Tailor's Note: July 2022
These notes are based off conversations with customers and are designed to help make the process of working with a tailor a little more familiar.
Disclaimer: These ideas are based solely on my opinion, please feel free to ignore, flout and disobey at every opportunity.
One of the side effects of 2 years of working from home is that we have now worked out what comfort feels like. Actual comfort. And we like it.
The most evident example of this is footwear, more specifically trainers and suits.
Despite what many commentators predicted, the City has reopened with a vengeance. Standing near Bank station at rush hour is akin to watching footage of a video game - a sea of identikits flood above ground and scurry into the nearby buildings. With few exceptions they sport dark (usually navy) trousers and a pale, plain (usually white or ice blue) collared shirt. The difference between this sight pre and post pandemic is the proliferation of trainers - and not just discreet plimsoles, but big gaudy colourful chunky "ugly" trainers. After 24 months of slippers and sliders we will no longer compromise on comfy footwear. Even with tailoring.
You would think that this need for ease and comfort might finally sound the death knell for ties but interestingly Kipper & Chalk has seen a large increase in requests for them in the last few months. Perhaps this is a sign that this next decade of mens style will belong to the peacocks.
I have always felt that ties got a bad rep. The feeling of loosening a tie at the end of the day, the male equivalent of taking off a bra, and the sweet relief which follows has more to do with being able to undo a tight top button of a collar rather than the length of silk around it. It is, in fact, the fault of an ill-fitting shirt.
It might strike you as odd that shirts are often sized by collar rather than chest or breadth or sleeve. The reason for that is the top button. If a collar is too big it will gape in an unseemly way; too tight and it cuts off blood supply to the brain. So when the Noughties forced men to start wearing clothes 2 sizes too small (thanks Tom Ford!), ties felt increasingly like a noose. It is time to stop blaming the tie. Start wearing a shirt that fits. Ties are fabulous - even the most conservative chap can inject a little colour/personality/humour into an office-friendly look with just a drape of silk.
Thankfully the Taut-ies (see what I did there?) seem to be largely over and instead heavily tapered trousers I am increasingly asked for drapey jackets. Think Pierce Brosnan's Bond rather than Daniel Craig's.
A suit can be the most comfortable garment in the world when done properly. But as someone who spends most of the day on her feet, I'm not ditching the trainers any time soon.