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Top tip: You should be able to undo all the cuff buttons on a good suit.

Bolt from the blue


t has been described as the ultimate expression of masculinity and one of the most visible aspects of western cultural dominance. Worn by everyone from Bryan Ferry to the Emperor of Japan, the suit has proven to be one of history’s great survivors. Despite the growth of casual wear, high street brands now cater for an unprecedented array of tastes and styles in suits, from the impossibly skinny silhouette of Topman to Paul Smith’s outrageous twists on traditional styles and the no-nonsense of Marks and Spencer’s waterproof suit. The focus on style follows the credo that the suit is a conduit for confidence and sex appeal and that, in the words of Topman’s design director, Gordon Richardson, if you are not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it shows. This is echoed on that great English


Suits you, sirs: The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry exude style by wearing elegantly cut suits from Savile Row.

institution of tailoring, Savile Row, where the focus is not so much on fashion as long-term wear and the uniqueness of the individual. “Purely bespoke tailoring is all about balancing you up,” says Simon Cundey, director of Henry Poole and Co. “For example, if you lean slightly to one side, that’s taken into account and everything from the lapels and width of the shoulders are cut to be in keeping with your body shape.” In this sense, Simon says, bespoke tailoring is often at odds with the fashions of the time but, given the garment is expected to last at least 10 years, this is something of a boon. Such precision will set you back about £2,800 and can take up to three months to complete, but as

Simon hastens to add, at £280 a year, it’s a pretty fair deal. The long-term life of a bespoke suit is partly down to the craftsmanship of the tailor but also to the quality of the cloth – much of which, unlike off-thehook suits, still comes from Yorkshire's mills. “Places like Huddersfield and the Colne Valley are still the best places in the world for worsted wool,” Simon adds. One of the company’s major suppliers is Dugdale Bros of Huddersfield, which has been run as a family business for more than 100 years. The firm recently supplied the cloth for the suit in which Mike Tindall married Zara Phillips as well as Jim Carrey in Mr Popper’s Penguins and Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street 2, which

Mosaic Magazine Issue 57 (September 2011)  
Mosaic Magazine Issue 57 (September 2011)  

The countryside of the Peak District provides the glorious backdrop to two of our features this month. An increasing number of film and tel...