Autumn Winter Tailoring
Matt Hambly, Associate Style Editor at Men’s Health talks all things tailoring during the Wonders of Autumn.
With such a variety of fit, fabric and styles available, men’s tailoring is as strong and striking as it’s ever been. Here’s how to look your sharpest this party season.
The suit's greatest strength - that sense of smart uniformity - can also be one of its biggest drawbacks. Walking into the office to find you're one of seven, all wearing a two-button, navy blue suit can be a little disheartening. Less uniformity, more anonymity.
But it needn't be like that, especially if you use some of this year's biggest tailoring trends to your advantage. They might seem a little outlandish at first but with judicious application (a little goes a very long way where suits are concerned) you can make a stylish impression for the right reasons.
The first thing to do is look for a point of difference, something that no one else will be wearing. It could be a checked suit (of which there are plenty of good examples this season) or a suit with a tiny fleck of colour woven into the fabric, it’s these touches that will set you apart from the crowd without looking like you’ve tried too hard.
Being bold with the fabric you choose, but making sure you get the fit right will pay dividends. Begin with the jacket. Does the sleeve-head sit right on your shoulder? Do you have room to move with it on? Does the jacket feel like it fits correctly? These are things to consider, so don’t rush when you’re trying a suit on.
Next, the trousers. It’s a good idea to bring the shoes you intend to pair with your suit along. In most cases the trousers will need to be taken so try them on with the shoes and find a length that works for you. Just skimming the top of your shoe is a good benchmark. Go lower if you’d feel more comfortable but never higher. Ankle swingers can make your legs look, and by extension you, look shorter.
If a complete suit is not your thing, tailored separates (an elaborate way of saying a jacket and trousers) is an option worth exploring. Make sure that the two deliberately don’t match. Two shades of navy blue that are almost right will look like a mismatch, as opposed to something really out there - like black tuxedo trousers and an orange tuxedo jacket, which will look deliberate. It might sound a little adventurous but bright, jewel-like colours are proving popular as people look for a way to stand out, especially if you’re attending an event that has a ‘black tie’ or formal dress code.
Party wear has loosened up a great deal over the last five years and the once strict rules have been relaxed, so have some fun. But remember, the same guidelines for fitting a regular suit apply to formalwear as well. There’s just a few subtle tweaks that it’s worth making. If the party is strictly ‘black tie’ then seek out patent black dress shoes. A bow tie and cufflinks are also useful additions. A regular tie and shirt will give you the appearance of someone who’s come straight from the office. And if you’re already making some of the effort, why not go all the way?
As mentioned before, if you’re looking to make an impression in a suit, uniformity is fine, but individuality is even better.
Stay tuned this month as we bring you all the expert advice you need to curate your must-have Autumn wardrobe. We'll be showcasing the editors of Men's Health, ELLE and Marie Claire, highlighting their essential items from tailoring to accessories...