Women's Custom Tailoring

Men have been wearing suits for over 200 years. Women, on the other hand, have been wearing suits for less than 60 years.

The history of dressing, coupled with fashion and the evolution of textiles and clothing, makes for an interesting conversation. Boiled down: since women’s fashion, commanding men’s fashion twice over, moves at a much quicker pace, the idea of a garment being worn for years or even decades doesn’t fit within that framework. Men traditionally wear a suit for years and, if properly taken care of, decades. Women often wear garments only until styles change.

 
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To that end, custom tailored clothing for women has rarely been a part of the lexicon of fashion.

However, there’s no denying custom tailored clothing for women has a place in fashion. Custom clothiers, like ourselves, are making garments quicker than ever with the integrity and quality they deserve. And women’s bodies are deserving of a custom garment. The female form is to be flattered and one could argue that tailoring, as a craft, is better suited for that form.

What better way for a woman to have a wearable garment? A garment that fits and is styled to her liking?

As of today, BLVDier will begin offering custom tailoring for women. We will offer jackets, pants and skirts along with combinations of those garments. We’ve added more fabrics to our ever expanding collection that includes stretch based textiles for comfort.

Windowpane Suit

Arguably the boldest of suits, a windowpane patterned suit stands out above the rest. The pattern is typically taller than it is wider, giving the allusion of height. There are simple windowpane patterns and there are more complicated patterns. This Guabello Super 120 fabric has a dual windowpane pattern in two subtle colors, making it a mix of both.

The exciting part of a windowpane suit is the versatility. It can almost always be split up into separates. Wearing this particular jacket with a pair of grey trousers is a home run. Wearing these trousers with a grey sweater or a solid grey jacket is also ideal. However, there’s something satisfying about wearing the whole suit together. Something that, pun intended, separates it from the rest of the pack of solid suits.

It’s noisy. It’s almost always the loudest suit in the room. But when the fabric is of a certain quality, the styling of the suit is subdued and you accessorize properly, there’s no denying a windowpane suit is stylish.

Sustainability

It is a hot topic, pun and pun intended. If you’d like homework, you can read more about it here, here and here.

As a part of the fashion world we often think about the impact we have. Our shop has a small footprint in Chicago, an even smaller footprint in the U.S. and we are a blip on the radar for the world. But our suppliers are based in Germany, China, Italy, England, America, Australia and the list goes on.

Fortunately, we’re in a unique position where our specific business is geared towards sustainability. Here, we will outline a few of the actions our business takes towards being a mindful company:

  • Our fabrics are almost all natural fibers. Not only is this beneficial as a renewable resource, but the textiles break down more easily once the garment is finally decommissioned. VBC, one of our main fabric suppliers, has a wonderful agenda for sustainability.

  • Almost all of the product we make/buy arrives in a corrugated box. We, along with the other businesses on our block, use a recycling service to reuse and repurpose these boxes.

  • Our garments arrive from our manufacturer in recycled plastic garment bags. We retain these bags and reuse them as packing material (“stuffing”) for our clients who request their garments be shipped. Additionally, we opt to give our clients 1 poly canvas garment bag for their first garment. Afterwards, we use a recycled and recyclable plastic garment bag from U-Line to reduce waste.

  • We use a Nespresso machine for coffee in our shop. Approximately every 40 days, we use Nestle’s free mailer to send the pods back to be recycled.

  • The furniture in our shop was purchased for aesthetic but also for its durability. The wood, steel, leather and brass materials were made to be used and used a lot before needing to be replaced. Retailers often replace fixtures at great expense to the environment (manufacturing, shipping, installation etc.).

When looking at the forest and not the trees, however, our business is predicated on making individual garments for individual persons. We do not mass produce anything. Our accessories (socks, ties, suspenders, umbrellas etc.) are made in small runs and we send those out in reusable canvas bags. We do not sit on clothing inventory (with the exception of the fabric we buy for our stock program). Our space is 745 square feet and uses minimal energy to operate (we turn the lights off at night, unlike many retailers).

Call us bad salespeople, but we often suggest our clients buy less clothing. We’ve almost quadrupled our business in the last 4 years and 4 months. So, how can we reduce waste but increase business? Often times the best thing to do is just sell what people need. We deduce with each client what they want/need and remove what shouldn’t be purchased. We believe the trust built within this transaction is more important than the profits on additional clothing.

A suit should last a long time. How long? Depends on how and how often you wear it. It also depends how the garment is treated when not on your body. We’d like to think if properly taken care of, it should last between 12-16 years. If someone were to simply not want their suit anymore, we’d suggest giving it to someone similar in size. It’s best if you know that person. If not, you can donate the suit here, here or to a local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

While we do our best to be mindful, it is important to stress that some of the responsibility rests on your shoulders. Whether it is our clothing or another brand’s, please be careful of supporting retailers that are doing more harm than good for the sake of fashion.

Umbrella

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A luxury umbrella is easy to spot. Often times, especially here in Chicago, umbrellas are an afterthought. We buy them at the nearest convenience store and treat them like the disposable item they are marketed as. So when you see a great umbrella, you know it.

Fox Umbrellas is one of the oldest umbrella manufacturers on the planet, having made their first umbrellas with whalebone. Founded in 1868 in London by Thomas Fox, it wasn’t until the invention of steel tubing by Samuel Fox (no relation) that the company hit stride. Over 150 years later they are still renowned for their craftsmanship.

What makes a Fox Umbrella well made is the canopy fabric, steel tubing and taped seams. However, the things you first notice are the sturdiness of the hardwood handle and the magnificent sound the automatic umbrellas make when opened. Nothing about these umbrellas are inferior in quality.

We had Fox make us 2 umbrellas in 2 colors. We have the steel tube automatic umbrellas with 26 inch canopy in grey/black and navy/brown (pictured here) combinations. Our travel umbrellas are telescopic so as to fit in a briefcase or suitcase and come in the same color combinations with maple crook handles. We price them at $120 & $95 respectively. Available in store and by email (kirsten@blvdier.com).

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Drago

The latest addition to our swatch collection is from Drago. Originally founded as a yarn maker, the Drago family sold yarn to the mills within Biella. From 1973 until 1993 they honed their craft and created some of the finest yarns, becoming one of the best in the business. After they acquired Lanificio Fintes, they merged the companies in 2001 and begin milling textiles under the Drago S.P.A. name.

We were fortunate enough to receive the first collection of swatches that Drago delivered to North America this season. The flagship Vantage³ collection is massive and consists of Super 130s yarns in a huge array of year-round patterns and solids. Additionally, the 210gr Solanus collection is perfect for the warm weather climate in the same 130s yarn. The stand out collection is the BlueFeel Super 140s swatches, that have a wrinkle and water resistant treatment to the yarns. Perhaps our favorite, the Cortina collection weighs 310gr and has a wonderful heft to the finished fabric.

As the only clothier in Chicago to have the collection, we’re proud to offer two piece suits from Drago from $1295-$1395. Additionally, Drago has a dedication to sustainability and transparency. Read about their process here.

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Spirits

For the longest time, we operated on a “given bottle” basis. We’d make a suit for an interview or for a wedding and the client would gift us something for the bar cart. Typically, we’d put the bottle in the back of the store and wait until that client came back in. We’d share a glass together and then it would go on the bar cart for other client’s to enjoy. At one point, we had roughly 16 bottles on hand.

We’ll still accept gifted spirits in the shop (😛). But recently, clients have seen a more unique set up on the bar cart. This March, Treaty Oak Distilling launched distribution in Chicago. BLVDier is proud to announce we exclusively feature all 6 spirits offered by Treaty Oak.

Photo by  Alex Maier

Photo by Alex Maier

Out of Dripping Springs, TX and from founder Daniel Barnes, Treaty Oak is a 13 year old distillery that shares the same ethos as BLVDier. They care just as much about who is drinking their spirits as what that person stands for. It isn’t just about whats in the glass, but the company sharing a drink. They care about transparency in their industry, being sustainable and, of course, having a good time.

BLVDier was founded 8 years after Treaty Oak, without knowing it was even around. But the shared similarities meant something to us. We want our clients to be hardworking, charitable and stylish. We want to break moulds in an otherwise cloudy industry. Our clients are men about town, as we have aptly named our company after them. We didn’t invent custom clothing like Treaty Oak didn’t invent distilling. But we can both carve out a new path so that the drinks in our client’s hands and the clothes on their backs are, well, better.

Next time you’re in the shop, ask for the Antique Gin (it’s Kirsten’s favorite) or the Red Handed Rye with a little smoked orange bitters and a cube of ice.

Braces

While there were several precursors, braces (or suspenders) were a ubiquitous men’s accessory during the 19th and 20th centuries. They were made popular by their function but were made available by Albert Thurston. In 1820, Albert set up shop in Londons’s Haymarket neighborhood selling fine accessories to men about town. He had a small shop for decades but became increasingly popular after the Great Exhibition of 1851. His braces have been worn by presidents, kings, princes and prime ministers and the company still operates today.

Notably, Albert Thurston made the moiré braces Daniel Craig wore as James Bond in Casino Royale. Additionally, they also make a wide variety of styles with an innumerable amount of fabrics and customizations. We contacted Albert Thurston last year to make us a comfortable and adjustable elasticated option in three core colors. For $65, we offer navy, white and our best selling classic black braces. All are made in England with goatskin leather accents and braided attachers. All of our trousers can be finished with braces buttons by request.

We think they make a rakish addition to any closet, with the black and white options being most appropriate when wearing formalwear.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Albert Thurston braces.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Albert Thurston braces.

An 1870s catalog page from Albert Thurston

An 1870s catalog page from Albert Thurston

Shirting

While they were historically an undergarment, to be worn beneath a jacket and/or waistcoat, shirts have gained popularity as an exterior garment in the last 15 years.

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Don’t be mistaken, their purpose is still to be a base garment, protecting the jacket from one’s skin. As a matter of fact, the cuffs and collar of a dress shirt serve as a buffer so the jacket stays pristine. In the Depression, a man would buy a blue dress shirt at a store and wear it until the cuffs and collar were ragged. The fraying and discoloration was irreparable. Since he couldn’t afford a new shirt, he would visit a tailor and ask simply for new cuffs and collars. The tailor needed the business but surely wouldn’t have the same blue fabric as the body of the shirt. To solve the problem, he/she would use a simple white fabric. This look, most associated with Wall Street, was born out of poverty. It was easier to replace the cuffs and collar than it was to buy a new shirt.

Nowadays, it’s easier to buy a new shirt than it is to buy a new jacket. We take just as much care designing and constructing our shirts as we do our jackets, pants and vests. We want to create a durable and mindful shirt that looks just as good as it performs. During a shirt fitting, we speak to clients about cuff size to accommodate watches, type of deodorant to mitigate arm pit stains and ways to clean the shirt to elongate its lifespan.

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We’ve designed 30 shirt collars and 15 cuffs so that clients may find their own personal style within the program. We allow clients to choose front plackets, sleeve plackets, collar stay preferences, buttons, monograms, yokes and pockets. There is an almost endless combination of customizations that can be chosen.

One of the most personal choices a client can make is the construction of the cuffs and the collar. Our interfacing comes in standard, soft, firm as well as an unconstructed option. Typically the standard construction suffices, but our soft and unconstructed options can create wonderfully comfortable shirts.

Furthermore, we use a French seam construction on our side seams. We set those into the gusset where the front hem meets the back hem of the shirt. This is all done for strength along with turning the bottom buttonhole on the front placket.

Our collection of fabrics numbers in the hundreds from mills like Canclini, Soktas, Thomas Mason, Albini, Martin Savile and Luthai. They range in price from $150-$235 and, as always, we include the customizations with our pricing.

Lastly, discreet branding is very important for our company especially on our shirts. To avoid discomfort, we move our label from the nape of the neck to the backside of the placket near the front hem of the shirt. It’s hidden so it won’t scratch.

Our Made To Order shirts can be purchased here and appointments for new fittings can be be made here.

Made to Order Program

Our business has thrived with one-on-one interactions with our clients. We prefer to fit each individual in person at our shop so that we can ensure fit and design each garment to our standards.

As we come up to our 4th anniversary of being in business, we have now fit over 2300 people. We are consistently the most affordable custom clothing shop using a canvassed construction and European fabrics in the country. With that, we wanted to give those clients an even more convenient way to order clothing.

Our Made to Order Program is a platform where we have designed clothing to be, above all, versatile. We decided to start with 2 overcoats, 2 sport coats, 2 trousers and 2 shirts. They are the essentials that we believe belong in your closet. Starting now, you can buy them directly from our website.

When you place an order we’ll use your most recent fit profile. This is the most economically and environmentally sound way to buy clothing. These are garments that will fit the way you want them to fit and made one at a time. This way we eliminate the need to make dozens of styles of hundreds of garments just to have them hang in a storefront waiting to be sold. That is a wasteful and antiquated way to sell clothing. This program is the future.

As long as we have stock of the fabric, the garments will be produced in less than 30 days. Most times, we’ll have them finished in 20. You can pick them up at our store front or select to have them shipped to your home or office. Each garment is made to our normal standards and can be altered if necessary.

If you haven’t been fit in our store, you may schedule a 30 minute fit session with us. If you cannot visit our store, you may submit measurements for us to use to build a better garment than a typical off-the-rack piece.

Canvassed Construction

In the 1950’s, when the world became more dependent on petroleum products and plastics, fusible textiles were invented. This forever altered the course of suit making as we know it today.

For more than a century beforehand, suit construction consisted of using a canvas on the inside of the garment. The canvas was often times made of wool and interfaced with horsehair or, as a less expensive option, linen. After being cut to size via a client’s pattern, the canvas was basted throughout the lapel, giving it the rolling shape seen on the finished garment where the chest piece rolls back creating the lapel. Basting the canvas by hand is laborious, expensive and time consuming which is why many suit manufacturers today have long since abandoned this process. That paved the way for the fusible to take over the marketplace.

As an inferior construction option, fused suit jackets are much easier and less expensive to manufacture. The fusible is a poly textile that gets bonded to the exterior suiting material using heat. It tends to keep the wearer warmer than average due to a lack of breathability. Most notably, the chest can buckle at the innermost portion because of the plasticity of the chest piece. It is less malleable and, while looking stiffer/sharper from afar, is uncomfortable to move in.

Once designed in our shop, we use a CAD program to print out the pattern and a Gerber machine to cut the canvas. The canvas is tacked at the stress points betwixt the outer suiting material and the lining inside the jacket. This being the “meat” to the sandwich, it gives the jacket structure and shape. It adds some memory to the garment, so it wears better with time and lasts longer. The canvas also breathes better than the alternative. Our canvasses come from Freudenberg, a German technology company. Coincidentally, the machines we use to baste the lapel come from Strobel another German company.

The largest benefit of a canvassed jacket is the drape, contour and softness of the garment. It will fit better the more you wear it because of the pliancy of the canvas. Pictured below is a close up of the canvas, with the horse hair interwoven into the wool.

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Plaid Sport Coat

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It can do more for your closet, situationally, than any other tailored piece. Checked jackets (often times mill-finished and slightly carded) can be dressed up or dressed down. They can be paired with jeans or slacks, dress shirts and sport shirts.

We love a nice green colored jacket. More often than not, green jackets go with every pant. This is a great example. Think about it: jeans, chinos, navy slacks, grey flannel trousers. Those are the core pants to any well-rounded wardrobe and a (dark) green plaid jacket goes with all of them. To the office, a meeting in said office, dinner, reunion…the list goes on. Hell, we suggest wearing it on vacation.

Our jackets range from $625-$1595 and there are hundreds of fabrics that are arriving for Fall/Winter 2018. Make an appointment this month to have a jacket ready by November.

Hosiery

Socks have played a large part in the wardrobe of men in the centuries they've been around.  Importantly, they regulate body temperature, mitigate blisters and of course add a stylish bit of contrast around the ankle.

Our new lines of socks are made in North Carolina by a third generation hosiery manufacturer.  We decided to carry both mid-calf and over-the-calf iterations for clients on both side of the coin.  Additionally, we have both wool blended and cotton blended fabrics.  The wool blend is 70% wool, 29% nylon and 1% spandex.  The cotton blend is 66% cotton, 33% nylon and 1% spandex.  They fit shoe sizes 7-13 and can be machine washed at home.  Lastly, we opted for a linked toe for durability for our hard-walking clients.  Each pair retails at $22.50.

Colors: black (ribbed solid and bird's eye), navy (ribbed solid and bird's eye), charcoal ribbed solid, blue melange & brown melange (seen below). 

We recommend matching socks to either your trousers (for a taller look) or shoes.  They can be purchased in store or online.

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StylBiella

A mill that was started by Piero Perino in 1975, StylBiella has recently grown its swatch program to international markets.  Specifically in the last two years, they've entered the U.S. market, making their exclusively Italian cloths accessible to domestic clothiers.  Read more on their heritage here.

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They are one of the very few mills to make suiting, coating and shirting cloths which creates a one-stop shop of sorts.  We added their full book of shirting materials this month, as the only clothier in Chicago to offer the book.  Additionally, we carry their Palette, Perfection, Rainbow, Style, Noble Flannel, Cotton Life and Breath books.

Founder of StylBiella, Piero Perino.

Founder of StylBiella, Piero Perino.

The shirt swatches  are comprised of our finest fabrics and retail for $235.  Like all of our garments, pricing includes your customizations.  Already have your fit profile saved in our system?  Schedule a re-order here.

AMF Stitching

The decorative stitch along the edge of a jacket's lapel (and occasionally on pockets, sleeve heads, sleeves and side seams) is just that; decorative.  It's an ornamental feature that was originally done by hand by skilled artisans.  The issue with doing the stitch by hand is that, like all hand made attributes, it looks irregular and is often expensive to produce.

American Machine & Foundry is a company that sought a solution to that problem.  Founded in 1900, they made a plethora of goods including bowling centers, atomic reactors, tennis racquets and stitching machines.  The stitch is now synonymous with the company, being referred to as an AMF stitch.

Typically set at 2mm or 6mm from the edge of a seam, the stitch is a sign of a quality garment.  Nowadays, most suits have some AMF (or pick) stitching as it has become a hallmark of tailoring.  Some suit manufacturers choose to omit the stitch which is often referred to as a bluff edge.  We offer all 3 options.  Pictured below are prime examples of our 2mm and 6mm AMF stitch options.

Horn & Bone

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This month we're adding several accessories to our shop.  We've sourced combs, collar stays and shoe horns from the storied Abbeyhorn located 5 hours north of London.  Abbeyhorn has a long and rich history in the trade, having been in business since 1749 and being owned by multiple generations of multiple families.

We opted to start with three core accessories for our clients.  The materials are unparalleled in quality, being made from cow bone and buffalo horn.  You can read about how Abbeyhorn sources their materials here.  The 5 inch comb is compact enough to fit in any dopp kit, being much stronger than a resin comb where teeth can regularly break.  We chose a comb that is dual sided for versatility and appropriately sized for a pocket or briefcase.  Similarly, the shoe horn is 4 inches in length and comes with a strap to be perfect for travel.  Lastly, the collar stays are made of bone and will not warp over time.

All of these accessories are engraved in England and come in our reusable canvas bags.  Each piece is unique, and due to variations in the horn, look different than the next.  Any, or all, of them are great for groomsmen gifts, father's day gifts or as a treat to oneself.

Super Part 2

There exists a history, as old as the United States, regarding sheep farming.  It involves several important figures, but none more famous than John and Elizabeth Macarthur.  This article on the Australian government's website says it all, but it is important to note that there are over 200 breeds of sheep, with the Merino sheep dominating the fine woolen industry.

As you can imagine, in hundreds of years of breeding, there have been many cross breeds produced.  Especially because sheep are a nomadic species and travel well.  But it was the Macarthurs who kept their flocks true blooded in Australia where the species flourished.  Due to their strict breeding habits, we now have fine, superfine and ultra fine wool that are produced from Merino sheep.

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It was their determination and a perfect combination of climate and intelligent farmers that provides fabric mills the ingredients to produce woolen fabric as we know it today.  From Super 100s to Super 220s, there isn't a fabric that doesn't appease the wearer.  As the ultimate performance textile, wool at any fineness has the ability to retain heat as the crimped follicle holds air.

At present, we carry fabrics from these mills with the corresponding Super grades:

  • Super 100 - Holland & Sherry
  • Super 110 - Filarte, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Gladson
  • Super 120 - Guabello
  • Super 130 - Vitale Barberis Canonico, Ariston, Holland & Sherry, Loro Piana
  • Super 140 - Holland & Sherry
  • Super 150 - Vitale Barberis Canonico, Ariston, Guabello, Loro Piana
  • Super 160 - Ariston
  • Super 180 - Hardy Minnis
  • Super 200 - Hardy Minnis

Often times a coarser, thicker fiber is more apropos for suit construction.  The heftier the fabric the better it tailors.  Finer fabrics often show more puckers and wrinkles but because they feel nicer clients are apt to want them.  And so a merino wool with a lower Super number yields a fine handle while also providing a cleaner looking garment.

There is no right or wrong answer in choosing a fabric.  Many of our clients choose fabrics based on color, pattern/weave and budget, but there's always more that meets the eye.  In the hundreds of years of milling woolen textiles fabrics have gotten finer and finer.  Suits in the 1800s were twice as heavy as they are now.

Sheep are wonderful animals that have been around for thousands of years and farmed globally since the 1700s.  The wool textile industry has been around since the 1300s.  They have a huge impact on economies, religion, culture, science and even cuisines around the world.  We encourage our clients to understand what the Super number of a suiting fabric stands for, we also encourage our clients to understand that the history of the woolen industry is similarly important.

Super Part 1

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Often times we get asked, "What's the difference between a Super 110 and, say, a Super 150?"

First, we have to start with what the Super number signifies.  Originally, there were several different ways to measure the fineness of wool.  This study from New Mexico State University does a pretty good job at outlining the beginnings of wool grading.  Before the advent of certain technologies, there was a weight system using big spools of wool called hanks that held 560 yards of yarn.  If a wool fiber was finer, more hanks were produced, eventually yielding a more luxurious cloth.

Nowadays we use the diameter of the wool fiber, a measurement taken in microns (a millionth of a meter), to determine the fineness.  For most of the fine wool in the world, that measurement falls between 12-20 microns, with the vast majority sitting between 15-18.  That measurement is then converted back into the the original Super grading system.

So, a Super 120's yarn equates to 17.5 microns and a Super 150's yarn equates to 16 microns.  It is important to point out that these numbers have no relation to thread count, which pertains to cotton fabrics.  It is also important to point out which mill mills the wool into a textile.  Technically speaking, you can microwave wagyu beef.  Or, it can be prepared by a chef.  Which sounds better?

The unspoken mission of most clients who enjoy the plight of custom clothing is to find a fabric that is fine enough while still remaining durable and cost effective.  Sometimes it's finding a mill that makes fabric you like more than another, regardless of fineness.

A Super 200, 13.5 micron wool fiber produces an incredibly luxurious and expensive fabric.  It is also a fabric that cannot be beaten up.  Typically, the higher the Super number, the less durable the fabric.  A Super 130, 17 micron wool fiber is a wonderfully durable and fine yarn.  However, some clients prefer a Super 120 or a Super 150. 

Which is better?  It depends.  Next time you're in the shop, ask to feel fabrics from each range and see for yourself.

Woolen Knit Ties

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With a sponge-like softness, our knit ties are made in Salerno, Italy from 100% wool.  They offer the most amount of texture and durability you can ask for out of a tie and can be paired perfectly with tweed, corduroy and flannel.  To be worn from Autumn until early Spring, we carry 4 colors of wool knit ties; Chocolate, Steel, Loden & Oat (pictured).  Priced at $65 and sold in store in limited quantities.

Checker

Quite often, a solid sport coat feels odd.  A blazer, while one of the most versatile tailored garments ever invented, can feel stale if worn too frequently.  The idea of a checked sport coat is exciting to most clients.  There isn't a rhyme or reason to why they can work so well, but sometimes its simply that it's not solid colored.  There's depth in plaids, window-panes and checks that solid colored fabrics can't hold a candle to.

The fabric in these pictures has a creamy base when worn with blue jeans or navy trousers.  But paired with cream trousers (above) looks grey.  The colors represented atop the base are a dusty olive and a blue that looks like a laundry detergent.  Easy colors to pair with navy and khaki.  But they're also versatile in regards to shirts and ties.

Upon looking closer, the blue is actually two blues; royal and sky.

Checked fabrics are, simply put, more exciting.  This jacket works with almost any blue shirt and almost any colored pant (black excluded).  Next time you're hunting for a sport coat that adds depth to your wardrobe, ask us for recommendations.

Hacking Pockets

Hacking, or slanted, front pockets on a jacket are typical of country suits.  The angle allowed a horse rider to access the pockets more easily but also kept the items inside the pocket more secure.  As they are indicative of a non-city suit, they tend to add a slightly casual aesthetic to the jacket.

Nowadays, hacking pockets are added to jackets more so because they appeal to the client looking for a customized look.  Rarely are we riding horses whilst wearing a sport coat or suit, so the addition of the angle was more for looks rather than use.

The above suit was made for a restaurant employee, who accesses the pocket very frequently.  Designing the suit for ease of use whilst still looking good was important for the restaurant and the hacking pockets were the only "curveball" to the exterior of the suit.

Slanted pockets tend to do two contrasting things to the silhouette of the wearer.  They can accentuate wide hips as a negative (unless the wearer also had overly wide shoulders, in which case it can help balance out the garment).  Conversely, they can direct the eye towards the middle of the abdomen and make the wearer look taller and slimmer.

Either way, it is an option worth exploring for most clients looking for either a functional or aesthetic feature to their suit or sport coat.