Manolo for the Men Fashion and Lifestyle Advice for Men

August 23, 2007

Hack Work

Filed under: Men's Fashion,Shirts,Suits — Izzy @ 6:07 am

bespoke closeup

A few days ago when Izzy pointed out the questionable taste in a journalist’s first experiment with bespoke tailoring, little did he know just how bad things were.  Above is a detail from the suit the writer had custom made.  Instead of respecting tradition, he asked to have five buttons on his cuffs, which is going to make the suit look out of fashion within a year. (Only super-trendy Gucci puts five buttons on the cuffs nowadays.)  And remember, this is the only bespoke suit he is likely to have for many years.   On top of that, even ignoring the issue of color, his gingham shirt clashes with his suit’s Prince of Wales check (a glen plaid with a different-colored overcheck, named in honor of the Duke of Windsor, who favored it), since the patterns are too similar in size.  Was this really the best scribe New York magazine could send for the story?


  1. Hm, i disagree. The gigham is between the large blue overcheck and the smaller base patter on the suit. I think it works well.

    Comment by yoyo — August 23, 2007 @ 6:42 am

  2. The red gingham is way too strong for the Prince of Wales. The suit fabric is an elegant, in a way, very forward fabric on its own. There is no need for the bold red gingham – it looks amateurish and a bit too cheeky. Now, if you wanted to go with a gingham or some other check (tattersall, etc.) then a more traditional blue would blend well, and really work WITH the PoW fabric, as opposed to against it.

    As far as the 5 buttons of the cuff goes – what more is there to say. I’m all for experimentation and individuality, but why spend the time and expense on bespoke when what you really want is a designer trend piece? Its like getting spinning mags put on your ’66 Aston Martin – sure, they’re both cool (in their own way) but just not together.

    But, to each their own.

    Comment by Trey — August 23, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  3. Eh, who cares about cuff buttons? 2, 3, 5, who’s really looking? Certainly not me. They’re a vestigial decoration anyway, much like the lowest button on the coat. I did like the fact that his coat cuffs are actually functional though. That is a detail you rarely see these days. It isn’t flashy, but it is a nice subtle mark of quality.

    But the reporter really doesn’t know how to dress himself. From the initial article, I thought he was just wearing earthy pink shirt to spice up the check on the suit. But a closer look says something different and far more awful. If it doesn’t look good at conversation distance then well it simply doesn’t look good. He just has pattern overload. You don’t use that gingham with the check along with that geometric number from the pocket square. Not unless you have something to tie them together, which he doesn’t. Too much, sir. Far too much.

    Comment by Jeff the Baptist — August 27, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

  4. I do rather like the blue thread selection for the buttons. Subtle but a bit whimsical. I wish I had thought of it.

    Lately we see abominations such as striped suits with striped shirts and striped ties in the Brooks Brothers ads. You’d think that being English owned would IMPROVE the place.

    I wrote a letter to William Safire bemoaning the actual death of Brooks Brothers. It was the day I received a catalogue featuring a formal shirt with a “wing tip collar.” The funny thing was, the collar had neither a big running board Goodyear welt, nor a series of little perforated designs.

    Comment by jmc — April 16, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

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