Monday, 7 December 2009

Made to measure (part three)

Spoken for. I love this handwritten label. Tailored for Mr Salter. That's me!

I know a few of you have enjoyed this series of posts and have been quite eager to see the finished suit. was I! I have been desperate to post this made-to-measure finale sooner but the recent terrible weather just wasn't playing fair and severely reduced the photographing opportunities. At the weekend, the rain clouds vanished long enough for me to slip in to my tailored, crosshatch voile second skin and I can finally share them with you.

A moustache covered package arrived last Monday and it has to be the best piece of post I've received all year. Christmas has certain come over. The wait is over for both of us. When I left the fitting on the Monday before I returned home to London I did not imagine having the finished suit in my hands the following week. Now that it was I carefully ripped open the package (trying not to rip any of the moustaches) and peeked inside...

Once inside I inspected the craft of the two piece. I have the utmost respect for a true tailor. It is something of a dying art, kept alive by the passionate few. We can only admire and support people like the chaps at j.a. daye. This duo certainly help keep the tailoring ticker in good health. j.a. daye is my idea of what a good twenty first century tailor should be, a bespoke experience for a generation raised on the ease of ready-to-wear shopping, with classic styles made with a distinguishable modern point of view in unexpected fabrics. From the moment I stepped in to the store and met the owners I knew that this was the place for me.

Throughout this whole process I trusted and had full confidence in Ellis and his tailors. He seemed to know exactly what I wanted. After succinctly describing how I wanted the suit to be and how I would wear it, he was soon in tune with my way aesthetic. I take great pleasure in declaring that the finished suit is perfect for me. Whilst there is nothing that I would change, there is plenty for me to wax lyrical about. First off the fabric, the cross hatch voile. It appears both traditionally Japanese and very modern at the same time.

A close up of the cloth.

As mentioned in the previous post on this series, the baste (the blueprint for the finished suit) can be radically altered if necessary. Thankfully, no drastic alterations were required during my first and only fitting, only a few tweaks which have now been made...

After I confessed that I was in the habit of rolling up my suit jacket sleeves during the Summer months, rather than roll his eyes and tell me off he suggested cutting them a little shorter to reveal more cuff. Furthermore, the addition of the polka dot sleeve lining would make for a more interesting reveal when I decided to wear the suit more casually. The end result is even better than I imagined.

After investing so heavily in my shoe collection in recent months it is only right that I wear trousers which show them off. So, I opted to cut them a touch shorter to reveal a little more sock and shoe stock than I normally would. The trousers are my vision of the ideal Sunday Best. On their first outing I decided to pair them with my Lodger's breathtaking Striped Oxford. Inspired by the Duke of Windsor the design is a interesting blend of fine Scabal striped linen and burnished French calf. Perfect for the warmer months making a happy marriage with my cross hatch voile suit.

Showing off the shoes...

Now that I have the extremely well cut suit on my back I am reminded of something Ellis said as we wrapped up the fitting and made our farewells. He warned me that it is quite easy to become addicted to the world of bespoke and made to measure. Even after trying on the suit for the very first time I can see why some people find it difficult to go back to ready to wear tailoring.

"Hi...I'm Steve and I like well tailored suits..."

After experiencing the level of service and viewing such craftsmanship first hand at j.a. daye, I am most keen to save up those pennies so I can get another fix. Ladies and gentleman, you are looking at a potential tailoring junkie...

A little wind swept...suit worn with Striped Oxfords from Lodger, white club collar shirt from Bespoken and polka dot handkerchief from Muji.

EDIT - I have amended the full outfit shot because the windy conditions on my balcony were playing havoc with the fall of my trousers.


Ian Tomlinson said...

nice choice of cloth and well tailored jacket.

my only gripe is with the trousers. there seems to be too much fabric around the crotch area and with the choice of trouser length this just makes you look stubby. i'd recommend you getting them slightly tapered for a better fit.

Izzy said...

Sick, sick, sick. The fabric choice, the lining, and the detailing (buttons, pockets) are spot-on. I quite like the anti-fit fit with the shorter sleeves, the body not being too tapered, and the baggier-top trousers. Sharply-tailored form-fitting suits are flattering but not everybody has to look like theyre wearing Dolce and Gabbana or Hedi's Dior. Great job on this, I'm seriously considering having a suit tailored there next time I'm in HK.

Matt30 said...

Really love this article! Well written and I can relate entirely to waht you say! good stuff....


John said...

This has been an enjoyable and informative series. What more, the suit looks great.

Percy said...

great series of articles and amazing looking suit! Also a big fan of the rolled up sleeve look. quite the urban gent, now all you need is a well waxed mustache and you're there!

Laurence John said...

that's a very good suit on you.
can't fault it.
like the gingery-brown theme too.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Ian Tomlinson: Thanks. I've actually changed the full outfit shot after reading your comment because the previous shot didn't do the cut of the trousers justice. It was extremely windy out on the balcony at the time (damn weather) and hopefully the new shot captures a true reflection of the fit.
Izzy: Thanks! I am so happy with the finished is just what I wanted. Yes, you should atleast drop by Moustache on your next visit to HK!
Matt27 and John: Thanks so much, I've enjoyed the experience so much and I do hope that comes across here.
Percy: Ha! Why thankyou...the waxed moustache will have to wait until the next stage of puberty hits though.
Laurence John: Thanks, given your tailoring eye it means so much. I think the suit works well with the shoes and accessories, all that is needed really is an old leather satchel or document holder really.

By: Jason A. said...

i thoroughly enjoyed this. and have to say your looking quite dashing. two thumbs up!

freshmess said...

So wonderful to follow the tale of your first bespoke suit. Very inspiring. I recognized the balcony from a photo I saw at Style Bubble some time ago. So that's your balcony! :)
- fresh mess

Anonymous said...

yes I saw your outfit on Susie's blog, was intrigued by your suit. I love the way the stitching is worked into the lining and the fabric of the suit itself is very "japanese" as you say, reminds me of APC denim untreated denim!

tanya said...

you look amazing in your new suit! but i must admit, the width of the trouser leg up top and the shorter cut of the trousers is a bit surprising, but i think it is somewhat of a nice surprise since it makes for a rather interesting and unique silhouette!

ps. more smiles in outfit posts please Mr Salter :)

Giancinephile said...

I shall do HK soon because of this post! haha

Great ensemble, Steve!

Matthew Spade said...

just amazing, could this suit be any more versatile?

bruthead said...

Interesting post.

I love the suit fabric and the shoes but I'm not convinced with them as a combo. The shirt and pocket square are perfect complements though.

I'd be interested to see a shot of you in the suit from the side so I could comment better on the fit.

From this photo I would think it might look better with slimmer trousers at the top, or a longer jacket. But this is partially the shoes; I think with the right shoes it looks great as it is.

Of course, as someone else said, it makes for an interesting silhouette and I'm sure this is what you intended. I'm thinking more in terms of what makes the most flattering silhouette.

Just my 2 cents!

P.S. The lining is an excellent touch.

Lucky said...

First off, your jacket (& material choice - wow) looks great and thanks for maintaining your lovely blog. But, unfortunately, I couldn't agree with Ian Tomlinson more about the trousers, windswept or not. Curious to know your opinion of the craftsmanship of your trousers. PS: - Check how the pockets are tucked in at the sides. - are the trousers lined / professionally finished inside? - the crotch area hanging too low (notoriously difficult area to master)? Thanks.

Moustache has been hyped to the max but from what I've seen (in person) the tailoring leaves a lot to be desired. Nice store interior and interesting ready-to-wear though.... Clothes fit is another story altogether.


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