18 November 2013

From cloth to suit (part 1): The fabric & the plans for it

A few months ago I came across an offer I couldn't resist. Huddersfield Cloth sold off certain fabrics at a highly reduced price and as found something I liked, I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. I had never bought fabric before and I didn't have a clue about how much was needed to make a suit (that was, of course, what I wanted the fabric for). After searching the internet and making some enquiries, I managed to come to a conclusion. To make a three piece suit, approximately four metres should be sufficient. Thus, I went ahead and bought five metres. I wanted to be on the safe side and I'm also hoping it will be enough for a double set of trousers. If you don't know this already, here is some important advice. Always get two pairs of trousers with every suit. The trousers wear much faster than the jackets and if you don't invest in an extra pair of trousers, you will end up suits consisting of a perfectly fine jacket but with a worn out pair of trousers. This is one of the problems with buying suits off-the-peg, you very rarely get the option of buying a double set of trousers. I have many trouserless jackets hanging in the closet, from off-the-rack suits I've worn through the years.
Getting back on topic, I bought some fabric a while ago which I'm hoping will be transformed into a beautiful suit. I am no expert when it comes to the qualities and production of different types of fabric but I am definitely interested in topic and I'm always trying to gather information and learn as much as possible. The cloth I bought is a Worsted wool fabric and I've done some research into this fabric type which I will pass on here. What characterises the Worsted is that the wool, before spinning, is combed in a carding process to remove any short and brittle fibres, a process which leaves only the longer strands of the fibre to undergo the spinning process. This produces a smooth yarn that has a high durability which can be woven into fine fabrics which are more resistant to wrinkling than many other fabrics.
To quote a book I often consult, the "ABC of men's fashion" by Hardy Amies:
"Worsted fabric is woven from combed yarn. The combing process takes off the hair and draws the fibres into more or less parallel positions. The smooth appearance of the cloth which results is distinct from woollen cloth such as tweed in which the fibres are left in random position, giving it a hairy appearance."
The Worsted fabric is thus, a smooth cloth ideal for garments that need to hold their shape and, not only be wrinkle free, but also hold an even crease very well. Because of these qualities, as well as the fact that it drapes well and is very durable, a Worsted fabric is, in many ways an ideal fabric for suits. It's durable qualities ensures that a suit looks new even after several dry cleanings. It also looks fresh after a long day in the office or hard night's celebrations. 
I have previously written about some of my tailoring experiences and the tailors I've used before is the Cad & the Dandy. I have nothing negative to say about them, but I sometimes like to try something new, so this time I've booked an appointment with Souster & Hicks. The reason I want them to make my new suit is all down to the information on their website. Having had a long look at the gallery page on their site, there is something I really like about their suits. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is but Souster & Hicks seem to have developed a distinctive style which I find very attractive. It probably has something to do with the attention to details they put on the pockets, collars and cuffs. I do like the contrast colour collars. Have a look for yourself and see what you think. One also shouldn't disregard the fact that the cost of having a suit made is within a price range I can handle.

Whatever it was that made me want to try out the services of Souster & Hicks, I am really looking forward to having my new suit made.

Fabric from Huddersfield Cloth
Photo: AGL
The Worsted fabric I will have my new suit made from.
Fawn with navy, black and lilac checks.
Photo: AGL

The other posts in this series: part 2part 3part 4.  

16 November 2013

Have you bought her the perfect Christmas gift yet?

We're in the middle of November and it's definitely time to start thinking about what to get your good lady for Christmas. Speaking from experience, this isn't always an easy task. Firstly, and most importantly, you have to find something which is likely to well received. To achieve this, you will have to figure out what she likes and if there is actually something she needs. If buying clothes it is also crucially important to get the correct size. Whether too large or too small, it is never popular if clothes doesn't fit (there is always a way to interpret that in a way which may not go in your favour). This is, however, not difficult. All you have to do is ask, or take a look at her clothes, and it shouldn't be a problem buying something that fits.  
Preparation is the key to a good gift and I can't help you with that, but what I would like to do in this post is to give you some ideas and maybe put you in the right direction. Below I have selected a variety of different items which I like, and I also hope many women would like. All these items are from Ted Baker which I think has a very nice women's collection. 

This draped-front woollen coat is absolutely gorgeous. The
collar is a magnificent feature which, on cold, windy days
can be turned up for extra protection. It also comes in a
fantastic blue colour which I might like even better than
the camel one.

This is a very elegant mohair funnel-neck coat with
concealed button fastenings and a contrast, textured hem.

A lovely cable knit jumper for the colder days.

This floral patterned jumper is stunning. For a slightly
more lively outfit, this is perfect. It also comes with
a matching skirt.

I think this a very pretty pencil skirt.  
Elegant leather gloves.
Lovely leather gloves with contrast shearling lining.

This very nice knitted Fairisle-pattern scarf comes with a
matching knitted hat.


If you would rather like to go in the direction of accessories, jewellery and luxury items, there is no better place to start than with Forzieri. I can't imagine many women not being able to find something here. Take a look at the Forzieri website, there you'll find so many beautiful items that you're certain to find a gift for your other half.


13 November 2013

The Root Bizzle tie club

Do you know what grabatology is? I sure didn't until I saw it on the Root Bizzle website. Even then I wasn't certain if it was a proper word, but I've come to understand that grabatology is the collecting of ties. In other words, a person collecting ties is a grabatologist. Root Bizzle also introduced me to a concept I was unaware of, a tie club or a tie subscription service.
What Root Bizzle offers its customers is an easy and convenient way to expand their tie collections. If you sign up for a subscription you will receive a new tie every month for as long as the subscription lasts. If you like surprises? Or maybe you just don't want to go looking for new ties? Then this may be just what you're after. I usually buy my own ties, but I kind of like the idea of getting a new one in the mail once a month. This could also be a nice gift. Why not give a 6 or 12 months subscription to the man who has everything. One can never have too many ties.
You can choose between three different types of ties: business ties, skinny ties and whimsical ties. They are all made from 100% silk and are either woven or digitally printed. Below are some examples of ties you could get from Root Bizzle (the photos are from the Root Bizzle website). Take a look at their website and see if this could be something for you.

10 November 2013

Quality in production and design from Holdall & Co

I recently discovered the Holdall & Co and I think this a company well worth blog post. It is a company which puts quality in focus both with regard to design and production. The Holdall company was established in 2012 by Raimonda Navickaite, and the first product was an under-arm folio bag and later they have suplemented their collection with wallets, card cases and most recently the slipcase.  
The background for the company is found in the founder's love for vintage English-made bags, and the aim of Holddall & Co was to create a stylish and durable product, able to withstand the tests of time and to age gracefully; itself becoming a vintage piece one day. Before she released the folio she spent seven months developing the perfect design; travelling around England, sourcing the best leather and seeking skilled craftsmen who could produce it to the highest possible standard.
This quote from Raimonda says a lot about her thinking behind the company and her dedication to quality: "I knew from the start that the folios had to be made in England, so I searched hard to find traditional case makers with decades of experience who would not only ensure longevity for the folios but turn them into a unique piece of art."
I think the Holdall & Co has succeded in producing products which will stand the test of time. The folio's simple, clean design makes it a very elegant and would be perfectly suitable for any well dressed gentleman. If you buy a folio like this it will be with you for as long as you want, it will not fall victim to shifting fashion and trends. 
All the products come in two different colours, Chestnut and London Tan. 

This very stylish folio would make the perfect accessory for any gentleman.
Photo: The Holdall & Co website

Handmade wallets come in both Chestnut and London Tan.
Photo: The Holdall & Co website
The leather and felt slipcase is the latest addition to the Holdall & Co product line. This will hold your tablet, business cards, note pads and the like. This can also be custom made if the available sizes are not axactly right for what you want to use it for.

The leather and felt slipcase will hold most of your necessities.
Photo: The Holdall & Co website
Visit the Holdall & Co website to read more about the company and their products. If you are still lacking ideas for Christmas gifts, I think this is something most people would be happy to get. It is already on my Christmas wish list.