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The Shirts and Suits Style Guide

Basic principles of style

The well dressed gentleman or lady needs to remember but a few basic rules when choosing the right garments to add to their wardrobe, and what to wear on a given day. Firstly, wear clothes that reflect both how you are feeling, and what you want to communicate. That said, here are some ideas to consider.

You know many other benefits to wearing customized business shirts and suits - that's probably why you are here. Some of the popular reasons include:

  1. Give shape, form, and customizations that most flatter your physique and facial features,
  2. Create an image to reflect the mood/atmosphere of any occasion,
  3. Develop versatility to integrate with the rest of your wardrobe,
  4. Personalize the finer details to design your own signature finishes.

In all, your clothing magnifies your personality, so that people listen even before you open your mouth, while the freedom, ease and comfort facilitate your self expression at the highest level.

Double breasted jackets are back?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Tom Cruise in a four-button jacketDoes Tom Cruise wearing a double breasted jacket mean that they are fashionable again?

I might not go that far, but with so many designers offering a double breasted suit in their ranges this year, it seems that the classic double breasted suit might just be back. At least for a year or two. Or perhaps even longer for those of us living a little further from the fashion capitals of the world.

With a six-button double breasted suit, I would still suggest using the middle button for the closure, though as Tom shows here, you might even get away with a four-button jacket.

I do like his use of a pocket square. Simple. Elegant.

Shirt cuffs extend beyond the bottom of the jacket

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Remember that your suit jacket should be long enough to cover your arms but short enough to leave some of your cuff showing.

That way, you get the chance to show your cuff links and the style of your choice of cuffs. You can make it look even better with the use of working buttons so that you can leave one or two buttons deliberately undone.

So check your sleeves. Make sure that when you are standing up, you can still see some of your cuff – about 1cm is perfect.

Unless you want to look like you borrowed your jacket of course.

Flower Loops

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Check your buttonaire. Jackets have been coming with a button hole stitched into one or other lapel since we were threading a rope through them as protection against European rains.

But mostly these days we just use them for a flower. Well, in theory we do. But in reality: Rarely. If ever. When was the last time you wore a flower on your suit jacket?

“But,” you ask, “how do you keep the flower in place anyway?” And it was a problem so I’m glad you asked…

Flower LoopSome will debate whether they should be cut through at all or just left sitting there as a ‘design feature’ or something. But I like to use mine. Just like I like to have working cuff buttons. And to make it even more usable, I realized that I could put a little stitch of fabric just below the hole. That way, the flower will be held in place by its own weight!

You might be able to see the orange thread in the image above.

Now this little loop of fabric has to be stitched by hand – but it is the kind of detail that could really make a difference.

So it’s springtime and it’s so easy to do – I am updating all my suits now.

DIY Emergency Cuff Links

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

DIY Emergency Cufflinks

DIY Emergency Cufflinks

It’s a formal event; you’ve got your shoes shining, your suit pressed, and you’re ready to wow the crowd with your dapper outfit. There’s just one problem: You forgot cuff links. What can you do?

If you’re blogger Even Roth, you dip into your office supplies, grab some binder clips, and fashion some DIY Emergency Cuff Links. Roth’s posted the entirely visual step-by-step on his blog


From mouse to man through suits

Monday, April 27th, 2009

A good suit can make you go from mouse to man in a matter of moments.

Before you purchase your next suit, remember to ask yourself, “What is this suit saying about me?”

That’s why it’s so important to get a suit that fits.

Spend the money on a great suit and you will have it for many years.

Wear a white shirt

Monday, April 20th, 2009
Wear a white shirt

Wear a white shirt

White shirts are wonderful. They are timeless, never go out of fashion, and nothing can allow us to move from the desk to dinner so easily. With a white shirt, you can look crisp, clean and cool with trousers or jeans, no matter what the occasion.

Some texture can add some personality to our humble white shirt. I love my herringbone white shirts though self stripes or a little detailing add some style while remaining versatile.

Monogramming is another great way to make your shirt suit your personal style and reflect your tastes. You can explore beyond the cuff too – monograms go well on your chest, in the middle of your back and if you are a little adventurous can even look good on the placket between your buttons.

It’s so easy to look sharp with a white shirt, especially one that fits just right.

Boots with suits

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I’ve always been a bit reluctant to wear boots when I’m dressing for a truly formal occasion. Sure they can be comfortable and the right boots can hold a wonderful shine, yet I have never felt quite right wearing them. It would seem that Australian Prime Minister thought differently when meeting with Barack Obama recently.

While I wouldn’t say that his endorsement is sufficient, if you’re inclined to wear a pair of boots to your next business meeting, you at least have an endorsement from high places!

Kevin Rudd has improved his style in ties greatly since becoming Leader, matching well with his hair. It also shows how easy it is to match your tie when you choose a black suit and white shirt.

One more thing I notice about this shot are the high socks. Remember to wear socks long enough to cover your ankle even with you knees bent!

All smiles ... but some topics were not dealt with publicly / Picture: Gary Ramage

All smiles ... but some topics were not dealt with publicly / Picture: Gary Ramage

Thin lapels on suits

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I don’t like the current trend towards thinner lapels.

We can make them. They’re cheaper to produce… marginally as they just require a little less fabric. But the excuse for them given by some (that they’re to match the more fitted jacket styles) just doesn’t hold up.

They are a great marketing ploy by some high-end fashion labels to create a clear point of fashion differentiation, so that people can be identified as wearing a suit from “this year” and devaluing suits from “last season”. If you like a thinner lapel, go for it of course. Just include it in the special requests section.

I like working cuff buttons. All of my suits have this. I like the openness of the cuff that this offers.

I love ticket pockets. Catching the subway with a ticket pocket is so much more convenient for me.

Twin vents on a jacket tend to sit better for most of us. Though vent-free jackets also look great, I like the added range of movement that the double vents offers. Beware that if you’re wearing a suit that you didn’t buy from us, please make sure that you cut through the fabric holding the corners of the vents together!

The last suit that I had made was a one-button, peaked lapel with angled pockets. To me, this is about as cutting edge as I could find – and I love the effect… Especially as I have it made from a General Manager Collection, 14-2 black self herringbones, a gorgeous fabric!

We can make whatever fashions you can imagine, though I must encourage you: Please make sure that you’re doing it because you think it looks better, and not just because you want a suit that looks more expensive!

Dress impeccably and they’ll notice you

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Your clothes are important.

When we wear clothes well, they make us look more of whatever we want to convey. If you want to look confident, strong and competent, dressing appropriately will communicate that more powerfully. If you want to appear creative, witty and cutting-edge, you can dress that way too.

But be careful of becoming a clothes rack…

Be wary of becoming a mobile coat hanger.

When you wear good clothes, people will compliment you. But what you really want is for people to notice you: You want them to see you as being even more by having the clothes augment who you are.

If you have spent much time people watching you will have noticed that there are people that can make the best outfit look terrible. Their posture or their mannerisms or their accessorizing transform a very reasonable wardrobe decision into a disaster. It’s not just keeping clothes cleaned and pressed – though that’s important too – it’s looking the part.

Dress sharp and they’ll notice your suit. Dress impeccably and they’ll notice you.
(To coin Coco Chanel)

So when you put on your clothes in the morning, give yourself a quick once-over, evaluating how you project yourself. Check that you look the part that you aspire to playing.

Oh – and here is a quick video story from Fortune talking about a similar quality of suit that we offer.

The shirt top button is redundant

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Have you ever noticed that you don’t need to use the top button of a business shirt?

Sure you can button it up for when you put on a tie, but you actually don’t need to do so. In fact, if you do it up and the tie is too lose, it looks terrible; and if your tie is tighter than the shirt really allows, it also looks terrible!

So I am now having all my shirts made without the top button.

An advantage of this is that I can have the button replaced with an extra set of buttonholes in a contrasting colour. This can be a subtle but stylish design feature (just note it in the “special requests” section) that is invisible when you are wearing a tie, but comes out when you want to play.

And keep your eyes open for the return of pin-collar shirts…