Thursday, 29 July 2010

Seeing Double: The Return of the Double-Breasted Suit?

In the 1980s, no man stepped out of the door to the office unless he was kitted out in a double-breasted suit. It was the status symbol of the decade and in our shops we barely sold any other style. By the 90s the popularity of the double-breasted suit had rapidly declined along with the property market and wearing one became seen as a symbol of excess. At the time I regularly wore double-breasted suits but such became their reputation that I quickly abandoned them for a more sober single-breasted 3 button style.

I now feel so removed from those days that I have once again been tempted to adopt the double-breasted suit. Now it is more softly tailored and more relaxed, the shoulder is narrower and the coat length shorter, somehow it looks new and fresh and distinctly smarter and I believe there is a whole generation of men who have never worn this style and therefore are unaware of its historical baggage.

Double Breasted Prince of Wales Check Suit (Available End August 2010)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Skinny Tie, Kipper Tie or No Tie At All?

I was recently asked what would be the fashion fabrics for ties this Autumn, well it's not so much about fabric as width, though tweed ties will be popular. I have noticed recently that when looking down at my tie it has appeared too broad so I asked my tie maker to make me something a little narrower. I'm not talking skinny, too boy band, just a subtle shift.

Ties have generally been going through a difficult period due to the dress down phase. Which reminds me of the time when I made a reservation for lunch at Wiltons fish restaurant in Jermyn St - a pleasingly unfashionable eatery. I was informed when making the booking that gentlemen were no longer required to wear ties - so being of a subversive nature I decided that I would of course wear one. When I arrived I noted that every man dining there had blatantly disregarded the new relaxed dress code and to a man were dressed appropriately in ties; my fish that day was more delicious than ever before.

Talking of fish, many years ago I was fortunate to meet Mr Fish, the flamboyant and wildly eccentric fashion designer credited with inventing the Kipper tie. A hugely wide tie that was fashionable in the late 1960s and early 70s, a moment of optimism, which leads me to believe that the narrow tie is indicative of the times we now live in, a more austere world which requires that we dress more formally. But am I being narrow minded? Are Kipper ties are just around the corner, perhaps?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Hackett Rundle Cup - The Army vs The Navy

One could be forgiven thinking that I spend my whole time gallivanting around from one social event to the next but it is the Summer and there is an awful lot going on, which is why last weekend I hosted The Hackett Rundle Cup, an historic Polo match played annually between the Army and the Navy an event that we have been honoured to sponsor for several years. I'm particularly fond of the striking red British Army polo shirts in which the team is kitted out - and which have been donned by Prince William and Prince Harry at previous Rundle Cup tournaments.

The Rundle Cup takes place at the headquarters of the Royal Artillery based at Tidworth Garrison close to Stonehenge. It is a glorious setting and as one would expect, the Army put on a good show with white marquees erected to frame the Polo ground in regimental fashion. On the day the weather was perfect and Union flags fluttered against clear pale blue skies.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Men's Casual Shirts vs. Dress Shirts

A word on shirts, pockets and formalwear: when wearing a double-cuff dress shirt, remember that it should not have a pocket on the front. No evening dress shirt should have a pocket.

However, it is acceptable on a button cuff shirt, which are not as formal and are therefore designed with more practical purposes in mind - pockets are useful, after all.

For a selection of button cuff shirts in both business and casual style, see the current selection available on the Hackett website.