespoke shirt-making coming-up, so please stay tuned!

With kindest regards,

Aleks

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Back Seat Tailoring

Earlier this week I went for a drink with a good friend who is one of Savile Row's most talented up-and-coming young tailors. Whilst talking tailoring, the subject of the customer's relationship with his tailor was broached, and some interesting points were made.


It has been stated many times, by many writers, that when a customer finds the right tailor and places a number of orders, a very personal relationship can develop; whereby craftsman and client befriend one another to a degree - or at the very least come to know one another personally - understanding each others mentalities, tastes and attitudes towards many things, of which the subject of tailoring is often only just the start. There is no disputing this, forming a very human relationship with a tailor is just one of the many pleasures of the bespoke process, but I also have a cautionary tale for bespoke customers. I have it on good authority from a number of professionals, that there is nothing more irritating than a 'back-seat tailor' - a client who feels the need to nag and query their tailor consistently during fittings, questioning their judgement or constantly checking whether they're doing the right thing.

As you build a relationship with your tailor, an important and natural part of that process should be the flourishing of a mutual trust. Every client has to trust their tailor, and a tailor (if he's good at his job) should know after the first couple of commissions (if not sooner) what he has to pay extra attention to during fittings, and what his client will be most concerned with. For myself, I tend to become paranoid about getting the sleeve set right on bespoke coats; my forward stance requires an unusually low sleeve pitch and I often find myself at risk of wearing sleeves which furrow around the rear of my shoulder. My tailors have learned to pay extra attention to this as a result, and its reached the point where I trust them implicitly and keep quiet during fittings. I know that sooner or later, they'll mark the pitch and make sure the sleevehead is neat, but I do remember being thoroughly jumpy about it for the first few commissions.


When investing in something so expensive and so special, it is natural to want to make sure that everything is right, but its important to be patient and have faith in your tailor's abilities. To constantly question a tailor belittles his skills and training - remember, he's a professional - you wouldn't query your surgeon would you? This leads me to one final point for reflection; if you're still questioning your tailor three or four orders in, or if you have any nagging doubts that your concerns aren't being addressed, it is probably time to try a new house. Tailoring at the highest level relies on client and craftsman enjoying a mutual trust, respect and awareness of one another and it makes for a joyless and often nerve-racking process if these things are missing. Don't fall victim to poor service - bespoke tailoring is there to be enjoyed and the most valuable thing any bespoke customer can do, is to take the time to seek out the right tailor before committing to any long term relationships with a poor match.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Packing for a Sartorial Summer Getaway

This is the glorious season of the glamorous weekend getaway, a time when the weather is so fine that one cannot help but fall victim to idealised day dreams of strolling along the sea front in some chic European city, sitting sipping espressos in the balmy afternoon sun, and quaffing cocktails in stylish hotel bars - all whilst clad in a crisp summer suit and a soft linen shirt.


I'm hope that for at least some readers, there is an opportunity to make this wistful dream a reality, so with this in mind I thought I'd optimistically outline my recommendations for packing a weekend bag for an effortless quick summer getaway. The first thing to consider is a couple of luxurious summer tailored pieces which will travel well and ooze the requisite glamour to which such holidays aspire. A fine linen suit is perhaps the most iconic of those summer clothes we imagine throwing on during weekend getaways - but it will need looking after if you're going to travel in it. I'd suggest investing in an affordable linen two-piece in a soft pastel colour, or even white like the one above. Reserve it for summer occasionwear or elegant sojourns abroad and it'll wear considerably better than if its flogged-to-death on the Tube. Don't wear it to travel but pack it in a suit carrier and make the effort to transport it properly - otherwise it'll be a bundle of creases by the time it emerges out of the case and no one wants to waste their precious holiday time pressing linen trousers.


Alternatively, opt for something in a crisp and clean wool fresco - a navy or even French blue blazer works well - its timelessly elegant and versatile. The particularly tight weave, woven with an 'uptwist' to the yarn allows fresco to resist and recover from the creases inflicted during travelling with ease. It makes for a beautiful summer cloth, crafted with an open weave to allow air to circulate through the garment. It can be woven to an extremely light seven to nine ounces in weight, feels breezy on and yet retains some body. Pair your blazer with either soft grey or ivory trousers and a pale linen and silk blended tie if the evenings require it.

A couple of lightweight cotton poplin, or plainweave linen shirts will be all that's required to compliment your tailoring. Both fabrics are again light and airy, and there is something timeless about a crisp white poplin shirt. A couple of pale blue or pastel peach linen shirts are a less formal, but equally chic alternative. You can pack one of each and you'll find your weekend bag will go anywhere, do anything and keep you cool whilst you're at it.


The quintessential summer one-shoe-suits-all is of course the unlined penny loafer. The lack of lining keeps the shoe breathable and lightweight and if you buy a loafer which has some thought behind the design, the leather will be soft and supple enough to wear comfortably without socks - a choice which is gaining in popularity with the confident summer dresser and which was well established by the fashionable attendees of this season's Pitti Uomo last month. Wildsmith of London invented the unlined penny loafer; there is no better option for a breathable, lightweight shoe. Opt for their polished rosewood calf Bloomsbury Loafer for a durable investment that will allow you to drift effortlessly from the office to the Amalfi Coast. The warm, rich rosey colour will compliment light pastels, all shades of brown and blues, making it the ideal hue to match with your vacation tailoring. If a second pair is required for the weekend, search for a pair in navy suede for another ideal mix-and-match summer shoe. You might even consider opting for a tasselled pair if you'd like some variation in style.

Compliment your clothes with a beautifully made panama hat - the most luxurious of summer accessories and the ubiquitous option for the stylish gentleman seeking some shelter from the sun. Bates Hats on Jermyn Street offer some of best you'll find, with a beautiful shape to suit every crown, although cheaper options are available for the students amongst us. The hat above was a pleasant surprise found in Marks& Spencer, its entry level quality but has a good shape and it was woven in Ecuador. Don't forget your sunglasses either; tortoise shell is fast becoming a modern classic, but retains a retro edge - Oliver Peoples and Ray Ban offer a number of models which combine beautiful styling and precision craftsmanship.



That's it really, a one-stop shop for you all this week. I hope these thoughts are of some help to those in a seasonal sartorial conundrum. As ever, stick to the classics, invest in good quality pieces and they'll serve you well. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer Dinner Suiting: A Case Study

A few weeks ago I wrote a feature for Mensflair.com, analysing an archival image from the 30s, containing some unconventional, yet suave and technically correct summer dinner suits. I'm a big believer in practicing what I preach, and this particular column got me thinking - I had absolutely no dinner dress appropriate for the warmer months. The solution, as luck would have it, came about quite by chance a few weeks later. With my graduation approaching, Chester Barrie on Savile Row came to the rescue, and on requesting a summer-weight dark suit appropriate for 'Sub-Fusc' (Oxford's requisite academic dress) Designer Christopher Modoo suggested I try one of Chester Barrie's signature cocktail suits in a midnight blue mohair and linen blend. The colour is subtle and appropriate for Sub Fusc, and the fun, dressy cut and exquisite cloth made the purchase a no-brainer.


As you can imagine, the dressy nature of the suit appealed to me immensely (regular readers will be all too aware of my penchant for occasion and cocktail suiting) not only because the suit presents different aesthetic to anything I've owned previously, but is perfectly appropriate for dinner dress too. All the requisite features of a dinner suit are present; a broad shawl lapel, bound pockets and suitably dressy smoked mother of pearl buttons. But given the suit's identity as a 'cocktail suit', some less formal features which offer an intriguing experimentation with aesthetic are also present. Take for example the lack of silk lapel facings conventional to a dinner suit, which keeps the suit looks clean and markedly less formal. The cut of the trousers is likewise intriguing, modelled on a pair of 1960s inspired cross-welted pocket trousers, with slim legs and a relatively low rise - but one which is still suitably formal. Chester Barrie have avoided the most irritating mistake common to modern tailoring; cutting a trouser rise too low, even on these trousers featuring a relatively contemporary design.


Other interesting elements are to be found in the proportions of the coat itself. Chester Barrie's signature structured silhouette, with built-up shoulders, a heavily expressed chest, suppressed waist and flared skirt takes its inspiration from the classical British tailoring of the early twentieth century, when powerful silhouettes were the order of the day. However, this structured form has been pleasingly combined with certain aesthetic features which speak of slim, neat mod-suiting - giving the piece an intriguing update. A nipped waist on the jacket, a shawl collar with a gentle bow and a button stance that fastens slightly below the waist all adds a chic, retro edge. Slanted bound pockets also give the impression of slim hips, as do the slanting pockets on the trousers.


This aesthetic is in turn combined with a typically 30s double-breasted waistcoat with a bowed shawl lapel which echoes that of the coat. This, together with the highly architectural structure of the suit demonstrates precisely the same kind of innovative, yet appropriate experimentation as the two 30s dinner suits on display in the aforementioned illustration. Also experimental is the decision to cut the suit in a deep petrol blue in an innovative linen and  mohair blend with an open weave. The linen adds lightness and breathability, and the mohair resists creasing, lending the cloth a glorious dressy sheen and a crisp handle.


Such an unusual suit warrants dressing in a distinctive fashion. Both outfits here employ a white shirt and a tonal patterned tie, keeping things crisp, simple and (by my standards) minimal - offering an echo of clean and crisp mod-suiting. When worn as a cocktail suit, a white shirt with single cuffs and cut-away collar keeps things looking simple and some colour is injected through the pattern of the neck tie by Drakes. This kind of vibrant print channels the flamboyant patterns of the Jazz-Age, thematically connecting the 30s style of waistcoat, pocket-watch and tie. As a dinner suit, a crisp black tie and white pocket handkerchief would work beautifully, but I've dressed the suit here to reflect its 60s aesthetic, with a pleated dinner shirt that adds texture, and which is more retro than a classical marcella cotton shirt with dress studs. The oversized vintage raw silk bow tie has the same petrol notes as the suit cloth itself, with a subtle maroon polka dot to add interest. Finished with shoes on a slim last and a contrasting navy, white and red paisley pocket handkerchief, this outfit offers a quirky, yet authentic take on retro formal wear.


As you will doubtless expect of Chester Barrie, the floating canvass in the coat keeps the suit supremely comfortable to wear, even in the heat and the jacket has also been half-lined to add lightness and breathability. The cloth is proving crease resistant and durable, even though its a lightweight linen blend. In short, Chester Barrie's cocktail suits are set to become a signature fixture on the menswear scene over the coming months. I would urge you not to miss out on one of these suits, it'll be an investment that you'll treasure.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Grey Trouser Project III: The Second Basted Fitting

With the vast majority of structural alterations undertaken at the first skeleton baste, I'm pleased to report that there was very little to be done at the second fitting of the two pairs of grey autumnal trousers I'm having made by bespoke tailors Cad & the Dandy. Given the amount of work that had been undertaken to transform the trousers from the first to second fitting, I had been eagerly awaiting the summons to the second fitting, hoping that it'd give me the opportunity to experience that magical sensation which fellow bespoke customers will be familiar with, where one senses their commission really taking shape as a bespoke product for the first time.


 Sizing up the light grey twill pair with Mr. Paul White, tailor at Cad & the Dandy.

The first fitting which took place a few weeks ago revealed that quite a lot of difficult structural work needed to be done and that my pattern required updating thanks to changes in my body-shape; the thighs needed more space and my 'sway-back' in tailor's-speak (or the concave curvature of my spine) meant that the rear half of the trouser legs needed 'picking-up' or re-cutting into the waistband to remove about half an inch of unnecessary cloth present in the rear half of each trouser leg. Likewise, the waists and trouser forks needed to come out a little, to give the trousers a little more room to sit faultlessly around my seat. There was a lot of work to be done, and with so much letting-out going on, I was a little apprehensive that the trousers would be feeling a little over-worked and brutalised at the second fitting.

At this stage, the trousers are sitting much cleaner around my thigh and seat, and the slight drag around my hip bones will be eased once the waistband is attached and the pockets go in, allowing the trousers to sit properly. The trousers are also to be finished with no break at the front for a cleaner finish.

Fortunately not however, the trousers now feel absolutely perfect on and they are draping (as far as I can see) pretty much perfectly both front and back. Readers may now start to get a sense of how elegant heavily draped, 30s inspired trousers look when they're fitted faultlessly - but there'll be more discussion on style and fit in the final instalment of the series in a few weeks time. Needless to say, slipping on each pair at this stage and having them fit so perfectly did indeed bring with it that truly magical sense of anticipation borne of seeing a bespoke commission coming to life.

On returning to the second fitting, Mr. Paul White another of Cad & the Dandy's highly skilled tailors (who very keen readers will remember appeared on this blog when it was in its infancy - in the guise of his previous role with Hackett London) sized me up and determined that there is now very little to be done. I was very happy with the shape of both pairs and how clean the lines of the trousers are now, particularly just underneath the waistband and around the seat of each pair, where before there was a wealth of rippling and creasing. Paul's expert eye did however notice that the tiniest bit of room was still required in the fork of each trouser, and suggested letting the fork out further by a quarter of an inch on each pair to keep me comfortable when sitting. The fork is essentially the very bottom seam of the trouser as it sits round the middle, running as it does between the wearer's two legs and into the centre rear back seam which runs up the seat of the trousers to the middle of the waistband.

Basted garments are initially made-up without pockets or a waistband so that they can be more easily altered.


That's all there is to it really at this stage. The trousers now require lining, the pleats and creases pressing-in properly and a waistband with side-adjusters need attaching. The vertical welt pockets also need to go in and pocket openings will be finished by hand. Note how pockets are never added for basted fittings, because the presence of a pocket can disrupt the altering of what would otherwise be clean, linear trouser side-seams if the size of the legs need adjusting (as mine did quite heavily). The forward fitting will come next, where the trousers will have reached their finished form and will essentially be presented for trying on, to see if any final minor adjustments are required. I suspect the trousers will be perfect by that point, given how little needs to be done to them thanks to the wealth of alterations made at the first fitting, so who knows - the next instalment could be the conclusion of this particular project.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Forward Thinking for Autumn

It may be the height of summer, but the world of bespoke tailoring always runs ahead of itself. With a production time of two to three months for most bespoke garments, if you want something to be ready for Autumn, you have to get it ordered in mid-summer. With my summer wardrobe having received a much needed recent boost to get me through the rest of the season, (with the addition of a couple of pieces in 8oz fresco and a rather special linen and mohair cocktail suit by Chester Barrie) its time to start thinking about marshalling resources for autumn.

The cloth in question is a richly coloured, fun windowpane check in 12oz, fully milled worsted twill by Holland & Sherry.

This autumn is going to be an exceptionally exciting one. I have managed to secure a valuable internship within the industry, which I am looking forward to immensely. This of course heralds with it a number of changes that need to happen to my wardrobe; business dress options need enhancing and the next few purchases will need to be sufficiently versatile and business-like to wear to work. Another suit is however going to be out of the question for some time, given my highly limited finances as a currently unemployed graduate so other options must be explored. With this in mind, stumbling across a cut-length of what is ordinarily a highly exclusive jacketing cloth from the Holland & Sherry 'Peacock Jacketing' bunch was a truly ecstatic moment. The beauty of supplying a cut-length of cloth for bespoke orders is that your the doesn't have to undertake the expense of purchasing any cloth. For this reason, often customers who supply their own cloth can expect to pay entry level prices, this being something I have done repeatedly with my own bespoke commissions, to maximise affordability on a limited budget. This what allowed me to order my chocolate cocktail suit in what is ordinarily a very exclusive super 160s dresswear cloth.

A close-up of the sky blue checks, with a white yarn running through the centre of each stripe to enrich the blue colour.

Followers on Facebook may be aware that I was recently inspired by a photograph of a burned orange and sky blue checked sportscoat. Such a jacket, though potentially outlandish, can be surprisingly versatile. A deep, warm orange works with brown tones, contrasts with greys and harmonises with blues surprisingly well - making for a distinctive but nonetheless wearable staple. For this reason, I am hoping to scrimp and save over the next few months, with a view to having a bespoke sports coat made up come the autumn - a piece which will be used for a variety of different roles. A sportscoat which displays confident use of colour and check can be kept super-simple with a white cut-away collar and navy grenadine tie for the office, or can make for a stand-out cocktail jacket with some fine chocolate sharkskin trousers, a paisley pocket handkerchief and a striped blue shirt. For the same reasons it can also make for a great day-to-evening jacket with grey flannels and a classic shirt. Simply remove your tie and re-style your hanky for a more casual and sophisticated feel when you leave the office.

The photograph which got me thinking...

Also important to consider is the way in which a bold checked sportscoat could work with the remainder of my existing wardrobe. With two pairs of grey flannels on the way currently, (see The Grey Trouser Project), a navy blue three piece business suit and a navy and white double-breasted dogstooth suit (the turn-back cuffs of which will be removed before I start work to make it more appropriate for business), the sportscoat will mix and match nicely with my existing range of mid and heavy-weight trousers. The autumnal tones in the cloth are also very pleasing, with the burned orange of autumn leaves and rich honey brown tones of cedar trees. I firmly believe that the colours of one's wardrobe should reflect the seasons (demonstrating an affinity with the natural world hints at one's sensitivity when it comes to dressing) and a jacket cut in a ground shade of autumnal rusty tones is about as seasonal as it gets.

So there you have it really - consider this a case-study in thinking about constructing and maintaining one's tailored wardrobe through changing times and seasons. I hope that the consideration of a boldly checked sportscoat as a worthy addition to a modest capsule business-casual wardrobe demonstrates how every now and then, investing in something outlandish which has the potential to be every bit as versatile as a plain, classic suit shows that 'investments' don't all have to be navy and grey staples. Once a few basics have been dealt with, experimentation can pay excellent and satisfying dividends. 

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