Friday, June 06, 2008

Wedding Suits

This week I've been thinking about the summer and how the season can affect your choice of suits. With summer being wedding season it's a sensible idea to consider a distinguished style of suit that will be adaptable enough to wear to work and for formal occasions.

Attending a wedding doesn't have to mean the usual morning suit look; you can choose a formal 3-piece suit as a suitable alternative and still look the part. The modern man doesn't have to conform to historical conventions in the same way a modern bride no longer has to wear the standard white frilly dress.

Choosing to wear a bespoke formal suit as the groom or as a guest is an acceptable form of dress, and with so many styles of made to measure suits available, you can still keep to your usual choice of for example a slim fit suit. If however, you belong to the main party, remember to take into account the colours for your suit.

Since most male wedding parties choose a morning suit comprising of a black coat and contrasting trousers, you can choose a bespoke suit in dark colours - although for a summer wedding a white suit is a smart and stylish alternative. You can, of course, add a splash of colour to your choice of suit even at a wedding; the colour of your lining can either be a nod to the wedding colours or just an expression of your individuality - which is let's face it is why you were invited in the first place!

The warmer weather also gives you a wider choice of fabric. One of the most popular fabrics used for men's suits at this time of year is linen. Linen has received bad press in the past due to its crease potential, but with various mixes available with a linen base, you can get the coolness that a summer occasion demands with the starchiness a suit requires to remain stylish and smart-looking, no matter if you wear it to work or to dance the night away at a wedding disco.

Style Icon – Mark Ronson

This week I'd like to turn my attention to upcoming style icon Mark Ronson. With a Brit award for Best British Male Artist for his stylised ‘Versions’ album and a 2008 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year for his work with Amy Winehouse on the multi-award winning album ‘Back To Black’ behind him, you'd think that this man had enough strings to his bow already.

Increasingly however, his distinctive 60's-esque button down suits that - like his music - are an updated version of Motown cool and reminiscent of Bob Dylan with a knowing nod to the mod scene, are attracting as much praise as his music.

Ronson has recently been featured in The Independent’s fashion supplement and in a March photo shoot for the Daily Mail. In the March shoot, he sported a three-button, single-breasted, peak lapel gold lamé Dolce & Gabbana suit. It is clear from this bold step into the breach of outlandish colour that Ronson has indeed developed a distinctive sound and now a style all of his own.

Featured as a signature cut in the latest Dolce & Gabbana collection, this suit can either include Ronson-style lapels or the more popular notch look. Not for the faint-hearted (or for the office) this bespoke suit is truly one to get you noticed and demonstrates a faith in the current popular style with an unusual twist on fabric and colour.

Reflective (in more ways than one) of the popular pencil-slim suit styles seen in all the top designer shows this season, Ronson's suits are at the cutting edge of the younger man's style. And having been voted the 30th Best Dressed Male of 2008 by GQ, this man is one to watch if you are looking to expand your wardrobe of bespoke suits to a more casual and cool look.

Often associated with the term 'metrosexual' and with top fashion designer Charlotte Ronson as his sister, the time that Ronson spends in the upper echelons of fashion has done much to inform his current taste in bespoke suits. Whether wearing a dark plaid skinny cut at the MTV awards, or a shiny fabric with a nod to Motown at the Grammies, this man is ahead of the crowd - and he knows it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Seasonal material

Summer is officially on its way and so as a result I've been investigating the best materials for this season’s suits so you can stay cool whilst looking hot.

There are many materials and fabric mixes on the market to choose from in the warmer months than ever before. With choices of combed cottons, linens and even virgin wool suit mixes there are also Coolmax polyesters on the market.

The golden rule when designing a suit is to choose a fabric according to weight, texture and your skin colour. The colour and style of the suit should always compliment your colouring and lifestyle, whereas the fabric should reflect the season and climate you live in.

Cotton suits are now accepted as a stylish addition to the modern man's wardrobe as they are adaptable enough to see you through the day at work and look cool in the evening worn without a formal shirt and with casual shoes. No longer associated with 80's businessmen and pop stars, these suits are perfect for the summer months and will keep you cool no matter where in the world you are.

Linen is the most breathable fabric on the market, however it is difficult to maintain as it wrinkles so easily. A cotton and linen mix may be the answer to your prayers as it is a durable and summery fabric that is not such a high maintenance cloth.

For the most adaptable suit fabric choice, a lightweight wool is a guaranteed pay off no matter what time of year. A fantastic fabric option, the wool suit has a range of weights and mixes to get you through the year. Worsted wools are a brilliant addition to the functional wardrobe as they provide durability second to none and although not as cooling as cotton or linen they will always keep you comfortable and smart looking.

Lighter colours are best at this time of year, and although a little harder to pull off in the office, a lighter coloured suit will fare better than a darker suit when the temperatures start to climb.

When designing a men's bespoke suit any respectable tailor should automatically talk you through the fabrics available and assess when you're most likely to wear the suit and for what occasion, but you should also pay extra attention to the lining of your suit to get the best and most breathable combination around. Ask your tailor which linings are available for your bespoke suit and request your lining end at the knee for a smooth look with a cooling edge.